THE CRY

for the latest news on ” The Cry ” Click Here 

AN ARTICLE by BERNADINE SANTISTEVAN, DIRECTOR OF  “The Cry”

Bernadine was kind enough to make a trip to Owl Creek Bridge in order to share some stories about making her Supernatural Thriller Based on the Legend of La Llorona.

I hope that you enjoy her story and that you are as inspired by her determination to see her creative dreams realized as I am.

amm

BONUS! VIEW THE NEWEST TRAILER FOR ” THE CRY

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I first heard of La Llorona when I was a kid growing up in a small town in New Mexico. Ever since I can remember, we were told stories of a woman who drowned her kids in the river—basically to get revenge from her lover who had betrayed her. But after drowning them, she realized what she had done and let out a horrifying, heart-wrenching cry. From that moment she was condemned to roam the rivers forever, crying and searching for her children. 

As kids, our parents always told us that La Llorona would take us away if we went by the river to play alone, or if we misbehaved. On top of being completely scared stiff that La Llorona was going to get me, the whole idea that a mother would kill her own child absolutely terrified me.

When I decided to make a movie, there was no question in my mind that it had to be about La Llorona. On the one hand, I definitely wanted to do something focused on my culture. And from a more personal perspective, having grown up in a very superstitious environment (a combination of old Spanish beliefs dating back to the time of the Inquisition mixed with Native American beliefs), making a movie about La Llorona was a way for me to conquer my some of my fears/demons, with La Llorona being a big one.

Like most of the more than 28 million people in the U.S. who grew up with stories of La Llorona, I originally thought that this ghost was from my small town. After learning that she’s basically everywhere and has been a strong force in the Latino world for five centuries, I set off on a search for her across the U.S. and Latin America. I dug up historical material on her dating back hundreds of years, interviewed people who believe they’ve seen or heard her, and collected stories, artwork, poems and songs about her from all over the continent. You can see some of my research on my website www.TheCryTheMovie.com. I also went on to explore “Lloronas in other cultures,” and found several similar legends from all over the world like the Greek Medea, the Jewish Lilith and the Irish Banshee. In the end, it took me 5 years to get to a place where I felt as though I knew La Llorona well enough to write a script that would truly capture her essence. Then it was writing, rewriting, finding money, shooting, finding more money, post-production, distribution…what seemed like endless work.

Since it’s Halloween, I want to mention a few creepy experiences that I had while making The Cry—moments where I definitely felt La Llorona’s presence. 

The first creepy experience happened one day when I was shooting in Spanish Harlem. Some santeros (traditional saint makers) from New Mexico had carved a wood statue of Death in the form of a woman (Dona Sebastiana). It was quite difficult to transport the santo to New York because it was a large, life-size carving and very fragile. In any case, the day my best friend, Horacio, and I were unloading Death from the vehicle, a freak accident happened where I was hit in the head—just a hair above my right eye—

with something flying through the air. It felt as though a brick had hit me, and I almost lost my eye. I remember grabbing my head and seeing blood pouring into my hand. Horacio ran and caught me just as the world started spinning and I was falling to the ground. The experience totally freaked me out not only because it happened when we were moving Death, but also because in The Cry the way that I physically show La Llorona’s curse on people is through their bleeding eyes. A few months later when I was doing post-production on The Cry, one morning my project manager suddenly had some bloody tears coming out of her eyes. She never did find out why that happened. 

Another creepy experience happened when I was shooting some of my flashback scenes in New Mexico. Basically, I had spent several days looking for the perfect river location to shoot La Llorona drowning her kid, and found it months before we shot there. The place had a strange, haunting feel to it that made it perfect for The Cry. What was creepy about this was that a few weeks before we shot there, my sister, Rita, who still lives in NM called me to tell me that a woman named Bernadine—my name, which is pretty uncommon—had gone to the same location and drowned her two kids and herself. When I heard this my stomach fell to the floor. As I was shooting my scene I remember looking out over the river and feeling La Llorona’s presence more than ever.

The last creepy experience that I want to mention happened when I was in the final stage of post-production. In The Cry, I am the voice and cries of La Llorona. It took me quite some time to figure out what La Llorona would say, and this is something that I wrote only after digging deep into my knowledge and “relationship” with her. On the day I was in the studio recording La Llorona’s voice, something very strange happened. All of a sudden, something moved through me, taking control of my body and my voice. It felt as though for that slice of time, I was outside of me, hearing someone else’s voice come out of my body. It was a haunting, yet amazingly experience. The sound team that was recording in the control room was frozen stiff with how scary my voice sounded. You’ll get a taste of it yourself when you see The Cry, and you can read about more creepy experiences on my blog www.TheCry.typepad.com/thecry/.

Making The Cry is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. (Details included in my next horror film.) But despite all the unbelievable struggles, if given the choice, I’d do it all again. The film helped me learn so much about myself—my culture, my power as a woman, how to face and fight my fears—not to mention how to make a film. Though I have to say that perhaps the most important thing I learned by making The Cry is that nothing is more fulfilling, empowering and magical than pouring your heart and soul into a dream and making it come true. 

As per La Llorona, we’ve been together for many years now, and I know her well—perhaps better than anyone else on the face of the earth. And although I no longer fear her, I am now more certain of one thing than I ever was before: There’s nothing worse than a mother who murders her child…and La Llorona is real.

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I hope you enjoyed Bernadine’s article.

Please visit Bernadine’s Sites and check out her wonderful work.

www.TheCryTheMovie.com

www.TheCry.typepad.com/thecry/

email- bernadine@lallorona.com

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Violet Delaflote Was Here

 by Anita Marie Moscoso

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Prompt

” The Red Death “

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Violet didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the end of the world; it was what happened after it was all over that would keep Violet awake at nights.

She’d would be laying there in the dark picturing a dead and lifeless world with a small yellow sun rising in front of a blood red moon while all around her room on tables and in the windows and on their own special tables were dead and dieing plants in overpriced planters.

There were no starter plants with tiny little roots floating around in plastic fast food drinking cups in this room.

Only the best for her little victims.

Violet figured it was the least she could do for some poor plant that was bound to die once she got her hands on it.

However, what she did to plants was nothing compared to what she did to those colorful fish you kept in wine glasses with the half marbles scattered at the bottom glass.

Violet had come in from work one day and found all that was left of her fish were blue and red scales and brown goo sloshing around in the inside of the little glasses.

It was on that day she saw those little corpses floating in the cloudy water she decided it would probably be better if she avoided the live animal route all together.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know any better.

There was the puppy got when she was eight. 

Santa had brought the puppy in the basket with the red bow tied to the handle and left it by Violet’s bed.

Violet had dragged  the cold ‘sleeping puppy’ out to the living room stuck it in front of the Christmas Tree bright and early on Christmas morning and said to her parents, ” It coughed all night, I don’t think it feels well. Can we exchange it? “

There was the kitten four years later that started to bleed from it’s ears and not to soon after that the baby brother that turned from pink to dark red right in front of Violet’s eyes.

Then she grew up and moved out and started with the plants.

It was like having a bad tooth…your tongue just wants to go to it and poke around. That’s the way Violet was with plants; she just kept buying them or planting seeds and they just kept dieing on her.

And Violet kept watching.

So it’s not really a shock that she couldn’t sleep at nights.

And then it got be too much.

One evening Violet’s dieing and decomposing plants couldn’t keep her mind off of the little things that nibbled away at her mind during the day so she reached for her TV remote control and when she pushed the ‘on’ button the little black and silver box hummed in her hand and she knew the battery was dead.

She reached over and turned her bedroom light on and then she popped the back panel off of the remote.

Along with plant murder she had rotten luck with batteries too. She had guessed that if she bought batteries from someplace other than ” Dollar Bonanza” (where all the stock was a dollar or less) they might last a bit longer.

She reached into her nightstand drawer for some new batteries when she saw that the battery in the remote control had split at the seam and the acid had started to ooze out and then before it ran off the side of the battery it had hardened and turned to dust.

She dropped the remote on the floor and reached for the little ivy plant that was dieing in the planter shaped liked an elephant. She touched one of the leaves and felt it turn to power between her fingers.

Now that was a new one.

Violet reached over and turned off her lamp but she didn’t sleep.

It wasn’t soon after that she stopped sleeping all together.

So instead of sleeping Violet did a lot of thinking; she thought about her dead and dieing plants, her puppy and kitten and little brother. She thought about the way no one ever sat next to her on the bus.

Even if her seat was the last open seat and they had to stand.

She remembered the way her own Mother would wipe her hand against her hip after helping Violet brush her hair and the way her Father would hold his hands out to stop Violet from rushing into his arms the way all little kids do.

It was strange, those little gestures that people used to keep Violet away. They were the same gestures Violet saw when someone had a coughing or sneezing fit and the person standing next to them would turn their head or pull in a long deep breath and try not to exhale until they were safely away.

That’s exactly the way people acted when they got to close to Violet.

One morning Violet brushed her teeth and combed her hair and put on a bright yellow t-shirt. Yellow was her favorite color and today she wanted to do something nice for herself.

She walked down to the Lake and watched birds fall from the sky and bees drop from flowers. The trees put up more of a fight. She could hear them creak and groan and she could hear the leaves whither and then curl and crumble right on the braches.

When she got to the lake she put her hand into the water and she watched it thicken and could smell it go bad and then the fish all rose to the surface and tried to jump to land and before they were airborne for more then a second they fell dead back into the water.

Violet got up and walked to a little hill and when she got to the top she sat on a bench and she could see the route she had walked because it was a dead route now and unless you were looking you probably wouldn’t notice the narrow trail of death; but Violet did.

That was it for Violet, this was all she would ever do-she would infect anything unlucky enough to get to close to her and then it would die.

Violet looked at the trail she had walked and saw the dead trees and plants she had passed could see the trees and grass and plants further away start to turn brown and curl and she could smell them turn to dust.

Violet Delaflote was spreading.

Violet walked to the lookout spot next to the Lake she had infected (there was no other way for her to think of it) and she figured she could just walk out and keep walking until the water covered her head.

She couldn’t swim, she had never learned how…not after watching her swimming instructor drown all those years ago. ” She had some kind of Virus, ” her Dad told her ” and when she dove into the water she got sick and couldn’t breathe and she drowned.”

Violet passed the picnic table and walked into the water and she was surprised at how easy this was turning out to be…but what was the alternative?

She was a serial plant killer and she lived alone.

That was Violet’s life.

She kept walking and by the time the water was up to her chest she realized what she was doing…she spun around went under and fought her way back to shore.

When she turned around and looked back at the lake…she covered her face with her hands and screamed until her throat felt raw.

Then she ran.

She ran and ran until she came to the Shopping Mall and she collapsed on a bench outside of the food court.

People were eating and laughing and scowling and living…and when it came down to it Violet decided she wanted to live too. She wanted to eat soft pretzels and drink strawberry lemonade and she wanted to shop and be rude to salespeople…just like everybody else.

That was what Violet wanted, she covered her face with her hands and she cried for the life she would never have.

When it came right down to it Violet decided she might only be a germ that had somehow disguised itself as a short woman with okay skin and dry hair but she still wanted to live just like anyone else.

She knew though she couldn’t do that like everyone else and Violet knew that was alright.

So she took her hand away from her mouth and nose….

And she sneezed.

STRANGE TALE from THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS

by Anita Marie Moscoso

This was the first big project that I worked on at the Soul Food Cafe back in early 2005.

 The ” Chamber of Horrors ” was a virtual school that Soul Food Cafe ‘students’ went to in order to learn to tell ‘spooky tales’. 

This series of stories are a  little rough and I’d probably write it different now but it makes for some fun Halloween reading as is… with that said I hope you can enjoy the ‘spirit’ in which it was written

amm

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 THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS: THE BEGINNING: grimdeath.jpg 

Here we are in the vestibule; do you like the marble effigies? Stolen of course from religious places and cemeteries. When you’re as rich as the owners of this school were, they didn’t call it stealing, they didn’t call it grave-robbing.

They called it ‘ the procurement of antiquities’

The School itself was once run and owned by a husband and wife team; Dr Johnathan and Delphine Heller. I’m not kidding about the last name. Can you imagine trusting your body and life to a Dr Jack Heller?

And as for his wife!

Delphine Heller, was a pioneer in the study of Psychiatry and she believed there wasn’t a malady of the human brain that COULDN’T be cured by surgery. Delphine’s belief in scalpels and other sharp medical instruments bordered on religious mania.

Her patients in the insane asylum behind the school use to say she was crazier then all 200 of them put together. They also use to call her ” De fiend “.

They were right on both counts.

They may have been insane, but they weren’t stupid.

If you follow me, I’ll take you to the surgery theatre. Awful place, the floors in here are wood and if you drop anything on the floor…write it off. Even after all this time you couldn’t credit what sort of nastiness has made it’s way into the woodwork.

That’s in general I suppose.

This school is not a good place.

Upstairs are the labs. To your right are Dr Johnathan’s offices. His books, instruments, specimen jars, charts and journals are exactly as he left them.

Here, let me get the lights. Yes, those are real body parts. Pretty standard fare. Only…well, there seems to be an awful lot of them. More then you’d need for study. Don’t you think?

I call this Dr Heller’s trophy room.

It seems like that man couldn’t perform the most simple of surgery without taking something more then was required. Eyes, hands, feet…and other things as you can see.

Follow me here to his wife’s offices…which should be full of books, notes, maybe even pictures of the unfortunates she treated. But her rooms. Well, look for yourself.

These offices are twice the size of Johnathan’s and they are full of these…curiosities. These things would be more at home in a circus sideshow or a medical museum then in offices for a psychiatrist.

On this wall, let me get those doors..they slide, there. Physical deformities of embryos..human, animal…some, well, we’re not to this day what they are. You will also find if you care to look…are more, medical oddities.

Some of those heads and hands have been altered. Parts sewn on, sewn together, body parts created, in other words, by a surgeon.

She has shelves and shelves of medical instruments that appear to be one of a kind. Tools designed to reshape bones of all sizes, scalpels with specially designed blades and oddly shaped needles.

What the Morgue?

Oh my friend, I was hoping someone would ask me about that.

This elevator is old, but don’t worry it works just fine.

The Morgue, was someone’s pride and joy and I’m pretty sure it was Delphine’s pride and joy. It screams her name…as you’ll see.

The morgue is twice the size then the entire school above it. As you can see this is the place where those things in the jars were created. This is the heart of this place.

Now, my astute authors look at the autopsy tables…notice anything strange? Look closer…go ahead you won’t see it from way back there.

What, you don’t see anything?

You wouldn’t see what I’m looking at right now anywhere in any morgue in the world.

They’re not necessary for the work down here.

You didn’t notice the straps on the autopsy tables?

Hey, don’t you all run up the stairs like that, someone is going to get hurt!

THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS AND THE LEGEND OF THE 6TH FLOOR

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What, now you all want a tour of the Sixth Floor? After that baloney down in the Morgue when you all tried to trample each other to death? I had visions of it on the evening news: Students perish in freak accident in a Morgue.

Well, forget it.

Oh, stop begging. But I mean it, the first one of you to turn tail and run winds up in a jar. Got it? Okay, then lets go.

As you can see the Sixth Floor was where the chapel was…well, actually where it is because as you see, everything is still here.

The altar and all of this artwork and effigies are from a church in the Carpathian Mountains once known as the Plague Church. Yes, that’s what it was called and if you think that’s strange takes a closer look at the effigies and the carvings on the altar.

Very good, I’m glad you noticed…none of the human figures have eyes.

Do you wonder what Delphine said, when she took her place at the altar and preached the Sunday sermon? I mean, what on earth there was to say to over 100 deeply psychotic and criminally insane individuals?

Perhaps Delphine answered that question all those years ago in her own special way.

In her logbooks she blocked this time off not as ” Sunday Services ” or ” Church “. Nope, she wrote in ” Alternative Therapy Session ”

To answer your question, I’m not sure it worked…no one is because this wasn’t the sort of place you were released from…ever. Delphine’ s Asylum wasn’t a place you came to in order to be cured. No, you came here because you couldn’t be cured.

Anyway, this is the legend of the 6th Floor.

Years after the Asylum was closed people insisted that the “Alternative Therapy Sessions” were still happening every Sunday evening, and if you were unlucky enough to be here when they started you would go mad.

You would become just as crazy as the ghosts that still haunt the Chapel.

They’re supposed to be here still, sitting in the pews, waiting for their treatment.

Some are in straight jackets, or other types of restraints that were popular in those days. A few of the patients wear cages that fit over their heads and rest on their shoulders, some are brought in coffin like contraptions called ‘ Lunatic Boxes ‘ and others, the truly insane walked in and eagerly waited for ” Church ” to begin.

It’s widely believed that Delphine’ s Congregation has actually grown over the years because sure as the Sun comes up each day one fool after another feels the need to bust into the school and come to the Plague Church and attend services with Delphine’ s Congregation of the Mad.

Once a group of girls dared their friend to come up here at sunset and sit in that front pew and wait for the Session to begin.

She was sitting right there when she heard the opening and closing of doors and feet shuffling along the corridor. At first she was positive it was her friends playing a joke on her. So she sat facing the altar and refused to turn around, she didn’t want her friends to see how much they had frightened her.

Suddenly those heavy doors swung open with a hiss and a horrible stifling hot breeze rushed up the aisle. With it, as if it were woven into the heat, she could hear whispering and every once and awhile she caught a phrase or two and heard laughter and giggling.

Within minutes the entire Chapel was full.

So she wasn’t surprised when someone sat next to her…because she was sure that the empty space to her right was the last empty space left in the entire chapel. To her credit she wasn’t terribly startled when felt something encased in canvas and metal scrape then rest against her upper arm and shoulder.

She did however bite her lips so hard to keep from screaming they bled.

Suddenly the Chapel was quiet and the girl caught the heavy scent of lavender and heard the rustle of a skirt and heard the sound of light footsteps come up the aisle from behind her. From the corner of her eye she saw light gray fabric and a woman’s hand adorned with small thin gold bands on all the fingers of her right hand.

The girl closed her eyes and then she closed her mind.

Alternative Therapy began.

So what happens when the doors suddenly swing open and the new convert emerges?

Go on, have a seat…I’d be glad to share what I learned that evening all those years ago with each and every one of you.

Okay, I meant what I said…you in the sweater, come back here. I told you what I’d do to the first person that made a run for it.

I warned you all, didn’t?

THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS AND THE MIDNIGHT SHIFT

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What on Earth are you people doing in here?

What tour?

We most certainly do not give tours of the Asylum…let alone the Chapel. Now all of you come out of there at once! Here now, what’s this? Let go of me and quit that babbling and for heaven’s sake quit that crying. You are all far to old for that.

You, young man, what’s going on here?

A woman? With a scalpel?

Ah, I see you’ve had the misfortune of running into our Mrs Everett. Well, don’t expect me to feel sorry for any of you. We were very clear when we opened this school which part of the properties were for your use and which areas were off limits.

If you got chased around by a psychotic ghost that’s your problem.

Now follow me, we have to get out of here before the Midnight Shift comes on.

Okay, here we are, safe and sound and back in the school and safely tucked away in the library. I’m going to have Miss Bayloche the Librarian explain somethings to you.

May I suggest that this time you listen.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I’m Miss Bayloche and I’m the school’s librarian. Which is probably why I’ve never laid eyes on any of you. Hmmm, not in the mood for chit chat are we?

That’s just as well. Let me get straight to the point.

This school is not a safe place, but you’ll do just fine if you understand a few things.

One is the original staff is still here.

Mrs Everett, the Hellers, the teachers and lab workers. They are all still here and they are all still very busy doing the same things they did over 100 years ago, I’m very sorry to say.

One of the worst members of this staff is a very unstable woman who is the head nurse…her name is Elizabeth Telrico and she is perhaps the most worrying to the present day staff because she’s in charge of the Midnight Shift.

Simply put, the Midnight Shift is the heart of this school.

At exactly the stroke of Midnight all of the lights in the Asylum blazed on and you could see the Midnight Shift come up the path from the north side of the Asylum.

They walked across a footbridge and came in through the back entrance.

Then the doors and windows would slam shut just as the last member of the night staff entered the building. You could hear the echoes for miles around, I’ve been told.

Now most of the day staff were locals, they never really met the night staff and tried very hard to keep it that way.

No it’s not a mystery why.

Go ahead and take a look out the window, it faces north.

You can see the trail the Midnight Shift used, the bridge they crossed. That piece of property doesn’t connect to the road. It’s fenced off.

It’s the cemetery.

THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS AND THE GHOST HUNTERS

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NO!

I will not allow ghost hunters into this building. That’s out of the question. Have you people finally lost your hold on sanity?

Do you think for a minute that the ghosts would be the hunted in this situation? I don’t know who these people are you’ve invited but get rid of them…all of them!

What do you mean, it’s too late. Go down there and tell them…oh this is just wonderful.

Is running around kicking your mortality in the backside what you do to amuse yourselves? What do you do when you really want to have a good time… play a little Russian Roulette?

Fine, bring them up to the Library and do it quickly, things have been a little to noisy in the Isolation Ward lately. Well…you’ll find out the hard way if you don’t do what I say at once!

So you are the … how quaint the Gaslight Society Ghost Hunters. Yes, charmed I’m sure. My name is Miss Bayloche.

To make a very long story short these eight students are all that remains of 25. The others left a week ago after running into the Night Staffers.These remaining eight are suppose to be here to study writing, music and art. They’ve done none of that. But they’ve paid room and board till the end of next month so they’re here for at least that long.

Their instructors leave them to their own now because all they want to do is talk ghosts and demons and about the living dead.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Oh the story…you mean of the School itself.

Well, it was founded by two serial killers one of which was a demon and the other a creation of the demon itself, the Asylum was run by a psychotic and it’s Night Staff were residents of a little place called Leaning Birch…which I’m sure you’ve been informed is the town’s cemetery.

Every evening at Midnight a Shift occurs between the world of the living and the world of the dead and the School, or parts of it return to it’s former self. Our problem is that now after each shift has occurred parts of the old school are finding their way into the new school and staying.

Furnishings, cups of tea on desks, a room here and there…and things in the Morgue.

Yesterday the kitchen was in full use, food was being prepared, the tables were set…the days paper was even propped up against a bowl of steaming oatmeal.

Well, we don’t use that as a kitchen, it was closed off over 100 years ago and the paper for your information was dated 1905.

Things you see from the past are shifting into the present and I don’t know why, it’s never happened before. It’s your standard Chamber of Horrors fare. Boring to individuals of your expertise. So, I guess you’ll be…

Staying.

Why of course you are.

This place is one of a kind? You don’t say. The racket? It’s the door leading to the Isolation Ward. From the sounds of it, it’s just been torn off of it’s hinges.

Welcome members of the Gaslight Society to the Chamber of Horrors.

THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS AND THE ISOLATION WARD

How many times do I have to tell you I came back as the School’s Librarian because I wanted a nice safe place to settle back in? I’ve been out of practice for a very long time and I had to brush up on my studies.

It was peaceful, quiet and with each day I felt…hmmm, more involved you might say.

The next thing you know I’m hunting around a morgue for lost students, I’m settling in staff and
trying to set up housekeeping under ridiculous circumstances then I find myself pulling out some old medical equipment (oh don’t look like that, I’m referring to the straight jackets) for some Ghost Hunters who decided to try to dive out a window in my library and haven’t been quite the same since.

From the looks of them right now, the kindest thing to do was let them fly.

I had to put them in the Isolation Ward; it’s the safest place really. Nothing in there can hurt them. I just wish you wouldn’t have done that damaged to the door because I’ve had to restrain all eight of them in there.

It was no easy task…look, one even bit me.

So it’s you and me now, until the next shift anyway.

The rest? They’re all tucked away safely, the students, the Ghost Hunters (sorry, no I’m okay I was trying not to laugh and I choked a bit there) the curious and the very, very stupid. Tucked away and waiting for… well, you know, help.

Ignore the yelling, I do. It’s good practice; it’s only going to get worse later.

Yes, it’s a good thing the Midnight Shift kept the place up all these years.

They better have, the lazy brutes.

So now let me see here, the beds are ready, the treatment rooms and the equipment are in perfect working order.

Why even the Plague Church is ready.

Now there’s a happy surprise.

Everything is ready and I think it’s time to begin our rounds. Shall we start with the Isolation Ward? No, you first Jonathan. And do quit calling me by that silly name. How long exactly have you been in that room? It’s me; it’s your wife…

It’s Delphine.

Come Darling, you first…

I insist.

BORGIA SAINBURY WAITS

 by Anita Marie Moscoso

a Halloween tale from 2005

Written for The Soul Food Cafe

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Borgia Sainbury’s family cut the trail that leads up to Mourning Ridge and they built the little house that’s up there too and now Borgia Sainbury herself tends to the cemetery that sits next to the house that overlooks the town of Duwamish Bay.

This special cemetery belongs to the Sainbury Family and in this special cemetery they bury secrets and confessions, cries for mercy and dark deeds.

Even the truth is entombed here.

Where Borgia Sainbury Waits.

The Cemetery holds eight graves and a wall that circles the little reflection pool is crumbling now but here and there you can see into the niches and in those little vaults you can see small brass urns and little wooden chests.

Borgia Sainbury waits in the little cemetery and she sits on a little marble bench dressed in gray.

She’s unmoved by wind or rain or snow and she casts no shadow and when the leaves turn gold and blood red around her and then fall to the dusty ground she does not blink.

When the ground beneath her feet begins to tremor, when the trees fill with crows and they begin to scream and the tide below the bluff begins to bubble she opens and closes her eyes very slowly.

Her pale lips part and dust that is as fine and thin as baby powder is exhaled from her stilled lungs and drifts down to her chin and chest.

Borgia Sainbury smiles and the muscles in her face and neck creak and groan with the effort.

Then she stands.

She walks from headstone to headstone and rakes her thin cold hand over each one and then she stops and her smile becomes too wide, too joyful, and too hungry.

” You. ”

Then Borgia Sainbury steps back.

The ground comes apart, and from the ruined grave a figure crawls out.

Sometimes its a man sometimes its a woman but its always pale, shrouded in gray and its eyes are always as dark as midnight.

Borgia watches as the figure makes its way out of the cemetery and she can still see it when she closes her eyes

Borgia watches her kin as they walk through prison gates and to the ends of hallways with heavy barred doors. She’s there when they take their place on scaffolds, or behind screens and when they go alone into secret rooms to prepare the tools of their trade.

The Sainburys are Executioners and this little cemetery is not where they go after they die

This is where they are from

Where Borgia Sainbury Waits.

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WHAT THE DEAD MAN HEARD

by anita marie moscoso

Inspired by the Writing Prompt from the Soul Food Cafe

” The Inner Ear “

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 The Dead Man was wrapped in plastic and resting on the lower shelf of a C.U in a Funeral Home exactly four miles from where he once lived and exactly a half a block from where he died. 

“So this is the guy that bought it outside the cemetery, I mean, is that a smack down or what?” the Dead Man heard. “Like to DIE right outside a Funeral Home.” The plastic was pulled back from his face and the Mortician, a young woman with vines and flowers tattooed around her neck, hidden while she worked with a high neck collars shook her head. “Dude, normally I don’t pass judgment on the dead or how you got that way…. but that has got to be a major burn.” 

Her name was Alissa and she liked to listen to music as she worked. Loud music, especially at night when she had to work alone. The caretaker who had seen her drive up and knew he was about to be treated to hours of something called The Ramones asked her why she had to have the stereo up so loud and she said, ” You know, we really shouldn’t be here at night. You ever get that feeling?” 

The Caretaker nodded because he understood it all right; he didn’t like having a night shift around. He wished that the Morticians quit slacking off or doing whatever it was during the day that managed to put them behind schedule. 

What he really hated though was that they called these night shifts “Embalming Parties” and when more then two of them were at these “embalming parties” they ordered Pizza from 4 different places and took bets on which delivery would actually show up. 

Morbid little psychos. 

“So, anyway, wouldn’t want to over hear something I shouldn’t.” 

The Caretaker agreed, “No you wouldn’t” and he smiled and Alissa thought that The Caretaker (Tony) was one of the rare human beings who were lucky enough to be exactly where he should be in this life. 

Alissa spent hours rebuilding the Dead Man’s face. At least only one side was damaged and she could use the other side as a guide. When she was finished she pulled the skin back up and over and looked at him for a very long time. 

Then she started over. 

Alissa was cleaning the Dead Man up when she heard someone walking up behind her.

“You do wonderful work” a voice that was neither male nor female said but one thing she was sure of it was cold. 

Alissa shook her head and wouldn’t allow herself to turn around because if she did that she’d end up running and leaving the Dead Man alone with that cold voice.

Alissa heard rustling behind her, and she knew that whatever was back there had just sat down on the little green chair they kept in the room and that they had slid it forwards towards the embalming table. 

“I do enjoy watching you all work. After all with the flick of a scalpel and the plunge of a needle you try, and the word is try to not only hide my art, but also deny I even exist. Young lady, we’re speaking artist to artist here. How would you like it if I reached out and did the same…?” 

Alissa turned her head away and she felt a hand push at her waist to move her aside and she knew it was reaching towards the Dead Man, to the stitches on the right side of his neck. She pushed back and ignored the voice. 

She even managed to smile. 

The she placed her hand on the Dead Man’s shoulder and she told him, “Here we go Sir.” 

Alissa gently slid The Dead Man off the embalming table and onto the cot and she was about to wheel him out of the Embalming room when she saw the radio through the doorway next to the lockers in the Prep room. It was sitting on an orange plastic chair, like always only this time the cord was neatly coiled and resting on top of the stereo. 

She had forgotten to plug it in.

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