Last October, Spooky Story Corner graced the pages of The Badger Herald with a spooky sneer. The tale of the ghostly TA and lovable pencil sidekick won the hearts of the exactly seven people who read it.

This year, we bring you a new spooky story serial that will haunt all of your exam stress-induced nightmares. Stay tuned to this page throughout the month of October to get your fill of the spooky-ooky story.

“PARK. Walk sign is ON to cross PARK.”

The stirring strains of the crosswalk bleeted once again as Tommy Turnwell, a University of Wisconsin senior, crossed Park Street. He was used to these strains by now, after all he had spent three whole years in Madison. Everything seemed to be normal — the throngs of freshmen on their Androids, the creaky sidewalks littered with Qdobas past, the beautiful look of a recovered Vilas Hall after last year’s catastrophe. Tommy just needed to get to Fresh Madison Market to pick up some sushi from the deli. It was all that was on his mind.

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Distracting Tommy further, though, were his AirPods. Those majestic beings seemed capable of locking out all of the world around Tommy, making him completely unaware of his surroundings. This was particularly true as Tommy’s jam — a remix of “Spooky Scary Skeletons” — came raring on the speakers. He found it almost impossible not to bop a bit down the street. In fact, he started muttering the words to himself.

“Spooky scary skeletons send shivers down your …”

Tommy’s tune was cut off by a sudden slam. Whilst Tommy was distracted by the rad beat, another spooky skeleton had descended into Tommy’s world. Riding on the sidewalk full-speed in his spiky cycle of doom, the skeleton hit Tommy with such a force that they were both transported to another world.

In a word, he fell into the claws of the bike.

“Hey, why’d you think you could ride a bike on the sidewalk like that?” Tommy said. “The bike lane was right there! I could have gotten a concussion!”

“SiLEnCe YOu mOrtAl!” the skeleton shrieked. “It is I, the spookiest skeleton, bearer of spooky punishments. Art thou Tommy Turnwell?”

Tommy did not know whether he should respond in ancient-speak or in a modern tongue. He went with modern, hoping to appease a new sensibility in the skeleton.

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“Yeah bro, I’m Tommy. Why’d you ask?” he queried.

A villainous chortle leapt out of the skeleton.

“Ho ho ho,” the skeleton said. “Wait that is Santa. Wrong holiday. Hehehe. Little do you know, Tommy, you have committed one of the greatest injustices against the skeletal world that you possibly could. What are those things you had in your ears again?”

“Uh, AirPods?” Tommy replied.

He was a little chilly and in that moment regretted wearing a bro tank and shorts that day.

“Right,” the skeleton said. “Well it’s like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ every time an AirPod plays ‘Spooky Scary Skeletons,’ a skeleton loses its upright posture and turns to dust.”

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Tommy looked a little concerned.

“Ope,” he gasped.

The skeleton revealed its heart, or at least where it would be.

“My name is Tommy too,” Tommy the skeleton said. “I used to be accompanied in this wretched underworld by my lover, Tommette. But YOU! You killed her with your silly spooky skeleton remix track. Well, re-killed her. For that, you must pay.”

Quivering, Tommy thought back on his life. Ah, the joys of youth. He cursed the day he ever paid $150 for these AirPods. How could a device be so cruel?

There was an audible gulp. Bigger than a Double Gulp from 7-Eleven. Bigger than the biggest gulp that ever was gulped.

The problem? Tommy the human wasn’t sure if it was coming from him or something else.

In fact, it probably was coming from something else.

What is making that gulp noise? Will Tommy the human be able to escape from the clutches of Tommy the skeleton? Why are they letting me write a new story for Spooky Story Corner? Flip the page back to this column next week to have your questions answered.