by A.M. Moscoso
Inspired by the Soul Food Cafe Prompt:
The Red Death
Completed October 30, 2004
This was the first story I posted at the Soul Food Cafe.
I’ve brought it back out because the little drawings that made their way into this story ARE real and they’ve been showing up around Seattle AGAIN.
Seattle Herald News
October 30, 2004
After nearly 20 years of silence the Prospero Lab over looking Lake Edmonds will be re-opened and it’s secrets, now the stuff of urban legend will be revealed.
An Urban Tragedy
On May 18, 1984 the Prospero Labs opened and become home to some of the top researchers in the field of Genetics. It’s believed the Labs employed over 300 individuals but it’s exact count, who worked there and later what exactly was being studied and developed at the labs were never made public.
By later standards the Lab was small and somewhat unassuming. The one thing making it unique was the fact it was housed in the old King County Power and Electric Building.
Within a year of the Lab opening two more Labs opened on the same bluff over looking Lake Edmonds and those Labs dwarfed Prospero by 6 to 7 stories. These buildings were designed by one of the worlds leading architects and opened to much publicity.
Prospero was soon forgotten by the surrounding community.
However, on November 5, 1985 everyone in the Seattle area was made aware of the forgotten lab.
At precisely 11:15am an alarm sounded in and outside of the Lab. The alarm triggered a safety mechanism which shuttered the windows and doors. Within minutes the entire facility was locked down.
No one exited or entered the Lab or it’s grounds after that point.
Cars to this day still remain where employees had parked them that morning. No one has been allowed to take anything from the site or even approach it.
Family members tried to gain access to the Labs shortly after the accident and were at first turned away by the Police.
Later they were turned away by the military and after that the infamous I-5 Wall was constructed.
There are stories that individuals were able to breach the wall.
Reports say that the doors and windows are covered by huge blast doors. Some people tried to break through the brick walls only to find the same material covering the doors and windows was laying just below the brick.
Urban Legend Is Born
Soon after the accident strange drawings began to appear around Seattle.
They first appeared on the walls outside the Lab itself.
Soon they turned up on the outside walls surrounding the lab and then the drawings began to appear on buildings throughout the County on car windows, carved into trees and drawn on the sides of buses, bridges and even garbage cans
“Anything you could paint or ink to stick to” a local resident complained to this reporter.
It’s a very simple outline of a man’s face in profile and it’s always drawn in red.
“Have you noticed, ” asked Janet Speidel a bus commuter who passes the Lab everyday on her way to work “that those weird little drawings are showing up more and more now? At this rate, they’ll be on every building in town by the time they get those doors opened.”
How does she feel about the Labs being re-opened?
“They shouldn’t be opened. That’s how I feel. First of all, who knows what the hell is in there? And no matter how you look at it, that place is a giant coffin. Opening it is just wrong. It’s a grave now and we’re desecrating it. ”
“Let the dead rest in peace. That’s what I say.”
However, tomorrow morning, Halloween morning at exactly 5:30 AM the doors to the Prospero Labs will be reopened, the dead and their peace will be for the first time in over 20 years will be disturbed.
And the fate of those 300 plus workers will be revealed.
FROM A RADIO BROADCAST ON RESTRICTED CHANNELS….
October 31, 2004
>>>>>>>>>>>For Immediate Release>>>>>>For Immediate Release>>>>>>>>>To be Broadcast on ALL emergency bands >>>Repeat>>>>>>>This voice Broadcast is to repeat every 2 Minutes>>>>>
Despite the fact that extreme measures were taken yesterday Prospero Labs an accident has occurred at the former research facility
.No one will be permitted within the Seattle City Limits, no one will be permitted to leave.
Avoid all individuals displaying the following symptoms:Profuse Sweating, a dark red rash covering the eyes, mouth and nose. Some individuals may suffer mild to strong convulsions.
These individuals appear to sweat blood shortly before death occurs. Do not try to move or aid the sick.
Do not attempt to cover or handle human remains. Take every precaution to not have physical contact with anyone from this area.
Repeat: Be advised a tall man dressed in Grey, has been seen at almost every site of widespread outbreak. Do Not Approach this individual, do not make contact with this individual he was seen exiting the building shortly after the doors of Prospero Labs were opened.If you see him, do not approach this individual. Make no attempt to speak to or have contact of any kind to this individual. In Precisely 2 hours extreme decontamination of this area will occur. REPEAT>>>>>In Precisely 1 hour 59 minutes……Avoid this area…in precisely 1 hour 58….HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ANITA WITH A LOT OF HELP FROM MR E.A. POE