Weird Things I've found Inspiring:
It's Called Crypt Lake...no I'm not kidding and I haven't tried to find out HOW it got it's name. Might spoil the Magic, you know?
See the things in these cabinets? Take your pick, they're novels waiting to happen.
For the Record: I think the Death Penalty should be ABOLISHED... ITS FREAKY AND SICK. Point in case is this thing...its shown me People spend way to much time thinking of ways to kill each other. At least I keep it in the world of Make Believe!
Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe In Seattle, Washington. The finest place on EARTH!
Monday, August 29, 2005
I would love to have you come visit me and see for yourself where I spent my childhood.
I mean, for a writer like yourself…well, it would be time well spent, as you’ll see:
I grew up outside of a town where there's this small private Cemetery owned by the Von Bormann Family. The Von Bormann Family's Home is still up there overlooking the Cemetery and there's some talk about making it into a Historical Landmark.
The Local Smart Alecs started that movement. They are the types that like to go to The Clover Patch Bar and wear t-shirts with sports team logos on them and drink alcohol until they pass out.
The Blue Bloods, who do the exact same thing as the Smart Alecs only they do it in more expensive clothes would like to see the entire 100 acres shoved off the bluffs into the Straights, but you can't always get what you want...no matter what Mick Jagger says.
The Von Bormann’ s were this odd family where everyone looked alike, even the husband and wife...who in all probability were actually brother and sister and they had ' about a million kids' and it was said the kids wore really ratty, gray, ugly clothes even though the Von Bormann’ s were suppose to be Mega-Rich.
So the Von Bormann’ s kept having kids and the cemetery kept filling up until there was about 30 graves and the house fell apart little by little and the people in town saw less and less of the Von Bormann’ s until the sightings stopped all together.
The Von Bormann’ s were probably all dead the people in Town thought…though hoped was more likely what they were feeling.
Had the Von Bormann’ s been alive they’d have been way over a hundred when the stories started
It was the stories about the children that came first.
People saw these little kids wandering up and down the road leading to the Von Bormann’ s house in the middle of the night in all sorts of weather. Though, mostly they seemed to be seen more when the weather was bad.
So these people would pull over in their cars and ask the kids if they needed help and these kids would say yes and hop into the car. Then as soon as the car door slammed shut and the driver turned around to ask what on earth are you wondering around at this hour of the night they'd be gone.
Just like that.
Mrs. Woods said that once she stopped to help what she thought were two little girls walking hand in hand up that long dark road and when they got close to the car Mrs. Woods could see that the two little figures only looked liked children from a distance.
But they weren't...they were twisted and small and as Mrs. Woods would try to explain " they only looked like children, but they weren't they were just dried little husks. "
" Husks of what? "
Mrs. Woods would be asked and she would shake her head and say, " Husks, that's all. Husks."
Then the story about the Singing Lady in the cemetery started.
She was suppose to be dressed in old fashioned clothes and would wander from grave to grave singing lullabies. Once someone new to town actually talked to the Singing Lady and asked what she was she doing out there in the dark and she said, " why, I'm singing to my babies of course " and then she wandered off into the darkness.
Then a few years ago the Blue Bloods got their wish...sort of.
We had this massive rainstorm hit our town, which had started off as a massive blizzard, and we were nearly buried alive in all the snow and ice. Then something called the Pineapple Express tore in off the Pacific and the entire mess turned to water and instead of snow it rained.
And it rained and rained and rained.
Sometime during the storm part of the cliff that the Von Bormann’ s House stood on slid straight into the Straights and took part of the cemetery up there with it.
Coffins and body parts in all sorts of stages of decay started to wash up alone the shoreline.
My Dad was one of the half dozen that went up there to check and see what the state of the rest of the cemetery and the house was in.
The Von Bormann’ s House only looked abandoned. My Dad was convinced someone was watching them from that house ' lots of someones ' he told me ' that house was full of eyes.
Then they made their way carefully to the place where the cemetery was and they saw row after row of sleeping lambs and baby angels and little marble bibles with that prayer little kids say ' now I lay me down to sleep' carved into them.
I'm not sure who noticed the names first, but they started to go from stone to stone and familiar names started to come up...one after the other.
All had once been residents of the Town and later of the Town's Cemetery.
Now they were up here buried under children's tombstones.
" Oh God, " someone said, " it's them, it's Mrs. Von Bormann’ s Babies. "
They were you see...they had become Mrs. Von Bormann’ s babies.
This was Mrs. Von Bormann’ s nursery.
It probably always had been where her ‘babies’ came from.
Later these people from the Health Department found more of Von Bormann’ s Babies up at the Von Bormann’ s house. They were in the sitting rooms reading books and comics in front of cold dusty fireplaces and in a spider-webbed schoolroom with a blackboard and the ABC's printed on it in colored chalk.
They held stuffed toys and had ribbons in their hair and some were even sitting on a swinging bench in the backyard.
Mrs. Von Bormann’ s babies.
And to this day no one knows how they got up there.
So if you come to visit me soon (and I hope you do) all I can say is watch out for those kids on the road and if you hear singing coming from the cemetery I suggest you run, not walk away as fast as you can.
© anita marie moscoso 2005-text
Posted by Anita Marie Moscoso at 6:28 PM
Sunday, August 14, 2005
When I was a teenager we use to go out to a place called Lost Lake and walk around the cemetery out on it's North end at Sunset.
That's all that left of Preston Prison, which in it's day was such an awful place that no one in town would even admit to having known anyone who worked there, let alone say you had family or friends locked up behind it's bars.
Something about those walls changed people.
It changed their faces and voices and natures so much that most of the staff ended up living on the grounds because their own kin wouldn't let them back through their own front doors after they'd been working at Preston.
Check the staff records against the records of the dead at the Cemetery in Lost Lake. You'd be surprised how many of those names match.
Later after they pulled the prison down they actually buried the stones, the bricks and bars and furniture, papers, books, clothes kitchenware too. There's a grave marker of sorts over the sight. It simply says,
" Preston Penitentiary B. 1899 D. 1942 Dead By Our Hands "
People use to go up there to hear see the ghosts of the condemned wandering the ruined tombstones. They were unable to leave the cemetery and you could hear them begging for God or the Devil or anybody to help them, and they were all suppose to be doing the same thing.
They were trying to dig up the graves with their bare hands. People guessed they were still trying to escape that Prison.
I was about 18 the year my friends and I made our first trip up to Lost Lake.
We knew this ritual ( and we knew that’s what it was called ) wouldn't work at noon or dawn or at midnight; you had to be there at Sunset in black and ready to walk the borders of the small neglected cemetery as the sun came down. If you did the ritual wrong something bad happened...instead of being able to look in you let something out.
I grew up around stories where people were suppose to have tried this and we knew what happened if your timing was off or you left something out or wore the wrong color.
" Do you remember Kelly O'Hara's sister Laura? The one who walked the cemetery gates? She died from a drug overdose last week," or " Remember that bunch of seniors who walked the Cemetery Gates back in 1981? Those four guys who always use to hang out together? They all died in car accidents last week...yeah ACCIDENTS.... plural they all live in different places but they all died last Saturday..."
When we went up we did what you were told to do to the letter.
We wore black we walked backwards and we also stopped at the front and back entrances and faced the gates and mimicked locking the gates.
Then we finished and faced in and there they were, the condemned, on their hands and knees and it looked liked they were trying to dig down to their caskets with their bare hands.
Men, some women in the clothes they were buried or executed were on their knees helplessly trying to touch the earth they were no longer part of. They cried, some were screaming others just crouched there shaking their heads from side to side and they were laughing.
They were the worst.
It was the woman buried closest to the gates that I learned the secret of Lost Lake from, the Phantom that haunts me to this day and who's image I will take with me to my own grave.
She was down by her own grave making the same motions over and over in the dirt and pine needles; so I simply leaned over on my side of the gate and copied her a few times. Then I put my hands down into the dirt on my side of the fence and copied her movements: I wrote, " I killed Bobbie Green, December 25, 1925 gunshot. "
When I asked later I learned that Melody Green was the Warden's wife and she shot him Christmas Morning because he bought her a dress she didn't like, probably because the card attached had his girlfriend's name on it instead of her own. I wouldn't have liked the dress either, if you want to know the truth.
But I wouldn't have shot him for it in front of my entire family.
They hung her in his office at the prison and I guess it took her a long time to die.
Melody's dieing words were supposed to have been the Prison made her do it. But in the end she pulled the trigger...didn't she? I guess she realizes that now, I think they all realize it now up at the Lake.
You can't see the Prison Walls anymore but they are still there, and there's no leaving them.
© anita marie moscoso 2005-text
Posted by Anita Marie Moscoso at 7:05 PM
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Domino Wilton can't drive passed those empty looking towns, or roads that branch off from the highway without thinking about her family's home in a little town called Bronson Bluffs.
They rented a house there so Domino's Dad could go back to school for a year and then he could become a teacher.
That choice meant a loss of income and her Parents decided the best way to economize was to live cheap and you could do that on the Bluffs because it was practically a ghost town and the houses were dirt cheap.
It meant an over an hours commute for her Dad to get to school and her Mom to get to work but it wasn't a hard choice to make in the end because Domino's Dad couldn't spend another hour working in the slaughter house at MacKay’s.
So one day they packed up and left for their new home on Bronson Bluffs.
For the rest of her life Domino was convinced they were the only people living on the Bluffs. No one could change her mind. Not her Parents not her Counselors or Doctors or later her husband could change her mind.
Bronson Bluffs wasn't practically a ghost town; it WAS a ghost town.
Domino remembered how the streets would be empty, the stores would be open, maybe a bag of groceries and a checkbook would be on the counter but there was no one in the store; Domino was sure of that.
Then she would turn around and look again and there was Mrs. Greene and her daughter Kirsten and a half dozen other people looking at the shelves, talking in front of the vegetable bins or buying a soda at the fountain. Domino could hear them talking as she'd walk away and their voices would fade to whispers and she knew if she turned around they'd be gone again.
Nothing on the Bluffs felt solid to Domino.
Domino and her brothers hadn't started school yet, which was not something Domino was anxious to do on the Bluffs even though she hated spending day and night with her brothers.
She hated the way her brothers were always crying or fighting and coughing and sneezing.
Her little brothers, Derek and Miles were 3 and 2 at the time. She was almost six at the time and after all these years she remembers the dark heavy circles around their eyes. How skinny they were.
" It's not their fault they're always sick, they have trouble sleeping " she heard her Mom telling her Father as they forced cough medicine down Mile's throat " they're run down. I don't know what to do. "
Domino would have gladly taken that purple spicy medicine and been sick herself all of the time then to go that school and have to sit next to those rotten smelling kids. She as much said so herself one day as they drove by the school.
" Domino! " her Mother had snapped " That's an awful thing to say! "
" Well, they do stink, they smell like rotten eggs and they talk to themselves and make those weird faces..."
Her Mother had given her a good scolding and a lecture about saying mean things and Domino refused to back down because of what she'd see from the Park.
Half a block up and just around the corner, Domino use to love to play at the Park until she started to notice the kids at the school across the street.
During recess the little kids would come out single file and head for the monkey bars or rings and tether ball pole and instead of playing together they'd wander off and talk to themselves, and Domino could see their faces twist into grimaces and she could hear their teeth chatter and click in their mouths and sometimes they knew Domino was looking and they'd fly to the fence and hiss at her in words she couldn't understand.
The last time she had gone to the Park a little girl had climbed up the fence at the school and she was saying something to Domino only Domino wasn’t listening because on her way up the fence the little girl's wrist had caught in between the links and snapped. She pulled it free with a grunt and continued up the fence and she reminded Domino of a spider inching it's way up a wall.
" Domino, Domino, Domino come here and listen to me Domino. "
Domino was fascinated by the girl’s wrist, which was now almost shaped like a "C". The little girl pulled angrily at the fence and Domino looked up, " let us out, let us out, open the gates and let us ALL out. "
" Why don't you just walk out? " Domino had asked the little girl with the dark brown eyes; so dark it looked like she didn't any eyes in her head at all. " Just walk out why don't you. "
" Let us out Domino, let us all out! "
" No! " Domino had yelled, " you stay in there...you stay! " And as fast as she could Domino raced away from the school and the park. Why had she never noticed how dark that Park was? What were those things moving around in the trees? She kept looking over her shoulder at the school and she could hear the laughing and screeching that did sound like children playing, unless you really listened.
The sound was off key and wrong and it hurt Domino's ears just to listen to it for to long. Something wet was running down her neck and when she put her hand up to wipe it away she saw blood on her fingertips.
After that day Domino would cover her ears with her hands when she went by the school, even if she was in the car with her Parents.
There was a little Church; it looked like one that Domino had seen on a Christmas card once. It was white and had flowers out front and no windows. There was a heavy wooden beam nailed across the double doors and a little cemetery at it's back.
Domino’s family weren’t “ Church People “ and for the most part paid no attention to the sign out front inviting people to come and visit at 11:00 for Sunday Worship. In fact, it seemed that the entire town weren’t exactly “ Church People “ but Domino’s Mom did wonder why the door was nailed shut.
And why there were no windows.
They’d been living in the Bluffs for almost a month when Domino and her Dad had come home one day from a visit with Dad’s Mom, Grandma Carmen. There was a big Move-It truck in the front yard and her Mother was blindly throwing their things into the back of it.
Domino had never seen anything so wonderful in her life.
She ran around to the back of the truck and saw the bed was littered with furniture and pictures and pots and pans and if it was fragile it was broken because Domino’s Mom was tossing stuff in the back and she wasn’t obviously concerned with things like packing paper and boxes.
“ Jesus Katie, what are you doing? “ Domino’s Dad asked.
“ I’m moving us out Max, that’s what I’m doing. You can help or you can sit, but I suggest you help because if it’s not in this truck in the next 15 minutes it stays. That goes for you to by the way. “
“ Katie! Come on, why are you doing this? “
“ I went to sign Domino up for school today. “
“ Uh-oh “ Domino had said “ the Smelly kids? Did you see the smelly kids? “
Her Mom wasn’t listening, “ those things, those awful things were crawling up the walls…
“ Like Spiders? “ Domino asked.
Mom’s ears had been bleeding two little red lines ran down her neck and shoulders and she looked at Domino and said, “ just like Spiders. "
Domino's Dad was yelling now, yelling for Domino's Mom to stop it, stop this craziness of course they couldn't just take off and leave their house, leave everything behind.
" Oh yes we can, " Mom hissed, " Look behind you Max and tell me what you see. "
Domino could see it; Dad didn't want to turn around. " Why? " he asked
" You can feel it, can't you Max? So turn around, it's Mrs. Gunderson from across the street. Turn around Max and look at her. "
Domino looked around her Father's legs and then looked up at her Father and shook her head. There' were no words for her to describe Mrs. Gunderson because what Domino saw made no sense.
No sense at all.
" Don't turn around Daddy, " she said, " please don't turn around. "
But he did, Domino knew he would.
Mrs. Gunderson was walking by and she was smiling like the nice old lady she appeared to be. Only her feet weren't touching the ground and her head was lying over to one side. " Good afternoon " she said with a pleasant tight smile. Her eyes rolled back up into her head and she smiled brightly, " leaving us so soon? "
" Truck, " Domino's father said, " get in the truck Domino. "
Domino saw that Mrs. Gunderson's voice was coming out of her mouth, but her mouth wasn't moving her lips were parted slightly and Domino thought of a rag doll.
That's what Mrs. Gunderson looked like, a rag doll being shook and forced to move and makes sounds like a real girl.
Only of course a rag doll is just a doll and not a real girl.
And of course Mrs. Gunderson wasn't a real lady, she couldn't be.
Mrs. Gunderson crossed the street to her house and as she floated up the stairs to her front door Domino could hear the thump thump of her toes hitting against the steps.
The door opened for Mrs. Gunderson on it's own and slammed shut right after her.
" It's gets better Max, I drove by the Park on my way from the school and have you ever looked in the trees? "
" They're full of shoes. " Domino said with authority.
Her Mother looked down at her and her Mother asked her like she was a grown-up " Is that all you saw Domino? "
Domino nodded, " I played there a lot and I saw them...shoes, the trees are full of shoes "
" The trees Max" Domino's Mom said to her father without taking her eyes away from Domino " are full of people and they're hanging from the trees by their necks. Your daughter only saw their shoes. She played there Max, almost every single day we've lived here. "
" They don't bother me, not like the kids at the school or the people in the library or that man in the attic..."
" I can't listen to this anymore, " Mom said " get in the truck."
They left town that night and on the way out they saw the School Kids playing in the schoolyard and they watched the Children as they ran and twitched and whirled, caught up in a windstorm only they could be part of.
Domino saw the shoes in the trees dancing and kicking and all the while she could hear gurgling sounds and cries and everytime the shoes dropped they were yanked back up into the dark tree tops again.
They ended up at Grandma's house and Domino heard her Parents and Grandparents talking until sunrise.
They never talked to each other about the Bluffs again, but for years later they knew the others were thinking about Bronson because Domino or her Brothers or Parents would sometimes scream themselves awake from terrible nightmares and everyone would pretend they hadn't heard a thing.
Now days Domino Wilton can't drive passed those empty looking towns, or roads that branch off from the highway without thinking about her family's home in a little town called Bronson Bluffs and when she does pass them she pushes down hard on the gas pedal without realizing it and stares into her rearview mirror until she's sure those little towns and roads can't see her anymore.
At least she hopes they can't.
© anita marie moscoso 2005-text
Posted by Anita Marie Moscoso at 8:43 PM