Saturday, December 09, 2006
Valaria Aberdeen's house stands alone on Brier Road and it stands alone because no one will go near it.
There were other houses up there too, but they're gone now and all that's left of them are their foundations. In some lots you might window frames and screens stacked in sloppy piles and here and there are wooden chairs and mailboxes.
And then there's Valaria's House.
There is no furniture in Valaria ‘s House but there is a mirror at the end of a hall where the doors rusted off of their hinges years and years ago.
The mirrors face is so clear that you might think you were looking out of an open window, in fact if your were standing in front of it right now I'll bet you'd even put your hand out and touch the glass just to make sure that it wasn't an open window.
The funny thing is-that's exactly what the mirror is.
That's what I've heard anyway.
Every Halloween the Aberdeen Family hosted a Halloween Party.
Everyone wore costumes, everyone bobbed for apples, everyone somehow ended up in the attic to tell ghost stories and then everyone would stumble down Brier Road to their houses by moonlight leaving a trail of candy wrappers behind them.
Valaria Aberdeen loved to host her parties and at the last one she wasn’t her usual energetic self. She didn't even dress up in one of her elaborate rental costumes-she wasn't a lady pirate or a lady vampire or a sorceress or a belly dancer.
That year, she wore a black dress and a set of acrylic 'fangs' on her teeth and painted her nails black. She had smeared pale blue makeup on her face and penciled dark circles under her eyes.
She just shrugged when Mitchell asked about her costume and said to her husband who was dressed as a mummy " I'm just not really into it this year, so I guess I'm just going to be a boring witch" then she slammed her felt witch's hat onto her head with the little ghosts sewn around the brim and then she stomped down the hallway to the kitchen.
Mitchell tried to cheer Valaria up; he helped her finish the decorating and he told her little jokes and reminded her of the fun from their past parties and then the door bell rang.
As the guests started to arrive Valaria seemed to blend into the background and she would hardly talk to anyone. It wasn't easy to avoid over 50 people in a room but Valaria found a way to do it and that's exactly what she did for hours.
Sometime during the evening Mitchell looked up and saw Valaria fussing at the table with the food and punch. She looked up and saw him and waved and then she went out to the kitchen.
At about Midnight she came bouncing out of the kitchen with a little wicker basket full of cookies shaped like pumpkins and cats and she was handing them out and laughing...not that thin laugh she had been using all evening but a heart felt laugh and when she saw him she held her basket up and said," guess what Mitchell I'm into it after all...I'm feeling like my old self again"
" That's great dear! " he called out to her over his cup of hot cider.
Valaria winked at him and kept handing out her cookies.
She joined him a few minutes later and he put his hand out and asked for one of her cookies.
Valaria looked stunned and hurt. " Why would I give you one of those Mitchell? "
Mitchell said to her, " Because you love me..."
Valaria rolled her eyes so far up all he could see were the whites of her eyes. God, he really hated it when she did that. " It's because I love you that you don't get one Mitchell."
From over Valaria ‘s left shoulder Mitchell could see Missy Jenson from next door start to do a weird little dance and then she started to spin around and around and as she did he could that she was crying and that her tears were red.
In a few seconds everyone in the room were 'dancing' and they were shrieking and tearing at their throats. " What have you done Valaria? " Mitchell screamed, " What in God's name have you done?"
Mitchell watched his wife dance around the room and as she swung her empty basket from side to side he could hear her say, " Guess what I am? Guess what I am? Guess what I am?"
He chased her down the hall and when he caught up to her she was looking into the mirror her Grandmother had given them as a wedding present.
It was a large ceiling to floor mirror encased in a heavy silver frame and until that moment Mitchell never wondered how they had ever gotten that thing through their door.
Valaria was wiping her face and when she turned around he could see she had taken off most of the thick blue makeup and the black eyeliner pencil from around her eyes.
Now her face was dark, dark red and her lips were black and then she pulled the hat off of her head with a flourish and he saw...
he saw Valaria Aberdeen.
Her pointed forked tongue snaked out from between her lips and she was feathering the hair away from the horns that she now had on her forehead.
" I told you I was feeling like my old self again. Happy Halloween Mitchell" she said with a wink and then she turned and stepped into the mirror.
After that night people started to move away from Brier Road.
Within days the houses the next block over were abandoned and then the houses on the block over from that were abandoned next and after awhile no one lived in that little town at all.
But if you're feeling brave you can actually go up to Valaria Aberdeen's House and you can walk in and go down the hall and look into that mirror...and if you stare into it and say, " I know what you are Valaria Aberdeen..." three times...
She'll give you a cookie
Posted by Anita Marie Moscoso at 2:39 PM
Last Summer Mata Dark and her family took a vacation.
Mata was almost 20 at the time and during her entire twenty years of life none of the Dark Family had set foot off of the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State. They had never traveled further then 40 miles away from their hometown of Leaning Birches.
It's because Mata's Father was a workaholic and he had this thing about being replaced. He was terrified of losing his job.
" Lord Derby, do you really believe there's a line of people waiting for to do your job? " Mata's mom Rue screamed at the top of her lungs while waving around a bunch of travel pamphlets in her hand. Mom had wanted a vacation in the worst way and she felt like if she didn’t get this trip she wouldn’t have the energy to fight for another.
Derby's eyes crossed a little like they always do when he thinks to hard and finally he said, " I'm sure there's a few people who would love to do my job. And do you know what Rue? They're probably a lot younger and smarter and quicker then me. Don't ask me to take a chance on losing the only thing I've ever been good at in my life."
Rue who's eyes never crossed when she thought to hard lowered her voice and said " Derby you are the hardest working man in town and you've earned a vacation. Promise me you'll think about it."
Derby who adored his wife and family as much as he adored his job gave in about a week after that argument. He came home one night from work and out of nowhere asked Rue would she mind if they took a road trip? He had a route and a destination picked out. He even had a leather folder that read “ USA TOURS” full of flyers, confirmation forms and event tickets.
The travel agent he had worked with in town had even got them t-shirts to wear.
Mata's Mom looked through the folder and then she unfolded one of the T-Shirts and held it up. " You've got to be kidding. " was all she could think to say.
The shirt read:
" UFO PALOOZA 2006 "
Derby smiled and shook his head. " Pack up, we leave at Dawn "
Mata's brother 15-year-old brother Wilton not only wore the t-shirt the morning they left he went out to Joker's Galore the night before and bought a set of " Deeply Boppers" to wear on his head too.
The " Deely Boppers " were silver antenna with gold balls at the top that were the size of marbles. When you turned your head something in them shifted and made a crackling sound.
Mata took one long hard look at her brother, walked out the front door and then jumped on her motorcycle and rode at break neck speed into town and bought herself a set too.
Mata and her brother Wilton had agreed with each other sometime during that very long drive that if Mom said the words, ' UFO's? Are you kidding me Derby UFO's? Our one and only vacation as a family is to celebrate something that doesn't exist?" one more time they were both going to jump out of the car and take their chances on the New Mexico Desert, the New Mexico Sun and until they decided it sounded like fun the mutants that were suppose to have been created by the first Atomic Test back in 1945.
" Hey Mom " Wilton asked, " do you think there really are Radioactive Mutants out here? "
" Well I haven't seen any but that doesn't mean they don't exist...am I right Derby? "
Derby reached over and patted her shoulder and said, " That's the Spirit Querida "
The little town was almost full of people dressed up like aliens, there were also a lot of people not dressed like aliens and they all seemed to know a lot about space travel and where you could get " Saucer Burgers ", " Milkway Meals " and everyone wanted to know if you were able to get reservations to stay at the " Station 51 Hotel "
Most of the Dark Family were secretly pleased they were staying at the " Place to Be " for the Festival but they kept it to themselves because of the look on Rue's face.
Rue's face was this mask; she looked like someone had attached strings to her eyebrows and yanked them straight up.
She had speechless since they arrived in town, which was actually a relief.
Finally she opened her mouth, breathed and said " God in Heaven " and then she went back to the hotel and ordered a blood red steak and drank Strawberry Margaritas until she couldn't focus her eyes.
After that she went back out and joined her family.
Derby talked Rue into joining a UFO Watcher's Group and by the time they got back from spending an evening learning to plot their own star charts and joined in on a few debates about the Roswell Incident and watched a video of a genuine Alien Autopsy it was obvious Rue was having a good time.
At least her eyebrows had gone back to their normal spot on her forehead and she had quit saying " God in Heaven " everytime someone walked by.
So it really turned out to be a good trip and on their last night Rue and Derby went out with some new friends to make arrangements to get together for next year’s festival and Mata and Wilton went shopping.
Mata and Wilton decided to go and pick up some souvenirs for their friends back home and they spent a lot of time talking to Mr. Fanshaw who ran the little Museum just around the street from the hotel.
They talked about their Mom and their Dad and their home back in Washington. Small town stuff but Mr Fanshaw was a good audience and he asked lots of good questions.
Mr Fanshaw, Mata and Wilton were pleased to discover knew all about Aliens and he also knew at least an hours worth of top drawer ghost stories and as he packed up Mata and Wilton's purchases he asked, " so tell me about your Mom, in the end she had a good time? Is she a believer now do you think? "
" Doubt it, " Wilton said "she doesn't have much going in the way of imagination."
" Sorry to hear that...its a curse of the Modern Age " Mr Fanshaw said sadly. Then he asked, "and what does she do for a living? "
" Homemaker, " Mata told him " she use to be a Phlebotomist. That's how she met our Dad. See the offices she worked at used to get busted into and vandalized all of the time. One night she got attacked and our Dad actually saved her from being killed. They've been together ever since"
" And what does your Dad do? " Mr Fanshaw asked.
" He's a Vampire Hunter " Wilton said from behind a stack of packages and then he and Mata thanked Mr Fanshaw for all of his time and as the two young people left the Museum he heard Mata say " hey Wilton we should talk to Dad about The Triangle for our next trip..."
Posted by Anita Marie Moscoso at 2:37 PM