Day of the Dead.


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1. 8:00pm

Every year it happens. Night crawls in like a toddler, slowly and testing patience. We all sit in our locked homes. Shivering from the cool air, wrapped in layers of blankets, looking nervously to the doors and covered windows. No one dares to turn on any AC. No one dares to turn on the lights, so we sit in the dark quietly. Scared. 

Once a year, on the day before a full moon, a shiny, octagon shaped silver coin shows up in one  everyones shoes. Every year the coin brings an outbreak of nerves and illnesses.  Every year the collection of coins grow bigger in everyones mandatory  gold coin box. Gold. To block the silver. 

They always come. They always threaten. They always kill. Kill those who forget to lock every door, or those who decide that they have to pee in the middle of the night. Those who eat chips to loudly. Those who see them. 

Once They are seen, it always drives the seer crazy. Drives them away. Literally. Those who are caught by Them are not so lucky to keep their lives. It takes days to clear away the mess of blood. Days to wipe everything away. Days to forget. 

My family has been so lucky for in the 70 years since the first coins arrived in the dead of night, 40 of them have been bloodless. 40 of them in a row. 

I huddled, shivering between my older brother and sister on the couch, which we had spent all yesterday making sure it didn't creak. We had spent all day preparing foods that could be eaten noiselessly. Gathering heavy blankets and practicing keeping quiet.

When I was younger, it was almost a game to me. Who can keep quiet the longest. Who can close their eyes tightly all night. Usually, I had wound up falling asleep, endlessly annoying my older siblings who also played the game. No one wanted to lose. 

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