Title: A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds
Author: Eric J. Guignard
In: Haunted Nights (Lisa Morton & Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, LGBTQI, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 29th December 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Abuelita last shakes a single bony finger at me.
All he wanted was to see Santi one last time. But a misspelt sugar skull and an accidental run in with the spirits get in the way. They also teach him a very valuable lesson.
In a collection of Halloween stories, I was so excited to find a Dia de los Muertos story. Like, ridiculously excited. I can still remember the grad paper that I wrote comparing Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. And I’ve been obsessed ever since. So the fact that there was a story entirely featuring this celebration… wow!
I did get a little bit confused when I realised that the lead narrator was a male. For some reason, the voice sounded incredibly feminine and I just made an assumption. When I realised that the person mourning the death of a loved one was male and he was mourning what happened because of his homosexuality. I was much, much happier. It worked out so much better that way.
The gangster wannabe homophobes in this story seriously pissed me off. Like ridiculously. But that’s okay, because there is an Abuelita who you just don’t mess with in this story. One that can still own people… even when she’s beyond the grave.