(This is a work of fanfiction. The Haunted Mansion, and all its characters, except Megan, are owned by Disney.)

The Bricklayer

Gus and Megan sat atop a small mausoleum, drinking their cocoa, and enjoying a particularly brigh, beautiful moonlit evening. The other graveyard ghosts were enjoying it too.. the band was playing softly, accompanying the opera singers , who were rehearsing their version of The Flower Duet..things were downright pastoral in a grim, grinning way.

Megan heard a scrape of metal, and watched as the skeleton arm worked on a nearby tomb.

"Gus," she said, affecting a casual tone, "you never talk about the Bricklayer Ghost."

"Well, there's not much of him to talk about," Gus chuckled quietly, taking a sip of his cocoa. "It's kinda poetic out here, innt it ?"

Megan blinked, and stared at Gus. How could anyone be so flippant about some poor ghost who was condemned to constantly rebuild his own place of rest ?

Gus looked at her, trying to conceal his amusement. He shrugged his shoulders, and watched the arm as it worked busily . "He's happy."

"He who?" asked Megan.

"Dunno..we just call him Boney," said Gus , taking another sip. "Look at them bats up there..look how pretty."

Megan didn't like pulling teeth. "But the name on the mausoleum says..."

"S'not him," said Gus.

"It's not his tomb?" said Megan.

"Nah..he's just workin' on it," the little ghost replied, amazed that she actually cared.

Megan pursed her lips.. not a good look on a woman, Gus thought.

"Lookit, Miss Megan..way back when they was constructing that tomb, there was a worker fella who hadn't been paid in ages. He went to his boss one night, and demanded his pay, an' the boss was drunk, an' he killed the fellow. Then he burned the body way out back there, and mixed the ashes with the mortar. But in the darkness, one of the fellas arms got away from him, an' Boneys's been workin' ever since."

"His remains are in the mortar?" grimmaced Megan. "So he's not building the tomb..he's trying to rebuild himself?"

"Yea," grinned Gus. "Guess you could say Boney's a self made man!" he called over to the arm.

A horrible high pitched cackle sounded from inside the tomb, and nearby ghost joined in the laughter.

"Oh Gus..that's horrible," Megan said, setting down her cup, and hurrying back to the mansion.

Gus picked up the half full mug, and strolled over to the Bricklayer. He leaned against the tomb. "Miss Megan is a very nice lady, but she don't know nuffin about ghosts."

He offered Boney the remaining cocoa, which the Bricklayer declined.

"Oh right..you've got no head for cocoa, " Gus chuckled.

Dark laughter echoed from within the tomb, and the Bricklayer got back to work.