The Duck Pond

This was inspired by a Writing Prompt where you pick three spooky words and write a poem or story based on the words.

I chose Banshee, Corrupted and Creep.

 

Banshee blood

corrupted, cursed and revolting

it’s pooling in a pond where I used to feed  the ducks.

 

Who will cage it?

will anyone  swim in it?

Who will watch it creep towards the shore?

Will anybody grab a bucket, sponge scream out in fear

more likely then not

everyone will  pretend as if it’s not there.

 

Banshee blood

corrupt,  cursed and revolting

I wonder if the Ducks that I used to feed

wished it wasn’t there.

 

The Blessing

From The Danse Macabre Prompt: Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders

We meet another of The Prince’s guests:

I had found a place to get off of my feet

maybe catch a quick bite

and chew the fat with the locals

 who call this  town I wandered into home.

But before I could settle in and settle down for a spell

at the Diner called ” Lorna’s “

the Sheriff walked in and put a bullet between my eyes.

Good thing it wasn’t silver.

Good thing indeed.

I Want To Dance Like Salome

Inspired By The Bancroft Prompt: Fantasy Destinations :

You could spend the night in this painting, courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or perhaps you could be lucky enough to be selected to stay with Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

Franz von Stuck (1863–1928), Teasing (1889)

If I could choose a painting to  spend one day, one hour, or even a very long night inside of, I would choose a painting by Franz Von Stuck.

Why?

Because they are full of monsters  and  unhinged desire-in his works  passion, fear and beauty are mashed up and then it all  goes right off the rails.

If I had the chance to know what’s it’s like to be let off of my chain and run.

I would.

It’s a dream of mine to have the nerve to do that.

Salome by Franz Von Stuck

In planning my Von Stuck inspired Destination Trip  even a trip to Hell is not out of the question.

I am captivated by the story  the ” Inferno” tells because in this painting there are faces and bodies occupying ever square inch- even the flames seems to reflect the images of the damned.

Still, each figure is alone in it’s own way and oblivious to what is around them.

At least that I what I think and I am curious enough to ask them if that’s the case.

But that is Hell isn’t it? Feeling alone in an ocean of souls.

Inferno by Franz Von Stuck

The worlds that Von Stuck created in his portraits have a sense of danger, adventure and humor- there is a lot of smiling going on in his works.

They’re wolfish smiles.

But does that matter?

Not to me, not if I’m planning my Fantasy Destination.

In fact, I would prefer to meet a wolf or two along the way.

Dissonance by Franz Von Stuck

Info On Paintings:

Salome

Teasing

Inferno

Trick Or Treat? That Is The Question

From The Red Death Project– meet one of Prospero’s Guests.

She’s getting into the Halloween Spirit of things.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

If you knock on my door on Halloween

I promise not try to act scary.

Not that I can do that anyway because I wear glasses and I like to wear sweatshirts with dogs on them. Who would I be fooling? Not you, that’s for certain.

If you knock on my door on Halloween

I promise to only hand out the tastiest chocolates shaped like severed heads and bloody  fingers and  eyeballs with a sweet mushie surprise inside and the crunchiest Candied Sugar Bones you have ever popped into your mouth and ground  between your teeth.

My candies wrapped in orange and black tinfoil and I make them myself.

I’m a very skilled candy maker.

If you knock on my door on Halloween

I promise I will  answer the door the minute you knock

I’ll let you take as much candy as you want

and after you’re done and walking away

I promise that  when I let my monsters chase you down the walkway- my werewolf, I call him Darwin, will probably get to you first-

cross my heart and hope to die- well- not me obviously-but I digress

I promise to not eat your share of candy, except for maybe the Crunchy Sugar Bones.

Those are my favorites.

If you knock on my door on Halloween

I can promise you this-all kidding aside, your Halloween Night  will never end.

I Shall Always Be The Big Sister

There are times when I really enjoy being the Big Sister in my family.

The ‘being responsible’ thing really does blow, but do you know what the upside is?

You get to get away with a lot because as the oldest you get to blindside your inexperienced parents. Seriously, they have no idea about what is normal and what is not when it comes to kids.

Especially if your firstborn is a creative thinker.

Like,  I  have been exploring my family tree and I’ve come across a few interesting things- like one of my relatives was a solider in the American Revolution- something I don’t particularly crow about because the other half of my family were British and Canadian and why cause a bunch of my dearly departed to spin in their graves?

Anyway-meet Isaac Ross:

But a recent find tickled my Big Sister funny bone.

This is a distant cousin of mine named Bertram Douglas Godfrey- he was a Reverend.

Yeah. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that. The thing is, the Godfreys have been naming their sons Bertram since the 16oo’s- so finding another Bertram Godfrey wasn’t exactly a huge find- what I thought was great was that my Dad’s name is Bertram Godfrey and my little brother’s name is Douglas Godfrey.

So when I found a grave with both their names mashed onto the headstone I had a big laugh and great idea little brother’s birthday card  or better yet a Christmas card because I am THAT kind of Big Sister and I can get away with things like that.

If you would like, in the photos below, you can meet Bertram Douglas Godfrey in his final resting place.

He lived and died in England, he and his wife and children lived in Australia for about three years and he served in the military for the British ( ahem ) in WW1

and he made me glad I am the kind of Big Sister who shall always do and revel in being and doing the kind of silly stunts that Big Sisters do:

Yours,

Anita Marie Moscoso

formally

Anita Marie Godfrey

Rev Bertram Douglas Godfrey

Rev Bertram Douglas Godfrey Kirkley Cemetery Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.

Self Reflection

Remedios Varo, Woman leaving psychoanalyst office, 1960.

So when people ask me if I got inspiration for my tales of the macabre from

working in a funeral home- the answer is no.

Do I get inspiration from those roads I used to ride my motorcycle down- the ones that you could say are in ‘ghost towns’ did I find it in the abandoned houses the ruined cemeteries the dark corners of churches and morgues.

Nah.

Not so much.

I find that my strangest ideas come from

inside

of

my

head.

The Ghost Writer

I haven’t always wanted to be a writer- I have always wanted to be a storyteller.

There’s a thin line that separates the two things and if you fall on one side or the other I don’t think it matters. But for me the difference is a big one and this is the reason I chose to become a storyteller.

My family comes from the side of the world- not only from where we live now but from the places we came from too ( The Philippines and England/Scotland ) but they have one thing in common.

They love to hear stories and if you’re lucky you are one of the people who can tell a story that everyone will listen to.

To me that was a coveted spot in our family hierarchy. You get lots of attention and a certain amount of notoriety because to this day I can tell you who the good story tellers in my family were.

They were colorful, they were always a little odd and when they died everyone was convinced they came back as ghosts and haunted the houses they lived in. They entertained us in life and death.

To set the stage, this is how the storytelling came together ( which was the same for both sides of my family ):

The lead up to the stories was the same- after dinner or after wr finished dessert, someone would close the curtains or light the fire ( during the winter ) or turn on a fan ( if it was summer ) and then one person would say ( for example ) ” You know that house where Mother’s friend died a few years back? Well, I was walking my dog past there and something really weird happened…”

My entire family loved those ghost stories, they liked funny ones too.

Like when my Great Aunt was a teenager someone thought it would be a great idea to send her Community Choir Group ( which consisted of young ladies ) into a men’s prison to perform music.

My Great Aunt also played the banjo and apparently she was a big hit at “The Pen”

I remember after she told us about that performance we all waited for a punch line or something. I mean. I was about 6 when I heard that story and even then I knew Men’s Prisons were, well, nasty places.

So I said, ” Did they like your Banjo? ”

For some reason everyone started laughing- but believe it or not from that event on when I told stories about my dog or my adventures with my best friends Bonnie and Linda ( we got into trouble once for digging up our Mother’s gardens because we were looking for Vampires ) every single adult in the room would let me spin my tale.

My Grandpa used to say I was a natural storyteller and that he loved the way I put words together- he said I made them fit even if I had to pound them into place like the way you do when you force puzzle pieces together.

He also said that after I got done telling one of my stories, pretty much everyone was ready for a drink and that they figured one day I’d be a lawyer, a writer or my picture would be hanging up in Post Offices and at the FBI where they put up pictures of the ” Most Wanted.”

After I learned to read and write I did got to town with the storytelling. I wrote all of the time and then after I got married I stopped writing. I’m not sure why but I guess I didn’t see myself as a storyteller anymore.

I saw myself as a Ringmaster in a circus where the performers where three sons, a husband and a cat named Wolfgang who fought dogs and won-

Every,

Single.

Time.

I had three pet rats too.

What I didn’t have was that little voice that would whisper in my ear, ” Hey, did you tell them about that weird thing we saw yesterday?”

That voice was gone.

And then like magic- I went on line to look up a place for lunch and I didn’t get the name of the spot right but I did come close- what I found was a website called ” The Soul Food Café “.

I was intrigued the minute I got on the site.

Instead of an address and menu and dining hours for your standard restaurant fare I found writing prompts and ideas for creating poems and challenges tied to advent calendars which contained even more ideas for stories or crafts and even recipes for pastries.

Without a doubt what I found at the Soul Food Café was food for the storyteller in me and in that moment as I clicked on page after page I found out how hungry I had really been and that I had been starving for years.

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on Pexels.com

The ‘doors’ of the Café shut for awhile, and like the ghosts of my story telling family members I guess I haunted it from my blogs until Bancroft showed up and like any restless spirit with time on their hands I happily moved in an found a new place to haunt.

What’s changed for me over the years as I have begun to haunt Bancroft is this, I am older ( of course because I came to the Café over ten years ago ) I feel like a writer AND a storyteller and now instead of wearing labels that were slapped on my back as I raced through life I’ve kept one because I am fond of it:

it’s one that my Grandpa Bert gave to me all those years ago- the one that said I was a natural storyteller and I knew how to make those words fit together, even if I had to pound them into place.

Self Portrait: A.M. Moscoso

Autoethography of a Writer

From A Thousand Cemeteries

From The Danse Macabre Prompt  Standing on a Literary Legend’s Shoulders

Brainstormed and thought about how Red Death would enter Prince Prospero’s fortress-this is how I saw it:

It whispered in her ear

it was a shadow in the corner of his eye

it made their dog howl in despair at the stars

it trapped their cat in the window

and asked them as they stood there frozen in fear

with a voice as smooth and cold as bitter fog from a thousand cemeteries

” I’m here, won’t you welcome me in? “

It said to one and all

Politely.

 

Nothing was there

they insisted that night.

There nothing to see, nothing to hear

especially nothing to feel

nothing was there except a thin red veil

that covered the face of the Moon.

 

The Grave Tale of Murder Dog and Trash Panda

Just a story about two Gravediggers and Ghosts.

Lots of ghosts.

Dug up to Inform, Honor and Stimulate Ideas

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Murder Dog and Trash Panda are gravediggers at the Leaning Birches Cemetery right here in Washington state and they have both been keeping grounds there for over 30 years.

Murder Dog ( Mundy Wolf ) and Trash Panda ( Elspeth Sung) used to tell people they took on those names back  in their wild days as Punk rock musicians back in high school. The truth is, they were both honor role students.

But the girls assumed they would never get jobs digging graves with names like Eli and Muni so they made up the wildest nicknames they could think of, and lo and behold they got the jobs.

They dug graves, ran heavy machinery, helped the Funeral Directors in the embalming room and they trimmed and mowed and kept the grass and trees and shrubs looking neat- but not to perfect.

Doc Treason ( that’s Docia Treason, the sole proprietor of Leaning Birches ) was very picky about that- the grounds should look natural, wild a little separate from the world around it.

Doc had all sorts of wild ideas about death- but she paid well, she never had a bad word to say about anyone living or dead and she was a soft touch when it came to people without a lot of money to see their loved ones into the next world- so whatever she said pretty much went.

Her staff on the other hand lacked her general temperament.

Sometimes Murder Dog and Trash Panda would see a Funeral Procession winding it’s way down one of the two roads that cut through the cemetery and before the hearse passed them their tools would be stashed behind a tree or in the maintenance truck’s bed. Their sunglasses would be stashed in their back pockets and their hair would be pulled back into ponytails.

Sometimes as the hearse slid by, one of the directors would casually drape their arm out the driver’s window and they would give the Gravediggers the finger.

Murder Dog and Trash Panda, their heads bowed would roll their eyes up and mouth, ” Same to you ”

“How’d you like to bury that son of bi…” Trash Panda would start.

” With my bare hands.” Murder Dog would finish.

That’s about as normal as things got at Leaning Birches.

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Murder and Panda were catching the bright winter sun in the old part of the cemetery when Panda asked Murder, ” Remember that service we did for that baby, you know, the one born with one eye in the middle of her face and no mouth, what was her name?”

” Madeline,” Murder lifted her face to the sun ” Madeline Faulkner.”

” Yeah. Madeline. Remember her Great Grandma, she died liked three months after Madeline.”

” She was like a hundred right?”

” I don’t know, the point is the Great Grandma, we buried her right?”

” Yeah. ”

” I mean, we dug the grave and put her into it, right?”

” Yes Panda, we buried her. That’s what we do. We bury dead people.”

” There’s a few live ones I’d like to…”

” Your point Trash Panda is?”

” I saw her.”

” Who?” Murder Dog pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head.

” Madeline’s Great Grandma.”

” Who?”

Trash Panda said slowly. ” I. Saw. Madeline’s Great Grandma at The Food Bazaar. She was in the that section where they sell candy and stuff in bulk. She was bagging some yogurt pretzels.”

Murder Dog started to walk away from Trash Panda and then she walked back and whispered into Trash Panda’s ear. ” Never say anything like that out loud again. Really Panda. That’s the kind of talk that gets you sent to Greenlake for an extended vacation. You know what I mean?”

” I saw her, the lady we buried, in the bulk food section at the Food Bazaar. Deal with it Murder Dog.”

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A few weeks later Murder Dog did have to deal with it because she saw Mr. Denny Pearce dead at age 46 from a boating accident and Laverne Simon age 84 taken from this world after a brief illness waiting for a table at the Terrace Lighthouse Restaurant.

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Murder Dog and Trash Panda were pruning the trees on Sunrise Hill when they both stopped working and they looked around the cemetery from the ladders they were standing on and both of them wondered,

” Is anybody home?”

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Murder Dog figured it would be OK to ask Doc about her views on the dead returning to the land of the living. Doc as I shared earlier had some off the wall ideas about death and everyone at the Funeral Home knew it.

She had those ideas because she was always willing to listen to whatever people wanted to share and with that Doc Treason has heard a lot.

The opportunity to share her idea came one morning when Doc Treason asked Murder Dog to help her in the embalming room.

” Say Doc. I have this idea about ghosts. Want to hear it?”

” You know it Murder Dog.”

” Well. In all these movies and TV shows only certain people can see ghosts, right?”

” Right. Here, help me uncover Miss Bixby. ”

Murder Dog went on, ” I have this idea that might not be true.”

” Seeing ghosts?”

” No. That only certain people see ghosts. What if we can all see them? I mean, would there be anyway for us to really know who the dead and who the living are?”

” Maybe.” Doc Treason said after a minute ‘We’re not supposed too.”

Murder Dog looked down at Miss Bixby. Then she looked up into Doc’s dark eyes  and smiled.

Murder turned to the embalming machine and before she did she said,  ” See you soon Miss Bixby.”

 

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