A Christmas Tale For Eventide

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They were a Mother, Father and three children on a Ferry Boat sailing from Duwamish Bay to visit their Grandmother in Seattle.

It was Christmas Eve and the children, two girls and one boy were dressed up. The little girls sat up straight, careful not to mess up their hair or wrinkle their dresses.

The little boy was picking his nose and wiping it under the wooden benches they were sitting on as the black waters of Puget Sound parted dark and quiet below them.

The Children weren’t wearing jackets and they weren’t wearing hats or gloves and it was snowing outside, but it wasn’t in Kincross Benandanti’ s nature to involve herself  in why people did or didn’t do things the way you’d expect them too.

Human nature wasn’t something Kincross understood very well and it probably had something to do with the fact she was of a loner of sorts.

That didn’t stop her from noticing things though.

Kincross noticed that even though the Pale Family were still and quiet their eyes never stopped moving from one passenger’s face to the next.

She also noticed when she looked up and out the window  that the family were sitting next to that she could see her own reflection and the reflections of the passengers as they made their way around the cabin…

But the Pale Family cast no reflection in the window at all.

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Kincross went back to her book and every once and awhile she looked up at the Pale Family and sometime during the ride the Mother looked straight into Kincross’ face and smiled.

Kincross smiled and nodded and went back to her book.

Then the woman leaned over to the little boy and whispered into his ear and then she handed him something and pushed at his shoulder.

The boy took his time and turned a 10 second walk into something that lasted for almost five minutes. When he got to Kincross he reached out and handed her a little cookie shaped like a bell decorated with little red and green sprinkles.

She handed him a Kleenex and winked and the boy went back to his Mother and he sat quiet as a shadow for the rest of the trip.

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After awhile Kincross stopped reading and then she set her book down onto the empty seat to her  left. She fished for a coin from her purse and when she found one she held her hand out palm side down and placed the coin on top of her fingers.

Then the coin seemed to crawl and weave from finger to finger and with a snap of her fingers it disappeared.

She looked at her hand and then she muttered to herself, ” now how do you bring it back-” she reached for her book and started to read when she saw the two little girls standing in front of her with their hands folded across their chests.

” Are you a Magician? ” one girl asked

” Trying to be.”

The second little girl said, ” You’re not very good are you? “

” No, not yet. “

The two little girls wished Kincross a Merry Christmas and when they skipped off they did it without making a sound…it was like their feet never touched the floor.

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Kincross tried over and over to bring the coin back and when she decided it was lost she decided to get up and stretch her legs. She also decided to toss the book, ” 1001 Easy Magic Tricks ” overboard.

It was when she was coming back into the observation cabin that she noticed the man in the black jacket for the first time.

He was standing in a doorway watching the Pale Family.

Kincross watched the man and when he moved she jumped a little.

She had not expected  the man with the flat dead eyes to do something as normal as turn and bump his shoulder and say ‘ouch’ as he left the cabin.

But that’s what he did.

Curious about the living man with the dead flat eyes she decided to follow him.

She followed him down below to where the cars were parked and she watched him open a van door and reach in and when he stepped back she saw he was holding a black bag.

She heard it rattle as he reached into it.

 She watched him take out a silver mallet that he set on top of the Van’s roof and then he reached back into he bag and bring out five silver spikes.

Kincross frowned as she watched him inventory the rest of his bag…then she watched him carefully repack it.

She followed him as he made his way back up to the passengers cabin and then she watched him standing in the corner with his dead blue eyes locked onto the Pale Family.

And then she noticed they weren’t so dull and flat anymore.

They were burning.

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Seattle was ahead of them, wrapped in fog and cold and darkness.

 Kincross followed the man out on to the observation deck and she walked up behind him and said, ” cold night, isn’t it? “

” Very. “

” Get into Seattle very often? “

” Only when I’m needed ” he said ” and it looks like I’m going to be needed for a few days. “

” It’s Christmas Eve, maybe you should take the night off. After all the rest of us are.”

He backed away a little and when his back hit the door Kincross reached over his shoulder and held it shut.

He couldn’t move that arm, it was as solid and strong as an iron bar and Kincross said, “ I work out…a lot.”

 Then the Man found he was staring down into eyes so dark and black that it didn’t seem like there were any eyes in that face at all.

” Your eyes…” he whispered ” you have no eyes…”

” I can see you just fine. ” Kincross assured him.

Then as she leaned close the man choked and gasped and he said, “ your teeth…”

Kincross said as she brought her mouth to his neck, ” I know! I know!  They’re huge… it’s a family curse.”

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In The Woods Behind Riversleigh

Inspried by ” Sybil In Wonderland” a Riversleigh Adventure

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Never get lost in the woods behind Riversleigh Manor- it wasn’t exactly a warning; it was more like a statement.

Never get lost behind the woods of Riversleigh Manor.

Juniper Pringle had heard those words her entire life- her Mother would say them to Juniper and her sisters before they left for school in the morning, her Father would say the same words when they went out to play in the evenings and Juniper Pringle would say them one day to her own kids.

One day as Juniper said them to her son Tennyson she really heard them and Tenny really listened and he asked, ” Why? “

And those words that rolled so easily from the tongue to the ear finally came together and Juniper said, ” The trees are alive. “

Tenny Pringle nodded as if what his Mother had just told him made all the sense in the world and as Tenny Pringle walked out of his Mother’s house and into the wood behind Riversleigh she knew that was the last she’d ever see of her son.

And she was right.

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Juniper Pringle drove out to View Ridge a month after her son disappeared.

The Ridge is where Juniper went to a Mom and Pop Country store that still sold Soda Pop in glass bottles and that’s where she bought matches and gasoline- two can of gasoline to be exact.

Mrs. Country Store wished her a nice day and Juniper turned around and smiled and when Mr Country store saw that woman’s face he almost reached down for the gun he kept under his cash register and that awful feeling that woman gave him that afternoon never really left his bones.

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All right, Juniper told herself as she walked away from an almost certain death  that morning- it wasn’t like people hadn’t been warning each other for years about the Woods.

It wasn’t like nothing bad had ever happened back they’re before; it wasn’t like someone from Bindweed walking into the woods and not walking out was something that happened ” Once Upon a time “

It happened all of the time…over and over again.

It’s just that sometimes- and it was simple…some  people just never learned.

Like the people right here in Bindweed-

They all knew how bad those Woods could be and what did they do?

Did they try to figure out why the trees were bad or what the woods wanted or exactly why they put up with those trees taking them one by one whenever they felt like it?

No.

Not once-

Juniper went into the woods and came out the other side…on the Bindweed side and when she came to the outskirts of her own home town she took her matches and her ax and her cans full of gasoline out of the back of her Jeep.

Later she wondered- as the trees in Bindweed lit up like torches- if the flames would spread into the Woods Behind Riversleigh-

She wondered at last.

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Nightmare In The Northwest!

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This was a comment left for a post I wrote called, ” Did You Check Under The Bed ” ….

It was a story about one of my favorite TV shows ( Nightmare Theatre ) –

Nightmare Theatre only aired the most awesome horror movies ever made.

What can I say?

 I was thrilled to see this comment and to see that someone is telling the story about one of the greatest shows to ever air –

go ahead….

take a look and then visit

THE THEATRE

anita marie 

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I found your blog while doing my monthly search for all things Nightmare Theatre online, and as usual I enjoyed the reminisces of people who remember the show with as much fondness as I do. I was born in 1968, and watched it religiously from when I was three to when it went off the air in the late 1970s. (As cheesy as many of the films seem now, I’ll take them over 98% of the dreck on the market today.)

 Poe was a favorite of mine as well. (The House on Haunted Hill was the bomb, and his performances in Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations were absolutely unbeatable.) I was also a big fan of the Hammer fare, with Curse of the Werewolf and Brides of Dracula (both regulars on Nightmare Theatre’s sometimes repetitive schedule). One of my favorite memories, though, was the showing of The Mole People followed by Invasion of the Saucer Men, a double-bill which I repeat for nobody’s pleasure but my own about once a year. God bless VHS and DVD technology.

The program was such an influence on me that I am now a professional writer focusing on–you guessed it–all things horror, from award-winning fiction to film history and criticism. Since there has been very little written up about KIRO-TV’s late night show and it’s star, Joe “The Count” Towey, I decided a few years ago to start a fan site devoted to both, which–in light of web host problems over much of 2007–I had to rebuild this last month. (Just in time for Halloween! Forget Christmas; we Nightmare Theatre addicts know what the best holiday of the year is.) Anywho, if you are interested in revisiting a bit more of your childhood, check out my site (Nightmare Theatre NW) at www.nightmaretheatrenw.net.

I have a page devoted to nothing but reminisces like yours, and you’ll probably get a kick out of reading the television schedules for the Friday nights you found yourself–like me–glued to the tube.

It’s nice to see that others are trying to keep this small piece of Northwest history alive. Keep up the great work!

Scott Aaron Stine

P.S. The Scary Mary clip is absolutely hilarious! It’s amazing what a little bit of creative editing can achieve. (Now if modern filmmakers were at least half as clever, some of the more recent horror fare might by as “scary” as they claim.)