Día de los Muertos…Friday Fictioneers.

 

Tony was in Mexico for a conference. Yet,he somehow wound up in the backseat of a VW heading out to San Andrés Mixquic, southeast of Mexico City to celebrate the Day of the Dead. The streets were packed, but he soon spotted the most exquisitely beautiful woman he’d ever seen. She was almost floating up to the altar and left behind a handful of marigolds along with a black and white photograph. They exchanged smiles and she whispered:”todas somos calaveras”. Cupid’s arrow struck fast. Yet, as he reached out to touch her hand, she was nothing but air. A ghost.

…..

100 words

Phew. This week’s prompt was rather challenging and I’m not sure if the decor in this cafe was connected to Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations which are held annually on the 2nd November. However, that was the approach I took. Being from Sydney, Australia, Mexico is a long way from home and quite a bit of research was required to pull this off. I only heard about the Day of the dead for the first time a few years ago.

Naturally, I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who has actually been there.

Catrina August 21

José Guadalupe Posada, Calavera de la Catrina (Skull of the Female Dandy), from the portfolio 36 Grabados: José Guadalupe Posada, published by Arsacio Vanegas, Mexico City, c. 1910, printed 1943, photo-relief etching with engraving, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the friends of Freda Radoff.

In the National Geographic article listed below, I found a reference to Mexican political cartoonist and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada who created an etching to accompany a literary calavera. Posada dressed his personification of death in fancy French garb and called it Calavera Garbancera, intending it as social commentary on Mexican society’s emulation of European sophistication. “Todos somos calaveras,” a quote commonly attributed to Posada, means “we are all skeletons.” Underneath all our manmade trappings, we are all the same. I really liked that sentiment and hence incorporated it into my story.

Meanwhile, you might enjoy this further reading:

National Geographic – Day of the Dead

The Cultural Trip – Celebrating the Day of the Dead in San Andrés Mixquic

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields. Every week we write 100 words to a photo prompt. This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Best wishes,

Rowena

22 thoughts on “Día de los Muertos…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. Rowena Post author

    That’s what you get as an Australian writing about something I knew nothing about. I Google what type of cars they have in Mexico which came up with the VW and I have a few friends who are always posting photos of conferences on FB and you can end up anywhere on some of those.
    I also liked that quote. We often look at the differences between people and overlook our commonalities. Along similar lines, I was once told that we all have red blood…even the so-called blue bloods.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  2. granonine

    Rowena, I was intrigued by the statement, “todas somos calaveras.” I’m so grateful for Google translate 🙂 “We are all skulls.” Rich, poor, brilliant, slow, beautiful, plain–we all end in the same place. Something to think about.

  3. Rowena Post author

    From where I sit, life after death is the ultimate mystery and we try to fill in the gaps. I am quite intrigued by stories of people who’ve died and come back to life, although I don’t seek them out. I’m a Christian myself and while that provides a framework of answers, there are still more unknowns than knowns.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Linda. I was particularly pleased with that effort. Some weeks work out better than others. I came across that phrase in my research and certainly didn’t know of it beforehand, although it fits in beautifully with my view of people and equality. The other one I’ve heard is that we all have red blood. I feel a strong need to strive towards connection and community…knitting people together instead of looking for difference and division. Sermon over.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  5. gahlearner

    This was interesting and fun with a vivid, rich scene-setting. Alas, when I hear Day of the Dead, I always think of the movie Coco. 🙂

  6. Abhijit Ray

    It was an apt celebration for the occasion, “the day of the dead!”. He asked for it and he got it.

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