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A writing prompt
Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Some places are just meant to be portrayed in fiction. Last year, I sped to Memphis for some location research with Shayla Kersten. I blogged about my adventures there—the long conversation with the police officer investigating a robbery, my travels with John the trolleyman and the church he suggested I could desecrate (for my story, of course).

One place in particular that caught my eye was this “castle” in a seedy area of the city.

I made Shayla pull over so we could take pictures. Ashlar Hall is creepy and used to be owned by a local personality who goes by the name of “Prince Mongo” from the planet Zambodia. I’m not kidding, I swear. He exists and this is his picture.

Gotta love a man who’s not ashamed to wear a rubber chicken.

Anyway, the property was surrounded by wrought iron fencing which was padlocked, and since I’m not much into climbing these days or being arrested, I didn’t get any closer than this to take pictures.

Love the car parked outside. It totally adds to the decrepit air of the place. I’ve tried and tried to come up with a nice creepy story set inside this house but haven’t hit upon the right idea. Most of my ideas are more suited to comedy. It seems like the kind of place that would appeal to Emmy O’Hara from the MIK stories.

When you look at the pictures of the house (try to blot out of your mind Prince Mongo’s pic!), what sort of story comes to mind?

13 comments to “A writing prompt”

  1. Wesley Nichols
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    1
      · August 6th, 2009 at 7:37 am · Link

    Very interesting picture. When I look at it, I see a house inhabited by a family of supernatural beings (maybe fae, demon, Witches, or even aliens) who masquerade as humans, but when you enter their house you find that the inside is FAR larger than the outside.

    I once read that you enjoy Nordic mythology. Hoe muc Celtic mythology are you aware of? I you like the legends of the vikings, I think that you would like the legends of the Celts just as much.



  2. Heather D
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      · August 6th, 2009 at 7:51 am · Link

    The castle is very interesting. I wonder if you could talk the owner into giving you a tour. It might get the creative “spooky” juices going! I love the old car! It does add a certain element to it!



  3. Masha Holl
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    3
      · August 6th, 2009 at 8:49 am · Link

    To elaborate on Wesley’s idea: supernatural beings trying to pass as humans… and not quite succeeding. As supernatural beings, they’re royalty. Grand. Sweeping. Majestic. Which is reflected on the inside of the house (a good reason NOT to go on a tour).

    But passing as humans, they only manage something like eccentric or even bawdry (the awnings on the castle kinda spoil the effect), and they never quite get the hang of keeping the outside neat and pretty (for some reason they can’t/mustn’t/don’t dare/are forbidden from using magic outside the mansion).



  4. Fedora
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    4
      · August 6th, 2009 at 10:17 am · Link

    LOL! I’m definitely having trouble reconciling Prince Mongo with that castle, Delilah!



  5. Paula
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    5
      · August 6th, 2009 at 10:32 am · Link

    Wow!!! Those pics really feed my inner demon. I love places like this. What I wouldn’t give to see inside that place.
    I just can’t envision rubber chicken man living there. Too weird. :confused:



  6. Wesley Nichols
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      · August 6th, 2009 at 11:07 am · Link

    The picture also makes me think of Halloween town from the Nightmare Before Christmas.



  7. Brandy Walker
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      · August 6th, 2009 at 2:55 pm · Link

    Its not creepin me out enough to trigger anything. Maybe if it was dark and raining I could wrap my head around it.

    But then I can’t scrub Prince Mongo out of my head either right now so that probably doesn’t help at all.



  8. icia
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    8
      · August 7th, 2009 at 11:18 am · Link

    I don’t know, I think that last picture be great for one of you MIK stories. icia



  9. icia
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    9
      · August 7th, 2009 at 11:22 am · Link

    just found this while looking for information on the castle
    http://www.dupontcastle.com/castles/ashler.htm



  10. Delilah Devlin
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      · August 7th, 2009 at 11:44 am · Link

    Wesley! I love the idea of Fae trying to masquerade as humans, but maybe it’s been a really long time since they interacted, so they didn’t know housing styles have changed. :lol:



  11. Delilah Devlin
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    11
      · August 7th, 2009 at 11:54 am · Link

    Heather D! I’m almost afraid to see the inside. It was a nightclub for a while and they list it as a multipurpose property now, so likely the inside looks like a cheesey disco. It might spoil it for me.

    Masha! Exactly what I just said. The idea of them being restricted from using magic outside the house is intriguing. Means they’d have to be the spider to the fly to bring people to them.



  12. Delilah Devlin
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      · August 7th, 2009 at 11:56 am · Link

    Fedora, Paula and Brandy! Yeah, chicken man is beyond strange, but can you imagine of this was camp, like Space Balls or Galaxy Quest? He’d be prime.

    Icia! For the MIKs? Ya think? Hmmm…



  13. Delilah Devlin
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      · August 7th, 2009 at 12:03 pm · Link

    Icia! Thanks for the link. I’d love to find photos of it before it was surrounded by the city and of the interior during its heyday.