Raison d’être

From The Bancroft Project: Creating Character Dossiers-Establishing Blocks of Time. To add to our dossiers we worked with the concept of blocks of time and pathways chosen, blocked, travelled, and bypassed. We also considered others whose paths crossed ours or the path of our characters-

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

” I have all the time in the world.” the Ghost said to herself as she stood, or more specifically, as  she floated a little above her empty Grave.

Even though she knew she was alone there in her spot above her empty Grave where nobody had left her flowers for so many years she had lost count, she waited for a reply.

Of course there wasn’t one.

There never was.

” I have all the time in the world to decide what kind of ghost I could be. ” the Ghost said firmly and the place where her eyes would be seemed to glow a bit and the place where her jaw would had it not been covered by a  shroud of light blue haze, looked a little firmer.

The Ghost thought about her options for a moment. ” I could be a vicious ghost and throw things around and push people down stairs and scare cats and dogs-well. Not scare exactly but I can  make them puff up and growl.

Or I could be a nice ghost and when I show up people would smell things like freshly baked cookies or flowers. Actually. I wasn’t exactly a nice person so that probably isn’t going to happen at all.”

The Ghost looked down into her empty Grave and then her misty face swirled like fog rolling from the sea up to the beach and when the mist settled down she was smiling.

” I know, I could be one of those ghosts that shows up when bad things are going to happen. I could make myself look like a cat or a big black dog or a black as coal rabbit with fiery red eyes. Now that sounds like the ticket, doesn’t it? The possibilities for what I could do there are only limited by my imagination- which as we both know was pretty wild monster back in my day. I mean, that’s how we ended up together after all.”

Her empty Grave, as dark and inscrutable as ever offered no opinion.

It never did.

She sighed and her misty face broke apart.

 

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

” I have all the time in the world.” the Ghost said to herself above her empty Grave when nobody was listening because nobody was ever there.

Even though the Ghost knew she was alone there in her spot above her empty Grave where nobody had left her flowers for so many years she had lost count, she waited for a reply.

This time she got one, in fact, this time she got several.

She swirled in confusion, a light blue mist hanging above her empty Grave because something behind her roared and to her left,   dead rose bushes  snapped and fell to the ground which was a riot of sticker bushes and weeds and chunks or marble and concrete.

The roar was gone and after a few bangs and thumps she heard someone say not very clearly, ” yes I’m sure it doesn’t matter if we dig around here. We might find a few bones or maybe some wood but who cares?”

The Ghost followed the voices  with her almost non-existent eyes and saw that the voices  belonged to two men with shovels.

They chose a spot and begin to dig into her empty Grave and after several hours they seemed satisfied with their work. They went away and came back many  times with black bags- several in fact and after looking at each other for a minute one said to the other. ” Lunch at The Oak Tree  on Main Street after?’

The other man said, “Sounds good. Their burgers really  hit the spot”

Unceremoniously they began to drop the black, lumpy and in some cases leaking black bags into her empty Grave.

Then they filled it.

They were not acting like they had all of the time in the world.

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

” So  now you have a purpose, . ”  the Ghost said to her dark and inscrutable Grave. How tragic is that? My empty Grave has a raison d’être and I don’t. ”

Had she had  lungs she would have taken a deep breath  before she screeched- so she just skipped to the screeching part, ” My entire situation is ridiculous and intolerable!”

This time she felt like her dark and inscrutable formally empty Grave was listening to her.

The ghost simmered and then she snapped together atom by atom, nightmare by nightmare and when she was done her eyes were fiery red and she was covered with dark silky fur.

Then she hopped over her once Empty and inscrutable Grave and she went to start her own  reason for being and her little black nose quivered with excitement.

 

Birds and Stars

Life Isn’t a Straight Line — How to Chart Your Own ‘River of Life’
This exercise is designed to help you reflect on your life and tell your story.

If my life were a river

I think it would go through dark forests and it would run under cloudy skies

and nothing would want to live in it because the water would always be so cold.

If my life were a river

nobody would raft on it, or picnic near it because  if my life were a river

it would be traveling along, wearing itself against the Earth until you could see the scars from a satellite circling the Earth

and when the scientists see it, the River that is my life, they will be appalled because such a mindless force tore away at something so beautiful and left it’s  vacuous mark behind.

And they will echo then mantra of my childhood,

” You’re a  stupid useless good for nothing kid, you’ll never amount to anything. No one wants anything to do with you.”

20190519_085634-1780927987.jpg

Photo A.M. Moscoso

When I was five years old,

the river that is my life had tangled brown hair and a desire to read and to write

and to sail in a spaceship to Mars.

Then I learned to read and I learned to write but that didn’t matter

I was told,

because anybody can read a book or write a story

so the River that is my life moved on and when

the River that is my life turned 14

it’s greatest accomplishment was for coming in first at an Ugliest Date contest.

I was learning to play the guitar, I won awards for my writing but none of that mattered

that year.

The River that is my life turned to the nowhere and headed for the darkest hills it could find.

That is managed to do with absolute success- a roaring black river with icy cold water disappeared one day and not a single solitary soul noticed.

20190519_092220-11497844484.jpg

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The River that is my life got older and one day it got slower and once again it found itself all alone.

The good for nothing useless kid grew up to be a good for nothing useless woman who existed day to day  and in a round about way I guess I won the Ugly Girl Award again.

facebook_1559267841385-643867654.jpg

Photo A.M. Moscoso

One day and purely by chance,  the River that is my life wandered off track and it cut it’s way out of  those dark forests under cloudy skies and while it was there it found some friends who wrote stories and loved to listen to music and painted pictures and would wonder if there had ever been life on Mars and one day while the river was taking it’s time instead of running under dark and cloudy skies, the River that is my life saw a puppy running at it’s banks.

It laughed and splashed around and it even ran into a tree but then it shook it’s head got back on it’s little paws and laughed the way puppies do.

So the river slowed down so that the puppy could catch up and it even cut new trails into places just so the little puppy could see sunlight and hear people laughing and talking and where it could run under blue skies.

One day the River that is my life came to a place where it saw the dark mountains covered with snow and the black skies full of clouds and it wondered if it was time to go home.

Where it belonged.

But the River that is my life saw the puppy, who is now a full grown dog who ran at her banks and followed her just because it wanted to be with her and she knew he would have followed her back into her darkness, where at least she wouldn’t be alone.

Only there was so much more to see and the sky was so big and it was so full of stars and birds and rain and snow that River that is my life wanted her dog to see all of that.

So the River that is my life, decided for her dog she would see this other world, just for him.

And that is where they are today- they are running together under a sky that isn’t always empty or dark because now  it’s full of birds and stars.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Bancroft Manor Creating Dossiers:

 

The Puzzle

Guided Imagery Prompt: Paradise Found

Meditate upon Milton’s Sonnet XX and consider how your light is spent; who you must serve. Peek through the doorway of Milton’s cottage, glimpse paradise and write about ‘Paradise Found’.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

It’s a puzzle to me

how it is that I broke into so many pieces

how it was that my pieces were scattered and lost

in such a small space.

 

Some of the pieces that I found were bright and looked brand new

others were bent and twisted, their markings rubbed away

a few seemed to be hiding in the cracks in the floor, wedged and hiding

in dusty wooden drawers

swollen shut with mold, wood rot and decay.

How did they get in there I wondered, not wanting to touch them

not wanting to think about them

I wish they would go away I’m not sure they can be saved.

 

I did try to gather up  as many pieces as I could,  I tried to put them together

I tried to make them look like a picture, I wanted them to tell a story

I wanted to put them in a frame and hang them from a wall and I wanted

them to shine like the other puzzles I’ve seen sitting next to me on the bus,

or eating dinner with me at family gatherings, or puzzles I’ve called husband or friends.

 

But there are so many pieces of me scattered in such a small space

I’d like to arrange them so that they would make sense.

But where do I start?

The most overwhelming, the most terrifying thought of all?

What will it look like

when I am done?

Photo by Nadxiee Lii on Pexels.com

Upon Reflection

Inspired by the Soul Food Café Prompt: Mirror Mirror on the Wall

The mirror, the only mirror I will allow in my house

is on the floor, next to the basement door that I keep locked

with a skeleton key.

I threaten that mirror

on a daily basis

about the trip, the one way trip

to the basement that I will send it on unless it says what I want to hear.

” Do we feel chatty today?” I asked it very late last night, or maybe it was very early this morning. At any rate it was dark outside. And the mirror had been silent for many years now.

” A little ” it said in a voice that reminded me of crackling ice.

” Good. So shall we try this again?” I asked as I crouched down towards the floor. ” Tell me mirror, what do you see? Do you see beauty? Do you see a face that could launch a thousand ships or do you see a terror of flesh layered with clumsy hands on crooked and broken bones. What do you see Mirror?”

” I see my face you evil witch, and I want it back!” the Mirror crackled and spat in a rage. ” Give me back my face!”

” The face you hated? The one you scorned, the one you were about to take to the surgeon to carve up and remake? I heard it call out for help.  We talked. It suited me just fine, I promised to never hurt it. So with me it will stay. Unless that is, you’re up to making an apology and a promise.”

” Go to Hell.” was the reply.

I picked up the mirror and considered smashing it against the door- the one I keep locked with a skeleton key- but instead I turned it against the wall and said. ” Enjoy the view my faceless friend, we’ll chat again soon. Maybe.”

For More Creative Stimuli Visit:

” While Waiting For Godot”

The Imp’s Dream

The Writing Tram: Poetry in Your Pocket

FEAR

Smells like chalk

in an abandoned school house

where the air hasn’t been alive for a long time

 

Fear

Tastes like spoiled milk

hours after you swallowed it

now all you can smell is decay.

 

Fear

Sounds like a knock

coming from inside of your closet

when you are all alone in the house

and there is a  lightning storm raging outside

 

Fear

feels like

being soaked to the skin

and the rain won’t stop coming down

Fear

feels like

missing the last bus late at night

and not a soul is with you on that dark and lonely corner

Fear

feels like

waiting to hear your name

in a place

where nobody should know it.

FEAR

 

My Favorite Quote

Many years ago,  after I  had finished reading  Pet Sematary I had a nightmare.

It was one of those dreams where you wake up and go through your regular routine and then:

 

My dog who had died a few years before was in my kitchen.

But I knew it wasn’t really my dog because Sham had orange wolf like eyes.

This dog had cat’s eyes and “Church” was written across his chest white chest in dark red ink.

And then he opened his mouth and I could feel his cold breath creep towards my face and he said:

I woke up screaming, of course.

This has been my favorite quote by King since that night.

My Sister’s House

Today I tried to answer the question- Who is the Bancroft Miniaturist?

Photo A.M. Moscoso

 

In my Sister’s mostly

bare and very dark house

is a room

that nobody is allowed to go into

and in that room

are shelves and shelves of glass lined cases.

 

In the cases

my Sister says

are bits of magic

held in delicate hand carved figures

that no one is allowed to touch

and they most certainly are not that for anyone to see.

 

Then what’s the point in having them

I asked, for the billionth time.

 

My Sister said

to me one day,

” Fine go ahead, go on in and touch what you want and see what

is there.”

 

She pushed the door open and took my arm

and before she could push  through I stepped back.

Because

I heard what was in there

and what I heard was pleading and a little screaming too.

 

The voices sounded far away but they were coming from the shelves

and what they were saying was:

 

” I have eyes. I can’t see, why can’t I see anything? ”

 

My sister put her lips close to my ear and said,

” It’s because their eyes are ornamental. ”

 

I left my sister to her dark and mostly

empty house

and the magic she trapped

in glass cases

that nobody is allowed to touch or see.

Photo A.M Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Inspired By The Bancroft Miniaturist

The Greatest Little Show On Earth

When I was little, one of my favorite museums to visit was Miniature World in Victoria, BC Canada.

I would spend an eternity in front of each display with no fixed idea in my head about what I was seeing. I would just imagine the little figures actually dancing, or running or sitting or riding horses.

Of course, I was a little on the macabre side as a child so I assumed that spirits and ghosts and maybe even a curse or two were involved because WHY NOT.

Here are some pictures I took of a couple of the exhibits- I think that after all of these years I should put some thought into what is happening here and why.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Bancroft Miniaturist