How My Light Is Spent

     

 

  

Inspired By The  SFC Prompt    

” Milton And The Muse “    

Delarious Mandusa and Quash Mowers  work in a Funeral Home and they had great stories ( that they made up ) for how it was they came to be Grave Diggers that had nothing to do with reality but they were great stories.    

The problem was nobody ever asked.    

Delarious guessed that people assumed he dug graves for a living because of his name and Quash guesses that the fact he had born with a parasitic twin attatched to the top of his head ( his parents had named it Lawton ) that was removed a few months after they were born- was his reason for working at the Cemetery.    

But those weren’t the reasons- and the story about finding graves with their names and dates of  birth as the dates of death on the hundred year old headstones wasn’t even remotely close to the truth.    

The Grave Diggers with the colorful lives and equally colorful names became grave diggers because of a girl named Bonnie Sandeen.    

Years ago, when Delarious and Quash were kids they lived next door to each other and one day a little girl with big brown eyes and tangled brown hair moved into the   Bronson  House across the street.    

Her name was  Bonnie Sandeen and she collected bugs, comic books and bubble gum.    

She chewed it out of eyeshot of her Mother who wouldn’t allow Bonnie to chew gum because   Bonnie’s mother said that the gum would wear Bonnie’s teeth down to stumps and then where would she be in life?     

” I guess I’d be living somewhere with stumpy teeth and a tree full of chewed up bubblegum.”    

Akela looked down at her daughter and said, ” Bonnie, why on earth would you stick your chewed up gum on a tree?”    

” That’s how I get bugs for my collection.”     

” Oh  Bonnie. That’s just awful.”    

” I know, but look at it this way Mom, if anyone ever decides to collect bug’s legs they’re not going to care if I have a mouth full of stumpy teeth. They’re just going to be glad I was a bubblegum chewer.”    

So Bonnie continued to chew bubble gum, which when she snapped it between her teeth was as loud as gunshot and she also bought comic  books once a week at the 52nd Street Quickie Mart which is where Delarious and Quash met Bonnie.    

” The world is full of comic books and they’ve only got six titles here- can you belive that? And look only one scary one ” she said to them as they stood behind her waiting for their turn at the spinner rack.   

” We don’t collect those- we collect the Archie Comics. My friend had a parasite twin attached to the top of his head, show her Quash. ” Quash took off his hat so that Bonnie could see the top of his head which was flat and angled to the left.    

” That is amazing.” Bonnie sighed.    

” Yeah. We got plenty real weird in our life. ”    

” Oh. Did you have a parasite too?”    

” No, I’m Delarious Mandusa.”    

Bonnie’s mouth fell open and her gum fell out and stuck to the front of her t-shirt. ” You got named after the guy who found the Flying Dutchman?”    

” He was my Granfather.”    

Bonnie pulled the gum off her shirt and popped it back into her mouth.    

” You guys are the coolest human beings ever.”    

” You’re a pretty cool human too, ” Quash who was falling in love with Bonnie right then and there in front of the comic book rack said.    

And Bonnie laughed.    

 

    

 So Bonnie and Quash and Delarious grew up together and goofed off together and on the day Bonnie’s family sent her away to go to school in ” the old Country ” they made one last trip to the empty building where they first became friends.    

The comic book rack was still there and Bonnie told them, ” you just wait. One of these days you’re gonna see one of these things full of books and comics by Bonnie Sandeen.”    

” What? I thought you were going away to learn the family  business.” Quash said.    

” Yeah. Then I’m going to write about it. I figure I better get something out of being sent out to the middle of nowhere to learn how to find dead people. Geeze. Like that’s hard. ”    

” I thought your Mom said that wasn’t the hard part- she said the hard part was killing them.”    

 ” Blah blah blah.” Bonnie said.     

” But you don’t have a choice- right? I mean, you’re family hasn’t ever done anything except for-” Delarious mimicked  putting a stake to his heart with one hand and with the other pretended to pound it in with a mallet.    

Bonnie pulled a green square of bubblegum out of her pocket and tossed it into her mouth. ” Yeah. But I think there’s more to life then chasing around pale people with pointy teeth and bad breath. It ain’t like the movies guys. Those things are so dumb that they still haven’t figured out that if they don’t want to be found they need to quit putting their real names on their tombstones. You know what’s worse? I’ve got to go to the other side of the world and get a college degree to learn about them.    

Geeze, all my family has to so is rent me some movies and buy me a stack of comic books- they’d save themselves a ton of money and they’d save themselves the embarrassment of the sucky novel I’m going to write about them based on the Santa’s Village Incident.”    

” The Mountlake Mall will probably never get another guy to do the Santa thing at Christmas and forget getting anyone to dress up like elves in this town again.”    

” Yeah. Well. That  entire deal was a train wreck just waiting to happen.”  Bonnie said   

Like good friends the boys agreed.    

   

It was about four years after Bonnie’s second book was turned into a movie that Quash and Del decided to chase after their own dream- and that dream involved the smell of fresh cut grass and heavy machinery.   

So instead of chasing after ghosts, or going out of your way to make sure that the world never found out that the parasitic twin that was removed from your head was alive and screaming in silence in a jar in a museum basement and that it was still growing – Bonnie’s friends took her advice.   

And in case you’re curious.   

Yes she did write about it and she dedicated the story to    

Del And Quash.   

 

a.m.m.

 

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Where Have You Been Hubert Mead?

This little story was based on a writing prompt called:

Where Have You Been

You were supposed to include the words Yellow, Iris, Quote and Joke in your story-

 I came up with a little something about a Spree Killer and Brain Eating Aliens…

enjoy!

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Where have you been Hubert Mead?

The plants in your window boxes are all dead, there are newspapers turning to gray piles of mush on your porch and the yellow curtains that your cleaning lady hung in your kitchen last winter stuck to the panes of glass during the last rain storm we had and they’ve dried there.

That was months and months ago.

Where have you been Hubert Mead?

Have you heard about Iris Franks? You must have. Everyone with a TV set or a computer on the face of the Earth has heard about Iris Franks from down the street.

She thought Aliens from outer space were infesting- that was the exact quote that the news people keep repeating-  “Aliens are infesting- people’s brains.”

She decided to take them out herself-being that nobody else was doing anything to solve this problem.

She used chemicals to do it.

Nobody knows about that particular detail except for us here in the neighborhood.

The reason the Police aren’t giving details to the press because they don’t know what kinds of chemicals she used. No one can figure it out, it’s something new. Iris can’t even cook, let alone invent a new chemical that no one has ever seen before.

Don’t look at me like that Hubert Mead, I’m not joking. Iris Franks killed fifteen people with something that eats bone, leaves the skin intact and smells like cinnamon.

There’s all this speculation if she’s going to go for the Insanity Defense, but I don’t think so. Brenda Paine saw her at the jail and Brenda says Iris is the same Iris that she’s always been. She just believes that Aliens are nesting in people’s brains now. Except for that one thing Iris is just as sane as you or me.

Let me be honest with you  Hubert Mead.

I really do not want  to have conversations about  Aliens from outer space infesting brains or women who cook up bone eating acids in their bathtubs. Do you know what other topic I’d like t avoid?

I’d like to avoid having to share with anyone that you disappeared the day after Iris took her first victim out and that you showed up right after she was safely locked away from her bathtub full of bone eating acid that  she used to get to those Brain eating aliens.

And it can stay that way, providing of course nothing starts to crawl around in my head- besides,  if anything were to do that it would be in for a very nasty surprise, yes indeed a very nasty surprise.

Don’t look so shifty eyed Hubert Mead.

We’ve been neighbors for a very long time; do you really think I’m the type of person to not pay attention to what is happening on her own street let alone in her own little corner of the galaxy?

Where have you been Hubert Mead?

Space_Alien

Lurking in the Deep, Dark Forest

Prehistoric Gardens, Copyright © 2009 Jade Leone Blackwater

Attention writers, bloggers, and artists of all media: if you’re looking for a prompt or a bit of inspiration this month, consider looking for what’s hidden (or lurking) among the trees.

This September Arboreality will host The Festival of the Trees issue 39 on the theme of Secrets, and you’re all invited to join me, Jade Blackwater, and bring your friends too!

The Festival of the Trees is a monthly blog carnival featuring trees and forests.  For the September Festival, our theme is Secrets:

“Forests, farms, gardens, urban trees, and ancient-rock-clinging-wind-whipped Bristlecone pine stands can be an escape, a place to hide, a space to rest, a home for buried treasure. This month, I invite you to reveal a small glimpse of a secret among the trees. Consider the quiet spots you go to sit, the trees which have stood in silent observation of the events of your life, the aromatic memory of the garden from a place you have visited. With word, image, sound, or otherwise inspired creation, give us a peek at what you see, or what you can imagine.”

Grab your free-wheeling creative license (and maybe a big, heavy club) and reveal what’s hidden in the dark, mutable forest.

Then post your creations online at your blog, photo album, or other web-based resource, and send me the link:

trees[at]brainripples[dot]com

Deadline for submissions is August 28, 2009.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Drop me an email.

(Don’t forget to drop breadcrumbs along the trail as you go!

…..wouldn’t want to get lost out there.)

Prehistoric Gardens, Copyright © 2009 Jade Leone Blackwater

[Photos taken October 2008 at the Prehistoric Gardens]

PS – We’re still seeking volunteers to host The Festival of the Trees #40 and beyond! This is a fun way to broaden your audience, and of course – have fun in the trees.
To learn more, contact Dave (bontasaurus[at]yahoo[dot]com) and Pablo (editor[at]roundrockjournal[dot]com), and visit the Volunteer to Host page for details.

PS – We’re still seeking volunteers to host The Festival of the Trees #40 and beyond! This is a great way to broaden your audience, and of course – have fun in the trees.

To learn more, contact Dave (bontasaurus[at]yahoo[dot]com) and Pablo (editor[at]roundrockjournal[dot]com), and visit the Volunteer to Host page for details.

Doors

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Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Prompt:

Personality of  A Front Door

Have you ever stood in a dark hallway in a strange building all alone with a flashlight that you found rolling around in the trunk of your car?

It worked fine when you first flicked the switch on and it worked fine when you were with your friends but it was not fine when you broke away from the group to check out those doors- those doors that were shut when you first pointed your flashlight in their direction.

But you were sure that with the last weak beam of light you saw one door ajar- and you were just as sure when you turned around and the last of the light died away you saw the rest of the doors standing wide open.

What kind of things, you thought to yourself, would chose to live in the darkness- what kind of creature would wade through fetid water and be able to listen to the echoes of screaming rusted hinges that go on for ever and ever.

And what kind of monster, you thought to yourself, could stand next to those wide open doors- with the blackness streaming out-

And like it?

for more haunting and moving experience visit Shaun O’Boyle’s

Insane Asylum

Devilbit Lake

 

Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Alphabet Writing Prompt:

 “B is for the Blade of Grass”

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Baneberry Troublefield use to live out on Down Turn Road back when Down Turn was the only road going though Feverfew County. Now days you know that Feverfew is this historical place and people come from all over the world to see Devilbit Lake because it happens to be the deepest lake that exists anywhere in the world.

Devilbit Lake is bottomless and cold and shines green no matter what color the sky above it and it shines brighter by moonlight.

I’ve heard that Scientists think it’s some weird kind of algae that makes the Lake glow like that, but as much as I respect science I’d have to say in this case it’s a bunch of hooey and they WISH it was algae. If it were true then that would mean that Baneberry Troublefield was wrong and that would restore order to anybody’s universe after hearing Baneberry tell his story.

Baneberry was about 10 when his family moved out to Feverfew, his Father was a Doctor and his Mom was a nurse and they both worked at the Feverfew Sanatorium. They treated patients with these incurable diseases like TB and Leprosy back up there in the hills because that little town wasn’t even on the map and no one seemed to be in a hurry to tell the rest of the world it was there.

Feverfew Sanatorium wasn’t a bad place you know. It was just sad and lonely and packed from the basement to the attic where the Chapel was with people who never expected to leave its walls alive and most of them didn’t.

The Patients at Feverfew spent their days in beds or in little rooms with dark hardwood floors and windows that were never opened. But all of those windows looked out on the Lake because it was suppose to help remind the patients that the world was still out there.

Most of them asked, after a while for the curtains to be drawn because they didn’t want to see the Lake anymore. One of them told Baneberry’s Mom “ Nurse Troublefield, it’s that Lake. It feels like it’s watching me. And that awful man who sits on that rock…” they’d shudder and say, “Please shut the curtains”

After awhile Nurse Troublefield hardly ever opened them anymore.

No one asked why.

One day when the ward was empty and being made ready for the next group of unfortunates to be brought up (by train in those days) she found herself idly staring out the window when she noticed the lake was perfectly still. There wasn’t a wave or a ripple or as much as a cat’s paw making it’s way across the bright green water. She reached up for the cord to pull the curtain closed and the perfectly still green lake…

Waited.

That was it, Devilbit Lake was waiting Nurse Troublefield decided, to see who would move first. Only the lake was a body of water so how could it be waiting? She knew it was true, the Lake was waiting, who would move first?

The air around her got warmer and she could feel the sweat start to run down the back of her neck, she could feel it under her arms and her mouth was dry, dry and dusty. She wanted to itch her nose in the worst way but she refused to move and just as she was about to turn away the lake shifted just a little and she reached up and pulled the cord so hard the rod came down on her head.
After that day it was War.
 

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Nurse Troublefield made it her business to chart the Lake just like she would one of her Patients. She saw Nurse Martinez who was standing with her back to the window and talking to one of the Patients look over her shoulder several times in just a few minutes before she walked away from the window.

She watched Dr Grayford staring out the window for the longest time and when he turned around his pupils were so large that his eyes almost looked black and his skin was pale.

“ I thought I saw a man down there, sitting on the rock” Dr Grayford said “ but he wasn’t really there. I mean, “ he looked back out the window and back at Nurse Troublefield and then he walked out of the ward.

Dr Grayford rode the Corpse Train that night to the next town of Sherry and never came back to work again. Nurse Troublefield heard later that he left medicine all together and took over his family’s dairy farm.

It didn’t take long for Nurse Troublefield to fill almost 400 pages in her logbook with notes concerning the affect the Lake had on the staff and the patients at Feverfew. She spent all day going over them and then she decided it was time a closer examination.

Nurse Troublefield went down to the Lake itself and stood as close as she dared to it’s edge. The water was dark green at the edges and the further out towards the center it was lighter.

It was very quiet and pretty and she started to feel silly. After all, she’d let herself get worked up over water. It’s not like it had teeth or claws or could rob you at gunpoint. It was just still, quiet water.

That’s when she saw the man at the edge of the Lake for the first time. He was sunning himself on a rock and fishing. His hat was pulled down over his forehead and she thought he was whistling but then she realized the sound she was hearing wasn’t coming from him…it was coming from the Lake.

It hummed and echoed in on itself and the thick green water turned slowly in the center and the little spirals reached out and then were pulled back down again.

The man noticed Nurse Troublefield and stared back at her and sat there as still and as unreadable as the Lake.

Nurse Valaria Troublefield was use to that look, that emptiness, it was a death’s mask and it didn’t throw her off balance for a second. “It’s a lovely day to fish, isn’t it? “ She said.

The man said nothing in reply but he didn’t look away either.

“ You’re not here to catch fish though, are you?”

The man lifted his head and she could see his burned peeling lips and the dust and grime around his cheeks and mouth. He smiled and turned back towards the water.

“ My Patients at the Sanatorium up on the hill, they think the Lake is watching them, that it wants them. Some of the staff has seen things that have made them run away from their jobs and homes without a second thought.”

“ I think those are the smart ones. They’re the ones who got away. Aren’t they?”

The pole fell not with a splash into the water but with a small hollow click, and as the man stood up his movements were more spider like then human.

He turned to the Nurse and said to her, “ Come on in, the Water’s fine.”

Then he walked off the rock and was pulled down into the water and Nurse Troublefield thought of Quicksand as the water closed over the man’s head.

There wasn’t as much as a bubble, a ripple or a sound from the Lake but if it could have the Nurse was sure it would have been laughing. Worse yet, she really believed him…she really believed the water was fine and she almost followed him in.

Almost.

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As the days and weeks wore on it wasn’t just the people at the Sanatorium that began to notice the Lake. Stories about the Fisherman started and he began to not only show up at the Lake’s edge he started to show up on the Feverfew Loop Highway.

People would stop to ask the old man if he needed help and he would lean into the car and tell them, “ Come on in, the Water’s fine. “ and then he would straighten up and somewhere on the car would be a watery handprint that would be visible for days no matter what you did to wipe it away.

The rest of the people he talked too just disappeared and all they ever found of them were their cars or bikes or shoes somewhere near the lake.

So the question most people ask Baneberry Troublefield is, who is the Old Man and what is his connection to the Lake? Did he die there? Is he a ghost?

Baneberry has his own theory and I’ll take his word for it.

“ That old man, he’s a Bimini Twist” He’ll tell you.

“ A what?” You’ll ask.

That’s a non-slip double line fisherman have to use when they go for game like big billfish. Anyway that’s what he is. He’s an honest to goodness Bimini Twist; I don’t think he’s the bait. That’s what the Lake is. That Lake, it gets your attention. But the old man…he’s what brings you in.”

“ So who’s out there fishing Baneberry?” you’ll probably laugh.

Baneberry will laugh back at you and say, “ Why don’t you go out and see for yourself, I’ve heard the Water is Fine.”

That will stop you from laughing and trust me, it will stop you from pulling your car to the side of the road to offer help to little old men with fishing poles in their hands.

I hope.

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It Started Here….

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Here are some links to Story Starters that inspired me

to write the stories you can find here at Anita’s Owl Creek Bridge

FYI

They weren’t ‘strange’ until I got my hands on them…

 trust me…anybody can use them

so

!HAVE FUN!

Story Starters

Ceremony Of The Mirror

Descansos

The Deserted Farmhouse

Walk Inside A Painting

Not Quite Alice

The Lonely Ones

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