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