I kind of bastardized the request, and since the request would be a spoiler for the story, I'm not going to include it here (I have no idea how to do spoiler tags). If you really want to know, it will be at the end.
Anyway, here goes (arggfgh formatting)
Hanako awoke with a gasp, the rushed breath grating against her raw trachea. She must have been screaming again in her sleep. For a moment, she feared that she might have woken someone up – but then the veil of sleep started to lift from her mind.
There was no-one here tonight. There was never anyone here.
Hanako sat up on the bed, closing her eyes and pressing her hands together in front of her face and sucking in a deep breath through them. The effort helped her focus and calm herself.
As usual, after her night terror she didn’t feel like staying in bed. Even though her room was cold, she convinced herself to clamber out of bed and go to the toilet. It was a simple action, but it was “real” – something that would sever the ties to the dream-world of her nightmares. She had lost count of how many times she had woken up like this in the past; the experience had moved from one of shock to a routine task. Scare yourself awake. Breathe in. Pee. Sleep again.
When there were others around her it was more of an issue. Hanako knew what was going on in her mind and that she didn’t need anyone to comfort her when the night terrors struck. But to anyone else within earshot it would sound like she was screaming for her life, which usually resulted in people running to her: something she wanted to avoid.
But that was no longer a problem. No-one would come running to her anymore.
Before dragging herself out of her room, Hanako checked the time on her phone. 23:47 on the 24th of December. To millions of children this would have been a magical time, but Christmas was never anything special for Hanako. It simply wasn’t a special day for her. Santa doesn’t deem it fit to visit orphans.
Hanako stood up and dropped her phone back on the nightstand with a dull thud. The noise reverberated around the small room, sounding like a thunderclap against the dead still of night; something that did nothing to help Hanako’s heartrate return to normal.
You can do this she said to herself, walking through the darkened room towards the door. The lock clicked open as she turned the handle. It was a bad habit, but somehow locking the door to her room made her feel safe enough to sleep alone.
As soon as the door was opened a fraction, light flooded in, tearing the darkness from her bedroom.
I didn’t think I left the lights on she thought to herself; her heart refusing to calm itself.
Hanako pushed open the door to the living room and the scene before her beggared belief.
“This… I-isn’t possible…” Her words were so quiet that they may have never left her lips, but the reaction from the forms stalking her living room certainly heard her. Possible or not, Hanako had to deal with the information that her senses were providing her with.
Those senses were now telling her that she was no longer alone in her apartment.
Somehow, three figures had managed to breach her building’s security, and find their way into her living room…
…all of them looking like…
“W-what are you d-doing here?” she stammered, trying not to let her terror leak through her voice. Don’t panic. She repeated to herself in her head. If you panic, they will know it, and then they’ll kill you.
The tallest figure turned slightly so that its empty eye sockets were staring Hanako in the face, the naked skull smiling fiercely at the frightened university student. Devoid of skin, Hanako was unable to decode its expression, only compounding her fears. It took a creaking, halting step towards her, slowly extending an arm towards her face. Hanako wanted to stand firm against the spectre approaching her, but her body recoiled from the bony, outstretched hand.
The skull’s jaw chattered open and closed, as if trying to speak, but no sound beyond the grinding of teeth could be heard in the small room. The tallest figure turned to the shortest before lowering its arm and shrugging, defeated.
Hanako regained her composure and examined the three skeletons in her room. The tall and short figures were both bleached bone-white, but the central figure was still wrapped in a brown, leathery covering. Its skin was yet to completely rot away. This one looked uncomfortable, shuffling its weight between its feet, as if it were anxious to say something, but couldn’t find the words.
Somehow, the horrific scene was all too familiar to Hanako, but she didn’t for a second believe what she was seeing.
The taller figure walked towards the shortest and placed a gaunt arm over its shoulder. With its other arm, it pushed the leathery skeleton towards Hanako. The uncertain figure lurched towards the petrified girl, but this time she held her composure. The figure clenched its fist in front of its chest before stepping forward, mouth agape. Again, there was no noise, only the slack flapping of dead skin.
“I don’t know what you’re saying!” cried Hanako – terror overriding her natural stutter. The figure stopped its advance and placed a rotting hand over its face before turning back towards the other skeletons. All three jawbones flapped silently for a moment, and Hanako could do nothing but watch. She knew that this was a possibility. She hadn’t been sleeping well recently – with good reason, she thought – and that had always been a trigger.
But never before had she reached this level.
The wall clock slowly ticked away the seconds as the subtle clacking of jaws continued.
The leathery skeleton stopped and nodded before turning back towards Hanako. Gingerly, it stepped forward, putting an icy hand on Hanako’s shoulder. She tried not to react, but felt a shiver run across her body. This felt real. It was real. There was a skeletal hand upon her shoulder. She felt it push her slightly to one side; allowing the skeleton into her room.
She watched as it walked towards the chest of drawers in the far side of the room; the chest of drawers that she hadn’t touched… since that day…
“No! D-Don’t! That’s… that’s not yours…” painful memories stirred in her heart. She didn’t want to see anything inside that chest. Her own clothes were still hanging in the cupboard. That’s just the way things were.
The skeleton hesitated for a moment before, turning its dead face towards Hanako. It tilted its head slightly. Hanako couldn’t understand what it meant, but she nodded in ascent. It turned back to the chest of draws; bony fingers grasping at the wooden knobs. There was a clattering, but the draw didn’t open.
“H-here… let me… let me try,” Hanako whispered, sensing the skeleton’s frustration. The leather-bound creature stepped out of her way, tapping on the top draw’s handle. Hanako fought back a tear and ripped open the draw.
Rows of boxer shorts and men’s socks sat exactly as they had for the last four months. Ever since he… since he put them away the last time.
The leathery skeleton made a pulling motion with its hands. Hanako nodded and pulled the draw out to its full extension. Something rattled against the cheap chipboard backing of the drawer. The skeleton jumped slightly, before reaching in and tapping on a small, black box.
Hanako reached out a trembling hand and grasped the cold box in her hands. The other two skeletons joined them in the bedroom; the smallest one making an ‘open’ motion with its hands. Hanako warily opened the box. She could see the sparkle even before the box was fully open – the stone inside had already caught the dim light from the living room.
“I-it’s beautiful,” Hanako gasped as the full glory of the ring in the tiny box revealed itself. Even through the fear that gripped her, Hanako felt a joy that had escaped her for nearly half a year. An unbidden sob escaped her lips as the swell of emotions became too much to handle.
“D-does this mean y-you’re…?” Hanako tried to speak, but the words didn’t come. But the skeleton understood, nodding for her. Wordlessly, she stepped forward, reaching around the ghoul and embracing it. Chills ran down her spine as the bony arms hugged her back, but she didn’t mind.
“S-so… are they…?” she motioned towards the two older skeletons, who were now standing arm in arm. They nodded in unison before embracing their daughter from the side.
“I miss you all so much…” Hanako wept as the skeletons held her tightly. She tried to squeeze them back… but they were gone. The only clue that they had ever existed was the ring box in her hand. Tenderly, she slipped the diamond ring onto her finger.
“Merry Christmas to you to, Hisao.”
The request was:
I took the "...story can be anything..." route. I wanted to make it scary but I don't know how to.Can I have my prompt be that Hanako has been getting presents lately from someone but she doesn't know who, but one day she walks into her room early and there's like two or three skeletons dressed up as santa clause and they're putting presents in her room? I just want the secret santa to be a couple of festive skelleton dudes. Otherwise the story can be anything.