Rated R: Contains disturbing imagery, themes, and candy.
by Samantha Henderson
My Abuela is making sugar skulls, and Tia Bibiana is helping her.
Yesterday was the first of November, the Día de los Angelitos, and Abuela and Ramon and the neighborhood kids made the altar for the children. I said I was too old to help, like I’m too old to go from house to house, but I stayed in the kitchen and watched. The last two years it was Lilia’s alone, with a plate of mac and cheese, and sugar-crusted tamarind candy, and the Clementine tangerines Lilia loved, and would steal from the wooden box and get in trouble because she ate them all. She used to peel the loose skin so it made an empty tangerine and would give it to me laughing when it collapsed under my eager thumb. We put her stuffed animals around the legs of the card table where the altar was set. Abuela wrote her name on the skull with pink icing.
About the Author
Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast. She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.“
About the Narrator
Emily Smith is a part-time physician and full time mom in central California. While not narrating for Pseudopod or saving lives, she lives in constant danger of being eaten by cats, tripped by a baby, choked by a wisteria vine or smothered by wild birds. The wisteria vine is currently the most likely cause of her demise as it is the only thing not dependent on her for sustenance and her death dovetails nicely into its plan for world domination.