Tag Archives: Dia De Los Muertos

Una Noche Con Los Muertos. A Night With The Dead

Gael was ready. He had been waiting all month for this night. The party, he thought to himself. It was a Halloween party. He looked into the mirror and forced a smiled. Just a few weeks earlier he and his long time girl friend Vida had broken off the relationship. It was her decision, and he was crushed. This night would be a great opportunity to finally get out of his depression and maybe, just maybe he would enjoy himself and get Vida out of his mind. His friends constantly texted and called him until they finally convinced him. He sighed and continued putting on his face paint. A few days from now would be Dia De Los Muertos, and in honor of the holiday and the tradition of his famila, he was going to be a muerto– a dead man-tonight. His face resembled a real skull. He had many years of practice transforming into one of the dead, so he wanted it perfect. And it was.

Later that evening, Gael found he was actually having a good time. He was smiling and talking. Everyone loved his make-up and outfit. The intricacies, outlines, the arte on his face, everything was brilliant. Vida who? He kept repeating. He even won a best costume contest. He was glad he came. Then the night became even better as he noticed from across the room a beautiful girl eyeing him. She had a matching costume. A muerta. Dead woman. He was smitten. Gael waved and walked over to her.

“Hey. I’m Gael. Uh, Gael Ortiz. Great party, right?”

“It really is! That make-up is perfect. It looks so real!” she said to him smiling.

“How cool is it that we’re both dressed as muertos? Yours is…I mean you should’ve won the contest!” he smirked. He stared at the intricate work on her face. “It’s really something…and that dress! Authentic would be selling you short!”

She laughed and stared into his eyes. “Thank you! Oh, I’m Araceli Santa Anna! Nice to meet you!” she shouted over the noise.

He looked at her beautiful black hair and in it was an even more stunning blood red rose.

“Hey, Araceli, you…you wanna go outside to…talk? It’s-“

“Loud?” she interuppted, laughing. “Let’s.”

Gael allowed her to go in front of him and they found a quiet spot in the back porch.

“So, Araceli. I know it’s probably the make-up but…I don’t recognize you. Where you from?” Relax Gael, he thought to himself. “I mean…your name is beautiful.” Gael put his hand to his neck.

She smiled and put her head down, the make-up hiding her flushed cheeks.

“Thank you, Gael. It’s so beautiful out here isn’t it?” she said ignoring Gaels question.

He didn’t care. It didn’t matter where she was from. It only mattered that he had met her, tonight.

“It is, Araceli. Your dress is beautiful.” He walked closer to her and looked into her eyes. She turned away.

“My mother made it a long time ago.”

“A long time-“ he began to ask.

“I mean, well she made it for me a long time ago and…now I fit into it.”

“Oh,” he whispered.

“My family will be here visiting for Dia de los muertos. Hey!” she yelled chain the subject. “It’s Halloween! Let’s go to the cemetary!”

He looked puzzled and realized that yes, it was Halloween.

“Cool. A couple of muertos prowling in the night!” he shouted.

“It’ll be una noche de los muertos!” she smiled back.

“De veras!*” he nodded.


They walked hand in hand a few blocks, passng trick-or-treaters young and old. They were met with oohs and ahhs and thumbs up. They seemed to be a perfect match, especially this night. For the first time in a long time, Gael was happy. Vida had indeed left his mind.

They arrived at the gates of the cemetary and looked at each other.

“It’s something isn’t it?” he asked.

“What, the cemetary? Or…”

“Well, yes, but everything. Halloween, dia de los muertos. Everything.”

“Definitely, Gael,” she whispered, squeezing his hand. “Hey!” she yelled suddenly. “Hide-and-go-seek!” she shouted as she ran away from him.

He was surprised and slightly hesistant but gathered the courage. Why ruin this night? He asked himself.


He let her get a small headstart and covered his eyes.

Then he felt a drop on his hand. And another. And another. Then a lot.

It started to rain.

“Aw, man. Araceli!” he shouted. The night was now darker because of the rain. His heart started beating faster and faster as he searched for her. He rubbed his eyes as his make-up started to melt. He couldn’t see that well through the paint and rain and tripped over a headstone.

“Dammit,” he grunted. “Araceli!” he yelled frantic now. Then he heard footsteps sloshing in the rain coming closer and closer.

“Hey!” It was Araceli.

Gael sighed a sigh of relief.

“The rain made it even better don’t you think? You couldn’t find me!” Araceli was overjoyed, her excitement showing in every word.

“If you say so.” He started getting up and noticed the tombstone in front of him. He frowned but laughed all at once.

“Look at that!” he shouted. “The name on this marker says Araceli. I can’t read the last name. Here, come help me clean it off.” He hadn’t looked up at her until then.

His mouth dropped and he jumped up, backing away slowly.

“Gael? What’s wrong?”

“You’re make up!” he screamed. His face was pale through th streaks of make-up. “You’re make-up. It didn’t come off!”

Araceli put her head down.

“Of course not. It’s…it’s not…it’s not make-up,” she said sounding sad and ashamed now.

Gael started shaking and couldn’t speak.

She stepped towards him and her eyes caught the moonlight.

Araceli became blurry as Gael fainted and fell in the mud.


A few moments later, he awoke with Araceli kneeling over him.


“What are you?”

“I’m dead,” she said softly. I’m dead, Gael. Muerta.”

His eyes shot open and he slowly turned his head towards the gravestone, now washed clean. It read:

Here Lies Araceli Catrina Santa Anna. Beloved Daughter and Sister

“Una Vida Corta Pero Hermosa.**”


Gael gulped and in his stupor whispered these words,” “Primera Vida y ahora…la muerta***.”

Dia De Los Muertos by Claudia Lucia McKinney

The End?


*truly or, for real

**A short but beautiful life

*** First Vida(life)…now, death.


UnaNoche Con Los Muertos. A Night With The Dead. Happy Days.


Cruz and Tanís took the streets, Cruz with his radio in hand. Today was the day. Today was the day. Cruz had so much excitement inside he could no longer keep it in. He ran through the alley as fast as his legs would take him.

“Come on, Tanís! Hurry up!”

The clamor on Main Street got louder and louder. Cruz could hear the shouting and his smile widened.

Felizidades! Feliz dia de los muertos! shouted the people in the streets.

Holidays are fun. But for Cruz, this was his favorite. It was a day to remember those who had gone before him. His abuelo* past away only a few months ago. Abuelo would take him fishing, often, and would regale him with stories of the old days. He would recall to Cruz, whom he called with affection Cruzizito, the struggles he had growing up as a Mexican immigrant to the States-and Cruz loved him dearly. He respected him more than anything. His father had died when he was much younger, so Abuelo raised him up until his 12th birthday-the day Abuelo passed. Now he was alone with his little brother, Tanís .

But again, this was the day. He would surround himself with the people celebrating the day with their lost loved ones.

Cruz reached the street and the party was on. People dressed in the traditional festive clothing, men with suits and hats, some marichis and some catrins and the women, in their vestidas, very ornate and beautiful indeed. Others partook in the march to the cemetary in shorts and shirts but none could deny their commitment was genuine. They wore the make-up that was known worldwide-the calacas.

The louder the better! Con goso! They shouted. Cruz was ecstatic. “My feet hurt, Cruz,” Tanís  said softly.

“Shh, mira.” Cruz pointed to the many in the streets, and the smell of delicious food filled the air. “Mmm. Abuelo, you smell that? Tanís , remember that was Abuelo’s favorite.”

Tanís nodded sadly. The eight year old lowered his head. “I miss him, too Cruz.” Cruz looked down to him and put his arm ove rhis shoulders. “When we reach the marking, you can help me clean and put some fresh flowers on it, okay?”

Tanis nodded.

The boys made their way to the cemetary and sat near Abuelo’s marking stone, in silence. People started in and out and the sun began to sit. “Abuelo,” Cruz began, holding back his tears. “I have an ofrenda for you. I hope you like it.” He picked up the radio and pressed play. It was one of Abuelo’s favorite songs.


The song finished and Cruz and Tanís  stood up. Cruz wiped his tears and started down at the stone.

Nunca me voy a olvidarte.

That was Abuelo’s way. He wanted his stone to read that. To remind them that although he was gone, he would never forget. “Abuelo, we will never forget you.”

By this time it was dark and Cruz decided to head home. “Let’s go, Tanís . It’s getting late. Let’s go.” Tanís yawned and and nodded. “It was a really great gift you gave him, Cruz. I know he loved it,” Tanís  said with a smile.

Cruz returned the smile and moved his hand over Tanís’ hair, tossling it a little. As they reached the gates of the cemetary there was a man with a woman walking by. Cruz nodded respecfully to the young couple, dressed exquisitely. The man had on a slim tailored suit and had jet black hair slicked back. He had no make up as many of the others had. The young lady had on a black dress with jewels sparkling all around. In her hair was a beautiful, crimson rose.

“Ha venido a traer una ofrenda, ninos?” The man stopped and asked.

Cruz stopped and turned. “Si senor. You look…” Cruz stopped short. He was in awe of how well-dressed and charismatic the couple looked. Especially the man. The man was tall and lean but looked very strong.

The man smiled. “Que es tu nombre , hjio?”

‘I’m Cruz and this is my little brother Tanís.”

“Bueno, mira. I have a calavera for you, hijos.” He reached in his pocket and handed Cruz a rather old looking pocket watch. He gave to Tanís a pen, embellished with gold.

“Soy un escritor. Tonight is a time to celebrate and give. So I give you these. Pasen buen noche, hijos.”

Cruz nodded, as did Tanis. They smiled at each other and turned to walk away.

“Abuelo used to be a writer, Cruz,” Tanís said with a big smile. Cruz looked at the watch and his eyes lit up. He stopped suddenly and put his hand on Tanís’ chest. A glowing inscription appeared on the back of the watch:

Nunca te olvidare, Cruzizito.

The glowing faded and Cruz turned around quickly, just in time to see the man smiling back at him, nodding and waving good-bye as he vanished into the night air, his lady catrina going with him.

Dedicated to my Welo Bruno Longoria, who went home, almost 17 years ago. machine.


Usually the image should accompany the story but this image is too amazing not to add it. It embodies the end of the story….vanishing from sight.

Matter of fact, it really fits in with a story I wrote called Una Noche Con Los Muertos, but I won’t reveal it just yet. :}.

Dia De Los Muertos by the brilliant PhatpuppyArt.  


Dia De Los Muertos by PhatpuppyArt

Thank you, Claudia.

*abuelo is grandfather.

Another calavera I have for YOU is this, the November Issue of Underneath The Juniper Tree! Read on share at will!

Be blessed. 

Pemberton Returns to the Forest That Screams

When we last saw the boy he was waving good-bye to his family in the ville,

the thought of them afraid of the dark, well it just made him ill!

His story continues with a little poem of sorts

never mind the ghastly GrumGrum beast’s snorts.

Tonight’s the night the ghouls and superhero’s feast!

On treats and goodies, some candy corn…at least.

They will come to the door, and don their disguises,

and better for their candy bag, if they should surprise us.

But one young man, oh, he has no joy.

He has no plan of action or ploy.

See  though it be Halloween this night,

And the spirits about will come out to fright,

Lil Pemberton is not smiling, no he is down, he is forlorn

his spirit is remiss, yes, oh yes, it is torn!

for tonight is the last night he can sit and be free

Underneath The Juniper Tree.

The October Issue is going away, along with the dead,

and Pemberton is filled with such dread.

“But wait, young boy,” eerie voices team,

“Remember when you first walked into the Forest That Screams?

There is no need to cry, or pout,

or whine or to shout…”

The voices drew closer and ever closer still

The kind that could be break even the strongest man’s will.

It then continued in it’s haunting, dark speech

and now Lil Pemberton was within it’s cold reach,

“there is most certainly a reason to fear…

The November Issue…is coming, my dear.”



Matter of fact, the Issue is here! Read on and bedefrighted. |m|

Read the Halloween Issue  as well, and also check this interview of Tex via Andrea Hurst & Associates!




10/31> And of course what Hallow’s Eve would be complete without Ichabod Crane. We all now what happened to the poor Mr. Crane* so let us enjoy…happier times.

*or do we?


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