Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Archive for the ‘Anita Marie Moscoso’ Category

Tilly Playfair Gets Ahead

with 7 comments

by Anita Marie Moscoso

based on the Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt

The Lonely Ones

435229-103a.jpg

Tilly Playfair’s Grandmother ( who lived with the Tilly and her parents ) belonged to a Senior Citizens Activity Group that use to meet every Tuesday and Thursday.

At least once a month they’d  take a three day trip to the Ocean ( during the Spring and Summer ) or to one of the ” Art Colonies ” up north passed Seattle ( during the Winter ).

Everyone in Lydia Playfair’s Senior Group had some sort of talent they’ve developed after they joined the group. They say things like, ” isn’t it a shame I didn’t have the time to do this when I was younger ” or ” I just didn’t have experience to do this kind of work before…”

After hearing that for years Tilly Playfair knew she was luckier then most people because she found her true talent when she was only 13 years old…it sort of put her head and shoulders above the rest of us.

435229-103a.jpg

It was August, it was about eight in the morning and it was already 70 degrees and climbing. Most people in the Playfair’s neighborhood were getting ready for another scorcher and they were already getting short tempered just thinking about the heat… but not Tilly.

Extreme weather didn’t bother Tilly.

Only on that Tuesday morning she did mind because Tuesday was garbage day and it was her turn to drag the trash cans to the curb.

Those three cans were heavy and everything inside of them had been ‘cooking’ over the weekend and boy did they smell.

They didn’t stink, or simply offend the nose.

Do you want to know how bad it was?

Tilly’s eyes started watering the minute she came around the corner of the house…that’s how bad it was.

With grim determination Tilly grabbed one can by it’s handle and took it to the curb. However, by the time she had come back for the third can she was cursing God and her family and every single jerk who had ever generated trash anywhere in the world.

She was so caught up in her own drama at that moment that the can tilted and juice…this brown runny water sloshed up and over the rim and onto her hand.

” My hand!” she screamed ” my hand! ” This was the hand she used to eat with and pick her nose and pet her cat and now it was covered in trash can ooze.

Tilly let go of the can and it innocently righted itself…it was just as safe and sound as ever. It would never know  the agony Tilly was feeling at that moment.

And that wasn’t right…it was unfair and unjust and Tilly decided to do something about it.

She stepped back, pulled her left shoulder forward and then she with over 7 years of soccer experience under her belt she drew her right  foot back and kicked the can over.

435229-103a.jpg

Tilly left the fallen beast on it’s side and she pushed most of the trash back into the can with a snow shovel. Then with the shovel still in the can she pushed the can upright and turned to pick up the lid.

It was gone of course.

She was about to scream…not yell but scream when she saw it under the Holly tree at the side of the yard. She went over to the tree got down on all fours and had just reached under the tree when she felt something roll and hit her hand.

Curious  she grabbed the lid and tossed it towards the curb and then she parted the lower branches and looked in.

And looking back up at her was a face with no nose.

The face didn’t have lips or ears and at first it looked like the eyes were gone but they had simply sunk back and had collapsed into the sockets.

Tilly guessed she should have hollered or fainted or run for help. If she had flown into hysterics no one would have blamed her. It was sort of like a get out of jail free card.

Only this card said, ” have the screaming willies as loud as you want “

Instead Tilly reached out and with one finger she poked at the head and watched it roll a little from left to right.

Right then, as the severed head rolled from side to side, she named it Ernie. The she got up dusted herself off  and went into her house to start the day.

435229-103a.jpg

For the next couple of weeks Tilly stopped by the Holly tree to visit Ernie. On some days Ernie looked about the same and then all of the sudden he just sort of came apart.

Then September rolled along and it started to rain so Tilly went and found an empty paint can and a pair of gardening gloves in her garage.

She went back out to where Ernie was and she popped him into the can and with a few taps along the rim with a rock she closed him up in his new home and she took him into her house.

For awhile she kept him under her bed, then she put him into the lowest and tallest drawer in her vanity and on some days she even took him outside and put him under the Holly tree-

for old times sake.

Then one day Tilly came home from School and was surprised to find her Grandmother at home and not out with her Seniors Group doing ” art”

Instead her Grandmother and another little old lady were doing some ” Spring Cleaning” as a surprise for Tilly’s Mom.

She was going to be surprised alright considering it was October Tilly said and both the old ladies laughed at Tilly’s joke and invited her to run along unless she wanted to ‘help’.

Of course Tilly said she had homework and then on her way to her room an awful thought came to Tilly. She ran up the stairs to her bedroom, she dove towards her bed she reached under it and…

Ernie was gone.

She went to her closet and looked on the top shelf, she pulled open her vanity drawers and she even opened the top ones that were way to small for Ernie.

Then she fainted.

When Tilly tried to stand  she was so light headed she almost fainted again. All  she could do was stand there doubled up and she trying  to force herself to breathe normal when her Grandmother tapped on the door.

Tilly tried to say ” Come in ” but all she could do was wheeze.

The door swung in and there was her Grandmother looking grim and angry with the paint can in her hands. ” Next time you want one of these young lady…get your own.”

So Tilly decided to do just that.

In the end she was  famous for it.

 

aniskull1-6.gif

Written by Anita Marie

July 17, 2009 at 3:11 am

52nd Avenue West

with 12 comments

by Anita Marie Moscoso

inspired by

Portals and Pavements

One night

in my neighbor’s front yard

I saw a man digging  a hole just up off of the sidewalk

by the orange glow of a streetlight

which kept flashing off and on with a buzz and a hum and a click.

I asked the man if he was burying something.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

Maybe it was one of Mrs Figueroa’s many black cats which were always running around in the street in the middle of the night.

Was it one of her cats I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

They were all fine he told me.

Maybe he was helping to move around one of Mrs Figueroa’s many rose bushes that dotted her fence line. Maybe Mrs. Figueroa wanted one of her white rose bushes right under her living room window where she could see it when she opened her curtains in the morning.

Is that what he was doing, moving flowers around? I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

No.

So- come one- what gives I ask, what are you burying here in the dark under a streetlight that won’t stay on.

I’m not burying anything he told me.

Buzz. Hum. Click

I’m digging something up.

Click.

Written by Anita Marie

July 14, 2009 at 12:23 am

Insanity Jones

with 9 comments

These stories are a couple of years old, but they were based on prompts here at the SFC

and based on my cat Wolfgang who would have been 19 this month.

They were a joy to write and I hope you enjoy them

a.m.

INSANITY JONES

by a.m. moscoso 

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Prompt

“W” is For The Wheel Of Life

img_0011.jpg

 

Insanity Jones was a cat whose real name was Wolfgang and he belonged to  a woman named Rose Hunter.

Rose was an old lady who never seemed to have been a young lady and for as long as anyone could remember she wrote ghost stories and towards the end of her very long old life she wrote horror stories that contained astronomically high body counts that ended up becoming video games.

Everyone in Rose’s neighborhood liked her and they liked her brick house with the stained glass windows and they didn’t mind that she had a genuine human skeleton in her writing room and these part monkey part fish creatures floating in jars in her study and a big heavy oak chair that someone later figured out was an electric chair in the foyer because hands down they were all much more unverved by Wolfgang aka Insanity Jones.

The cat, they decided, was stranger then Mrs Hunter or her collection of dead things in jars.

Insanity Jones bit the mailman ( twice ) he attacked the fire fighters that come through every single Fourth of July to put out the little fires that start in the Evergreen trees because no one living on 51st Street has learned that bottle rockets with strings of firecrackers tied to them are a really bad idea.

Once Insanity Jones even sat in the middle of the road during rush hour and backed the traffic all the way up to the Lost Bay Road and caused three hour traffic jam on the highway.

Why didn’t the people in those first few cars get out and move Insanity Jones?

Well, that would mean touching him.

So why didn’t they just run him over you ask?

Because if you knew Insanity Jones you probably knew that would make him really angry and very dead and that was the stuff nightmares are made of.

Really though, no one hurt Insanity Jones because they really liked Mrs Hunter and it was sort of sweet the way she’d pick Insanity up and hold him like a baby and tell him how sweet and precious he was.

Plus, if  Insanity had ever torn apart birds on your lawn during an Easter Egg Hunt in front of a bunch of 3-8 year olds all dressed in their Sunday Best or popped your dog’s eye out of it’s head you’d have to admitt that it was sort of satisfying to watch Insanity Jones sitting in an old fashioned baby carriage while Mrs Hunter cut flowers.

Occasionally she’d bring them over stick them under his nose and say, ” Isn’t that nice my Sweet Baby? “

The only thing better then seeing that was having Insanity know you were watching.

Thinking back on it, Insanity didn’t seem to mind at all- because when that demonic man eating beast was anywhere near Mrs Hunter he would act almost human. And when she would lift him up and kiss his battle scared nose ( which was missing a tiny chunk on the right ) and say, ” Never leave me Wolfgang, it would kill me for sure if I ever lost you. ” he almost looked like a real cat.

img_0039.jpg

It was a sad day when Mrs Hunter died, and in the town of Abandon her funeral was huge. Along with her friends people like writers and actors and artists who did special effects makeup showed up to say goodbye.

Insanity Jones was there too and when he found his way into the chapel and sat on one of the back pews nobody tried to move him. No one sat anywhere near him but everyone remembers seeing him there and when he jumped down and walked out after the service he was limping a little.

fig_b08.jpg

Nobody was really surprised that Insanity Jones disappeared shortly after Rose’s Funeral-  everyone in town figured he just went completely over the line and took off for one of the inner circles of Hades where he had earned his own little forest full of flightless birds and Fireman with exposed ankles.

In a way they hoped so- Mrs. Hunter would have wanted her Sweet Baby to be happy.

img_0039.jpg

It was about two years after Rose had died that her house was turned into a museum and it drew a lot of visitors on Halloween- and even after it was passed  people who looked like they didn’t know it wasn’t Halloween showed up and along with the curious and they all wanted to know the same thing.

Was it true that Roses’s Grandmother was Slumber Boneset- the famous Cemetery Baby? Was it true Rose spent two years living with Head Hunters and Witch Doctors on those little Islands in the South Pacific where soldiers during the war chose to die on sinking ships or ditched their planes in the shark infested waters rather then set foot on those dark little islands that Rose Hunter called home.

Rose’s friends would look from left to right and say, ” Well, she was a writer you know…” and then they’d say a little defensively ” Rose lived in a lot of places but she liked her house here in Abandon the best.”

As the years went on the Museum People started to notice little things around Rose’s House- things that made them not want to be alone in her rooms that smelled like nutmeg and gardenias.

Sometimes there’d be fresh cut flowers on Insanity’s little bed by the fireplace, sometimes the skeleton out in the living room would standing in one corner and you’d come back in a few minutes later and he’d be in another.

And sometimes the things in Rose’s Jars would have their eyes closed and sometimes those eyes would all be open and looking in the same direction.

They told themselves that in life Rose had a weird cat and she traveled to weird places and she had dead things floating in jars all over her house and she had a machete collection stored with bolts of fabric that were probably intended to be used as death shrouds- so of course you were going to see weird things in the house she called home.

As sad as it was they knew Rose was dead and gone and she was never going to come back and neither was Insanity Jones. The world, the people in Abandon would tell you, got a little smaller and duller when they accepted that cold little bit of reality.

It was a bright Spring morning the day Carmen Stark’s turn to open the museum came up- and like the other times she had to work alone in Rose’s House she prided herself on the fact that it didn’t bother her to work on her own for a little while the way it bothered the other volunteers.

She looked up into the bright blue sky as she popped the key into the lock and as she started to turn the key she saw that the trees were full of singing birds- all except for Rose’s trees and Carmen thought how right that was considering how hard Insanity worked to rid the world of anything that had wings.

Only the birds had been nesting in the trees since Rose had died so…

Carmen pulled her hand away from the key and she looked over her shoulder and up into the empty trees in Rose’s yard and then she looked down and looking back up at her was Insanity Jones.

Insanity was looking straight into her face and then he winked at her.

” You’re back ” she said and if you’re here…”

” Rose? ” she whispered hoping no one would answer.

And  from the other side of the door somebody turned the lock and then the door swung open.

img_0011.jpg

for more Insanity Click HERE

Written by Anita Marie

July 13, 2009 at 12:20 am

Home Is Where The Heart Is

with 11 comments

by anita marie moscoso

Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt

The Deserted Farm House

Back along on Deception Road is a little farmhouse that no one lives in.

After the house was built and then put up for sale the orchard out back died, the little vegetable garden died and all of the pumpkins and squashes and tomatoes rotted right on their vines.

Even the flowers in the window boxes shriveled up and turned to dust within a day or so after they were set out and all the little farmhouse could do was slam its doors open and shut and make the clock in its kitchen strike twelve over and over again.

The man who built the farmhouse, Travis Janosik, use to stand out at the road and wonder what the hell was going on in there, why was it that nothing could live near that place without giving up the ghost.

There was nothing about Travis that would make you say, ‘you know that killer house? The one on Deception Road? It was built by Travis Janosik” and the person you would be talking to wouldn’t reply, “ Well of course it was a strange house. Look who built it.”

No, the house turned bad all by itself and this bothered no one more then Travis. What bothered him most of all  happened when the house was two years old.

That’s when someone actually bought it and moved in.

The ‘someones’ who bought the farmhouse were the Korbar Family.

Travis use to drive out to Deception Road and park across the way from the Farmhouse and watch it. He’d see Darius Korbar working the vegetable garden or see him sitting on the porch with one of the many children he and Mrs. Korbar had and they acted like any other family living in those hills.

Unless of course you really watched them the way Travis did.

At first he had no interest in the Korbar family. His interest was in that house and what it was up to now. It didn’t have to settle for killing plants and the odd field animal that got to close to its walls. Now it had the Korbar children who scuttled around the property in their ill-fitting clothes.

At least that’s how it looked but then Travis realized it wasn’t the clothes that didn’t fit right, it was the bodies inside the clothes that weren’t right.

The children’s heads were to large for their small bodies and their hands and feet didn’t seem to be the same size and when they talked Travis felt the hair rising up on his arms and the back of his neck and that’s when he’d cut his daily vigil off.

Once Travis saw Mrs. Korbar come down the front steps with a tall glass in her hand and make her way to the garden to where Mr Korbar was working. She handed him the glass and he kissed her cheek and then she made her way back up the steps and Travis watched her but didn’t notice that as she climbed the steps her head was tilted slightly backwards and her back was straight as a pole and she never bent her knees.

It was like she was gliding up the steps and not walking up them at all.
Towards the end of the summer the gardens were dead and rotten and Mr Korbar was out there working it like it as if it were alive and thriving. The ground was water logged and moldy with green slime. The vegtables were rotting and decayed and you could actually smell it when the wind shifted.

On top of the fact that Travis was watching a man harvest from a garden full of rotten vegetables he was also sure that some of that smell was coming from Mr Korbar too.

Travis promised himself after that visit he wouldn’t go near the Farmhouse on Deception Road. Something was wrong with it, something was wrong with the people living inside of it and Travis was certain if he didn’t stop going over there something would be wrong with him too.

Of course, it was too late because that something had already happened to Travis and he found himself standing at the end of the drive leading right up to the Farmhouse the next day.

He was in plain view and Mrs. Korbar must have seen him from one of her windows because he wasn’t there for long before she came down the steps and met him with a basket of rotting carrots and maggot filled tomatoes on her arm.

“ We never got the chance to thank you for building this wonderful house Mr Janosik. Its perfect and we love it so.”

Travis was looking into the basket of dead and decaying vegetables and he said, “ How could you love it so? Nothing can live inside of that thing…”

And Mrs. Korbar said, “ Well, Mr Janosik nothing does…”

 

 Photo By: Littlejack

Written by Anita Marie

July 6, 2009 at 12:22 am

Road Closed

with 8 comments

I’ve been asked,

where do I get the ideas  for my stories

where do I dig up the weird things that inspire me to write

and today I thought I would show you…

that I am inspired by the things

I see every single day

 

Photo A.M. Moscoso Photo A.M. Moscoso
Photo: A.M. Moscoso Photo: A.M. Moscoso
Photo A.M. Moscoso Photo A.M. Moscoso
Photo A.M. Moscoso Photo A.M. Moscoso
Photo A.M. Moscoso Photo A.M. Moscoso

 

photos taken June 29, 2009

King Street Station

Seattle, WA

Written by Anita Marie

June 30, 2009 at 4:26 am

I Am Here

with 5 comments

 

Inspired by The Soul Food Cafe Prompt

The Armoury

Once I had to clear out of a place fast- there had been an earthquake and not knowing when we would be let back into the building I grabbed from off the top of my desk-

my I.D. but not my purse

my notebook and some pens

a bottle of water and a picture of my dogs that I keep next to my phone-

the last thing I grabbed was a little ceramic cat that had broken off of a fixture when it hit the floor.

I could not stand the thought of that little figure getting thrown out.

I remember standing outside with my friends waiting for a ride with those things jammed into my pockets and clutched against my chest and the Morbid Me who knows no bounds ( thank God because it does most of my writing for me ) said,

” Wow…if you dropped dead right now these are the things they’d show to your family when they would bring them into one of those little offices at the Coroner’s office to I.D. you…you know that right?”

And I thought…hell, with this stuff they could have I.D me without the license.

So I wonder, was it the stuff that mattered?

Or were those objects- bits of paper and glass and the water- were those breadcrumbs – markers that would lead me back to the life I had before the Earth tried to swallow me?

Or were they little markers to tell people, ” this is Anita and she was here “

I think so.

No I take that back.

I know so.

Written by Anita Marie

July 17, 2008 at 1:29 am

Beauty Was A Beast

with 7 comments

by a.m. moscoso

Inspired By

The Soul Food Cafe Prompt

Lessons and Philosophy from the Bear of Very Little Brain

 

Once Upon A Time

When I was about 6 years old my family realized I was a little girl who was fascinated with stories about Head Hunters and Zombies and a guy named ” Burke’s Hare ” who robbed graves and sold the rotting bodies to ” Franks  Stein ” who in turn made Monsters out of them.

I guess my family were more then a little disturbed by my taste in literature so they tried to balance things out by introducing me to your more traditional fairy tales…

Like

 Cinderella

At first I liked Cinderella, but it became clear to me during story time that she needed magic to be prettier then her sisters. I was not encouraged by that as I was not exactly the cutest kid on the block and unless someone showed up with a magic wand I figured I was in trouble.

In the end I was scared of the Cinderella story, it used to give me nightmares.

However I LOVED Snow White.

She got to live in the woods and she ate a poisoned apple and lived-which made perfect sense to me as I had swallowed kerosene on a dare a year before and I had lived.

So I felt a kinship with Snow White and her weird friends who looked like trolls.

She was one lucky girl I remember thinking- her friends were monsters and carried axes in addition she had black hair too ( which wasn’t something girls in fairy tales had unless they were bad ) so I happily saw myself in that role and asked for that story a lot.

But the Fairy Tale Character who offended me to the marrow of my little girl bones and the one character I truly learned to hate was Beauty- from Beauty and the Beast.

More then halfway through the story I did whatever it is kids do during story time to be disruptive and my Grandma tossed the book into my toy box and that was the end of that.

Or so I thought.

So why did I get so upset?

Here.

Let me count the ways.

First of all her Dad ditches her in the woods and she spends all of her time wishing he would come back-had that been my Dad there would have been serious Hell to pay if he had ever shown his face around me again…

but I digress.

The only person who is nice to Beauty is an Ugly Man who almost dies when Beauty’s  kid ditching Dad shows up and takes her back.

Now that part made me cry and it was awhile before I agreed to hear the end of the story which my Grandma was glad to tell me because I had taken to drawing pictures of Beauty being visited by ” Burkes Hare ” and I was hanging them up all over the walls in my bedroom.

Well.

I was mad, but a sport so I learned that Beauty goes back to the castle the Beast and everything around the castle comes back to life and…

Beast turns into a handsome Prince “and they lived Happily Ever After” my relieved Grandmother sang out as she finished the story.

I remember telling my Grandma ” If she had eaten a poisoned apple that would have been a  very happy ending.”

” You really think so, don’t you. “

It really wasn’t a question.

I didn’t say anything but I remember my Grandmother looked at me with those wicked green eyes of hers and winked at me. I remember she said something about not winning them all…

and I was never treated to another Fairy Tale by anybody in my family again.

….And we all lived happily ever after that.

The End.

Written by Anita Marie

July 16, 2008 at 3:19 am

It’s All In The Hips

with 3 comments

How boring is the world we live in?

I’m glad you asked because I have THE answer.

It is so boring that

no one made a big deal out of the fact that

Hula Hoops have been with us for 50 years.

FIFTY YEARS.

So get your Hoops out and  Hula Already

What are you waiting for?

The Anniversary of the Yo- Yo

which I’ll bet gets ignored too…

Geeze.

Written by Anita Marie

June 28, 2008 at 6:36 pm

In Regards To Tansy Arvensis

with 7 comments

by Anita Marie Moscoso

In a glass case, on a shelf in a jar, is all that remains

of a woman named

Tansy Arvensis.

How is it that Tansy

– you might ask-

who once performed as

a Fire Breather, a Sword Swallower and Trapeze Artist for a Traveling Circus ended up in a jar on a shelf in a museum?

– In addition –

you might wonder

how is it that all that is left of Tansy is a head in jar with a single horn sprouting from the side of her head?

And you may question

why is it that Tansy’s eyes are sometimes closed and sometimes opened and sometimes her mouth is twisted in rage and her neat white teeth and her dark red lips are pushed up against the glass and at other times she is facing the wall?

How would someone like me

-you might wonder-

an unremarkable woman, living an unremarkable life in an unremarkable town called Mountlake Terrace ever have known a person like Tansy?

How is it that this unremarkable woman came to know what happened to Tansy

on that night Tansy lost her head?

What a silly question.

You should really be asking why is it that an unremarkable woman living an unremarkable life in an unremarkable town

isn’t the one

whose head is in a jar. 

Written by Anita Marie

June 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm

In Defense of Insanity

with 10 comments

Wolfgang was more then a Cat to me.

He was my Muse- and under his watchful eyes I wrote some of my best stories- like the only about a Witch named Azalee and a story about the down side of Parenthood   and a little girl who finally gets a head in life.

Wolfie would sit next to me as I went over lines and ideas and when he didn’t get up and walk away I knew I had a winner.

Wolfgang’s nickname was Insanity Jones and eventually I got around to writing stories based on some of Wolfie’s very real characteristics…and few of my own.

 This was the last Insanity Story I wrote before he died.

a.m.

from the continuing adventures of

Insanity Jones

img_0039.jpg  

When my Grandmother would write Insanity Jones, her cat, would sit on her shoulder and ” Inspire Her “.

Most of us hated it when she said told that story to the press because Insanity only inspired one thing in our family and that was loathing.

When he walked through a room the lights would flicker the air would turn cold and if  Insanity  looked up at you your first reaction would be to cry.

To be honest, it’s hard to love something that holds you in such low regard. I’m talking about our Grandmother, not the cat.

Or whatever it was.

As I started to tell you our Grandmother was a famous writer in her day and presently if you’ve ever been a student of literature you’ve probably stood in line somewhere buying a copy of ” Cliff’s Notes ” to one of her books.

In case you’re not familiar with them, my Grandmother’s books looked simple they sounded simple but they were far from being considered light reading.

Over the years there was lots of speculation about what inspired her to create her characters and what they really meant and of course she was famous for her ‘unique perspective’ about human nature and relationships.

People took this discussion very seriously.

There are College Classes dedicated to studying the works of Estrella Derrick. I’ve even heard that there are Estrella Derrick Societies and all they do is sit around and talk about the ‘true meaning’ of Grandmother’s stories and they even talk about how her life played a role in her writing.

I wonder then how these diligent students would feel if they were to find out that the reason for ‘unique perspective on human nature and relationships’ was coming from a cat.

It would explain a lot.

But it’s true- every book, every play every lecture ever written by Estrella Derrick- were all authored by a cat. When I started to put that idea to the rest of the family they said I was crazier then Insanity, but I was right all along.

I’ll prove it to you.

Our Grandmother threw Halloween Parties twice a year- one for the holiday itself and the other for her birthday which was actually in December.

Coming in from the outside you’d be impressed- Grandmother was an avid collector of skeletal remains- human skeletal remains and she even had two mummies- one from Egypt and the other from South America.

So along with the bones she had body parts in jars and lots of candles and lots of photographs of people all over her house.

Those photographs weren’t of us (of course). They were all dead people in coffins so I guess that looking back on it now it’s a relief that we weren’t in any of those pictures.

So anyway, Grandmother’s house was dark and moody and on the surface you’d think she went all out to welcome her guests.

In reality, all she really did was to bring in a cleaning staff to dust and polish and she brought  caterers in to do the food and  the serving because domestic things had never been Grandmother’s ‘thing’. I mean her house always looked like Halloween anyway so it wasn’t a lot of work on her part.

But it certainly was on everybody else’s.

Just last Halloween it became pretty obvious that Grandmother and Insanity Jones were getting along in years. They both slept a lot and they both seemed too quiet and when they walked that Pirate Swagger they both had was gone.

I figured this conversation had to happen now because time was obviously working against us. So that evening I waited for Grandmother to go into her study and when I heard her chair slide up to her desk I went in without knocking.

She was reaching down for Insanity and she carefully put him up on her shoulder. When she saw me standing there and realized I had seen her lift Insanity up they both looked like the cat that had eaten the Canary.

Or the Eagle as it was in their case- neither one of those two ever did anything small.

” He’s the writer here, isn’t he? “

” Excuse me? ” my Grandmother snapped- and I do mean snapped I could hear her teeth click together and no- she did not where false ones.

” Don’t be an idiot, he can’t write, for Pete’s sake Akela he can’t even read.”

” So that line about him being your inspiration…”

” That is true. Insanity if very inspiring, or haven’t you noticed that yet?”

“So he didn’t tell you what to write.”

” He most certainly did not…the idea”

I guess I should have known better, my Grandmother who loved herself way more then anybody else ever did simply because she thought no one else could do that as well as she could was not exactly a candidate for the role of being a Ghost Writer.

” So a cat didn’t write your books…” I said as my face turned hot.

Suddenly I could see how foolish I must have looked to everyone I’d been talking to. On top of that my dear Grandmother would probably find a way to work my idea into one of her stories and now the rest of the world would know how crazy I was.

I figured on my way home tonight I’d take that Bridge, the badly lit one home and the next day they’d find me…

My Grandmother turned around in her chair and looked up at me with the perpetual smile that she always seemed to have on her face, even when she was angry. Then she turned around and went back to her writing and she said with that smile in her voice:

” I never said that Akela.”

img_0011.jpg

Written by Anita Marie

June 7, 2008 at 3:30 am

Woven

with 7 comments

A Circus Story

from

Anita’s Owl Creek Bridge

vie10im392.jpg

Years ago out on Kilgoar Road- the only road that leads to Rainbow Beach- the story about the tragedy and the strange history of Kilgoar Cemetery is woven into the bark of a tree.

That’s the tree where Gaddelin and Watson found the sign announcing that the “Borden’s Circus Of The Curious” would be coming to town for a special engagement.

The boys, who were 12 and 14 at the time, were amazed that anyone let alone an entire Circus would come to a little nowhere town like Rainbow Beach.

Amazed but not surprised because odd things were always happening at The Bow.

For instance odd things like those signs- they were all handwritten and they started turning up in strange places all over town.

They were turning up inside of library books, underneath canned goods at Brody’s Grocery Store, inside of linen closets and floating down  the old logging roads people stopped using in favor of the new highways that had gone in a couple of years before- that would have been back in 1926.

Watson had collected dozens of them and when he had a nice little stack he took them to school and started to put them in desks and he folded them up and put them inside of jackets and in the the Teacher’s desk

” What are you doing? ” Gaddelin asked- he had walked into the coat room and thought he saw Watson taking something out of Wendy O’Hara’s coat pocket.

Then Gaddelin saw the folded square of paper sticking out of Wendy’s coat pocket and he went over and pushed it in.

He asked his brother again, ” what are you doing Watson? “

And Watson shrugged and said, ” I don’t know. “

Curious, Gaddelin thought and then he let the thought go.

For a little while.

The Circus finally came to town.

Both Gaddelin and Watson felt a little foolish that they were part of the “Circus Flier Scheme” because the ” Borden Circus of  The Curious ” was like all of the other Circuses that made their way around and through those small logging towns in the Cascades.

There were rides, and lions and bears. There was a carousel and a Ferris wheel and a tents that you had pay extra to get into.

The Sideshow was exceptional, both boys decided, because you didn’t have to pay extra to see it.  The Conjoined Twins were walking around eating popcorn and playing ring toss like regular paying customers, there was a man who was over 7 feet tall that took in the Magic Act headlined by a woman called ” The Amazing Benandanti”  with about 40 residents from various towns in the County. Plus the Circus’  Little People were waiting in lines for the rides with everyone else.

Finally Gaddelin asked the woman who told Fortunes ( she was waiting in line for the Carousel ) ” Ma’am, what’s so Curious about this Circus ?”

The Fortune Teller held her hand out and said, ” My name is Saterlee Chapel.”

Watson reached out to take Saterlee’s hand and instead of shaking it Saterlee turned it over and glanced at it and smiled.

” I can see into the future…can’t see into the past.” Saterlee looked up and shook her head ” That has kept me back from being an honest to goodness headliner.”

” Uh-Huh” both boys said.

” Well, when we were down in Seattle I was working with my crystal ball when suddenly I see a burning wheel and a hundred hearses driving into an empty cemetery.

Now, what do you suppose that means? “

Both boys shrugged and Saterlee Chapel Shrugged too and when the Carousel came to a stop she said, ” Curious isn’t it? “

And both boys agreed.

They watched Saterlee choose a place for herself on the Carousel and when the music started they both turned and walked away and as they did they both decided while they were here they might as well have some fun.

Watson Kilgoar reached into his pocket for some money and instead of pulling out a handful of change he pulled out a handful of  little squares of tightly folded paper

Watson showed them to his brother.

In his hand were the fliers.

Gaddelin  Kilgoar  reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box of matches.

Then they stood by the Ferris Wheel for a very long time and watched it turn far into the evening.

Finally they got on.

You could see the flames for miles.

ephemmatch1.jpg

Written by Anita Marie

June 2, 2008 at 4:20 am

52nd Avenue West

with 14 comments

by Anita Marie Moscoso

inspired by

Portals and Pavements

One night

in my neighbor’s front yard

I saw a man digging  a hole just up off of the sidewalk

by the orange glow of a streetlight

which kept flashing off and on with a buzz and a hum and a click.

I asked the man if he was burying something.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

Maybe it was one of Mrs Figueroa’s many black cats which were always running around in the street in the middle of the night.

Was it one of her cats I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

They were all fine he told me.

Maybe he was helping to move around one of Mrs Figueroa’s many rose bushes that dotted her fence line. Maybe Mrs. Figueroa wanted one of her white rose bushes right under her living room window where she could see it when she opened her curtains in the morning.

Is that what he was doing, moving flowers around? I asked.

Buzz. Hum. Click.

No.

So- come one- what gives I ask, what are you burying here in the dark under a streetlight that won’t stay on.

I’m not burying anything he told me.

Buzz. Hum. Click

I’m digging something up.

Click.

Written by Anita Marie

May 22, 2008 at 2:54 am

Home Is Where The Heart Is

with 8 comments

by anita marie moscoso

Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt

The Deserted Farm House

Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle

 

Back along on Deception Road is a little farmhouse that no one lives in.

After the house was built and then put up for sale the orchard out back died, the little vegetable garden died and all of the pumpkins and squashes and tomatoes rotted right on their vines.

Even the flowers in the window boxes shriveled up and turned to dust within a day or so after they were set out and all the little farmhouse could do was slam its doors open and shut and make the clock in its kitchen strike twelve over and over again.

The man who built the farmhouse, Travis Janosik, use to stand out at the road and wonder what the hell was going on in there, why was it that nothing could live near that place without giving up the ghost.

There was nothing about Travis that would make you say, ‘you know that killer house? The one on Deception Road? It was built by Travis Janosik” and the person you would be talking to wouldn’t reply, “ Well of course it was a strange house. Look who built it.”

No, the house turned bad all by itself and this bothered no one more then Travis. What bothered him most of all  happened when the house was two years old.

That’s when someone actually bought it and moved in.

The ‘someones’ who bought the farmhouse were the Korbar Family.

Travis use to drive out to Deception Road and park across the way from the Farmhouse and watch it. He’d see Darius Korbar working the vegetable garden or see him sitting on the porch with one of the many children he and Mrs. Korbar had and they acted like any other family living in those hills.

Unless of course you really watched them the way Travis did.

At first he had no interest in the Korbar family. His interest was in that house and what it was up to now. It didn’t have to settle for killing plants and the odd field animal that got to close to its walls. Now it had the Korbar children who scuttled around the property in their ill-fitting clothes.

At least that’s how it looked but then Travis realized it wasn’t the clothes that didn’t fit right, it was the bodies inside the clothes that weren’t right.

The children’s heads were to large for their small bodies and their hands and feet didn’t seem to be the same size and when they talked Travis felt the hair rising up on his arms and the back of his neck and that’s when he’d cut his daily vigil off.

Once Travis saw Mrs. Korbar come down the front steps with a tall glass in her hand and make her way to the garden to where Mr Korbar was working. She handed him the glass and he kissed her cheek and then she made her way back up the steps and Travis watched her but didn’t notice that as she climbed the steps her head was tilted slightly backwards and her back was straight as a pole and she never bent her knees.

It was like she was gliding up the steps and not walking up them at all.
Towards the end of the summer the gardens were dead and rotten and Mr Korbar was out there working it like it as if it were alive and thriving. The ground was water logged and moldy with green slime. The vegtables were rotting and decayed and you could actually smell it when the wind shifted.

On top of the fact that Travis was watching a man harvest from a garden full of rotten vegetables he was also sure that some of that smell was coming from Mr Korbar too.

Travis promised himself after that visit he wouldn’t go near the Farmhouse on Deception Road. Something was wrong with it, something was wrong with the people living inside of it and Travis was certain if he didn’t stop going over there something would be wrong with him too.

Of course, it was too late because that something had already happened to Travis and he found himself standing at the end of the drive leading right up to the Farmhouse the next day.

He was in plain view and Mrs. Korbar must have seen him from one of her windows because he wasn’t there for long before she came down the steps and met him with a basket of rotting carrots and maggot filled tomatoes on her arm.

“ We never got the chance to thank you for building this wonderful house Mr Janosik. Its perfect and we love it so.”

Travis was looking into the basket of dead and decaying vegetables and he said, “ How could you love it so? Nothing can live inside of that thing…”

And Mrs. Korbar said, “ Well, Mr Janosik nothing does…”

 

Photograph(s) copyright Shaun O’Boyle

Written by Anita Marie

May 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Reflection Of My Love

with 3 comments

by a.m. moscoso

Inspired by the SFC Prompt:: Ceremony Of The Mirror

 

” What are you looking at Jingle? ”  Milo Hungerford asked his wife.

Jingle was standing in front of their bathroom mirror with her hairbrush in her hand and she turned slowly towards him and said, ” I don’t know. “

He came up behind her and stared into glass and shook his head.

” That’s not right Jingle. “

She put her hand to her face and looked into the mirror again and when she turned back towards Milo she started to cry. ” Milo what’s happening to me? “

Milo  pulled Jingle to his chest and turned her away from the looking glass.

” Is it still there Milo? “

Milo held Jingle tighter and said, ” yes. “

” The one in the foyer- let’s try that one too. “

” Jingle- it won’t…” he started to say and then when he saw the look on her face he nodded. “okay, we’ll try that one too.”

Milo held his wife’s hand and they walked down the dark halls to the entrance to their home and together they looked into the mirror there and Jingle burst into tears and grabbed her face.

” Oh Milo- oh Milo what’s happening to me? ” she cried.

Milo looked into the mirror and there in the glass he saw his wife holding her hairbrush, her dark hair framing her face- all alone except for the darkness that was their home and he turned her gently towards him and said,

” I don’t know how it happened Jingle…but I think you’re alive. “

Written by Anita Marie

May 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Sand

with 9 comments

by

a.m. moscoso

Inspried By The SFC Prompt:

Footprints In The Sand

If I could walk

to the end of the world

I would find a hill to stand on

and I would

 watch the sunset.

 

I wonder.

Would  the sky look the same

at the end of the world?

Would the air smell the same?

If I put my hands to my face and screamed would I sound the same?

 

If I could walk to

the end of the world

I would walk upon the dead ocean floor

and touch rocks full of bones

tombs

for creatures I knew

when they were covered with flesh

a long time ago

when the Sun was Yellow

and not red.

 

If I could walk to the end of the world

I’d walk in circles for miles and miles

I’d leave my footprints there in the dusty remains

of my world

and

hope

 that maybe someday, somebody

would know I once was.

Written by Anita Marie

April 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm