"I was never in a production of Hamlet," lamented one. "I could have been a contender, instead of a dusty old poker playing skull, which is what I am."
"And I should have been a Grateful Dead skull," complained another. "Talk about the good life... Get yourself an old VW van, paint it with flowers, and follow the band around the country. That's what I should have done."
"Not me," said the third. "I should have gone in for the pirate's life. Sure, I know all the lyrics to A Pirate's Life for Me, but, at the time, it never occurred to me that I would eventually become a symbol for all things pirate. I wasted the best years of my death!"
"You think you wasted your death?!" retorted the fourth. "I should have been a biker tattoo for some guy on a big ol' Harley. I could have hung out on his meaty forearm, defying death...even though I'm like, well... dead."
"Aw, you're all full of dust," remarked the fifth. "If I had it to do all over again, I'd get on the Día de los Muertos bandwagon. Be one of those skulls everyone wants Hang out with all the other skulls. Everyone brings your flowers and food and presents.
The sixth skull looked at the others through hollow eyes, and then weighed in. "The ultimate," the sixth skull stated, "would be to be the symbol on a poison bottle. Think about it. Universally understood, striking fear into the hearts of men everywhere. A cameo part in It's a Wonderful Life. Death doesn't get any better than that, my friends."
The skulls sighed, as one, each sure of wasting early years of skullishness. The first skull absent-minded set down the poker cards and rubbed a nearby tombstone. Suddenly, in a flash of light, the Fair Godmother of Skulls appeared. "I am your Fairy Godmother," she said, "And I am here to grant you one wish."
The skulls started to clamor:
"Keep on truckin'"
"Feliz Dia de los Muertos!"
" Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door!"
"Live to ride; ride to live!"
"We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot. Drink up me 'earties, yo ho!"
"Alas, poor Yorick!"
"Do not induce vomiting!"
"Hold it right there," said the Fairy Godmother. I didn't mean you each get a wish. You get one wish for all of you."
The skulls started to confer, then argue, then argue heatedly. It was only a matter of time before they began to bang heads. The Fairy Godmother, having seen this behavior before, stepped between them, stopping them instantly.
"Surely there's something all of you wanted to do once upon a time."
They stopped, silenced by her words. They thought and thought and thought. But they'd been sitting around the graveyard so long, playing poker and acting tough, that they could no longer remember what they'd missed. And so their Fairy Godmother decided for them.
"Sure, you could have been tattoos, or symbols... or even pieces of a shrine. But, really, all that is highly overrated. When's the last time you had a night out?"
The skulls looked puzzled.
"You know," she said. "Dressing up? A nice dinner, a show, cocktails, dancing? What do you say?"
It sounded like the most fun any of the skulls had ever had. "Then that shall be your wish!" said the Fairy Godmother. "Go polish your parietal plates and get out your BrightandShinyThings. You're going out for a night on the town."
And so they found their pearls and their crystals and they sparkled and they glittered. The skulls got all dolled up and, for one perfect night, they partied like skulls they'd only watched in old films.
And every night after that, when they played Texas Hold 'Em, they remembered that lovely night. And then they went back to arguing about poison and Harleys and head banging.
And they all died happily ever after.
Day of the Dead on etsy
Day of the Dead on eBay