I...I'm sorry...I have no idea what came over me to create this monstrosity. It's just...it was really tempting when I wondered how in the world Jack and Sally could have children. And then I had to add in some really disturbing stuff about Finkelstein. Partly disturbing, at least.
So anyways, this story is mostly based on that second to last track on the Nightmare Before Christmas CD.
And, while I'm at it, I don't own Tim Burton's wonderful movie. I'd like to play some of the songs though.
Another note. I wrote part of this at night and part of his in the day. See if you can spot the sudden transition. Hahaha. I tried to edit it to make it better, I did, but I had no idea how. If somebody can figure out a way to write this better, I'd appreciate it.
Dr. Finkelstein opened the door and looked up into the faces of Jack Skellington and Sally.
He didn't think he'd see them for a while. It had only been a few months. A few months of dating and proposing and tears and a private and quick ceremony thing and then Sally moved out. He rather liked that part since it meant he wouldn't have to wake up with a big headache and the general symptoms of poisoning by Deadly Nightshade. He also had his precious 'jewel' now, so he really didn't need Sally to be around anymore. Also, with Jack being the Pumpkin King, it meant Finkelstein was sort of related to royalty now. Yeah, it was basically only benefits.
"Ha, you've only gotten married a few days ago," the doctor croaked. "Usually, couples dread in-laws." Finkelstein laughed at this, a loud, cruel laugh, though it wasn't particularly funny.
"Haha. Yes. Usually. But…um. Me and Sally realized something…" Finkelstein noticed Sally hiding her face in embarrassment. "Er…ahem…the night of the marriage…or so…we were so elated, you know…we finally were married and all…and we got into…er…bed…and then…"
"Ah," the doctor shouted with all the air of somebody who has figured it all out. "You've realized that it is an impossibility for you two to have sex?!" The exclamation mark at the end was to signify just how loud Finkelstein said it. It's not that he was surprised or anything. It's just that since old men tend to lose hearing as well as all sense of modesty and humility and social skills (a.k.a whatnotto shout out at your door where everybody can hear you), he was…a little louder than he should be. Jack and Sally winced and didn't have to turn around to see the heads of passing monsters turn towards them and stare really hard into their backs. Those passerby continued on their way and tried hard to whisper quietly, but it was hard to when everybody is whispering all at once. When that happens, you have to speak up a little bit too so the person you're whispering to could hear you. The result was that Jack and Sally could hear every passing comment rather easily (which is quite a feat for Jack, since he doesn't have any ears).
"Well, come in!" Finkelstein was still shouting, apparently oblivious to how his daughter and son-in-law hunched over and cringed and looked back nervously and all around and such. "I have no idea what to do for you, as sexual organs will not work you see and…" They went on cringing as they shuffled inside and slammed out all the muttering from outside.
"…Igor may have to go out to fetch parts. We'll have to go to the stone dead corpses then, since zombies can be oh so touchy about losing parts like those…Igor! I have a job for you!"
"No!" Jack cried desperately. He was aware of the voice of his lovely wife join him. "Please, doctor, two things…first, can you stop…saying…erm…those things…so…uh…carelessly…?"
"What?!" And again, the exclamation points are just to show how loudly Finkelstein was shouting, not to emphasize disbelief. "You want me to stop talking about sex?!" The scientist grinned when Jack and Sally cringed again, making one wonder if he was doing this on purpose.
"You can't avoid that topic now, my boy! You're both grown and married! Adults do those sorts of things, you know! All the time! In my days of youth, oh ho ho, good times…but it's such a shame that you two don't even have those organs to experience the joy of it! You, boy, don't even have a – "
"A wiggin," Jack suggested faintly. There was no way he wasn't doing this on purpose. "But that leads me to the second thing, doctor…I know we don't have…the things to…do the…"
"…lovely adult activities," Sally finally piped up.
"Yes. That. I think. Well, we don't want to do the…the…well…the activity things…for pleasure, you see…we were kinda hoping for…"
"You mean the thing that pops out when you're not too careful?!" Igor had just now come down behind Dr. Finkelstein's wheelchair. "Ah, Igor, good. Wait for a moment, I'm not done. So let me get this straight here…"
"Father, we want to have children." And yes, Sally still considered Finkelstein her father. He did create her, after all. A creation has to have some form of loyalty. She knew Finkelstein was fed up with her rebellious actions, but that didn't mean that they would just forget about each other and go separate ways.
"Children are such a responsibility you know. But at least you both don't have to go through the cravings and the pain and oh lord, morning sickness. Unless you want to go through the process of making 'em, then you'd have to endure, but if I understand correctly, since you can't go through the process and you obviously don't want me to attach anything to let you be able to, you want me to make your children." Jack and Sally nodded eagerly. They both suddenly liked the idea of going out the door very much, even though they may have to face whispering again.
"Yes then. Igor, go to the graveyard. The 'stone dead' guys, not the zombies or the ghosts. Get some poor bugger out of one of those holes and bring 'em here. A child, mind you. Has to be small and a child. When you do this job, I'll have a nice, sumptuous biscuit for you. Maybe three. Go, now." And so Igor went, now that it had been offered three dog biscuits for the job. Three! What a wonderful day it was.
"I can also make more like Sally if you don't want skeletons. In fact, I think I will now." Dr. Finkelstein turned around, ignoring Jack and Sally's protests of 'oh no' and 'don't trouble yourself' and 'one at a time' and so on. "Oh, my precious jeewweeeellll!"
This call brought forth what looked like to Jack at first a tall, standing Finkelstein. With…some sort of turban on. But when the tall figure spoke, he realized it was a woman. A poor excuse for a non-male, anyways. The voice sounded exactly like Finkelstein. There was only a hint of female, but even if the hint was a slap to the face, he would still have trouble thinking of the Finkelstein-possibly-female-look-alike as a woman.
"Oh, what can I do for you, dahling?" You know you were in trouble when you were with a woman (possibly a man?) who said 'dahling.' (Mostly because with 'dahlings' came cigarettes and smoke and usually a night in her (his) bed. Then you wake up with a hangover and wonder who the ugly broad beside you was.)
"I need your help for something, dearest." Dr. Finkelstein seemed to be simpering. His tone sounded…Jack couldn't put a bony finger on it, but…loving? He just managed to suppress an involuntary shiver and a retching noise.
"Now," Finkelstein continued, turning back to Sally and Jack again. "When I said 'I' before, I meant, of course, my lovely petunia."
"Why can't you do it, father?"
"Because I so thoughtlessly gave her the left side of my brain, the rational thinking part. Not that that's a bad thing and not that I'm no longer a genius. At least I also thought of giving her those other precious organs that I thoughtlessly left out of you. Of course, even if I had added those, you wouldn't be able to use them now, eh?" Finkelstein's humor didn't seem to amuse anybody other than his so-far-nameless look-alike.
God, even their laughs sounded the same. "Haha. Yes. Um. Thank you for agreeing to do this…it's a very awkward subject…with all the moral questions and all…"
"No problem! No problem at all! Now, those skeleton kids will be easy to do. I can also add hair to them if you want to remember which ones are girls and which are boys. I'd imagine it would be hard without those. But for the other type, it may take me a while! I'm running low on cloth and such, and I want to find better stuffing than dead leaves. And she won't be able to grow without my help, you know. You'd have to come here every once in a while so I can add onto her…"
"Its fine…we don't want to bother you too often, father."
"Hm? It'd give my precious something to do, but if you say so."
"Oh, dahling, I don't want to spend any time without you, you know that…" Suddenly, and inexplicably, the female-Finkelstein bent down and wrapped pale arms around her creator's shoulder in a rather loving, yet disturbing, way.
"Ohoo, my dear, I wouldn't want it any other way…" Finkelstein crooned back and stroked Female-stein's underside of her beak (otherwise known as the general chin area). Jack and Sally had enough sense to look away and be engrossed in something else as Finkelstein and his lover started some romantic activities that always looked good in the movies but would never work well for the two beaked people right there.
Luckily for Jack and Sally, Igor came bursting in right then along with three, smaller, rather annoying little troublemakers.
"Bah!" Finkelstein roared as his face reluctantly pulled away from Female-stein. "Igor! Knock before entering!" He seemed to ignore the fact that Jack and Sally were already there anyways, watching (actually, trying not to watch). "And I said dead children! Why did you bring those three! Nothing but trouble!"
Lock, Shock, and Barrel took off their masks, not that it made a difference. Their faces were very similar to those masks, it seemed pointless to wear them. The only difference was that instead of the masks, the faces had a look of intense disgust on their face.
"I never want to see that again," said Lock.
"It was the worst few seconds of my life," added Shock.
"You're too old to do that, man!" Barrel shouted rather insensitively.
"Shut up! All of you! Why are you here?!"
"Well, we saw your little henchman here grave robbing, and we ab-so-luuuutely love grave robbing," cackled Shock.
"He's doing it wrong, though. He only took bones. You're supposed to take the good stuff," Barrel said, just now pocketing a nice-looking watch that he had just happened to found around a bony wrist.
"So we helped him! We each dug up a grave! Then we figured you owed us 'cause we helped you out so we followed him here." Lock didn't add that in one of the graves he dug up, he already found a nice, shiny, gold coin in one of the skeleton's mouths.
"Master!" barked Igor, jumping excitedly. "The skeletons!" The bones had been transported via the walking bathtub. ("Transportation costs extra," Lock added.)
"Hm," Finkelstein peered into the tub filled with bones as Female-stein rolled him up to it. "Yes, if I'm correct, there's five skeletons here. Oh wait, my mistake. Five-point-three. Congratulations, my child! You two will now be the parents of five-point-three children!"
"Just five, please, father…"
"Actually, I don't even think we can handle fi-" Jack started, but was nudged by Sally. She hissed, "He'll complain about having to leave skeletons around his place. Or give us four-point-five children." So Jack shut up.
"The more the better, I always say. But if you wish," the scientist conceded (since it would only be point-three skeletons lying around) and seemed to get ready to go upstairs to animate the
children skeletons when Igor stopped him and opened his mouth. "Ah, yes. I almost forgot. Sorry, Igor. You did a good job." Finkelstein took out a box out of nowhere that bore an icon that looked like a dog (or a werewolf?) on it. He took out three and threw them one by one into Igor's mouth.
"Wrinkly man!" Lock shouted. The three trick-or-treaters ran up to the wheelchair, looking miffed now. "Don't forget about us! Didn't we say we want to be paid for our services?"
"Oh, alright, you whiny little brats. Now, how many do you want?" Finkelstein put his gloved hand back into the box of dog biscuits.
"Eeeeew!" Shock shrieked. "We don't want those!"
Barrel also let his own opinions be known about the man. "You suck!"
"Mmm, no," Finkelstein said rather distractedly (possibly still having part of his mind on sex) as he put the box away. "My dear tulip does that." While his comment confused the three children (Igor paid no attention as he was now lumbering happily around the place, pleased with his treats), it made total sense to Jack and Sally. They showed extreme self-control by remaining stony-faced and refusing their minds to bring up horrible mental images.
"Well, why don't we go up to my lab now? We can surely make your children." The two merely nodded, afraid that if they said something, they would start retching uncontrollably.
"What? You two want children?" Lock looked up at the towering figures. His devil tail started swishing inquisitively. Grave robbing for children, huh? All three knew good, juicy gossip when they heard it. "Well, we were planning on leaving…"
"…But it looks like you still need our services," continued Shock, indicating the walking bathtub.
"So we'll stay until we're not needed anymore. It'll be free of charge too!" Without waiting, the three loped upwards, their tub full of bones following faithfully behind. Dr. Finkelstein, although seemingly reluctant to let the kids near his valuable equipment (judged by the way he went 'urk you-don't go-argh…fine') simply followed them, Female-stein pushing him along. Jack and Sally scuffled after, beginning to have second thoughts on coming here.
Lock, Shock, and Barrel knew when to be fairly good, and though it was tempting to run around, knocking over fragile beakers and stealing ingredients, they didn't want to be thrown out in case they would miss something, like more juicy gossip. They would save the havoc until after the animation of the skeleton kids.
"Dearie, please help me assemble the skeletons," Finkelstein crooned lovingly. "You too, Jack. And you, Sally. They're your children, after all. You three, don't help. You'll only mess things up." The three 'awwww'ed, but sat tight while the four adults started working.
And then, a few hours later, five complete skeletons lay naked on the large steel table. A leg was still in the walking bathtub. "Right," Finkelstein said, sounding very satisfied at the job well done. "Now, first things first. I will tell you which ones are girls and boys, then you name then, then we'll figure out their ages, maybe add hair, and I'll flip this switch and you walk home with five lovely skeletons. Now, this one's a boy, that one too…oh, this is a girl, another girl, and a third boy. Now name them."
"Oh, I don't know, Jack…what should we name them? How about one of them Junior…"
"Ha, who would want a name like that?" was Lock's snide comment from the side. Jack shot them a look before thinking of names himself. "Does Nathaniel sound nice?"
"Booooorrring naaammmee," Barrel sang next to Lock. All three started giggling madly until Jack stormed over and roared at them with such ferocity, they all shut up. After that, the naming process was quick.
Finkelstein was still chuckling at the three children rather cruelly. Female-stein didn't join in that time, but instead spoke to Jack and Sally. "This one is five, this one is seven, this one is also five, this one is six, this one is ten…"
And then Finkelstein added hair. He seemed to do this randomly, for when he was done, the hair colors ranged from brown to straw yellow to red. But at least they could tell which one was a girl and which one was a boy.
Then, oddly enough, Finkelstein tapped on each child's head very strongly and shouted 'YOUR NAME IS (insert name here).' He explained later that although they weren't animate yet, they would at least know their names when he did. This logic baffled all but Female-stein, but they went along with it. If it worked, well hell, it worked. That's all they needed to know.
So then Dr. Finkelstein flipped a switch. Instead of lightning coming out of some machine and shocking the skeletons back to life, sounds of a storm came out. There were actual flashes that went with the lightning sounds. "Sorry," the scientist said. "You need the right mood for these, you see. Do you think I should laugh evilly as well? No? I guess not. It's only making children after all. You may flip the switch, dearest; I know how much you've always wanted to…"
Female-stein smugly timed the flipping of the switch correctly, but thoughtfully held in the laugh. Old organ music played in the background and fake lightning flashed and then the machine shot possibly over a million volts of electricity at the lying children. Lock, Shock, and Barrel forgot their quick promise to Jack about keeping quiet and giggled as they covered their eyes from the flash.
Then it was over, and Dr. Finkelstein cut off the tape just in the middle of a fairly loud thunder part. The Grim Reaper appeared silently and tapped Finkelstein on the shoulder and whispered something to him.
"Yes, I know I promised not to ruin your good work, but this was for a very good cause," the doctor replied hotly.
I DON'T LIKE PEOPLE WHO TAMPER WITH MY JOB, DOCTOR. said the Grim Reaper, though the voice didn't seem to come out from under the hood, rather it echoed in your head. LIFE SHOULDN'T BE PLAYED WITH LIKE THIS, YOU KNOW. I WORKED HARD…WELL, MAYBE NOT SO HARD…TO GET THOSE POOR SOULS WHERE THEY BELONG AND YOU'VE GONE AND BROUGHT THEM BACK NOW. The argument went on like this, but neither Jack nor Sally was paying attention. For the first time that day, they actually smiled. It was a beautiful thing to see. The oldest boy rose, the one named Nathaniel, blinked blearily around, and said, "I wanna be called Nathan."
"Of course, if you want to," Sally replied, hugging the bony boy while the others got up too. Their little, innocent child minds tried to remember certain things, but only brought up a name at first. Then they looked at themselves and found they were skeletons, and then they looked at each other and figured they were siblings. Why wouldn't they be, after all? They were all skeletons, right? And so the tall skeleton over there must be their dad, and the woman hugging Nathan over there must be their mom. And so, without any doubt and hesitation, all the new Skellington children accepted their new life.
"Ha!" Shock laughed. "They're all naked!" The two Skellington girls seemed to get embarrassed, but one of the boys named Aaron shot back, "Oh, I bet'cha like that, huh? Sorry girl, you ain't my type." All the boys, including Lock and Barrel, laughed, so Shock harrumphed and hit the two boys beside her. "We're leaving! Nothing interesting here anyhow!"
"Come on, children," Jack said, feeling very elated now. Married, and now they had children. It was a little too soon, maybe, but he did love children. Five of them may be a little too much, but he was sure that he and Sally could manage. "Let's go home and get some clothes for you." The Pumpkin King implanted the vision of the five faces staring up at him in his memory. The stare that recognized him as a father, filled with happiness and pride and love and other children stuff. Yes, five kids were just fine.
"Daddy," (Oh, what a good feeling it was to be called that!) Adele tugged on his pants leg and pointed to where the Grim Reaper and Dr. Finkelstein were still arguing. Female-stein had apparently joined the squabble. "The cloaked man scares me." Jack figured that may have something to do with their previous encounter with the Reaper.
"Don't worry, he's a good man once you get to know him," he replied and picked up the little skeleton girl. The Skellington tower became a bustle of activity after that day. The children
caused trouble in the way children always seemed to do, and they kept Sally and Jack busy, but the parents still loved them and the love for each other burned even stronger as well.
"Jack, they're all so wonderful," the rag doll whispered to the skeleton at night.
"I know." They kissed and embraced and dreamt wonderful dreams.
"Oh, Sandy! I didn't expect to see you here! What a wonderful surprise. Come in, come in!"
Santa Claus stood just inside the gate, watching five skeleton children run around bemusedly. Sally was berating one of them for making one of the girls cry. "Call me Santa. And it's fine, Jack. It's only a short visit. I'll have to leave soon."
"Okay, Santa." The tall skeleton went to stand by the shorter, fatter man and stared at the active children happily. "After all these years…brings back memories."
"Yes, it does. All of them yours?" Jack nodded proudly and Santa decided not the bring up the question of 'how'. "Well, Jack, I just came over for some small talk, actually. You remember that ordeal that happened long ago?"
Jack knew immediately which ordeal Santa was talking about. "How could I forget?" He replied, frowning.
"Please do not ask me why I ask you this, and forgive me if I remind you of things you wish not to remember," Santa started and coughed in his large beard. One of Jack's children seemed to notice him and ran up to tug on his beard. He paid no mind. "Jack, given the chance, knowing what you know now and what you knew then…would you do it all over again?" Santa bent down to smile and pat the child on the head while he waited for the answer. The child ran back to Sally, shouting something.
Jack just stared at his children, then at his wife, who seemed to be telling the child something about Sandy Claws. He grinned widely as he turned back to Santa. "Wouldn't you?"
I just had to add in that last part.
Man, crack at one part, and almost sort of touching the next.
Oh yeah, and there's a reference to Discworld's Death, I should tell you. Maybe it's a little too late. Also, please review. I need to know what the heck I'm doing wrong so I can get better, else I will just keep spewing out half-assed chapters and stories like this maybe.