Well, not quite everywhere.
A woman weeps at the foot of her sparsely-decorated Ofrenda. It is her first Day of the Dead alone, and she can find no reason to be happy; memories that should bring her joy instead bring her sorrow. As she weeps, she prays to the patrona del amor perdido - the patron saint of lost love - that her husband has passed peacefully and without incident into the Land of the Remembered.
The smell of marigolds and the soft strumming of a guitar fill the air.
"—my husband is dead," she tells the beast of bone.
The torero makes a mournful rattling noise that may have been a sigh.
"—I know," he replies. His voice is like the smoothest tres leches cake. He plays a dramatic chord on his guitar; again, the smell of marigolds comes upon her.
The world holds its breath.
That's when she hears it — the familiar gravelly rumble of her husband's laugh; and when she turns, she sees him, in all his sugar-skeleton glory. For a split second, she dares not believe: this must be some sort of cruel trick. But it cannot be so, for all around, the Remembered are reuniting with the living, as though they have never left! Bony hands clasp with fleshy ones; laughter and song rise from lungs both empty and full. Indeed, in every corner of the cemetery, the dead have come to dance with their loved ones. She tearfully embraces her husband, and as she turns to praise the torero for his gift, he has already begun to walk away, going unnoticed among the rejoicing families. He must be going to the Ofrenda of his own family, and she knows there is only one family of bullfighters in this town.
No family is remembered quite as fondly as familia Sánchez. Their corridas are legendary; people would come from miles around to watch a Sánchez take down a bull. Each Sánchez moved with unparalleled skill and courage — some would say they make bullfighting look easy. However, the family seems to have fallen on hard times ever since the passing of their last son...
In spite of their recent tribulations, the Sánchez family Ofrenda is one of the most decorated and visited in town, and indeed, the beast of bone is there; from a distance, he watches his two best friends as they exchange stories and place flowers at the base of the altar, though he dares not approach them. He knows the damage his death has wrought. Instead, the torero - the black sheep, the would-be mariachi, the patron saint of music and lost love - conceals himself in the feverishly-dancing crowd and picks at the strings of his guitar, and he plays until the sun rises and the Remembered vanish with the dawn.
He is the last of them to leave, taking the scent of marigolds with him.
Story, profile, and coding by kenny.
Overlay and pet art by kenny with help from the amazing (and patient) Folara!