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Archive for December 2006

Memento Mori

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by A.M. Moscoso 

Inspired by the Soul Food Cafe Prompt:
The Red Death
Completed October 30, 2004

This was the first story I posted at the Soul Food Cafe.
I’ve brought it back out because the little drawings that made their way into this story ARE real and they’ve been showing up around Seattle AGAIN.

No Kidding.



Seattle Herald News
Seattle, Washington
October 30, 2004

After nearly 20 years of silence the Prospero Lab over looking Lake Edmonds will be re-opened and it’s secrets, now the stuff of urban legend will be revealed.

An Urban Tragedy

On May 18, 1984 the Prospero Labs opened and become home to some of the top researchers in the field of Genetics. It’s believed the Labs employed over 300 individuals but it’s exact count, who worked there and later what exactly was being studied and developed at the labs were never made public.

By later standards the Lab was small and somewhat unassuming. The one thing making it unique was the fact it was housed in the old King County Power and Electric Building.

Within a year of the Lab opening two more Labs opened on the same bluff over looking Lake Edmonds and those Labs dwarfed Prospero by 6 to 7 stories. These buildings were designed by one of the worlds leading architects and opened to much publicity.

Prospero was soon forgotten by the surrounding community.

However, on November 5, 1985 everyone in the Seattle area was made aware of the forgotten lab .

At precisely 11:15am an alarm sounded in and outside of the Lab. The alarm triggered a safety mechanism which shuttered the windows and doors. Within minutes the entire facility was locked down.

No one exited or entered the Lab or it’s grounds after that point.

Cars to this day still remain where employees had parked them that morning. No one has been allowed to take anything from the site or even approach it.

Family members tried to gain access to the Labs shortly after the accident and were at first turned away by the Police.

Later they were turned away by the military and after that the infamous I-5 Wall was constructed.

There are stories that individuals were able to breach the wall.

Reports say that the doors and windows are covered by huge blast doors. Some people tried to break through the brick walls only to find the same material covering the doors and windows was laying just below the brick.

Urban Legend Is Born

Soon after the accident strange drawings began to appear around Seattle.

They first appeared on the walls outside the Lab itself.

Soon they turned up on the outside walls surrounding the lab and then the drawings began to appear on buildings throughout the County on car windows, carved into trees and drawn on the sides of buses, bridges and even garbage cans

“Anything you could paint or ink to stick to” a local resident complained to this reporter.

It’s a very simple outline of a man’s face in profile and it’s always drawn in red.

“Have you noticed, ” asked Janet Speidel a bus commuter who passes the Lab everyday on her way to work “that those weird little drawings are showing up more and more now? At this rate, they’ll be on every building in town by the time they get those doors opened.”

How does she feel about the Labs being re-opened?

“They shouldn’t be opened. That’s how I feel. First of all, who knows what the hell is in there? And no matter how you look at it, that place is a giant coffin. Opening it is just wrong. It’s a grave now and we’re desecrating it. “

“Let the dead rest in peace. That’s what I say.”

However, tomorrow morning, Halloween morning at exactly 5:30 AM the doors to the Prospero Labs will be reopened, the dead and their peace will be for the first time in over 20 years will be disturbed.

And the fate of those 300 plus workers will be revealed.


October 31, 2004

>>>>>>>>>>>For Immediate Release>>>>>>For Immediate Release>>>>>>>>>To be Broadcast on ALL emergency bands >>>Repeat>>>>>>>This voice Broadcast is to repeat every 2 Minutes>>>>>

Despite the fact that extreme measures were taken yesterday Prospero Labs an accident has occurred at the former research facility.No one will be permitted within the Seattle City Limits, no one will be permitted to leave.Avoid all individuals displaying the following symptoms:Profuse Sweating, a dark red rash covering the eyes, mouth and nose. Some individuals may suffer mild to strong convulsions.These individuals appear to sweat blood shortly before death occurs. Do not try to move or aid the sick.Do not attempt to cover or handle human remains. Take every precaution to not have physical contact with anyone from this area.

Repeat: Be advised a tall man dressed in Grey, has been seen at almost every site of widespread outbreak. Do Not Approach this individual, do not make contact with this individual he was seen exiting the building shortly after the doors of Prospero Labs were opened.

If you see him, do not approach this individual. Make no attempt to speak to or have contact of any kind to this individual.

In Precisely 2 hours extreme decontamination of this area will occur. REPEAT>>>>>In Precisely 1 hour 59 minutes……Avoid this area…in precisely 1 hour 58….


Written by Anita Marie

December 27, 2006 at 4:43 pm


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by Anita Marie Moscoso

Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Exercise:

Voice Dialogue


There’s this expression people use when they’re telling you about some life changing event they went through. Some of them will say, ” I can’t pinpoint the exact time when I really decided to kill my children,” or ” no, I can’t pinpoint the exact time I became addicted to…”

So that little moment in time that changed their Universe and how they existed in it from that day forward is gone.

Kanden Seacross, he’s this logger that lived in a town called Red Root, Washington…he can pinpoint the exact time the world started to end because he saw it start on the day before Halloween last year.

He was driving from one little town to another little town when his car died. There’s no other way to describe it; all at once the power was gone, the engine cut off and out there on that old logging road that connects one hidden off road town to another the night sounded very loud.

It was dark and cold and foggy that night and Kanden sat there for about 10 minutes trying to make himself move. Being that he had stopped breathing he thought it would be a good idea if he could take a breath before he passed out from a lack of oxygen.

He unclenched his hand from his steering wheel, but all the while he’s still hanging on to the wheel with his other hand. ” What’s up Kanden, ‘fraid someone’s gonna drag you away? ”

Kanden would have thrown himself down onto his car floor and dug his way to the other side of the world when he heard that voice, but he couldn’t move and he couldn’t scream and he was pretty sure he was having a heart attack.

He knew it, he was going to die and he started to plan his funeral and wondered if anyone would come. He figured Mother would, so would the guy he bought coffee from in the Morning…Clay was his name. Clay was one of those good guys that really meant it when he said ‘ have a good day’

Kanden guessed his kids would show up.

Of course they would probably be listening to their music on those little headphones but at least they’d be there.

His Wife? Yeah, well providing there wasn’t anything good on Oprah she might show up.

There, it was all settled, he was ready to jump on the Pale Horse and ride off into eternity when Kanden realized that was his voice he had just heard.

At that moment he decided at least it was familiar and safe and it reminded his of a world that didn’t resemble the one he was trapped in right now.

So he went ahead and answered back after it asked, ” Come on Kanden, don’t be a panty waist, why are you hanging on for dear life there? Are you afraid? ”

” As a matter of fact I am. This place is creeping me out ”  Kanden said.

” Well that’s just crazy talk Kanden…you’ve lived up here in the Olympics for your entire life. I’ll bet you’ve been down this road millions…no billions of times. `

” That’s how much you know Mr. Smart guy. I’ve never been down this road. I’ve driven by it…thought about it and wondered about it but I’ve never actually been on it before.”

Kanden heard a little hiss and the Voice went on full steam ahead.

” We could sit here an let someone find us, but you know Kanden I’m feeling like a bug in a jar here. So reach under the seat and get the flash light and let’s go. Is it me Kanden, or can you feel it too? I mean outside…”

” Something’s out there.”

Kanden heard his Voice get impatient, ” No, go ahead and be more specific Kanden…that something is coming right towards us.”

Kanden let loose of the steering wheel and now he was hanging onto his flashlight and he knew he looked just like one of those guys in the Vampire movies when they held up the silver cross.

To bad most of those guys DIED with those things clutched in their hands.

He flipped the switch and…there was light.

Honest to God light.

He started to cry.

” We have two choices Kanden…we can go forward and up a road you’ve never been on before in your life. We don’t know where it goes or what is at  the end of it. Being this is the Hills it could end in a drop off and we could stumble down into a Gully and get mashed into a pulp when we hit the bottom…if we hit the bottom.

Or we can suck it up, and head back from the direction we came and hope for the best.”

” That’s all you can come up with?” Kanden screamed and the Voice didn’t bother to answer back.

” Okay, okay, we go back.” Kanden grabbed his car keys and his baseball cap and managed to do all of this without having a nervous breakdown.

” Good job. Now comes the hard put. We have to leave the car Kanden”

” God. ” he whimpered and he reached over and lifted the handle and his car door swung open.


For the first five minutes of his walk, it wasn’t so bad. It was cold it was foggy and of course it was dark. After the first mile Kanden thought the batteries in his flashlight were dieing because the light was dimming but at that moment his Friendly Companion decided to speak up.

” That’s wishful thinking Guy, it’s getting darker. That’s the problem. It’s getting a lot darker.”

” Of course it is ” Kanden laughed ” of course it’s getting darker ”

Then he heard, from just ahead the sound of crunching gravel, he heard slow easy footsteps. They weren’t cautious or hesitant…just the sound of someone taking a walk with all the time in the world as their traveling companion.

” Don’t run Kanden, it’s always worse when you run ” his Voice whispered into his left ear, ” whatever you do don’t run.”

The Darkness lightened in the form of a small figure with a little skip to it’s stride and then it noticed Kanden because it seemed to slow down a little.

” Keep walking Kanden…just keep walking ”

Kanden did, he walked towards the figure and then the figure was captured in the beam of light from Kanden’s flashlight.

 It was a woman, just a woman he told himself. He wanted to make some kind of joke about being afraid of girls because they have cooties…something lame. Something that would say, you don’t have to be afraid…she’s just a woman for Pete’s Sake.”

Then step- by- step Kanden felt a little taller, a little more present, a little more in control and then his Voice all but roared in his ear, ” Listen to me Kanden…before you get us both into trouble.

That Cootie Factory, as you insist on calling her, is walking up a dark road in the fog to a place you’ve never been too yourself…in fact you started to cry just thinking about going there. She doesn’t have a flashlight, she’s not even wearing a jacket and it’s starting to freeze out here. So before you drop your last means of any sort of self defense will you consider those things?”

Then she was coming directly towards him and in the light Kanden saw her dark hair and dark eyes and the way she seemed to be grinding her heels into the gravel with each step she took.

There was something wrong with her walk; there was something wrong with the way she held her head. Her chin was tilted down and as she moved it swayed a little from left to right…almost like it was a little to heavy for her neck.

When they were almost face- to- face she raised her hand and turned her palm upwards just a little. Then she  began to turn as she passed him and her shirttails swept up and wrapped around her hips. He could hear her grinding her heels into the gravel as she spun around and he even felt her hair brush against his arm as she turned full circle just inches away from him.

Then she was walking up that road and she was gone.

Kanden was still standing there the next morning; he was clutching his now dead flashlight to his chest and staring down at the ground.

There were little black footsteps going all the way up Brum Road, they moved in a straight line except for one spot when they widened out into a circle and then they moved forward again and up into the hills.

All the trees lining Brum Road were dead or dieing and the air smelled awful. It smelled like rotten eggs and no one would go up there anymore because of it.

That’s the reason people give anyway.

Only a week after they found Kanden…both he and his Voice never spoke a word again, everyone forgot about Brum Road because things started changing for everyone.

You’d think it was a bunch of little things that started to go wrong with the world that’s made it the mess you see now but there’s this man named Kanden Seacross who could pinpoint exactly when it all went wrong.

It all started a day before Halloween on the night Kanden Seacross Waltzed With The Devil.


Written by Anita Marie

December 20, 2006 at 5:52 pm


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by Anita Marie Moscoso

Inspired by the Soul Food Cafe Prompt:

The Ceremony of The Mirror


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.

Blood 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 


Written by Anita Marie

December 20, 2006 at 5:49 pm