Halloween at The Chamber of Horrors
Welcome to the Chamber of Horrors First Halloween Party! BROUGHT FORTH for YOUR EDIFICATION and Amusement by the Writers and Artists of the Soul Food Cafe
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
My Hallow's Eve Conversation With A Raven
My Conversation With A Raven
For Halloween, I thought I would share this tale with you. It actually happened, just as I tell it…
I took my early morning cup of tea out onto the balcony, and sat down to admire my favourite tree. A raven flew down and perched on a branch. He turned a beady eye on me, and I, as is my wont, bid him good morning. I don’t actually talk aloud to birds, you understand – I direct my thoughts at them.
Having bid him good morning, my mind wandered to the line from Poe - ``Quoth the Raven, nevermore…”
The raven at once turned his back on me.
``Ok,” I thought, ``Poe didn’t go down too well.” I hummed a few bars of the Scottish ballad, Twa Corbies.
The raven still resolutely refused to look at me.
I now leaned forward and directed my thoughts in a more concentrated manner – but this time I thought before I thought, if you see what I mean.
``OK,” I said, ``ravens have had bad press from Poe and folklore – you’re sick of hearing that stuff. Tell you what I’ll do – I’ll write a song, a poem, in praise of ravens – of all black birds. I’ll sing of their beautiful shining black feathers, the perfect way their wings fold back against their bodies, their courage, their protectiveness – I’ll sing of the way ravens have helped people, and how they take it upon themselves to be a warning, to be associated with bad luck, because they are noble birds that do not think of themselves first…”
By now the raven had turned round. He was looking at me, disconcertingly, from either side of a slender twig, two bright yellow eyes looking at me…
``I’m not as famous as Poe,” I thought at him, ``and not a great poet, but my words are sometimes heard and sometimes travel over vast distances, and I know a woman who loves ravens and will be glad to let others know of my song.”
He hopped around the branch, closer to me, his bright eyes still fixed intently on me.
``I will sing of the beauty of the raven,” I promised. ``You are surely the handsomest bird of all.”
We continued to observe each other in comfortable silence for a couple of heartbeats, and now, here is the spooky bit.
``You have my word on it,” I said. ``From now on, I will sing in praise of ravens. No more quoting Poe, I promise. You can go about your business now.”
And he flew away.
Playing tonight at Duwamish Cemetary
Sunday, October 30, 2005
These links were sent to me and thought I would pass them on:
Some very interesting food ideas -- I've already had a Goblin Goo
Some printable Halloween Star Wars Masks...I think I've
felt like all of these at some stage...hard to choose.
You can also click a link to hear a "spooky" Star Wars Audio
Make your own Star Wars themed Halloween Goodie Bags. Quite impressive
when you see the pics!
-- courtesy Bullguard Security newsletter from UK --
P.S. Even www.google.com is dressed up today!
Here is my costume
I bring to the party all manner of dried seeds, pods,
flowers, and grasses, to decorate
Baba's house and festoon the
The Harvest Moon rises behind me
and I am caught in her glow.
I hope to dance with all of you
at the party.
(ps: I did the drawing...that felt good!)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Don't rightly know folk first off, (my papa said)
see'in howse they are proper s'picous
o' people askin' questions nun there bus'ness.
Well, I remembered that strong
and kept my council close,
and my comments small like whittle shavings
until my stick was sharp --
no purpose though 'cept
showin' I respected a keen edge
and slow patient stone
spit on after a swoller of cider. (learnt from Granny)
I was sittin' idle with friends
and dogs feet up in the sun lazy
when the Parson amble by to invite
hisself to dinner and pluckin'
by the night fire afore
the story tellin'.
"You might be needing that stick there,"
he offered, then said nuthin'.
Now I scratched my mem'ry
of preacher stories and local talk,
but didn't free no tick
'cept maybe that rumor 'bout
a skeleton up to Clevis Ridge
with Hawthorn stakes
through its eyes.
Parson was like that --
a simple little statement meanin' nuthin'
and every Jack and Jane were afixin'
to tell a ghost yarn that night.
Me? I set to figurin' how he was gwanna
turn this scarry fedaddle
into some spiritual lesson.
Well, nigh on whisper ember time
with no one willin' to put another log --
and the stories new all gone
and the old'ones half told again,
it came to me that bein' skeert
was all from not knowin'
but wantin' to set an answer
where none fit --
and of wantin' to warn youngins
of hid dangers and trouble lurkin'
which stuck in mem'ry fast
when yer eyeballs is big.
So I tweren't surpised
when Parson took his turn.
"I stopped by the Larkin cabin today."
"Here it comes," I thought.
Nobody been near that place since the fire,
what with Jeb toasted inside and all.
Single guys stopped chattin', and
couples nestled close quit spoonin' quick.
Yes sir -- they was ready to be scared.
"I heard all sorts of strange noises
and saw colored light between the logs,
and though of spooks or witches right off."
I grabbed by stick awaitin' there,
just ready fer the call. (not scared though!)
"Yup! If I had hung back and skulked away,
like some folks I be knowing …," (he offered slow)
"I'd be tellin' you now to stay far away,
and fetch yer kids up from the pond." (his hands aflyin')
"but I went right up and offered my hand,
just like the Book been tellin' you,
and even helped a bit with cleaning,
and painting and putting windows in."
I kinda chortled low.
"Fella name of Fred Fowler bought the place,
and is fixing it up something grand,
seeing he has only one arm from the war.
And his Annie gal sure turned a chicken right,
and said she was baking berry pies
in case other nice folk herebouts
He turned to me and grinned.
"That stick will help a lot
with the chinking in narrow cracks.
I told them I'd be seein' some neighbors
and pass the word …"
Then Parson done what he always do,
just strolled off alone,
never skeert a'nothin'.
Story in Stone
Take a Ride With Baba to the Isle of the Dead
Friday, October 28, 2005
The Black Monk of Fallen
Here's a little Halloween treat from me to you...its about this little town up the road from where I live and here in Duwamish Bay some of us like to visit it at about this time of year and this is why....
Fallen was this little town on the verge of dieing when the State put the Prison there.
It took its first breath, I think, the day they opened it.
You see, right after the first Prisoner walked through the gates the town started to come to life, new houses went up almost everyday and a school and a main street with all sorts of stores and it even had a cemetery.
After the first execution you'd have thought they struck gold up in those hills and in a way I guess they did. Fallen went from being a corpse drying out in the hot desert sun to not being a corpse drying out in the desert sun in a matter of weeks.
It turned into this living thing where the greens were too green and the trees were to tall and no matter how cold it got the leaves and plants and flowers never died...not even during the winter.
They didn't even die in that fire that broke out about two months after Fallen Penitentiary opened.
How did it happen? Was it magic? When you look back on it, it was simple.
All it took really was for someone to fall through that trapdoor in Section " D " of Fallen Penitentiary.
After the people in the nearby town Duwamish Bay saw what was happening in Fallen they stayed away and refused to do business or talk to anyone who was from that cadaver of a town suddenly returned from the Dead.
Fallen in time became one of those little towns you only saw when you were lost off the Main Highway and you were so busy screaming at the person with the map in their hand that you don't really notice anything outside of your car.
So while it was, alive...if you can call it that no one from Duwamish Bay would set foot in it.
After it died again they would outright deny that monstrosity of stone and brick and metal was back in those hills.
The residents of Duwamish would look at the curious traveler like they were a simpletons...much loved simpletons and say very sweetly and kindly, " Fallen Penitentiary? You drove all the way out here to see that place? It doesn't exist you know, it never has. Here, why don't you go on down to the Marina, there's a Sideshow there that's world famous you know..."
What the Residents in Duwamish said to the outside world was one thing, what they knew for a fact was another and besides they weren't really lying when they said Fallen never existed...but that's just mincing words.
The truth is they were afraid of Fallen and they wanted whatever that place was to stay up there in the High Desert and rot.
Then on Halloween in 1920 the people in Duwamish Bay got their wish granted.
That was the year Fallen died.
That's what people think because Laramie Underwood had been up there on October 30th to drop off a prisoner and he went back on November 1st to bring down the body of an executed woman named Elizabeth Everett.
Elizabeth Everett wasn't in the pine box in the one room little brick house where they stored the executed. In fact not only was Elizabeth Everett not there neither were the 200 living inmates or the Prison Staff.
Gone, they were all gone.
Laramie Underwood said the building was empty and dusty and the bars were rusted and the mortar between the bricks was crumbling and there was puddles of stagnant water all over the place.
" Its like no one had set foot in that place for 100 years. But let me tell you, that wasn't the part that scared me. What scared me was when I heard this door to one of the offices open and close and I heard these footsteps and I could hear keys being jangled around and I heard whistling and what scared me was that voice and those footsteps were moving along like it was just your normal everyday thing to do. How could a normal person act like that? I mean, that place was dead...dead you know? "
Laramie he lived in this little town called Resolution and he shot himself about two weeks after discovering that Fallen was dead.
Some of the people from Duwamish went up to Fallen after Laramie's funeral because they wanted to make sure whatever had come after Laramie wasn't going to go after anyone else.
So they brought a grave marker of sorts up to the front gates of Fallen and hoped that it would be enough to keep whatever was walking those halls inside of that evil place.
The Marker was carved from white marble and it was an effigy of a hooded man and his arms are at his sides and his head is tilted slightly to the right, like he's listening for something.
They faced him away from the Prison and the the six or so people that made the trip that day said some prayers for the dead and as they walked away they could hear sounds back there.
Not one of them turned around.
Not one of them looked back.
They knew...the " Monk" brought from the Plague Chapel had turned black and it was now facing the Prison, not away from it.
And then as time went by people did forget about the Prison and became less afraid of it and in the end it became another neglected cemetery...the hills around Duwamish are littered with those.
So that brings us to twenty years ago and a game that local teenagers had been playing for years...it was called " Clinking " and it involved bottles and the Black Monk.
It was a simple game; you'd dare someone to go up to Fallen and drink to the Monk and you'd toss your empty bottle towards where he stands and you'd hear this ' clink ' because the bottles have carpeted the ground there.
Clinking... get it?
Of course what some people tried to do was actually hit the statue but that wasn't easy to do because it was black and there were no lights up there.
So one year this girl takes the dare and goes up to Fallen and she can see things in the windows...misshapen hands grasping at the bars and she thought she even saw people walking through the gates.
Then she takes her drink and tosses her bottle and ... there is no clink.
Then suddenly the bottle comes flying back at her and catches her right between the eyes and she's knocked off her feet and her face splits open and there's blood everywhere and this isn't Hollywood you know. The bottle doesn't shatter; it smacks the ground with a ' clink '.
" Doesn't feel so good, does it? " says a man's voice.
So...that's my Halloween story, straight from Duwamish Bay and if you think the Black Monk of Fallen or Clinking sounds like some made up story or an urban legend I'd say to you, lean a little closer and take a good look at me.
This isn't a beauty mark running down the center of my face.
I wish it were.
I really do.
© anita marie moscoso 2005
In A Word
In A Word
Main Entry: 1scar·i·fy Pronunciation: 'skar-&-"fI, 'sker-Function: transitive verbInflected Form(s): -fied; -fy·ingEtymology: Middle English scarifien, from Middle French scarifier, from Late Latin scarificare, alteration of Latin scarifare, from Greek skariphasthai to scratch an outline, sketch -- more at SCRIBE1 : to make scratches or small cuts in (as the skin)
Main Entry: 2scarify Function: transitive verbInflected Form(s): -fied; -fy·ing: SCARE, FRIGHTEN- scar·i·fy·ing·ly /-"fI-i[ng]-lE/ adverb
Thursday, October 27, 2005
in this self-portrait, there has even been some
serious image corruption.
Obviously there is a ghost in the machine.
Could it be me?
I fear this reflects the corruption of my very soul,
and warn all travellers to beware.
I shall wander the earth on
All Hallow's Eve,
seeking freedom from
the spell that
just a spot
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Medusa and Spirit Servant
Baba Yaga has bought in her Spirit Servant and the Medusa to avenge herself. Le Enchanteur can run but she will have trouble hiding from these two. Let's see how she gets herself out of this pickle. The Spirit Servant's plan is to capture her in a bottle and let her be a servant, at everyone's beck and call for awhile.