As you know, we are reading stories for a second Dia de los Muertos themed anthology. This is truly one of our favorite holidays, and we are so beyond thrilled to be working with this theme again.
Since we're in the mood, here's a little snippet from our first anthology, Dia de los Muertos. This comes from Gerri Leen's story "The Effect of Place on Love and Death."
All you know is the slide of flesh over sheets and the joining of bodies as your lover murmurs his feelings to you. You came to Mexico to be together; it might as well be Cleveland. You wonder if you will ever leave the hotel room.
It is your first time together. He has wooed you; you have been caught. He has the money to fly you down for a weekend in Paradise, to this hotel that lies on the plaza, that has views of the hills surrounding the town. His favorite place, he told you as you boarded the plane. Does he expect it to be yours, too?
The smell of the flowers in the plaza drifts up into your room; your lover has left the window open, and it captures the scent of marigolds, of dripping wax candles, of sweets and breads being baked and sold. These scents mix with the smell of damp hair, of his cologne and your perfume, of sex and heat and touching.
You finally fall away from each other, chests heaving, sweat glistening, and in the plaza below, a hubbub of voices rises to your room. It is the Day of the Dead. One of them, anyway. You’re still not sure which day is for what, or why they don’t call it the Days of the Dead or the Time of the Dead.
“One day is for the young. One day for the adults. All death is specific,” your lover told you on the plane when you asked. As if that explained anything.
“Is love specific?” you wanted to know, but he didn’t answer, and by his look, you understood he did not see any reason for you to have asked.
You try not to think about how general you might be to him now that you’re not trapped under him, not lying with your legs wrapped around him, giving him a pleasure specific to this room. The ceiling fan blows a cool breeze to sweat-streaked skin, and you know the words he would use to assuage your doubts: I love you; I adore you; I want you.
But for how long?