(If you read yesterday’s post by Kat Kimbriel, you can jump to the More section for today’s vignette!)
We’re approaching a shifting, liminal time of year; it’s halfway to winter in the northern hemisphere, and halfway to summer in the southern lands. Many cultures have celebrated at this point. For the ancient Celts, some believe it was the beginning of their year. For others, it was the gateway to Winter or to Summer. In modern western cultures, the time between the end of October through January 6th is woven of old myth, ghosts, and returning ancestors.
In the American Midwest, where I grew up, Beggars Night was the local name for the night before Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve). Older kids (mostly but not always boys) would try to wheedle candy out of homeowners. There was always the threat of a Trick in the background–lots of TPing trees that night! I’ve lived over half my life in Texas, which introduced me to the festival Día de Muertos. This usually, but not always, two-day ceremony has a long and interesting history that involves indigenous observances, an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, and the Roman Catholic observations for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
To honor the coming of the dark side of the northern year, I’ve written some vignettes. They will probably end up as writing snippets in my new book, because one of the characters is a writer who has a slightly skewed vision. I think of them as Tales of Unease.
Because I don’t care much for the gore of horror. But those teasing stories of suggestion?
Oh, yes. . . .
DIA DE MUERTOS REDUX
It’s a nice old townhouse, although it has a few quirks.
There’s this low grade vibration you keep noticing. Maybe it’s the pool house on the other side of the adobe wall; maybe the street noise is more than you expected.
You’ve been told that all the wireless ceiling fans work on the same frequency. If someone turns off a fan in one bedroom, the fan in the other room may turn on.
It’s the same controllers for the ceiling lights.
You live alone, so it’s not a big deal. The price was right.
Still. . .you keep finding fans—or lights–either on or off. And you’re positive you haven’t touched any remotes.
–Tales of Unease by Kat Kimbriel (2017)