You are standing in a room. Paint it however you like. Change the lighting. Invite some furnishings. A lamp. A rug. Some music even. Make it relaxing. This is your safe haven. Ahhhh.
In the back of the room, there is a closet. The closet is filled with skeletons.
You hate the closet.
Your neighbors down the hall and all over town have a closet filled with skeletons as well, but you don't often chat about this publicly. Like talking about sex or your parents or anything else sacred, it's not entirely polite. Skeletons are a burden you all bear, in relative silence.
Now, there's a few things you should know about skeletons: they are lonely, they are stupid, and they love you.
They rattle and wail to each other, but they would rather play with you. You would frankly never go near them, but, if you leave them alone for too long, they get extremely unhappy and start banging on the closet door, making it very difficult to sleep or entertain company. You occasionally unlock the door to chat with them, but they tend to be sharp-tongued and, well, monstrous to look at, so you make your chats brief and keep the door closed if you can help it.
Finally, they are dead things, and they smell. You have to clean the closet periodically, and they love to see you do it, but you are all too eager to slam the door on them when it's done.
Now imagine you have a neighbor. His skeletons are also lonely, and restless, and banging on the door at odd hours, and he needs help with his as much as you do with yours. For one reason or another (his hair looks like your father's, his room is very attractive, or maybe you heard his skeletons singing late one night down the hall and have to admit the tune wasn't bad), you decide to oblige each other. Frankly we could spend all day talking about the reasons you decide to play the Skeleton Game with this person, but for now, let's let that go and establish that you have opted in.
You try to get your skeletons out to play.
The hope is that they'll stop bothering you and just bother each other, because you both need some sleep.
You go to the back of your room, open the closet, and wrestle a few out.
You shuffle them outside into the yard, they drag their heels and shudder against the light of the sun. They're a little shy and bewildered. They want to go back inside.
Now, you have a few neighbors, and you've probably done this a few times before. Sometimes your neighbor has not shown up. Or maybe he showed up with fake skeletons, or came out too late after you were already on your way back inside. The one thing skeletons hate more than anything is being stood up or duped, and when any of these scenarios takes place they pout and howl and make your room a mess for weeks before you can finally wrangle them back inside.
But now you're here, outside. And let's say in this version of the Game, he has also brought his, monsters clinging to him like children. You can see the hate and shame on his face, and imagine if you look like that too.
Your skeletons look at each other.
There is a horrible moment of complete vulnerability where you question everything you have done and wonder if you should have just put up with the banging and moaning from your closet and maybe invested in some soundproof padding instead of this nonsense.
Then, the skeletons start to play with each other. They are shy at first, but then they really go for it. They are sometimes a little rough, so you have to remind them to be gentle, to be patient with each other. It takes a little time, but with your neighbor helping too, they get the hang of it.
They stop wailing. Their heels stop dragging. They walk and dance with each other, however awkwardly.
Entranced, they become less interested in you.
You suggest to your neighbor that you go back inside. During this time your room is quiet. It smells clean and sweet, free of wounded things.
This is the perfect time for lovemaking.
Pick the love lock,
Author of Heartalytics Series--
The Love Gates