Plague Yard Cricket

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Somewhere, in one of the alcoves of the ornate ossuary edging the field that was the Plague Yard cemetery, one shadowy ghoul turned to his neighbour and said, "I had a thought".  

"Oh, no."

"I swear it's a good one this time!"

"I'm laughing. Can you hear me laughing?"

The two ghouls sat in silence for a while. Finally, the second ghoul sighed and said, "what is it, your thought?"

"Cricket."

"Not funny."

"A round of boneyard cricket! We dig up some spinal cords for the stumps, a humerus for the bail and lash a few femurs together for a bat. It'll be fun."

"Fun. And the ball?"

"Skulls. We've got loads to choose from." The first ghoul said, waving a thin, leathery arm about to indicate the ossuary and its wealth of potential match balls. His eyes glowed merrily in the darkness. 

"Stupid."

"It isn't. I've seen it played recently over at a couple of boneyards that aren't nearly as fancy as ours. And I was quite the batsman as a young ghoul, you know."

The second ghoul harrumphed and crossed his arms over his skeletal chest in disapproval, but by time the clock in the old church spire struck 10, they were both digging furiously into the earth of the plague yard. 

"Ah, ha!" crowed the first ghoul as it unearthed a calcified spinal cord with some of its ligaments still attached. "Must have been a teen, this one. Splendid, splendid!"

A leg bone flew out of the pit where the second ghoul was digging, almost hitting a third ghoul who had paused to watch on its way home.

"What are you two doing?"

"Cricket! We're going to have a round of boneyard cricket!" Both ghouls cried, hopping up and down in their pits, the claws of their feet grinding and cracking into the loose bones beneath them.  

The small, squished face of the third ghoul stretched into a smile. "Cricket? What an idea! I'll spread the word!"

By the time the clock in the old church spire struck 11:30, a group of 22 sporty ghouls had assembled on the lumpy terrain.  

The bowler squinted, picked a skull up from the pile, ran forward a few paces and threw it in a high arc over his head towards the batsman, who was the first ghoul. With a mighty crack!  the skull rocket out over the cemetery wall and into the night. The batsmen were almost to the end of the pitch when the sound of shattering glass was heard.  

"That'll be the neighbours' windows," whispered one of the ghouls mournfully, as all twenty-two of them froze --then scrambled into the shadows and disappeared.

"A good one this time?" asked the second ghoul, shaking its head under a statue of the Reaper. 

"Just a little rusty on my swing, that's all," said the first ghoul, and clamped his ears as a woman's terrified scream echoed in from the other side of the plague yard wall. 

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A/N  This was my entry for the Sport profile's prompt for the Halloween Vault contest 2018. It was one of the 4 grand winners of the category. 

 

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