Costumes, Candy and an Untimely Death

Trick or Trick

Let’s imagine it’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

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1973 was an infamous year in our family.

That was the year my Grandfather got into that accident on the Duwamish Bridge.

Something hit his card pretty hard from behind and his car was forced off of the bridge into the water.

That happened on Halloween Morning.

After the Police came by and told us that he was gone, where to collect his body and how sorry they were my Mom sent me and my brother outside to bring in the pumpkins.

She and our Aunt took down the decorations Dad was to busy to buy candy because he was talking with the Funeral Home  and for the rest of the evening relatives came by and our house went from Holiday to Mourning in less than three hours.

As darkness fell me and my brother could see our friends darting from house to house in their Halloween Masks made from plastic and swinging their Trick or Treat Pumpkins wildly in the air.

” Grandpa would say we should be out there.” My Brother said ruefully. ” He’d have bought us eggs and TP too. Grandpa knew how to do Halloween right. Remember the time  he stuck those fake heads on poles  Because Mrs Green gave us toothbrushes and apples?”

” Yeah. He said he was surprised the old bag didn’t hand out socks and underwear too.” I remembered out loud. ” And remember the time the Brices forgot it was Halloween and he helped us wrap their car in plastic wrap

Just then my best friend Prixie waved as she ran by our window.

I flipped her the bird in return.

” They’ll be sorry, we’re gonna get tricked for sure and you know who will have to clean up the mess right?” my brother said with some satisfaction in his voice. ” I’ll bet this time our house gets tricked and I’ll bet eggs and shaving cream are in our future. THEY deserve it.”

“Serves them right for keeping us in doesn’t it?”

” Right.”

We ran up the back stairs to our bedrooms- I put on my  thin plastic scary witch mask complete with scary witch plastic costume and met my brother  was dressed up as race car driver on the way back down.

” Your costume is dumb” I told my brother.

” You don’t need to wear an ugly mask he told me.

Then  snuck down into the basement and out the  basement door  that let us out into the  alley and disappeared into the chilly Halloween Night.

When we got back our family was stunned.

” Do you know what tonight is? ” they asked us all at once.

Actually they were yelling it.

” Um. The day Grandpa died.”

” Yes. ” My Grandma said patiently. ” It’s also Halloween “

” That’s why we went trick or treating. It’s Halloween.”

” And you two should have been home a half hour ago.” Grandma scolded us ” Kids your age shouldn’t be out after seven-thirty alone.

My Grandma took my plastic jack-o-lantern and shook the candy out on the table.

” I hope you two didn’t eat the good stuff on the way home…”

” Hey!”

” Your FATHER ” Grandma said pointedly at her son
“didn’t buy any candy and if we don’t have any of those chocolate bars your Grandpa liked-“

We heard a knock on the door-

There’s  going to be Hell to pay.”

Tately Grund: A Cautionary Tale

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Tately Grund  was always meant to do big things, great things, he was meant to make his mark on the world.

That’s what drove Tately Grund to do the things he did.

The very distasteful, odious things that would make the Devil blush. From what I understand he did exactly that on more then one occasion.

But I digress.

I’m here to tell you a story about  Tately Grund and how he came to make the acquaintance of one Livia Frost- Frosty to her friends- not that she had many of those.

Livia owned the one and only Funeral home in Burnside, Washington. She owned the cemetery too and most of Cross County was buried there.

What that adds up to numbers wise  is  a lot of dead bodies and they’ve been taking up residence at Leaning Birches Cemetery since 1904.

Livia lived just across the street from Leaning Birches and her old bone white house with the stain glass windows and and her front door with the dog’s head knocker didn’t exactly say ‘welcome’- .

But you’d be surprised how many people did visit Livia’s Bone White House with the stained glass windows- they didn’t go to the front door though. They walked around to the back door- down that little path lined with those white flowers that only bloomed at night and smelled faintly of cigarette smoke.

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It wasn’t a long walk to her back door, it just felt like it if anyone were to admit to taking that walk which nobody ever  admitted to doing.

So no, I don’t know how they figured out Livia Frost had a way of getting things done and knowing things that nobody should know- to be exact she knew the kinds of things that most people took their graves.

Tately Grund took that long walk to the back of Livia’s house and pulled open the screen door and knocked.

He heard footsteps, he heard a lock turning and the door swung open and Tately Grund looked up into the eyes of Livia Frost.

Part of Tately wanted to run, part of him knew that nothing good was going to come from stepping over that threshold into Livia Frost’s kitchen.

But he did it anyway.

He followed her through her kitchen, down a hallway lit, if Tately Grund new as much as he claimed, by  gaslight fixtures. The hardwood floor under his feet were polished to a high gloss and there were pictures of the same man and the same cat and the same two dogs in different poses in frame after frame after frame.

He stopped and looked at one of the paintings of a cat and said, ” I had a cat like that once.”

” I doubt that very much Mr Grund.”

They stopped in front of a door and Livia took a key from her pocket and put it into the lock.

She led him into a sparsely furnished room.

One table, two chairs a fireplace that needed to be cleaned. The curtains were closed. It was cold in that room.

Very cold.

She motioned for him to sit.

” So how does this work?” he asked as he sat.

” You tell me what you want. And then we figure out how to make it happen.”

” And it costs…”

” Does it matter?” she asked as the light fixtures around the room blazed on and the shadows grew long around them.

It took him less then a second to answer.” No.”

” Fine Mr Grund. Talk to me.”

” Do you know Astor Brock?”

Livia rolled her eyes up and shook her head. ” Politics. ”

” Exactly. Politics Mrs Frost. Astor Brock’s wife was a suicide, and more then a couple,pf people,believe she was driven to it with a little help.”

” She wasn’t.”

“Well. What they don’t know is why. I do. That good woman-”

“For the most part she was. Actually.”

” She k Continue reading

Today’s Special

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Five a Day

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

This took me awhile to figure out. But when I did I went straight for my bathroom mirror and kissed my reflection.

:::DRUMROLL PLEASE:::

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I would take:

J sometimes referred to in some circles as G

( old , tough and  probably gristly but  it’s soaked in wine so I’m sure it’s  good for broth making )

C

( definitely good for roasting )

S

( a little of this goes a long way )

T

( Oh, why not)

and of course

E

( no taste at all- for garnish only  )

So is this me being clever?

Do I intend to take as many food stuffs with those letters with me to the nowhere place that I’m going to be sent to?

Uh.

No.

All I can say is, I’m well schooled in human anatomy, corpses hold no fear for me I’m one hell of a cook and I’ll eat like a queen till help arrives.

You know.

Help for me.

Not them.

For them it would be too late.

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If I Only Had A Brain…Or Two

Clone Wars
If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?

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 Writing is about the only thing I can make myself do.

I can do it on my bad days, my good days even on days when I don’t have anything to say.

So if I could clone myself what crud jobs would I give my secondary me?

I’d have that ‘me’ do all my caretaking stuff- the day to day grind- the housework, the cooking- almost everything except for my day job and taking care of my cats and dog.

But the reality is, I hate that stuff myself and when I slack off I don’t feel bad about it.

So how would I get my clone to do it?

I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, me and my clone would agree to blow it off.

I know myself, if I don’t want to give I don’t.

However, I’ll bet if my clone and I put our heads together we could find someone else to do the work for the BOTH of us.

And The Truth Shall Send You Straight To The Principal’s Office

Truth or Dare
Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?

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Of course honesty is the best policy.

Honesty earns you trust and respect.

On the other hand, we’ve seen honesty used as a blunt instrument in many a murder of the heart and mind haven’t we?

So, that led me to wonder, are you being honest when you take the truth, twist it around someone’s neck until they turn blue and their tongue pops out of their mouth and they are for sure dead?

I don’t think so, I think at that point you used honesty for your own personal gain that makes it a lie.

 

When I was a kid one of my classmates referred to me as ‘ the black cat sitting on a Cadillac’. It was a TV jingle at the time. But before you knew it I was being called a Black Cat by everyone…she would not stop. So one day I hauled off and punched her in the eye and ended up in the Principal’s office with my Teacher- who was very fond of grabbing me by hair on the top or back of my head and shaking it  from side to side to get my attention.

In fact, that’s how she got me to the office that day. Dragging me down past my classmates, other teachers and a janitor by the hair on the back of my head.

Nobody looked surprised.

So, we get into the office and the Principal and Teacher tell me, in all honesty ( they said )  that it wasn’t my classmate’s FAULT that I was different. I was told -almost kindly- by our Principal that I looked different and what I NEEDED to do was develop a sense of humor about BEING DIFFERENT from everyone else.

And then they brought my classmate in – with her Mother who they called right away ( my Mom got a note two days later) and told me I needed to apologize.

I looked into those self righteous  faces, and into my classmate’s smirking expectant one- and from the bottom of my racing little heart-  in all honesty-  and on the verge of tears said with amazement

” That shiner is a beaut, isn’t it?”

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I’m Pretty Sure You Don’t Want To Do That

Buffalo Nickel
Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

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About 17 years ago I lost 50.00.

I was shopping and I’m pretty sure that when I reached into my unorganized purse and pulled out my unorganized wallet the 50.00 dropped out.

Do you know what really made me mad?

It wasn’t that I lost the  50.00- though that did sting. No. What really made me mad was that some lucky ducky found 50.00.

I have never looked down and found anything larger then a penny.

That’s what really made me mad- in my life I have never been that lucky but on that day I sure as Hell made sure somebody else was.

So ever since that black marked day I don’t carry cash.

I use my debit card.

And here’s the reason why.

When I was in high school I went to church with my friend.

Her Church was one of those people speaking in tongues and writhing in the aisles with snakes kind of church.

It was better then any horror movie because  the feeling in that church was dark and oppressive and if something would have reached up through the floor  in an explosion of brick and mortar  and faded plum colored carpeting and pulled us down  one by one and  kicking and screaming and dripping entrails all the way through the gates of Hell..I wouldn’t have been surprised

But on that day they were going on about people being marked with numbers- specifically credit card numbers.

That was how Satan was going to mark us…so whatever you do, don’t get one of those cards.

No problem. I was like 17 at the time. I didn’t see myself to ever be in a position to be ‘marked by Satan’.

It was shortly after I lost that money and made someone else very lucky I remembered that day in the Church- how we would be marked and cursed and turned into Demons doing the Devil’s work for all of eternity  if we got numbered.

Oh really? I thought. Is that how it works? Because I was tired of being the softie who gave in ( most of the time m)  with just about everyone in my life…my kids, my job, holding the doors open for people, and now apparently I am throwing money around like confetti at a New Years Eve Party.

I dug through my desk drawer, found my Debit card, activated it and since then I haven’t carried cash. I’ll be damned ( literally ) if I ever make someone’s day like that again.

I must say though:

When I pull that card out I feel wicked.

Very wicked.

And it feels….good.

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The Clown Car

First Light
Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

 

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 Every morning I take the same bus with the same people to the Transit Center ( they don’t call it a Park and Ride anymore ).

I like my bus driver, I like most of the people I ride with.

” Most ” being the keyword here.

One of the passengers is, as a very young commuter once pointed out,  a ‘motor mouth’.

She will ask me a question and then answer it herself.

So I let her do all the talking.

Does she do that to the other passengers?

Nope.

And in the event I can get a word edgewise I’m always wrong.

Brother.

And then there are the three jackasses on the second bus I catch.

These three guys all get on the commuter bus together- they each take a seat, put there backpacks or jackets or whatever next to them and then they lower the backs of their seats so far that it’s impossible to sit behind them.

And then they pretend to sleep- so nobody sits next to them and you can’t get to the seat behind them without climbing over  one seat to take the one they’re not using as a futon.

So this morning when my alarm went off and before I opened my eyes I saw those four doughy faces and I wondered if it was possible that today is the we get hit by a planet killer asteroid and the earth turns to dust or we get zapped by a gamma ray  and if today is not the day, what can I do to make it happen?

But I got myself up, did my morning routine went to my bus stop and did I play with my phone, stand on the corner away from the Motor Mouth like a couple of other people have taken to do after hearing her ‘talk’ to me?

Nope.

 I said my good morning and looked straight and stood a few feet away from her.

When she started with our one way conversation I stopped her mid sentence and said, ” I’m sorry. Were you talking to me?”

When the bus showed up I got on and prepared for round two on the Commuter Bus.

My little sleeping beauties were settled into their seats and I chose one, sat right behind him, pulled out my notebook ( and not the electronic ones, it’s an old school binder and weighs about five pounds ) and used his head rest as a table.

When he turned around to glare at me I said ” Oh gee, I’m sorry. Did I wake you up?”

” Can you move that?” he asked.

” No. It’s pretty heavy and I’m stuck.”

He got up, moved to the seat occupied by his jacket and as he did a woman with the big, I mean a HUGE purse sat next to him.

She proceeded to pull her phone out of her bag and and as she did I saw her elbow her seatmate a few times.

With my compliments, I thought merrily to myself.

At this point I may have said it out loud though.

At least, I hope I did.

So this morning before I opened my eyes I guess I had revenge in my heart.

And when my eyes were completely opened it sort of poured out of me like chocolate from one of those giant chocolate fountains they have had weddings and fancy parties.

It’s funny how that happens sometimes.