The South Portal

RDP Thursday: Washed Out

Photo A..M. Moscoso South portal, Great Northern Tunnel, Seattle, Washington USA


When the trains run through the tunnel and race passed my warehouse door

the ground shakes and the walls in my office groan

like an old woman complaining about her bones when it rains.


Once I found a dead body out by the dumpster, by the tunnel

and when I leaned over it,  just a little to make sure he wasn’t just passed out

a train raced by and the ground shook and a rat ran out of the dead man’s mouth.


It slid down to his chest and  it looked for a place to jump, it’s claws slid a little on the

gold  buttons that held his  washed out black  peacoat that had seen better days

closed and in a flash the adventurous  rat found it’s  footing and it jumped.


I looked down the tracks into the tunnel because I didn’t want to watch that rat scurry

off and that is when  I saw  a man walking into the tunnel. He was wearing a black

washed out peacoat that had seen better days.


I looked at the dead man dressed in his black peacoat that had seen better days and the

I looked at the figure walking down the center of the tracks into the tunnel and I didn’t

bother to call out to him  to come back, to get off of the tracks because it was too late.

He was gone.

The Blue Suit

Word of The Day Challenge: SMIKER

Photo by Kaitlyn Jade on

There are days I think about him

and I wonder how he is doing.

The last time I saw him he was in a blue suit

that had  smelled like mothballs so

somebody had sprayed it with a little cologne

and it only made the smell worse.

I took it outside to air it out.


I sat outside  on a bench and watched

the Dead Man’s Suit

swaying in the breeze from a hook by the door and I wondered how long this

could take.

In those days we still used Sony Walkmans and I listened

to Abba’s album Waterloo from track to track.

So now I know that if  you hang a Dead Man’s Suit to air out

it will take that long to get rid of most of the smell of mothballs and cologne.


When I was done

I dressed the Dead Man in his suit.

I finished getting him ready for his funeral

and when I was done I checked his hair, his hands.

I straightened  his tie and then I looked at his mouth.

His lips were setting in a smooth straight line.

It didn’t look right. I walked from side to side and ran my finger under his lip


and I knew what belonged there

a smirk.

Of course I couldn’t let him go into his coffin with a sneer on his lips.

But it belonged there, it really did.

So  he went to his funeral, dignified, stern, composed

in his freshly aired suit

and I am sure, not really looking like himself.