Curses!

Happy Halloween

” Did you see this? ” Marlene asked her friend Beset Lee as she handed her the morning newspaper.

Beset Lee, who was a Witch and her friend Marlene who was also a Witch were chosing out their Halloween costumes from a trunk in Beset Lee’s  attic.

Every year they liked to dress up like something candy related. Don’t ask me why, I’m just telling this story.

” I don’t like to concern myself with current events on Holidays.” Beset Lee said waving the paper away.

” I know, it puts you in a bad mood, ” Marlene told her friend ” that’s why I waited until now to show you this.” Marlene smooshed the paper in Beset’s face. ” Read it. I really, really think you should.”

” I can’t breathe.” Beset Lee said from behind the newspaper.

” Oh sorry. But read it. Please. Now. It’s just awful what they are saying.”

Beset Lee took the paper from Marlene and warned her: ” If this kills my buzz I am going to cast an evil spell on you and it will involve spiders”

Beset Lee set the paper down after she read the story and said, ” I think that this year I want to be a that candy bar with the pirates on the wrapper. That way I can carry around a sword.”

“I  hate to tell you this Beset Lee but they’re not Pirates. They’re musketeers. Now what are we going to do about this story?”

” Why should we do anything? It’s wrong. The Press, they can’t get anything right, can they? Where is that silver tunic?” Beset Lee went back to work digging through the trunk.

” That’s not the point. Hey, why don’t we ever dress up as anything other than food?” Marlene asked.

” So what’s the point. And food is fun. Especially candy.”

” The point is, people will know we are up to something.” Marlene said.

” Marlene, we are Witches we are always up to something- especially on Halloween. Everybody with a brain knows that. For Pete’s sake, even the ones who don’t have a brain knows that.”

” When you are right, you are really right Beset Lee. I still think that story is just awful.  I’d go as far as to call it disgraceful. As if we would curse candy.”

” Besides it’s a stupid plan all around. ” Marlene continued as she started to feel better about their situation.  “As if everyone eats candy on Halloween. Besides that we love candy we must eat a mountain of it ourselves on Halloween.”

” Exactly.”

Beset Lee  found the silver tunic at bottom of the trunk of and  she said as she pulled it out with a flourish, ” That’s why every year we use my plan to curse toothpaste for Halloween .”

smiling pumpking

Reflection Of My Love

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” What are you looking at Jingle? ”  Milo Hungerford asked his wife.

Jingle was standing in front of their bathroom mirror with her hairbrush in her hand and she turned slowly towards him and said, ” I don’t know. “

He came up behind her and stared into glass and shook his head.

” That’s not right Jingle. “

She put her hand to her face and looked into the mirror again and when she turned back towards Milo she started to cry. ” Milo what’s happening to me? “

Milo  pulled Jingle to his chest and turned her away from the looking glass.

” Is it still there Milo? “

Milo held Jingle tighter and said, ” yes. “

” The one in the foyer- let’s try that one too. “

” Jingle- it won’t…” he started to say and then when he saw the look on her face he nodded. “okay, we’ll try that one too.”

Milo held his wife’s hand and they walked down the dark halls to the entrance to their home and together they looked into the mirror there and Jingle burst into tears and grabbed her face.

” Oh Milo- oh Milo what’s happening to me? ” she cried.

Milo looked into the mirror and there in the glass he saw his wife holding her hairbrush, her dark hair framing her face- all alone except for the darkness that was their home and he turned her gently towards him and said,

” I don’t know how it happened Jingle…but I think you’re alive. “

It Caught My Eye

 

When I first found this picture on the  Vintage Resources site I grabbed it because at a glance it looked perfect to illustrate a story I’d just finished.

Once I put the story and clip together though I noticed something strange on the left hand side of the picture that I hadn’t noticed when I’d first pulled it down from the Clip Art site.

There was a faded image of a child leaning against the railing and that child seemed to be present in a way that the more visible children weren’t.

I could think of at least three reasons for that image to be there and two of them made me glad I wasn’t in the house alone- so with all the lights in my work area on I put the picture up all alone at my Owl Creek Bridge with a caption that read ‘Almost There’.

Later I found out that child wasn’t a ghost- not in the way you’d define ghost-  but at the time this picture was taken the ‘ Almost There’ child was indeed dead.

While researching the subject of Post Mortem photography for questions I had received about something I’d written, I learned that this sort of photograph was created as a memorial to people who had passed on.

This is the way it was done:

The family would pose for a picture and then an image of the deceased was superimposed onto the new photograph.

That’s what was done with this photograph…that’s why it was created- it’s a memorial to a dead child.

Like I said, there were two reasons I could think of for that image to be there and when they first creeped into my head I was glad I wasn’t in the house alone.

I wish that were true right now.

amm

A Story About Another Bridge…

dark matter

I work in an underground warehouse in a building in Pioneer Square

and this clip shows what would happen three blocks away from where I work if a 7.o magnitude earthquake were to hit Seattle.

I was there in Pioneer Square fo when the Nisqually Quake hit in 2001 which was a 6.8.

I suppose there’s a reason why I write about things coming out of the ground a lot now days.

This visualization shows the collapse of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, part of Washington’s State Route 99, and adjacent seawall due to a seismic event. The simulated earthquake is similar to the 2001 Nisqually earthquake but lasts longer, is closer to Seattle, or has a slightly greater magnitude.

 

 

 

 

 

She Had No Face

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 A few years ago my friend and I went on a ghost tour of Seattle.

One of the stories has stayed with me, not because it was creepy or scary.

It has stayed with me because it is such a tragic event.

In the story a woman checks into a nice hotel, with no luggage and no wedding ring- in those days I guess nice women didn’t visit nice hotels with no luggage. She told the Clerk that her luggage was on its way, would he please let her into her room so she could get some rest?

She had been traveling for so long, so the story goes.

A few hours later the woman’s luggage did show up and when they took it up to her they found her dead on her bed.

The room was undisturbed, nothing out-of-place. It looked like she had walked in, laid down on the bed and died.

Of course she just didn’t just die- she had committed suicide and she had used cyanide to do it.

Nobody was ever able to trace where the cyanide could have come from, her luggage gave no clues to her identity. There were no personal effects in them. She had, it appeared, taken great care to establish a new identity and she was so good at it that  over 50 years later it’s the only ID she is known by:

Jane Doe.

Jane Doe came back to haunt me, in her subtle way when I was watching a show about ghosts and came across a story from the 1800’s  about a husband and wife who arrived on a mysterious ship. The woman was ill when she arrived and her condition worsened as the days went on.

When she died her husband swore the people around them to secrecy. He asked that they never reveal their identities and they never did.

And the only story I can offer here is from my own travels.

One Summer I left work early and decided to take a side trip.

I wanted to poke around in one of those abandoned buildings I had seen while driving to an out of the way Doctor’s Office to get a Death certificate signed.

It was a little hotel- I think at one time it had been painted white with blue trim which I suppose was supposed to give it a seaside resort feel, but this hotel was inland and the closest body of water was a lake about 40 miles away.

Well.

I pulled in, got out and went to the room I had parked in front of. That way I figured, if I had to leave quicly my car would be right there. Not that I expected any trouble of course.

The door wasn’t locked. In fact, the door almost fell in when I turned the knob and went in. The only furniture in that room was a little nightstand sitting where a bed used to be. To the right of the night stand was a bathroom door.

It was shut.

I went over, put my hand on the knob when I looked down on the table and there was a pink rat tail comb, a tube of lipstick and a handful of bobby pins. They were covered with dirt and mold and looked like they had been here for a very long time.

I looked around the room.

There was nothing in that room but dirt and that little table and what was on top of it.

Without thinking I turned the knob…and it wasn’t locked.

It was stuck.

The knob wouldn’t even turn.

” I’m sorry, ” I called out ” I think I’m in the wrong room.”

I backed away from the door and as I did I thought I smelled perfume.

I think what unsettles me about these stories is not that these women were nameless, its as if they had no faces.

I wonder if they ever did.

Jane Doe

 

RESOURCES:

Tomb Of A Female Stranger

The Stranger

The Story Of The Female Stranger

The Ghost Of The Female Stranger

HAUNTED HOTELS:

Top Ten Haunted Hotels of The United States

Haunted Hotels, Inns and Castles

Washington State Ghost Towns

They Left Them There

hospitalx

Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle

 

Mia and Akela were sitting on a park bench just across the street from the Lander House and they saw the camera crews and the ghost hunters and the famous Medium, Mr Newport doing whatever it was one does to get ready to tape a tv show.

” I think Mr Newport is so debonair.” Mia sighed. ” I wish I lived in a haunted house. I would love to have him sit across from me and take my hand in his and help me bring light to the dark places that haunt us all”

” The where? Are you serious here Mia?  He’s a ghost hunter. Tell me. What does one do with a ghost they’ve hunted?”

” How should I know?”

” Well. You’re such a fan. So take a stab at it. Do they cut their heads off and nail them to a wall? Turn them into rugs or belts or umbrella stands? All hunters take trophies Mia. It’s the nature of the beast.”

” You have no Soul Akela. None. You could travel around the world and end up sitting on this park bench across the street from that awful building and still wonder if Becks still makes strawberry milkshakes with fresh strawberries and not frozen.”

” Becks makes the best strawberry milkshakes Mia.”

” Well. I don’t care what you say. Mr Newport is my favorite TV star. I think he really believes in what he’s doing and he helps people Akela. What’s wrong with that? Look. It’s not like he’s actually hurting anyone. I mean. Seriously. He can’t, can he now?”

” He certainly cannot.”

” I’m glad you agree with me.”

” I’m not agreeing with you, I’m stating a fact. ” Akela told Mia.

” I just don’t understand why you hate him so.”

” I hate him, ” Akela said for the hundredth time that month, ” because he’s vain and stupid and that accent of his has got to be fake. That’s the worst. That stupid accent. I mean, he doesn’t even try to be convincing. He has got to be the worst actor on the face of the earth and he must have a million fans. How does something like that happen?”

Mia shrugged and looked away from Akela.

” Mia. This guy is so bad. Look over there. The Lander House. The Infamous Hospital where the story says  the staff disappeared and the patients were all found murdered in their beds and instead of taking all those dead people to a cemetery they buried them on the grounds behind the hospital because there was so little left of the bodies to bury. Why Mia did he chose the Lander House to look for ghosts?”

” Because it was the scene of a terrible tragedy and sometimes tragic events imprint themselves onto things in the physical world and they get replayed over and over again.”

” You got that from the tv show, didn’t you?”

” So?”

” So the Lander House wasn’t the hospital, The Prefontaine Hotel-” Akela pointed to a large brick building behind them ” was the hospital where the staff did disappear and twenty patients died and they were buried on the grounds because the Prefontaine was a charity hospital and in the old days that’s what they did to people who died there. The only weird thing was them turning it into a Hotel. Still.  Do you know who gets that history wrong? Historians and Ghost Hunters- and do you know who duped them into looking at the wrong building? The Developers that turned the Hospital into a hotel.”

”  Well. The Lander House was a hospital and I’m sure there are ghosts there.”

” Mia, there isn’t a single one. It’s just a building with a bunch of junk in the halls and paint peeling off of the walls. That’s it.”

” Well. I think Mr. Newport’s heart is in the right place. I think he really does want to understand the next world. I can see it in his eyes.”

” Oh Geeze.”

” Mia, I don’t care that he’s never actually seen a real ghost or been to a real haunted house or that he’s got a silly accent. He wants to find those things. He’s a true romantic.”

“Well. He’s not going to find them over there. That’s for sure. And if you and me went over there right now and told them that boring brick building across the street was the…”

” Hotbed of paranormal activity.”

Akela took a deep breath and ignored that last comment from her friend. ” real scene a terrible tragedy and mystery they wouldn’t care because that…” she pointed to the Lander House ” looks better on film than that…” she said waving her hand at the Prefontaine.

” He could be sensing something at the Lander.”

” No, he isn’t.”

” Well. He’s not going to sense anything at the Prefontaine either.”

” No kidding.”

” Poor Mr. Newport.” Mia said.

” I wonder what his real name is.” Akela asked.

Before Mia could answer they saw a woman from the Ghost Hunter crew pointing towards them and then she waved at them and crossed the street to where they were.

” Hi, nice afternoon isn’t it?” the young woman held her hand out and said ” my name is Lissy Peterman, I’m with the crew.”

Akela kept her arms folded across her chest and Mia said:

” I love your show.”

“Wow.  Thank you. We appreciate that.  I was wondering if you ladies would like to be in one of our interview segments.”

Akela told Lissy Peterman, ” there aren’t any ghosts over there  you know.”

“I think there are. ” Mia added.

” Well, if you know any background about the Lander- we’d love to hear your stories.”

Akela looked at Mia.

” Okay. Sure. Why not ” Akela said. ” We’ve got the time.”

Mia stood up first and smoothed her white Nurses Uniform with her pale hands and as Akela did the same  she whispered into Akela’s ear ” take it back.”

” Hey. There aren’t any ghosts at the Lander….yet.” 

 

What Would The CSI Guys Say?

Lizzie Borden- she was a woman- she was a killer -and she got away with two of the most hands on brutal killings in American History.

To refresh your memory, Lizzie lived in a state where  ( in 1692 anyway )  you could just accuse a woman of being a witch and have her executed…just like that.

Another thing to keep in mind is that in 1892 women ( including Lizzie ) didn’t even have the right to vote-

that didn’t happen until 1920.

Anway- I think she did it but to this day Lizzie has her supporters and they say she’s innocent.

One of the arguments in her defense- which I think underscores the fact that Lizzie was found innocent because of her sex- was based on the time lines established for the killings.

Lizzie’s  Stepmother was supposed to have been killed an hour or so before her Father.

The theory is that it was very unlikely that  someone ( like a WOMAN ) who inflicted that kind of damage on a  person with an AX could have left a dead mutilated body upstairs and gone on with her day  and then come back later and did the same to someone else.

Have you ever seen the pictures of Andrew Borden?

Whoever did that was good and angry, they had worked themselves up into a mindless rage and that kind of rage can happen in the blink of an eye or it can build up…

say…

over an hour or so.

Links:

Link Photos From: The Chancery House

And visit: Lizzie Borden Virtual Museum and Library

A Pumpkin Carver’s Story

pumpkin4

” How did you get so good at carving pumpkins? “

” Practice.” Enid told her Granddaughter as she delicately put the tip of her butcher’s knife against the side pumpkin’s blank face. ” Lots and lots of practice.”

She pushed the knife into he pumpkin’s flesh and as she broke the skin she told Aubrey, ” I love that smell.”

” That pumpkin smell?”

Enid looked over the pumpkin and said, ” That what?”

” That pumpkin smell.”

Enid shrugged and then pulled the knife up and dropped it down into the pumpkin in one clean motion after another.

Instead of answering her Aubrey, Enid hummed.

When she was finished she put her knife down and wrapped her fingers around the pumpkins stem. She took a breath, closed her eyes and smiled as lifted and  heard the pop and rip as the top of the pumkin’s skull came away in her hand.

Enid opened her eyes and sighed and then  she answered her Granddaughter. ” No. I don’t mean that smell. I mean that other smell.”

” I can’t smell anything except for Pumpkin.”

” Really?” Enid said, ” You can’t smell that?”

Enid set the top of the pumpkin’s head down and she reached for a large wooden spoon and plunged into the pumpkin and began to scrape it out.

” Go ahead. Take a sniff. You really can’t smell that?”

Aubrey leaned over the pumpkin and sniffed.

” What is it? What should I be able to smell?”

As Enid  stood up she picked the knife up off the table and said  to the back of her Granddaughters neck:

 ” Why. The Fear of course.”

For Starters…

halloweenmacabre2

I thought I’d post these Halloween Story Starters, they’re fun and you can either use them to write a story or have a few to put into the old brain for something to talk about with your friends on Halloween Night.

Myself, when I tell stories on Halloween Night, I will swear up and down they’re true. To pull that off you need to have a story ready to go…just an FYI.

These are basic, but the best stories are.

Have Fun!

a.m.

 

 1.It was a cold Halloween night when I saw the…

 2.The mad scientist was creating a new monster that could…

 3.The large cauldron of  liquid started to boil when…

4.I got an eerie feeling when I heard…

 5.The mysterious object started floating in the air and…

 6.The Halloween pumpkin turned into a…

7.The black cat started to crouch and hiss when…

 8.Something in the closet was making a strange noise, so I opened the door and…

9.I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw…

10.As I carefully entered the haunted house, the door shut behind me and…

11. Something in the window…

12. It’s teeth were…

13. We have always called it the Witch’s House..

14. The Halloween Shop on the corner..

15. I never believed in monsters until…

16. The key to the basement…

17. Ogilby was a gravedigger and last Halloween…

18. We  found the Halloween Costumes in my Grandma’s attic…

19 .Make up your own Scary Starter.

 Adapted from A Cauldron of Halloween Ideas

On The Third Day Of Halloween

halloweenmacabre 14

Inspired by a friend I search for the ultimate Halloween Costume

 

What do you want to be for Halloween

my best friend used to ask me starting sometime during the middle of August.

” I don’t know yet.” I used to tell her.

When I got married and had kids the question changed to,

” What are your kids going to be for Halloween?”

” I don’t know yet.” was my 20 year old reply.

It’s funny how it’s come full circle.

Now our kids are grown and we are back to attending costumes parties, and I still have problems with deciding

what to be for Halloween.

And then one year I got tired of being called ‘costume challanged’.

So.

I put effort into it

This time when my friend called and asked what was I going to be for Halloween I said,

” I’m going to be you.”

” What?”

” I’m going to be you. ” I said.

” That’s silly.” she said.

” No more silly than dressing up as a Space Alien or a Mummy or a Witch.”

” Well,  you can’t be me.”

” Yes I can. I can and I will and I’ll be so good at it, that you will pale in comparison. You won’t matter. You will just be a pale imitation of me.”

” Anita, that’s just freaky and weird….and…”

” A darn fine idea.”

She agreed.

And then she asked:

” You’re going to write about this, aren’t you?” she asked.

And I did.

For you.

Happy Halloween

On The Second Day Of Halloween

halloweenmacbre14

On The Second Day Of Halloween

It’s all about

 The Strange.

 

I was watching a show about Haunted Houses.

A couple of them had the funeral home/ morgue theme going on.

I think that is a fun idea- even though I worked in a funeral home and for me

the magic is gone.

Funeral Homes don’t scare me.

Not even a little.

I’ve never seen a ghost at a funeral home, I’ve never seen the undead walking through the cemetery at night, and in the prep room we don’t cover the faces of the dead.

However.

There were a few times, when I had to work late at night

and for no reason at all

I would start to feel like

I didn’t belong there.

 

And on those rare nights when I felt like an intruder in a place I considered my home away from home

if something would have tapped me on the shoulder

and if I had turned around and found that nobody was there

I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Not in the slightest.

 death03

 

 

 

 

 

 

And We Had A Howlin’ Good Time

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Halloween-its not just a Human Holiday

OBVIOUSLY

So dressing up pets seems like the logical thing to do.

 

The Headless Dogman- this is an impressive costume and a great idea- and I think that dog deserves a lifetime supply of treats for going along with this.

 I’d dress my pets up ( I have cats and dogs,) for Halloween  only I do recognize the fact they pretty much act as a pack so at the end of the day its safe to say I would probably disappear without a trace.

 Halloween Kudos to all involved the Headless Dogman and family.

headlessdogman

 

However, this costume was just nifty and won me over in a big way- I have a dog named Cerebus, so I’m just partial to the idea of a three headed dog. But this isn’t just any Cerebus…its

MINI-BUS!

Come on, what’s not to love about this costume!

minbus

For more Funny Pet Costumes visit the HUFFINGTON POST

On The First Day Of Halloween

 halloween32

Welcome To Anita’s 13 Days Of Halloween.

These are 13 Things that just scream

Halloween

to me.

Want to know what they are?

Okay.

First up: 

Moonlight

It has the power to turn people into beasts

and it can drive the sane- insane.

When I was a kid my Grandma used to teach me to sing songs from the 1920’s and the 1940’s. We’d sit in the kitchen and she would smoke ( Grandma Ginger! ) and we would sing and as a result of those lessons to this day I use phrases like  bees knees and cats Pajamas , snazzy, peachy keen and  hard boiled.

Grandma Ginger taught me this particular song-just before Halloween, so in  my mind that’s what this was. A Halloween Song. I’m not making that up.

In this song a woman is hunted down by moonlight and she starts to remember this man she fell in love with. It was weird because the moonlight was there when they fell in love and it was warning him ( in my five year old mind ) not to do this awful thing.

Also, she kept talking about him stealing her heart, which led me to believe she was walking around  and singing without one now.

That was Pure Horror in my five year old brain.

I decided that something very bad must have happened to him for doing that

and turns out  it did because as my Grandma sang and I repeated the lines after her  it occurred to me he was gone and the last person to see him was this woman.

Who was still alive even though she had no heart.

” How did she do it?” I asked my Grandma stopping us mid-song.

” Do what?”

” Did she drown him?”

” What?” My poor Grandma Ginger, she should have just had that word tattooed on her forehead because she said to say it every single time I opened my mouth.


“Or did she shove him off a cliff and into the water ?” I asked
 

” Marie, this is a famous love song.” My Grandma told me.

 I slid off the kitchen chair and headed out to my tree  house in the back yard, and I remember it like it was only yesterday. I turned around and said to my Grandma, ” Sure it is….sure it is Grandma.”

 

 

Did You Hear The Story About The Cemetery Engineers?

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Ogilby Nisbet and Dunny Vipont work at Leaning Birches Cemetery where they dig graves.

They don’t dig graves with shovels, like they used to do in the old days- Ogilby and Dunny use back hoes. And in addition to the new world equipment in an old world job now days Ogilby and Dunny are have titles.

Instead of being called, ” Grave Diggers- they are refered to on their job applications as  ‘Cemetery Engineers’.

Though, if you ask them, they still call themselves Grave Diggers.

Ogilby and Dunny are two very practical guys.

One afternoon Ogilby and Dunny were watching a funeral procession making its way to the children’s section.

The Children’s Area, unfortunately tagged with the nickname ” Baby Land ” years ago by the locals  was decorated with brightly colored pin wheels and stuffed animals and plastic toys looked from a distance- providing you ignored the gravemarkers- more like a playground then a graveyard.

” Hey Dunny, did you hear about Mira Bane?”

They watched the hearse stop and then the Funeral Director lined up the pall bearers and they carried a little white coffin to the grave Dunny had dug early that morning.

” Nope.”

” Shop talks says  she’s coming back.”

Dunny mumbled, ” Damn.”

” Indeed Dunny. Damn indeed”

” I truly hate that woman Ogilby.”

Dunny shrugged, ” Don’t we all.”

” You know, ” Ogilby said as they watched family of the dead child bow their heads ” I thought the last time was really the last time. I mean, she hates us, we hate her, the only person who half way can stand her is Danny Clay” Ogilby said referring to the receptionist at the Funeral Home ” and that’s only because Danny’s family for the most part are patients at Endalen and Danny  will trust anyone with the keys to her house who  is not on anti-psychotic medication.”

“Patients?”

“Well. Inmates. My point is, why does she keep coming back?”

” Whoops. Heads up. It looks like they’re winding it up down there. ” Dunny said. ” I don’t know why she keeps coming back. Hey. Who cares why she keeps coming back. We know how to take care of that particular situation. After all. We have the tools and the know how.”

” Yeah. Aren’t we the lucky ones.” Ogilby mumbled.

” I think so.”

” We are truly the low dogs in the pack. ” Ogilby said to Dunny.

” No we’re not. We are Cemetery Engineers.”

” Shut the hell up Dunny.”

” Come on. we have a job to do.”

Dunny and Ogilby walked back to the maintenance building and instead of walking around to the back where the heavy machinery was parked and discreetly hidden from view by greenery growing behind and in front of a nine foot tall cyclone fence,they walked through the side door and into the room where the gardening and maintenance tools were kept.

Dunny choose a shovel and Ogilby took a pick axe and they walked along the side road to the old Cemetery- which according to the little brass direction side at the curve in the road was called “Remembrance Hills “

” The thing of it is Ogilby, if you do a job right the first time, you  shouldn’t have to do it a second time…”

” Or a tenth.”

” Yeah well. “

” This just makes us look bad Dunny.”

Dunny didn’t say anything he just sighed and when they got to the leaning birch tree they saw the ruined lawn and the knocked over headstone and they both said ” cripes. ” at the same time.

Every time Mira Bane came back the grave under the birch tree ended up looking like this and it was Dunny and Ogilby’s job to fix it- they had to get the maker repaired, they had to put down new sod and then they had to do it quickly and quietly and they had to be ready to drop what they were doing and blend into the scenery when someone walked or drove by, which happened a lot because tourists loved this part of the cemetery.

So that also meant they had to work clean, which was not easy when you were dealing with dirt.

” I hate Mira Bane. ” Dunny and Ogilby said at the same time.

Then they watched the dirt shift and then they saw a pale white hand, tinged with purple and missing its thumb nail work  its way up at them from the dark dusty earth under their feet and Ogilby said with a pained expression on his face and in his voice  as he raised the pick axe over his head” so why does she keep coming back?”

gravediggers

A Ghost Story

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Oakley Elgin works in a haunted bakery.

The Bakery is on the corner of Washington Street and when Oakley first started to work at the Haunted Bakery an employee named George told him about the ghost of a woman who stands in front of the display case where the cookies are displayed and asks if the train will be on time today.

” You’re kidding right?” Oakley asked.

George shook his head. ” I wish I were. I’ve never seen anything sadder then that Ghost Lady, waiting on that train.”

” So what train is she talking about?” Oakley asked. Oakley was new in town and as far as he could tell there weren’t any trains running through it now so guessed the ghost lady and her train were form a long time ago.

George, unlike most people who seemed to enjoy telling a good ghost story looked around to make sure the bakery was empty and then he told Oakley, ” she’s talking about the 377.”

Oakley could see something very wrong had happened to the 377.

” Yeah? So what happened to it?”

George was looking like he regretted bringing the story up. But it had to be done. The Train Lady had scared away customers and employees for years now. She was easier for to deal with if you were prepared.

” If you go out to Devilbit Lake you can still see the tracks . If you know where to look you can still see Bridge, well the place where the Bridge used to be.”

” So what happened? Did it jump the tracks and end up in the Lake or something like that?”

” Well. No. See, this was the Morton Mill Station Train Station and the 377 used to come through at around eleven. And one day it never showed up.”

Oakley waited for George to continue and George looked towards the door  wishing the entire time that someone would walk in and he could get out of Train Story Duty. ” The train left Everett on time, it went through Terrace Lake at it’s usual time and just before it got to Devilbit Lake it disappeared.”

” Just like that?” Okaley asked.

” People saw her Oakley, they saw her round the bend not even a quarter mile from the lake, they even heard her and she just never came around that corner. She never made it to the Bridge at Devilbit.”

” She just disappeared into thin air.”

Oakley wasn’t sure what to make of the story he had just heard.

” So what’s up with the Ghost Lady?”

” Well, to understand her, you have to understand something else.”

” And that is…”

“George leaned against the cookie case and said, ” The 377 was first train around here to disappear on route to Devilbit Lake. After the 377 dissapeared there were six-“

” Six trains disappeared into thin air?” Oakley asked ” Are you kidding me?”

George said ” Teen. The 377 was the first of sixteen trains to disappear near Devilbit . The first of sixteen trains to never arrive here in Duwamish Bay.”

” Seriously?”

George nodded.

” How many…I mean, how many people-“

” Hundreds Oakley. Hundreds.”

” That is messed up George. What happened next?”

” Well, people took it into their heads that something was happening to the trains when they got near the Devilbit Lake Bridge  so people came in from Waremount and Appleton and burned the bridge down and then they tore up the tracks.”

George looked relived, he was nearing the end of his story. ” So right after the 377 was lost this woman started to show up at the station asking after it and years after they shut the station down and it was turned into a diner she still showed up asking for the 377 and she does it now.”

” So is this Ghost Lady waiting for someone on the train? Was she supposed to be on it? Did she have something to do with the trains disapearing? Because I’m willing to bet that train is in the Lake-probably its on top of 15 other trains at the bottom of the Lake.”

” There’s no Trains down there. One of those Ghost Hunting shows sent cameras down there- even one of those History shows did the same thing. Nobody found any trains. But last year they found this car and what was left of this Mortician who owned it at the bottom of the Lake. For years people thought he had run off with this singer from Bronson Park. Let me tell you, that was a let down. I used to love that story-.”

Oakley leaned his back against the Cookie Case and looked up at the menu on the wall. ” So who was she?”

” No idea. The thing of it is. A few months ago she started to show up at this airport up in Lister… and she’s asking for the 377 there too.”

” I don’t like the sound of that.”

” Nobody does.”

” That’s a weird story George. I sure wish I could figure out what the Ghost Lady wants. “

” You could try and ask her Oakley.”

Oakley laughed. ” Sure I could. Have you ever asked her about the 377 George?”

” Lots of times. But she doesn’t answer questions Oakley, she asks them . It wouldn’t hurt though-you could ask her.”

” I might. “

” No really Oakley, you could ask her.” George was pointing over Oakley’s left shoulder. ” Go ahead.”

sincere skeleton

Hang Him On A Hook and Let Me Play With Him

ANIhauntedHouse4C

 

A few sweet Halloween Memories

ANIorb5C

scene from Hocus Pocus- Psychos Disney Style-

 

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(click the pic above  to find out how to make your own apple heads)

I used to make my very own shrunken heads.
I didn’t use this kit though.

I used my own.

Ahem.

coffin

Brraiiiiinnnnssss

Brains Panna Cotta with Pomegranite Sauce

 

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1 cup milk
5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup + 1 Tb sugar, divided
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons vanilla
8 oz. pomegranate juice
1/4 cup cornstarch

Place milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Stir and let sit for about five minutes so the gelatin can rehydrated a bit.

Combine cream and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Add the gelatin mixture and stir again until combined. Pour into (brain) mold, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or until mixture is completely set.

To unmold, gently tilt mold so sides of the Panna cotta pull away a bit, then place on platter or plate. You can also dip the bottom of the mold into warm water to help in unmolding.

(For non-brain occasions, pour into small custard cups, ramekins, or a large bowl)

For the pomegranate sauce, I just got a small bottle of Pom Wonderful, added three heaping spoonfuls of sugar so it wasn’t so tart, mixed in about 1/4 cup cornstarch, whisked like crazy, then brought it all to a boil in a small saucepan while stirring. The consistency is rather disgusting, but that’s the whole point!

This looks especially creepy set out on a really nice platter. Also quite effective on a carving board with a large chef’s knife plunged into the center

P.S. If you don’t have time for this recipe, jello works wonderfully!

for more Ghoulish Recipes visit Creating a Happy Home

HERE

There you go, some sweet memories….I hope you found them…. tasty….

muertos-skull-th

At The Fork In The Road

 

As a rule if you have to explain a story you probably have a problem with it-like it’s not ready to be told yet.

However, I’m going to explain this one for a very good reason.

I wrote it as part of a project at the Soul Food Cafe.  Recently  I was reading through the older work that I’ve done there and I came across this story- and liked it. I liked the way the characters played off of each other and I liked the feel of the Diner in the middle of nowhere.

To wrap this up,  this story is my very own version of Frankenstein’s Monster and being that Halloween is coming I thought I would  done some edits to try to help it stand on its own. There were about three ‘chapters’ before this one and almost as many after it, so if you feel as if you’ve walked in on the middle of a conversation, you are right.

So in the Spirit of that, please come along with me to

The Fork In The Road

 

morguefile.com

I am traveling through a place called The Valley of The Bones in a bright red jeep with my friend who was stitched together from body parts stolen ( it’s not like they give them away you know ) from a cemetery by his parents and until very recently was hiding in a house owned by a crazy man who killed his wife and in the end had a famous poem written about them by a famous writer with a drug problem.

What will appeal to the public now days is getting to be very predictable.

Anyway, back to my story:

As you can see I guess my friend’s parents  really wanted a kid.

I’ve always really wanted a dog but look- unlike some people I have limits for what I would do to get one.

My name is Sunny Longyear and friend’s name is:

” Milo.  After all of these years I  still can’t believe your parents named you Milo.” I make sure to snort and laugh extra loud- even though this stopped being funny about 600 miles ago.

” And I can’t believe you had parents. With you I see some sort of spawning scenario.” Milo is shading his eyes- I guess the light is hurting them.

Good I thought to myself.

That spawn comment was mean.

” Hey. That’s funny. You want to hear something funnier then that?” I ask as I reach into my under the driver’s seat where I store important stuff like breath mints and lip gloss and my Pez Dispensers.

” No.”

” Well, this is not a magical journey-” I say as I pull my favorite sunglasses from under the seat and toss them on Milo’s lap. ” This Jeep is not magic. We are getting low on gas.”

” I know something funnier then that.” Milo tells me.   Didn’t hear what those people were saying when you told them where we were going? Oh no wait. You couldn’t have. You were- oh how did you put it- you were resting your eyes on the bar. … Let me refresh your memory, they told you to not drive through the Valley of the Bones, they told you to stay out of it, they told you it was a stupid, stupid idea. So what did you do first thing this morning?”

” I bought this  jeep and stocked up on Pez and Water. But I forgot to find a Valley Of The Bones map. My bad.”

” God.”

“As a rule Milo, I think it’s a dumb idea to buy a car on the fly. But what I really like about this vehicle, no matter what it’s faults will be down the road is this-  it  doesn’t talk.” I point out to Milo then I turn on the radio. ” It does that instead. Pretty neat- don’t you think?

” What am I doing here?” Milo looks like he’s about to jump out of the Jeep and take his chances with the a giant scab of land called The Valley of The Bones when we go up and over a hill and there right in the middle of the road- is a Diner called.

” The Fork In The Road.”

There are gas pumps out front, an old fashioned Soda  Pop Machine with motor that was working extra hard because of the heat and a tin sign that was being pushed back and forth in a breeze of wind that was not there.

” Well. This is convenient.” I say to Milo.

” Yes. It is.”

” We should probably just keep going.” I say.

” I think so.”

” Pump or Pay?” I ask

Milo reaches over and I hand him some cash and then he goes, all alone  to

The Fork In The Road.

coke-sign

After what seemed like hours ( you stand there and pump gas in over 100 degrees, I promise you that minutes will indeed turn into hours and hours in a matter of seconds ) the Jeep’s tank was full, I wanted to leave and I could see Milo through a dusty window talking to a woman in a yellow and white dress with a cap on her head, and I’m not thinking waitress when I see her- I’m thinking

…Nurse…

and on the heels of that thought I start to see keys…keys and locks and doors that only lock and open from the outside and then I run straight into the diner before I can change my mind.

morguefile.com

 Milo is looking at the Woman and the woman is looking at him and the Diner is cool and dark. There is only one table and two chairs in the entire diner and the menu on the wall behind the cash register says:

TODAY’S SPECIAL:

YOU!

Welcome To The Fork In The Road

breakfast served all day long

Brother I think to myself  as I read the sign -would you like some crackers  with that CHEESE?

” Hey Milo, did you pay up? We have to go…”

The Waitress ( Nurse, it’s a Nurse  but I won’t let that thought live in my head for to long ) says to me while looking at Milo ” You’re friend was asking me if we had a map. Of course what you need in a place like The Bones is a guide.”

” Really.” I practically shout at Milo’s back hoping that will make him turn around.

” This one, ” she says to me ” stinks of the grave and one doesn’t have to look very deep to see how flawed it is.”

“It- he has his moments.” I say as I try to figure out why she thinks Milo is a guide.

” He’ll do in a pinch…but…”

” Time to hit the asphalt Milo, let’s get a move on- ” I grab Milo’s arm and pull him away from The Waitress ( Nurse ) and when I look at him I can see his glasses are off and…

” You took his eye! You sick piece of work, give it back!”

The Waitress pulls a lace hanky from a pocket in the front of her apron and she dabs the corners of her mouth with it and then she delicately folds it and puts it back.

If she burps, I’m going to pull her heart out of her chest with my bare hands I think.

Instead of burping she says:

” Leave it here.  Leave it here and I will guarantee your safety anywhere in this Valley- even beyond it. I can do that. Let’s sweeten the deal- being as you were kind enough to make a delivery to my establishment- I think that is in order. Let’s say  I’ll even find  something more proper to guide you.  What do you say?”

” I say that the day I need help from a nasty  grave robbing  Ghoul  that’s the day I go back to my house in the suburbs, paint it pink, get married and get a dog named Spot. That’s what I say.

Milo. Door. NOW.”

I reach down and grab my sunglasses off of the floor and as I do I catch a familiar scent coming up from the floor.

I know that smell, I used to smell it everyday for over 20 years at work at the Funeral Home.

 I know that smell.

It’s embalming fluid.

And

The Fork In The Road

Diner-

the diner that serves breakfast from dusk to Dawn

 reeks of it.

12

Milo and I are standing next to the Jeep I have named Tomo and he’s saying we need to just get in drive and I tell him, ” I know how to get rid of that thing. ” I say as I point to the diner.

The Waitress is in the Window looking at us and by the time the sunsets she will be on the in front of the window and by the time night falls on The Bones she will be out on the road doing what Ghouls have always done.

” She took your eye and ate it Milo.”

“Well, technically it wasn’t my eye to begin with.”

You know- Milo does have a point.

” Look. Just tell me. Why do you want me to let it live. Just answer me that. That Ghoul  is one nasty piece of work and if this place were to burn to the ground with her the world would not miss either one of them.  In fact, it might just be a better place for it.”

Milo gets into the Jeep and takes the sunglasses off and as he wipes the dust off of them with the tail of his shirt he says, ” I don’t think either one of us are in a position to say who lives or dies in this world. I think we should leave that to the people who actually live in it.”

He looks right at me and I look into Milo’s empty eye socket and I agree.

I climb up into the jeep and turn the key.

And then we drive away.

 

morguefile.com

Merton Ware Had An Idea

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“I had an idea once, ” Merton Ware told the empty house across from his front yard across the street “that you were haunted”

The house waited patiently for Merton to continue.

” I used to think I saw people walking around the yard late at night, I thought I saw people looking out of  your windows. Of course that isn’t possible because you’ve been abandoned since the day Mrs.Miller fed that poisoned dinner to her family.”

Merton crossed the street to the House and the House shut its upstairs window, slowly.

” I suppose I was just seeing things.”

If the House could have, it would have backed away from Merton Ware.

” Mrs. Miller, now if there was ever a candidate for a ghost that bedevils anyone-living or dead, it was Mrs. Miller.”

The House agreed with Merton.

Nobody knew Mrs. Miller like the House had.

It had watched Mrs. Miller go from being an espresso drinking, track suit wearing Soccer Mom to a woman who had spent days planning a meal and then hours preparing a meal to kill her family with.

In between her meal planning Mrs. Miller had pushed a woman off a bridge while she was out on one of her morning jogs and on another day burned down an empty house in the next town over- the fire had spread and burned down an entire apartment complex.

They never did find all of the bodies.

Mrs. Miller was honestly surprised at how easy it had been for her to do those terrible things.

They house knew this because Mrs. Miller had sat in her kitchen and talked about her crimes into her cup of morning juice. When she was done talking she had gotten up, went into her bathroom and got ready for one of her very busy non- cold blooded killing days.

” I guess what I need to do is face the simple fact, you are not haunted, are you? No ghosts are dragging their chains through your halls, nothing is hiding in the basement, nothing is plotting in the attic no monsters under the beds or in the closets- am I right?”

Darn straight, thought the house to itself as it idly opened and closed its kitchen cabinet doors.

Merton said firmly, ” You are not a haunted house.”  and then he turned and strode back to  his house and shut his door firmly shut behind him.

The house popped it’s floorboards a little and said to itself as it watched Merton walking around his living room, a pale vaporous figure in the late afternoon half light

” Well. You might be wrong about that  Merton Ware.”

 

Photo By:keyseeker  

Photo By: keyseeker

 

Body Talk

  Indiana Medical History Museum

“You couldn’t have wished for more in body” Sydney Poor was telling the other ghost about his corpse as they sat out in the corridor waiting for their autopsies to be finished.

The other ghost was a woman named Tamara and she told Sydney, “ Well I could have. I would have asked to be taller and blond and impervious to speeding cars. So do you know what…” she  shook her head “ sorry, what’s your name again?”

“ Sydney.”

“ Sydney. Sydney I could have asked for more. In fact, this time I’m going in with a laundry list of things I want this time around.”

“ I’m not sure you can not do that.”

“I don’t care what you’re supposed to do. Do you know why? Because not only did I get hit by a car, it rammed me into another car and it nearly cut me in half. I didn’t die right away. Also the woman who hit me drove off and I’m willing to bet you dollars to donuts that someone driving an expensive car like hers will ever find herself in a court room explaining her actions of October 3oth 2009. So as you can imagine I’m feeling a bit wronged here.”

“ She might.”

“ She might what Sydney?”

 “ Get caught.”

Tamara rolled her eyes up and slouched down in her seat.

“ I wonder how long this really takes.” She mumbled.

“ Well. Until they’re finished I suppose.” Sydney said.

“ So what happened to you?” Tamara asked Sydney.

“ Well. I’m a little embarrassed to say…”

Tamara straightened up in her chair and leaned over to Sydney and said “ Go on, your  secret is safe with me. Dead men tell no tales you know.”

“ But you’re a woman.”

“ Oh come on. Tell me.”

“ My neighbors -this man and woman. Well. They thought….that I was…well …”

“ A what?” Tamara said suspiciously as she leaned away from Sydney.

“ They thought I was a Vampire.”

Tamara’s mouth fell opened.

“ They snuck into my house, dragged me down into my basement and drove a stake through my heart. Then they stuffed my mouth full of garlic and cut my head off.”

“ Oh wow Sydney. Oh wow.”

Sydney’s face was turning bright red.

“ Oh wow. That was a freaking weird death.”

“ Yes” Sydney agreed “ yes it was.”

“Still.  What a way to go.”

“ I’ll say. But Tamara a vampire? How could anyone mistake me for a vampire?”

Tamara shrugged. “ I don’t know Sydney. People are funny things if you ask me.”

Tamara hopped out of her chair and went to the doors and waited. When they whispered open she told Sydney. “ Sydney. Come take a look. They’re right in the middle of  working on you. You have to see this- a woman is pulling the garlic out of your mouth with her fingers. I must say, that doesn’t seem very hygienic to me.”

“ That’s my dead body you’re cracking wise over you know.”

Tamara snorted and then she focused on what was going on in the autopsy room.

“ Sydney get over here, I’m stuck to the inside of the body bag.” Tamara laughed.

“ You’ve got a very odd sense of humor Tamara.”

He got up and when he got to the door Tamara grabbed his arm and dragged him into the autopsy room.

“ I really hate these places Tamara.”

“ Don’t we all.” Tamara said as she dragged Sydney up to the table her body was laying on.

“My word you are mess.” Sydney said.

“ Yeah.” Tamara said with a tinge of pride in her voice.

“ I mean it. A mess. You look like you melted. Wait. What’s that on your head… are those scars?”

“ Bullet wounds.”

“ You’ve been shot?

“ Yep. Good thing for me the people who did that were lousy shots otherwise you’d be sitting here all by your lonesome.”

“ And what about those marks on your hands?”

“ Knife wounds.”

And before he could ask she said, “ I caught on fire  a couple of times.”

“ You’ve led a very interesting life Tamara.”

She didn’t answer.

“ So. How long until …”

Tamara didn’t answer. She was trying not to laugh and failed.

“They thought you were a vampire.” Tamara grabbed her stomach as she doubled over laughing. “ What city were you living in? Stupidville? “

“ And that woman who hit you and drove off what town did she come from? “ Sydney asked

“ Very funny Sydney. The woman who hit me  was a cold hearted wretch.  I got in her way and smoosh here I am. I was no more then a dog to her. “

“ Well. At least you weren’t mistaken for a vampire in your final moments…speaking of- how much longer do you suppose.”

“ It’s a full moon tonight, this is going to go pretty fast. So tell me do we keep the old models  or snag ourselves some new ones?” she asked pointing to the room where the bodies were wrapped in plastic and neatly stacked on shelves.

“ Well. I can tell you this much. I never want to be mistaken for a vampire again.”

“ Oh come on Syd, I’m sure there are a lot of vampires who have been mistaken for Werewolves before and I’m willing to bet they aren’t as bent out of shape about it as you are.”

Sydney looked over to the autopsy tables and then through the doorway.

“ Once we take possession, they’ll be fine- on the other hand- you know we could get some new digs. What do you think?” Tamara asked.

 “ As far as bodies go, like I said before, was a good one. It used to belong to a writer. His name was Bancho Church”

“ Hey. I read his stuff. He was cool. I didn’t know he, you know moved on.”

“ Yes, well he did.” Sydney looked down and cleared his throat. “ Sort of.”

Tamara watched her body being washed and then it was bagged and someone took it to the backroom.

“ Cheer up Sydney, it’s Halloween, there’s a full moon and the night is young.”

Sydney’s body went through next and Tamara followed it “ Come one Syd, if we shake a leg I’ll bet we could get a little Trick or Treating in.”

“ You don’t…” he said.

“ Yeah. I shift and knock on doors. I swear last year I scored about five pounds of candy and got my picture taken about a thousand times. Imagine that, people  have a picture of real …

“ Mental  case.” Sydney interrupted her “ Okay after what we’ve been through we could use some fun. It’s a date let’s go.”

Tamara  said “ Yeah. It’s a date. Happy Halloween Syd.  And just so you know, I’ve ruined lives  of those who stood between me and Choco-Bursts.”

Sydney waited for Tamara to laugh and when she did not, he did it for her.

And she let him.

 

glow pumpkin

D.O.A

 bats-flying

When I get to work in the mornings

it is cold and it is dark and I like it that way.

On the short walk from my bus to the building I work in I collect things like sights and sounds and smells and store them in my mind’s eye for stories.

A few days ago before I got a chance to switch from bus ride mode to collector mode I noticed a handful of papers were blowing up the sidewalk towards me.

I stopped one with my foot and looked down at it.

Sheet Music.

Interesting I thought- a musician must have lost their notebook- maybe they left it on the top of their car and drove off. Or maybe someone really hated this stuff and they just tossed it as they walked down the street.

I kept walking and as I turned the corner under the bridge I could see the street was littered with sheet music.

Weird I thought.

And then I looked to my left and there blocking one of the streets off was a police car and next to the police car at there is an entrance to a little alley and two Police Officers were putting up crime scene tape.

It was a sad sight.

I was wondering how to write about that strange walk- I thought I would take a picture, something to capture that cold dark morning and that little alley with the yellow tape and the dark figure I saw laying on the ground.

I just stood there with the sheet music blowing around my feet and I watched the police secure the area and I watched other people cross the street so that they could catch a glimpse of something I don’t exactly feel curious about in general.

 I left my camera in my bag and I kept walking.

I turned the corner and there in the middle of the sidewalk was one single piece of sheet music.

It was separate from all the rest of the music, and it was waiting for me right there on the sidewalk on top of a manhole cover

Photo: A.M. Moscoso: Photo A.M. Moscoso

 

I took out my camera and clicked away.

Then I looked down so that I could see what the song was.

Your Daughters And Your Sons

I looked back up the street to the alley and I felt the cold and  it wasn’t as dark and then I went to work.

I still think about that music and the alley and that walk

and

 I still haven’t found a way to tell this story.

a.m.

DOA

definition from wikipedia

DOA is also frequently used as slang : an idea or concept has no chance.

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

 

Next Stop

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Cilla Breck works as receptionist in a Funeral Home, her husband is a Grave Digger for the County and Cilla’s only other living relative beside her husband is distant cousin named Georgina who until her appeals run out will be sitting on death row in a State that has never executed a woman before.

Cilla wakes up hoping that the world will not start paying attention to  next and so far it hasn’t.

 

She stood alone at the bus stop where she waits for the S-4 where sits alone in the back of the bus.

Cilla does not say hello to the driver she does not from left to right and it’s debateable that she actually focuses on anything in front of her as she makes her way to the last seat.

Like most nights, Cilla set her backpack on her lap and looked out the window and began to wonder what she should make for dinner, or maybe she should have a Pizza delivered when she felt something  bump her elbow.

She looked over and sitting there right next to her was a man in a blue suit.

He smiled at her.

She did not smile back.

“ Chilly tonight, isn’t it?” he asked.

She did not answer.

 

She was busy thinking, he didn’t look familiar so he wasn’t a regular rider. She guessed he was a new rider.

And a chatty one.

Cilla hated chatty bus riders.

She was looking out the window when a thought crept up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.

It said.

“ Cilla, did you see this guy at the bus stop?”

No, Cilla told herself.

“ Did you see him when you were walking to the back of the bus?”

Can’t say I did.

“ Doesn’t that bother you Cilla?”

Does what bother me?

“ Well, first of all that you don’t seem to focus on anyone-which seems to be something a lot of people are guilty of. But look at this awful position you’re in because of that. Some guy came out of nowhere and touched your elbow. He got that close to you Cilla. He touched your elbow. And he’s talking to you”

Cilla ended her one sided conversation and looked at the man from the corner of her eye and then she looked out the window.

She saw him sitting next to her.

He was looking out the window and that’s where their eyes met.

Cilla turned back to him and stared into his face for moment.

And then she turned back to the window.

She never saw him coming.

He got close enough to touch her.

And now he was staring at her.

 

“ I don’t think I’ve ever seen you on this bus before.”

“ I ride it every night. “ he told her.

“ This bus?”

“ This bus.”

 

Cilla pulled her shoulder away from the man and she said bluntly. “ I’ve never seen you before.”

“ I’ve seen you.” He said.

Cilla did not doubt that.

“ I’ve even  sat next to you a few times. “

Cilla looked straight ahead.

“ I’ve even gotten off at your stop  with a couple of times.”

Cilla wondered if anyone noticed the two of them talking.

“ But mostly I get on at  the stop on Second and Washington.”

Cilla clutched her backpack to her chest.

Nobody used the stop on 2nd.  Cilla didn’t even use it,

That stop was located by the Southwall- back in the old days that’s where the John and Jane Does were buried.

The women were buried in simple dresses and the men…

In Blue Suits.

 

I am sitting next to a ghost, Cilla told herself. I am sitting next to the ghost of a dead man.

He knows that I know what he is and people are looking right at us and they don’t know what they are looking at.

She looked ahead as the bus pulled up to a stop and  when she turned to look at the Dead Man in the Blue Suit…

He was gone.

 

She looked out the window and she saw him at the bus stop standing next to a woman talking on her phone and a man reading a book.

 

They were looking around the Deadman and right at the Deadman and Cilla guessed they weren’t actually seeing the Deadman.

But he saw them.

He was looking right at them.

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The Break Room

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” I really hate masks. ” Melanie told her friend at lunch in the break room  at work.

Her friend, Libby, was trying to open a bag of Cheesy Twists and she asked ” Why?”

Actually Libby  wasn’t really listening to her friend. What she really focused on  was to getting into the bag of Cheesy Twists which was a chore because the stupid bag wouldn’t tear open.

Libby loved Cheesy Twists, she loved to pop them into her mouth one by one and just let that cheesy goodness melt on her tongue. She could make a handful of Cheesy Twists last a half hour because of the way she ate them.

” I guess I hate them because they have that one expression- it’s like looking at the face of a corpse. I don’t care if it’s a scary mask or a cat mask or a feather mask. They bother me.”

Libby got up and went to the counter and started to look through the silverware drawer. She found a fork and stuck it into the bag and tore it open.

” That’s weird.” Libby mumbled as she looked at the previously indestructible bag.

” I know it’s weird.” Melanie said ” And what are the stores full of right now?”

Libby hoped they weren’t full of Cheesy Twist bags like the one in her hand.

” Halloween masks. They’re everywhere and they freak me out Libby. I mean, why do people need to hide behind those things? They’ re hot and smelly and if someone tried it on before you, well…”

” Ugh.” Libby said as she dropped a Cheesy Twist onto her tongue.

” Exactly. It’s to disgusting for words.”

The Cheesy Twist in Libby’s mouth was stale. It was as hard as a cough drop.

” What?” she said as she spat the Twist out into her hand.

” The way people hide behind masks. The way they’re willing to suffer to hide behind them.”

” Oh yeah.” Libby shook the little bag in her hand and dropped two fat, golden orange Cheesy Twists into the palm of her hand.

” I wonder why anyone bothers. I wonder why they just let their real faces show- I’ll bet they’d end up looking just like those horrible masks anyway”

 Libby tilted her head back and shook the little bag into her mouth. “Mmmm.”

” I mean. Why pretend to be something you aren’t? Why not just be what you are? Doesn’t that make more sense?”

When the bag was empty Libby wadded up her empty Cheesy Twist bag into a ball and then she shot it into the garbage can.

She made her shot and hissed, ” yessss….”

Melanie looked over to her friend and she nearly cried in relief. “You don’t think I’m weird for hating those things. Right?”

Libby woke from her Cheesy Twist dream state and was able to focus on her friend’s pain filled face.

” No I don’t think you’re weird for hating Halloween masks Mel. And I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening to you at first. All I could think about was my snack. And you’re my friend. I’m a jerk Melanie. So look. If you hate masks so much…

Libby reached under both sides of her jaw with her hands,” I won’t wear this thing around you anymore.”

Photo By: patriciaegreen

Photo By: patriciaegreen

And Whatever Walks There…

 

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A few years ago my friend and I were walking by the Maynard Alley and she asked me if I had written any stories based on the Wah Mee Club Massacre.

What she really wanted to know was, had I written any ghost stories based on the Club.

I told her I had not.

She told me that was a good idea.

 This is the reason why I haven’t done it:

Whenever I walk by the Alley I think of these lines by Shirley Jackson:

Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

I think that something walks alone in the darkness of the Wah Mee now

and it will walk alone there  forever.

KCPQ Channel 13 toured recently with Jake of  Private Eye Tours . They visited one of Seattle’s most infamous haunted spots featured on Haunted Happenings: A Seattle Ghost Tour 

Wah Mee Club entrance