Notes

Singing Over Bones-

Trains of Thought
The Great Escape – Intensive Journal Writing

Photo A.M. Moscoso

 

Will the bones beneath my feet

look up at me and start to sing?

Will they tell me who they  were, their favorite colors, their favorite foods?

I think the bones beneath are fast asleep, they won’t wake up, I think they dream

But  the marble that we leave above their heads

speak so loudly

it’s enough to wake the dead.

Photo A.M Moscoso

 

Photo A.Moscoso

 

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The Writer that Almost Wasn’t

Trains of Thought
The Great Escape – Intensive Journal Writing

Weighing Words

 

Franz Von Stuck

 

My eighth grade English teacher

used to give every single one of my papers a D-.

 

That was as close as he could get to failing every thing I handed in- he couldn’t do that with tests if I got the answers correct, but I lost points on those papers too because my A’s looked like O’s and my I’s looked like L’s.

You get the picture.

So my essays and themes and short stories didn’t get failed because I at least handed something in and turned up for class everyday, he told me.

He also did try to get me into remedial English classes, but the only thing that kept him from doing that was that I tested at College level for reading comprehension. He was convinced I had cheated and I had to retake the tests again with two monitors watching me the entire time.

 

So I got a D on my final report card and on the last day of school  he made fun of my essay in front of the other class by reading it out loud with the words butchered because he pronounced the words with the a’s and o’s and l’s and t’s with the letters that he thought he saw.

Did anyone laugh? Not really and did I get upset? No. Because the paper he was making fun of had just won me tickets to see the Seattle Sonics play a game and he knew it.

 

A few years after I graduated from high school I heard my former English teacher’s son had died in mountain climbing accident.

I tried to feel sorry for my teacher  because it was the right thing to do, but you have guessed correctly if you assumed I could careless about the pain and loss he felt.

Our words and how we use them come with a price and a cost and that’s why we should choose, very carefully how we use them- as an English teacher he should have knows that better then anyone.

amm

Masks

Trains of Thought
The Great Escape – Intensive Journal Writing

Cabinet of Curiosities

( Work inspired by my photos and personal mementos )

Photo A.M. Moscoso

I want a new face

a new heart

a new pair of eyes

and a new tongue-

a sharper tongue, a more clever tongue

then the one I have in my head.

I want a new mask

or maybe three

Maybe one of them will tell me

who I am supposed to be.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The Invitation

From Danse Macabre :   Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders The Red Death Project-

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The Masque has been hanging in my attic all of my life- it was there when my Parents owned my house and it was there when my Great Grandparents had the house built in 1901.

Nobody knows where it came from or who hung it or why nobody ever took it down.

It seemed better, wiser, to just leave it alone to the darkness and the dust – because sometimes it sounded like someone was up there with it and during those times we made sure the attic door was locked.

“There’s nothing up there,” we would say as we turned the skeleton key and backed slowly away from that door and hurried down the hall to the safety of the well lit living room.

There is nothing in that huge dark room that hangs over heads we  told ourselves- nothing except for that Masque, and it’s occasional visitor.

Three days ago I started to hear music.

I’m not ashamed to admit- the music worries me to the point of distraction and I’m having trouble sleeping at night and it’s almost impossible to wake up in the morning.

I think that slightly off key tune that howls like the wind just before the storm hits is an invitation  and I am sure that any day now, the RSVP’s will start to arrive

The Uninvited Guests

The Beach was gone, the sky was gone, the guy with the Frisbee and no one to toss it to was gone and the bad tempered lady who had snapped at my dog when he ran up to her wagging his tail  was gone too.

I hope a shark got her.

Right now, at this very second it was just me and my dog and we were standing in the hallway of a dusty  house  and I hoped an empty house. I was hoping it was empty because it looked exactly like my Grandmother’s house.

Nobody went into Grand’s house without an invitation, not even her family

My Grandmother’s house was not a normal house, which made sense because my Grandmother was not normal. Her house was haunted and cursed and she was the reason for all of those things.

My Grandmother is a Witch, you see. And she’s not one of those friendly witches with an herb garden and a black cat with a cute name like Maggie or Cinders.  She’s the kind of witch with  a black dog with yellow snakes eyes and a black goat named Bixby and the last time someone made her really angry it rained toads and the sky turned blood red for almost a week.

” I hope this place only looks like Grand’s House, ” I said to my dog. ” Look, at the top of the stairs to the right. There’s that green door. Just like at her place. There can’t possibly be two of them. Right? I mean, two people or two house like Grand.”

My dog’s name is Hamish and he stopped sniffing at the wall and looked up at me.

” Let’s hope not. ” he said. ” You know what she does to people who show up in her house uninvited.”

” You can talk.” was my answer.

I know my dog is smart and he most certainly is my best friend that I always talk too,  but he doesn’t bark much, let alone been a candidate for the role of a talking dog. He doesn’t even fetch half the time I throw stuff for him and he’s a Retriever for Pete’s sake.

” And you can hear. ” Hamish’s tail fell and his ears swiveled back  which is what always happens when something confuses him.

We stood there looking at each other, trying to decide which one of us was the most amazed.

But we weren’t standing there in amazement for long   because at the top of the stairs somebody sneezed.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bancrost Manor: Stories by Me Week One

Before It Gets Dark

 

” This road looks dangerous, doesn’t it. ” he said.

She was walking slightly ahead of him, a woman in long fitted  black fur jacket trimmed along her collar and wrists with light gray lace shaped like  feathers.  Her head  was protected from the cold and the fog by a fluffy brown scarf.

” I mean, it’s a good thing there’s still daylight. Wouldn’t want to be out here when it’s dark. Look at the shape of this pavement, broken to bits and full of ice. It’s dangerous in full daylight. In the dark, well, one false step and whump. Down you go.”

“I’m wondering.” he asked without expecting her to answer, in fact he preferred she keep quiet- for now. ” Do you know  there’s a lake off the path here. It’s pretty deep, I’ve heard. Nobody knows exactly how deep it is. Anything could be down there. You could hide anything down there and keep it hidden pretty much forever.”

She continued to walk in the same measured stride and she continued to not pay any attention to him.

” Yes, daylight is the time to be out here. Before the temperature  drops and the fog rolls in and not only can’t you see but you can’t even walk fast let alone run if something came up on you. Something not friendly. Because. Whump. Down you go.  You could be hurt and alone all night- providing you lasted that long.” He paused. ” In this cold. Well. ”

To his satisfaction- no- to his pleasure he saw her adjust her scarf and she slowed down. Just a little. But that was enough, that was all he needed. He felt positively warm inside and it made the palms of his hands sweaty.

” This little park is no where to be walking alone, especially when it’s cold and the dark and the fog rolls in fast like it is right now. Once daylight is gone, that’s when it’s worse. That’s when the ground opens up and the monsters come out. At night when  you’re all alone.”

She stopped and he saw her drop her scarf  back with shaking hands on either side of her head. He was delighted to see little puffs of her nervous breath frozen and drifting over her shoulder towards him because they had nowhere else to go.

Those small gestures excited him to the center of his bones.

” Are you sure about that? That the monsters only come out at night.” she asked as she turned around carefully so as not to slip on the icy path. ” Are you absolutely sure about that?

 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inspired By The Australian Advent Calander: The Bunyip

Glittery Cards and Edible Bugs

Yesterday I found a sealed  box of unsent Christmas cards in my pantry.

On the front of the card was a cute little  Golden Retriever Puppy covered in glitter snow sitting in front of a crooked wooden fence with his head tilted to the side.

He was wearing a scarf.

Glitter and country road  fence aside the dog was cute, but let’s face it.

The cards never got sent.

However this year, I found the perfect cards to send- thank you Mysterious Package Company!

I’m sending the cute dog cards to some of my friends and family and I’m sending these to the others.

I wonder which  list will have what names on them.

At this point, I see some worried people heading to their mailboxes ( do people even USE those anymore ) because I always manage to get it wrong when it comes to really knowing what is going on inside of the heads of the people I know.

Mysterious Package Co Christmas Cards HERE

Last year I really tried to deck the halls and get into the swing of things- but I’m notorious for getting Christmas gifts that suck and that nobody really likes- I mean if you want to know how to screw up gift cards as presents, just ask me.

It’s not like I’ve given out voodoo dolls or edible bugs, shrunken heads or those little plush toys that look like germs,  maybe I should. Maybe that’s what people expect from me and when I drop the ball and go traditional , maybe it’s a let down.

I don’t know.

Until this minute I hadn’t considered that.

Now there’s a thought.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

This Christmas season I promised myself I would read some Victorian Era Ghost stories ( check ) I would do something creative everyday ( check ) oh and I haven’t done any baking yet but I have eaten some great store bought treats so ( kind of check ).

Do you know what I haven’t done?

Stressed out over the holidays- but I think that finding those cool cards- which I’m using as story prompts so fair warning, got me off to a good start.

So if I can get through this Holiday  without wanting to walk around with a blanket over my head ( as my dog likes to do, for his own reasons ) I would consider that a win.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Now here is a little Christmas music for you to enjoy for you to enjoy as you maybe write out some cards or toss back a cookie or two- or you know A LOT of cookies.

But whatever you do, make sure you do it in your own unique way.

amm

Inspired By Made In Australia Advent Calendar: Christmas Letters From Australia

Confectioner On Deck

A few years ago I stopped baking and I stopped cooking full meals.

It just seemed easier to toss things in the microwave or to order pizza or to just go out and have someone else do the work- and I’ll put it out there with all of my heart- teachers and cooks and chefs do NOT get paid enough.

My point is this: after years of cooking for my family I am OVER the experience.

Sometimes though- when it snows or the weather is bad and I look out the window and wonder what to do, I turn an eye to my kitchen and I bake.

Sometimes I bake from scratch – which to me feels like I’m working in a lab with dangerous chemicals or test tubes full of malicious life forms just waiting for you to make one false move, to add just a smidge too much of this or not put in enough of that and by that carelessness – kaboom.

Yes.

I do love baking from scratch.

It appeals to my inner Abominable Doctor Phibes.

What I love about baking and what I miss about baking are the smells- the scent of vanilla and cinnamon,the beautiful aroma of mulled spices that make their way into warm apple cider and the intoxicating  aroma of cooling pies and cookies.

I made a deal with myself- if the sky is gray and there is a bite in the air this weekend I think I might go a little mad scientist and do some holiday baking.

I have some standby recipes like shortbread- I make a mean shortbread and if it involves fruit and white chocolate I’ll give it a try. And of course I guess I’ll do some Christmas cookies because I’m not a total wet blanket.

Besides, I like to listen to Christmas music when I bake and to double the fun ( for me and to the deep concern of my dog when I do this ) I wear a Christmas Sweatshirt and make my dog wear his Christmas Tree Tiara and I sing along  at the tops of my lungs

Photo A.M. Moscoso

For some inspiration I might try a few of these from The Soul Food Café 2003 Made in Australia Calendar because there is a recipe for a treat where Rice Krispie cereal is called Rice Bubbles.

Rice Bubbles.

Like I’m going to walk away from that!

This month is supposed to be about adventure and experimenting with new ways of doing things and creating things with my own two hands ( as opposed to clicking an icon on my laptop with my own two hands that looks like a shopping cart and sending for it )

I suppose my kitchen is just as good as any museum or symphony hall or poorly lit icy street to embark on this quest.

I just hope I remember to pull the battery out of my smoke detector first.

Kidding.

I’m kidding.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

amm

Inspired By Made In Australia 2003 Advent Calendar: Six White Boomers

The Greens

I used one of the Soul Food Cafe’s story starter prompts as today’s Writing Challenge.

For this challenge I just sat down and wrote without stopping for twenty minutes. I liked the idea that popped up so much I might go back and clean it up for a Halloween story.

It’s based on  the SFC PROMPT: FLIES

 

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

The name of the family that lived on Davenport Road before it abandoned and forgotten by the town and then the rest of the world was Green.

The Greens were a Father, a Mother and their four children.

Somebody at a Fourth of July picnic shared over the pie table  that Father Green may have served time in jail and Mother Green may have had something to do with the disappearance of her baby brother and two of the family dogs when she was a child but that was just talk.

Still- none of the Green Children looked like either one of their parents and all of them had the odd habit of always appearing at the corner of your eye- or you’d see them scuttling away from you and around a corner or through a doorway before you could ever really get a good look at them.

One less then charitable resident of Fletcher- which was the name of the town Davenport Road was part of- compared the way they Green Children scurried around as being rodent like.

Mrs. Parker who was helping at the picnic that day said under her breath to that observation, ” They scuttle around like bugs. Those children give me the willies.”

Everything started to go bad in Fletcher right after the 4th of July picnic- the houses got moldy, the plants and trees and the lawns either dried up and died or they simply rotted.

In addition to that unfortunate state of affairs,  six cats, four dogs, a horse and three children and two infants went missing, the corn caught some sort of blight and was wiped out before you could say, ” what the hell is eating at the crops?”

No one living in Fletcher had it in them to get angry or suspicious or to even pack up and run.

That’s because they simply stopped doing anything except for maybe blink when something hit their eye and some of them coughed when dust ( it was just dust, right?) drifted up into their noses and mouths.

They just stopped where they stood on the day the Sun turned blood red and so did the Moon.

Some of people- like the people at the Pie Table at the picnic were sitting at their kitchen tables or in their cars.  Some of Fletcher’s residents who had an inkling that something was going very wrong  were hiding in their attics or basements when they too, like everyone and everything else just stopped.

They could see a hear a little, some could see and what they saw where the Green Children- scuttling and scurrying, tasting and touching and eating everything and anyone who caught their eyes.

Some of the people, who patiently waited their turn for a visit from the Green Children wondered why they only ever saw four of those children- there were so many of them.

Hundreds of them.