Jack's Origins

Despite what you've probably heard, the holidays didn't just... pop up. They weren't started by saints. They've been a recurring event for as long as I can remember, and there were no saints involved, unless you count my father. Worshipped by Halloweentown, my father has been the most ruthless Pumpkin King we've ever had. Banishing his wife, keeping his child prisoner... which would explain why I've always been so... restless. Being holed up my whole life has made me wonder what was around me. My name is Jack Skellington, and I guess I'm next in line.

I remember, however, the first time Father had let me out in God knows how long.

"Jack! Jack Skellington, get down here. It is time for you to experience your first... Halloween." I remember the jubilant look on his face as he announced that, and the rising feeling I had as I walked into the fresh air. I soaked in all the faces, the surroundings, and I felt... alive.

I saw a familiar face, one that had passed my window many times. A small ragdoll walked by, and I said, "Hello, Sally." in a voice unfamiliar to myself. It was probably because I never really spoke. She looked at me timidly.

"Jack?" she asked, and a smile lit up her face.

"Yes. It's my first time out of there, haven't you noticed? I've been alone for so long, and now that I'm out here, I just... I can't seem to stop talking." She smiled kindly at me and nodded.

"I can imagine." Sally looked toward the large dome my father had told me belonged to Dr. Finkelstein.

"Oh, have you been kept in there? Well, I know I can say personally, it bites." I crossed my long, bony arms over my chest.

"Why do you think your father let you out?" she wondered, same as I. My grin grew larger and larger with the opportunity to talk and make a new friend.

"I wish I knew." I said regretfully. "Maybe he's changed his ways!"

Sally stared off into space, a worried expression on her face. She shook her head after a few seconds, then turned to me. "Well, I guess we may as well go to the meeting." she said, and I looked at her curiously.

"Meeting?" I asked, and she laid a stitched grey hand on my wrist. She pulled me toward what Father had announced as town hall, and I followed, my long legs falling out from under me with the height difference. As we reached the stairs, I straightened my bat tie. Sally nudged me forward through the open door, which I went through almost unwillingly.

"Jack, m'boy!" My father said as I entered. "Come on up here." I pointed subtly to myself, as Father nodded slowly. "Yes, Jack, come on!"

I stumbled my way down the aisle and up onto the stage as the harsh spotlight shone on me. "Now, Jack..." Father started, and I expected a lecture. "You know I've been Pumpkin King for a while..." Oh, here it comes... I thought. "And I need a successor." He handed me a small orange object, and I cracked out a weak,

"What's this?"

The citizens of Halloweentown laughed, and so did I, even if it was meek.

My father shook his head. "This, m'boy, is the key to your future. I'm leaving my title of Pumpkin King to you, if you accept it."

"Now not so fast." A voice said from the back of the hall. I saw a large mass blocking the light coming through the doorway as what seemed to be a large canvas bag walked through the hall. "C'mon, Bone Man, you promised me that position!"

"Now, now, Boogie. Remember, I told you the rules: If Jackie doesn't want to, then you can take the role of Pumpkin King." Father explained to this "Boogieman".

"Uhm... hello!" I said. "I'm Jack. And you are?" It was my natural instinct to be friendly, even though I hadn't met many people.

"I'm supposed to be the Pumpkin King!" He rudely took the small object from my hands.

"Wait just a second, Mr. Boogie, that's mine!" I yelled back, stretching out my long arms and yanking it out of his grip. This seemed to have angered him ,though, because his hands went to his sides. I cradled the object under my left arm and jabbed his chest with my right index finger. "Now you see here, I want to be the Pumpkin King, and there's nothing you can do about it!" This... person didn't seem much older than I was, which kind of antagonised him from me, I guess.

He made this defeated expression, then held out his... hand. "Oogie Boogie, your loyal and ardent slave... bone man." I took his hand unwillingly and shook. "But now I guess you're on your own, huh?" I looked next to me to see that my father had left.

"D-Dad?" I called out into the open air.