The Devil In The Details

20 12 2006

by anita marie moscoso 

 Based on the Soul Food Cafe Alphabet Project:

 “I ” is For Illumination                                     


Travel with me to a little town in Washington State called Stedman -don’t worry we’ll be long gone before Sunset…

Kersey Goss works for an office supply store.She takes phone orders for pens and paper, for business cards and blank forms. She even orders jars of candy for offices receptionists to put out on their desks next to acrylic card caddies that hold business cards.You might not get excited when things fruit scented pens and new colors of post-it notes hit the streets but Kersey Goss does.

Last year Kersey parted her hair on the left side of her head instead of the right and even changed her perfume from “Sweet Lilly” to something called “ Lemon Splash “and everybody noticed.

Well to be precise, everybody was stunned into silence when they saw Kersey and her new look.Times may change and fashion may change and every time it rains the earth changes too; but Kersey Goss doesn’t change.

 It’s a fact of life out there in Stedman, Washington.


It was a slow day around Harmon and Sons Office Emporium and Wayne Kirkland who was a Grandson of one of the “Sons” in Harmon and Sons was reading the newspaper. He was always reading the newspaper…if he wasn’t reading the newspaper he was doing the crossword  ( where he filled in the words WRONG and purpose in glitter pen ) and if he wasn’t doing the crossword he was doodling mustaches and horns on the pictures of politicians and anything else that caught his eye.  

Anyway,  on that slow day Wayne saw an article in the Stedman Times that nearly sent him into hysterics. He was about to start drawing and doodling when he looked up and saw Kersey at her desk.

She was smiling and humming and busy filling a phone order. She was telling somebody all about the new line of papers they would be carrying for computer printers. 

Wayne bit his lips to keep from laughing and as he did reached into his desk for his scissors.

Then he spread the newspaper across his desk started to cut.


When Kersey came into work the next morning she reached for her inbox and pulled out her shipped order forms and was about to file them away when a news clipping floated down from the top tray and landed on her desk blotter.She turned it over and read the headline:

 Grave Robbers Strike Rural Cemetery- Law enforcement Officials now working with Local Health Department as the investigation into recent grave desecrations in GreenviewCounty escalates….

 Written across the story in red glitter pen was:


Kersey carefully folded the article in half and  dropped it into her wastebasket. Then she went back to her work.  


A week later Kersey found another clipping in her in box and she turned it over briefly and saw something about “ Ghoulish Discovery” at Edmonds Cemetery and Funeral Home in Burr County. Written across this article in purple glitter pen was:


She pressed her lips together and looked up at Wayne. He was trying very hard not to laugh and finally he couldn’t help himself. “Why are you doing this Wayne? It’s not funny you know.”  Kersey shook her head but instead of throwing away the article about the Ghoulish Discovery she read it…she read it twice.   


For the rest of the month Wayne kept dropping the Grave Robbing stories into Kersey’s mailbox and he finally stopped one day because Kersey wasn’t neatly folding the articles up and dropping them into her trash basket anymore.

Wayne noticed Kersey was smoothing the articles  out and then she paper clipped them together and then she put them into her desk drawer.

On that last day Kersey  looked up at Wayne and caught his eye.   She shook her head and she said in the clear and concise way she talked to vendors who didn’t deliver to her customers  on time, “I really need to do something about you Wayne. I can’t have this kind of attention”

 “Oh come on Kersey. Can’t you take a joke?” Wayne asked.  Then he went on, ” no one could ever believe you were out there in the dark with a shovel robbing graves and if my Uncle is right… and he probably is considering he’s the Sheriff in Burr, you’re not doing a little midnight snacking on what you dig up after all that work.”

 Kersey dropped her pen into her pen holder and then she got up walked over to Wayne’s Desk. “Grave Robbing isn’t something you do Willy-Nilly, Wayne. You have to be prepared and meticulous and quiet. You have to know exactly what you’re doing.”

When Kersey was at Wayne’s desk she dropped her cool lemon scented hand on top of Wayne’s head and said,  “Organization, Wayne,  is the secret to be a success at any given profession. But if you knew that you would be a full partner instead of be working for your Daddy. Isn’t that right?” 

 Wayne nearly picked up his glitter pen and stabbed Kersey in the eye with it because at that moment he never realized how awful it was to be that close to Kersey.


The next morning Wayne was at work an hour before anyone else got in…including Kersey who was always exactly 15 minutes early. He flipped on all of the lights and without realizing it he grabbed a box cutter from the sales counter and took it with him to Kersey’s desk.

He sat in her chair for a minute without moving a muscle and then he reached down and opened her bottom desk drawer.   It was as neat and organized as the rest of her desk.  

The first thing he took out were the newspaper clippings with his glittering comments.

The next thing he took out were maps and Wayne could see they weren’t street maps they were the maps you got from Funeral Homes so that you could find graves out in the cemetery.

Each of the maps had little blue boxes with red check marks inside of them written in Kersey’s neat hand.

Then one map  caught his eye in particular because it was for the “ Pioneer Cemetery”

Pioneer was were all of  the Harmon’s were buried; it was sort of a famous place not because of who was buried there but because of the statue that was suppose to come to life on Halloween if you walked around it three times backwards and said “ Satan Loves Me.”

But Wayne wasn’t really thinking of that statue, he was looking at a little area on the Pioneer Cemtery map called “Reflection Meadow” where Kersey had written“Wayne Harmon for dinner next Friday”

Wayne dropped the map on Kersey’s desk and as the papers floated downwards  a cool lemon scented hand dropped onto the top of his head.       



Nightfall from Faraway

14 12 2006

 by anita marie moscoso

I brought this story out from my archives today for an anniversary of sorts.

Today in Seattle, Washington we’re suppose to have the same ( they’re predicting WORSE ) kind of storm that first inspired my Strange Travel Tale of Mr Nightfall and his companion Miss Praecox over two years ago.

Mr Nightfall and Miss Praecox, as you will see, seem to travel with Wild Storms so I just had to invite them back out for old times sake… I’m not so sure I could have stopped them anyway.

December 14, 2006




In my hometown, which is a place called Faraway, a man named Mr. Nightfall stands under a pear tree full of light green poisonous fruit and waits for the Sun to set.

Mr. Nightfall is my neighbor and our streets, like all the other streets in Faraway are lined with deadly fruit trees and deadly gardens. All these dark shady places are kept and tended by people with pale faces and empty eyes and here in our town Faraway no one is Sane and no one really lives because no one is really alive.

When Mr. Nightfall comes from Faraway sometimes he brings storms and in that wildness all you’ll see, all you’ll hear is Mr. Nightfall.

When Mr. Nightfall crosses your path and he settles over your town you’ll know he’s there because your skin will start to feel to tight and you won’t be able to pull air into your lungs.

Everything will seem…very Faraway.

That’ when you’ll know Mr. Nightfall is close enough to put out his cold, dark hand and lay it over your shoulder.

Once I followed Mr. Nightfall to a city with stores and cars and a coffee stand where the woman who served me wore a picture on her chest of a creature with stars in her hair.

 I asked if the creature in the picture was  from  the Well of Angra Lei and the Woman squeezed the cup of coffee so tight at the sound of my voice that the top popped off and the scalding hot coffee filled her eyes and mouth and she didn’t cry out.

Not even a little

The woman had turned to stone, her face was frozen into a mask and her eyes had rolled up into her head and I could hear her someplace deep inside screaming and screaming and screaming and she will never stop.

They never do when they are taken Faraway.

Mr. Nightfall didn’ come back for me, he never turns back but he did call out to me and I followed him through the town and the entire time he cursed and spat and hissed like one of the cats that’ not really a cat from back home in Faraway and he said, “They know I’m coming.”

“Of course they know you’re coming Mr. Nightfall, don’t they always?”

“No, not like this they haven’t known me like this for centuries I don’t like this Miss Praecox. No I don’t like it at all.”

This time the people in this little town by the sea knew Mr. Nightfall was coming.

There were candles in windows and there wasn’t a soul on the street. They were locked behind doors and the curtains where drawn and they knew they were very aware Nightfall was coming.

As Mr. Nightfall crossed the city I stopped here and there and looked in windows and when I could I found people and I touched them, carefully, quietly with my left hand and I told them my name and their minds stopped liked old clocks.

I could hear it loud as thunder as gears and cogs and wheels that turn their minds
ground to a halt and I could hear what they took with them to Faraway.

My name.

” Enjoying your visit Miss Praecox?”

” I always do Mr. Nightfall.”

He reached out to pat me on the head and thought better of it, ” Just like you’re Mother, we were a team in our day to. We worked well together.

The Praecox have always done their best work with Nightfall.”

” So what’s happened here Mr. Nightfall, where is everyone?”

He held a newspaper up and showed it to me. I couldn’t read it of course and he ran a cold dark finger under the headline and read it to me.

” Hurricane Force Winds expected to Strike Seattle, Power Outages State Wide, locals ready for Nightfall and freezing temperatures.

 They were ready for me this time. Lord I hate the press”

” Killjoys” I said with feeling.

” Well, there’s always tomorrow, isn’t there Miss Demetia Praecox?”

I agreed because everyone knows Nightfall comes from Faraway and sometimes it brings madness with it.


read more adventures from Faraway at:




10 12 2006

 by Anita Marie Moscoso     


Here I am, getting ready to start another writing project and getting ready to once again pray that the target I’m trying to hit is as big as the side of an Ocean Liner because I can promise you that no matter how clear and concise the instructions are for this “ Writing Journey” I’ll botch it up.

Like I did this writing exercise at the Soul Food Café where I was suppose to write about bottled emotions and to my credit I did write about bottles  (so far so good) that were in a Curio shop.

 Of courseinside of the bottles were tumors and three headed cats and I think a baby alligator with a human face. (

What…you wouldn’t have some feeling about seeing that?

Myself, I love that kind of thing. Other people…well, you know most people have delicate sensibilities and wouldn’t like seeing organs on display for fun and profit.

But you’d feel something.

Wouldn’t you?

Oh, and this other time we were suppose to write about taking a journey with a Ferry Woman and learning some kind of truth or wisdom on the trip and I wrote about a woman who killed her husband because of the way he buttered his toast.

I justified that one by writing my friend into the beginning of the story (she really does work on a ferry boat). So I thought, “hey it works”.

So before you write me off as a total brain dead idiot I want to assure you I did learn something on that particular ‘journey’. I learned on that ‘journey’ that a lot of people are into the twisted and macabre and that as lame and cliché as ” Datura ” might read it’s one of the most popular on my blog so there!

Now, back to the project at hand; as I pack my ‘bags’ for my “Journey” I’m going into it stress free. In real life I will only travel if I can do it with a smile on my lips…I see no reason to change horses midstream and start this journey with a bag full of worries.

I won’t be hearing myself say, “ what if I’m not good enough to write?” (Ha, ask me if I care about that. I happen to READ A LOT and I’m here to tell you that hasn’t stopped about a gazillion books and articles in magazines from being published on any given day of the month)

And I’m determined to be myself; I’m going to write any story that is dumb enough to wander into the black abyss that is my imagination. I’m like one of those predatory animals that weeds out the sick and old and anything not strong enough to run to save it’s own life.

If I can catch it, dude…it’s all mine.

I know my stories are very odd and they are most definitely weird and some of my nearest and dearest  have this look on their faces when they visit me and I know just KNOW they’ve read something I’ve written.

I don’t care because when I write I happen to have a very good time.

I laugh at the gross parts, the bad parts, the titles…you name it. I laugh when I write because I happen to enjoy what I’m doing. I also happen to take what I do very seriously.

Yes, I can hear it now ” sure you do Anita, sure you take writing seriously” Well, it’s true…so there.

There it is in all it’s glory…my travel list.

So I’m set.

What am I taking with me on this journey? What am I packing?

A sense of humor, that’s what I’m packing…and now here’s the ‘note’ I’m leaving on my door.

In the words of the magnificent Ruth Brown:















9 12 2006



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 “, ” Milkyway 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 Mr. Fanshaw heard Mata say ” hey Wilton we should talk to Dad about The Triangle for our next trip…”