Sally is sick, Jack is worried, and a visitor from Christmas Town has been summoned to shed some light.
I am writing this letter to ask for your help. I know you understand how much I love my
precious wife, and what a sweet creature she is. Here is my problem: My Darling Sally has
fallen quite ill. She has been out of sorts for several weeks, nauseous, faint, dizzy... I am scared
because she says she has never been sick like this before, and what's more, her own creator
refuses to help. That is why I am in need of your help. Would your town evil scientist be
to look at my angel? It would mean the world to me. Thank you, friend.
The Pumpkin King
Dr. Frost handed the letter back to Santa.
"Evil Scientist? I take it you're asking me to go."
Santa nodded. He read the trepidation in the man's face and tried to quell it.
"Now, now. I know what you're thinking. I assure you that while Halloweentown is a
little, okay alot, different, you'll be just fine. Jack is a good man. His wife is as gentle as a
You just can't let appearances - well, you know."
The Doctor nodded gravely. He knew. He had caught sight of King Jack on a few occasions
when Jack was in town visiting Santa. Like most of the citizenry, he had steered clear of his
majesty. Now not only would he share company with him, but it would be on Jack's territory.
Dr. Frost opened his mouth to try and rid himself of this obligation. An appraising glance of
Santa's face made him relent.
"I'll go. I'll see what I can do."
"Thank you, Doctor. As I've said, you'll be fine. Jack will meet you at the town gate and
take you to his home." As an afterthought he added: "I do owe my life to that girl. Please do all
you can for her."
Dr. Frost agreed, then set off on the trip.
As he stood at the tall iron gate, Dr. Frost's mind was crowded with thoughts. He really didn't
know anything about Jack's queen. Santa had spoken of her fondly on more than one occasion,
but he had never really said "what" she was. With Halloween folk one couldn't be sure. He had
no clue what to expect. Lost in thought, he jumped at the light touch of a boney hand on
his shoulder. He turned and looked up, up, up at the tall figure before him. Jack Skellington.
Speechless, the Doctor stammered, but Jack shook his hand and spoke. His voice was velvety
and deep, surprisingly soothing.
"Hello, Doctor. It's wonderful of you to come. I do appreciate it so much. Let us go
back to my house so you can meet Sally."
The Doctor silently followed Jack through the wide bars of the gate and across the town square.
Various strange and frightening creatures stared and pointed at the pair as they walked. It was
most disconcerting but Jack seemed not to notice. He spoke of his wife. As he talked, the
Doctor had to almost jog to keep up with Jack's steps.
"She is wonderful. Just wait until you meet her. She's breath-takingly beautiful...and
smart. She has a irresistible smile...drives me crazy. These eyes I could just fall into...and..."
Jack stopped in front of his house. "I just told her this morning that you were coming to see her.
She is very strong-willed and she'd just as soon wait this out. I am worried, however. I want to
be certain she'll be okay."
At a loss for words, Dr. Frost just nodded again. What on earth could he expect... Together they
climbed the stairs to the narrow door. The mansion itself was enormous. It pitched forward at
an alarming angle, impossibly balanced on a thin rock precipice. They entered a small foyer and
Jack took the Doctor's coat. Then they proceeded up the stairs through a Victorian parlor room.
Out of the corner of his eye, Dr. Frost noticed a heavy book on the table. It was bound in black
leather with a sliver spider-web design embossed on the cover under the words "Our Wedding".
They reached the third floor hall-way. Several doors branched out at different angles. Jack
approached the largest door at the end of the hall. He motioned for the Doctor to wait, then he
quietly opened the door.
"Love?", he whispered softly. "Baby? The Doctor is here to see you."
There was a soft murmur from within, and Jack showed Dr. Frost in.
The room was dim, but even in the low-light it was a sight to behold. Shimmering velvet
drapes hung from the ceiling to the floor around intricate wrought iron window decor. The
polished oak walls were carved with twisting moldings and gargoyles. There was a fireplace, a
large bureau with brass fittings, and an enormous canopy bed. There in the bed, was a small
lump completely covered by the thick satin quilts and down duvets. Jack sat on the bed and
leaned down over the lump. The Doctor lingered uncertainly at the foot of the bed. Jack
whispered softly, gave a few small kisses, and then the queen emerged from her cocoon. Jack
lit the oil lamp beside the bed illuminating her face to the Doctor. She looked quite young, with
lovely large eyes and thick lashes. Her lips were crimson, and seemed off center from
one another. It was something else however the struck the Doctor most. Stitches. Heavy scars
on her face, her throat, her arms. They were crude and erratic. Gashes held together with
coarse thread. her skin was pallorous gray-blue, as if she were dead. The Doctor stuttered
a greeting when he realized he'd been staring. Sally nodded shyly, and moved tightly against her
husband's side. Jack placed a boney arm around her as Dr. Frost sat on the bed and took out his
"I understand you haven't been feeling well. Can you tell me about it?"
"Oh, I've been so weak, and dizzy...faint.", her voice was soft. It became clear that she
was a little unsure of him. She'd have melted into Jack if she could. The discussion
continued. As it did, all the signs pointed to one thing, but that one thing seemed at odds with
Sally and Jack's very existence. This was not to mention certain, well, "physical" elements that
conspired to eliminate the possibility in Dr. Frost's mind.
The Doctor was totally befuddled by what to say or what to do next. Maybe he couldn't
even do anything for her. The man who created her, he should be the one to treat her.
Apparently he had refused, but who else would know how her body worked, or what was
"normal"? Dr. Frost scribbled in his pad. He glanced up at the royal couple. Jack was resting
skull on Sally's head, tenderly kissing her hair. She had snuggled up against him. They were
holding hands, gently moving their fingers together. Dr. Frost's gaze settled on the narrow bands
of black between Jack's joints. They weren't bone. Some sort of tissue perhaps? And he did
have a tongue. It was grey and forked, but still a tongue. All this was evidence enough to
subject he supposed.
"May I ask you a very...personal question?"
"Of course.", Sally answered.
"Now this may seem... that is...I mean...", he fell silent trying to word his query. What if
the very idea offended them? That would be odd, but in this town who knew? He finally
"You two are married."
They stared at him blankly.
"You are husband...and wife."
"Yeeees.", Jack said slowly.
"Do you have a conjugal relationship?", he asked as matter of factly as he could.
Sally's forehead creased slightly. She looked up at Jack. Jack cleared his throat.
"She IS my wife, Doctor." His voice seemed to hold a thread of irritation.
"I apologize. It's just that I had to be sure. Things are so different here."
"Well, they aren't THAT different.", Jack snorted.
"I'm sorry.", the Doctor said again. "I also just didn't know if
He realized he was getting in deeper. Jack now looked more than a little insulted.
"Doctor, are you suggesting that just because I'm a Skeleton I am somehow less than a
whole man? Let me assure you that I am MORE than... Oh, what does this have to do with Sally
"What's conjugal?", asked Sally.
"Sex.", Jack said.
Sally frowned. Why would this man use such a strange word for that? She sighed. Doctors!
Suddenly Jack's expression changed.
"Doctor! Do you think I've hurt her? Made her sick?"
Sally shook her head.
"Don't be silly, Jack. You'd never hurt me."
Doctor Frost jumped in quickly, sensing the immediate need to redeem himself.
"Wait. I do think Jack might have done something, but it might not be bad. I need to be
The appointment continued on with the necessary intrusiveness to confirm the doctor's
Jack was more than uncomfortable with this. Sally remained calm, almost stoic. At
last the Doctor made his answer known.
"Sally, it seems you have morning sickness."
"You mean?", Jack whispered.
"You two are going to have a baby."
Sally and Jack were silent. Shocked. Dr. Frost asked:
"Did this ever strike either of you as a possibility?"
Sally just looked at her hands. She said softly:
"I didn't think I could." Then - she smiled.
The three of them sat in silence for a few moments. Finally Dr. Frost cleared his throat and
"There's alot for the two of you to discuss. Alot of big decisions. Do you think that
perhaps given the circumstances, your own town doctor would agree to see you now?"
"No!", Sally said quickly. "Given the circumstances he would be less likely now. And I
wouldn't want him to."
Jack patted his wife's hand.
"I suppose then, that I could continue to treat you.", the doctor said. Sally smiled
gratefully. She and Dr. Frost looked at Jack, the only one who hadn't made a sound about any of
this. He smiled nervously at Sally. She suddenly seemed almost mystical to him. The doctor
spoke up again.
"We'll need to set up a schedule of sorts, one that's agreeable to both of us. In the times
in between...well, there are some very good books..." He stopped. Sally just nodded. Jack felt
his brain spinning. He wondered how on earth Sally remained so calm through all of this. Jack
listened as the doctor spoke about simple things that could be done in the meantime to alleviate
her nausea and discomfort. It all seemed like a blur of words. Something about eating
well..eating alot, getting lots of sleep... The more they talked the less the sentences seemed to
penetrate his skull. He was suddenly aware of silence. Sally and the doctor were both staring at
"Darling? What do you think?", she said quietly. Jack crinkled his nostrils. What had
they been talking about?
"Appointment times.", Sally offered. "Jack...I'd really like you to be here with me when the
Doctor comes. I know you might not be able to make every one, with work and everything you
have to do, but...what time would be best for the next one?"
"Oh. Well, of course I'll be there! Work can always be put aside for something this
important. Afterall, I'm going to be a...a...a father. A father! Soo I'd better get used to adjusting
my scheduling and my appointments and the Mayor and everyone else will just have to accept
that...because...I have bigger priorities now and..." He stopped. He knew he was rambling on
and on. Sally was looking at him, her brow lined with concern. Dr. Frost still appeared to be
somewhat afraid of the pumpkin king. That's not a bad thing for a man who's going to be
caring for my precious queen., thought Jack. And my...child.
"Whatever time is convenient for the good doctor.", said Jack.
Dr. Frost picked a day and scribbled in his little leather notebook. Sally marked it in the
pretty, tapestry covered journal that she kept beside the bed. Jack watched writing flow
from her enamel pen. He had given her the set for her birthday. Who knew she would be
writing down baby appointments? Not so soon anyway. After a few more moments Dr. Frost
to return home. He remarked that Mister Claus had been most worried at the mention of Sally
"I'm sure he will be so relieved. And surprised I'm certain.", he said. He knew that the
royal couple had much to discuss and he picked up his bag to leave them to their privacy, but on
second thought, he really didn't fancy walked back through this town alone. Jack already
guessed this and escorted him out. Sally sat alone in the bed. She was silent and still. Then,