At night, when the street lamps are glowing and the children come out of their houses in costume to say "trick or treat" is the moment when my work begins. A job I have been doing since the beginning of my existence.

I grab my worn and dirty shovel- already too old to be ideal, too new for being useless. I grab my coziest blue coat, pick up my black leather suitcase in which I keep my tools and close the door of my humble hut. A hut that to human eyes usually goes unnoticed. Not invisible, no. Just... too common. Tood common for you to pay any attention. Camouflaging itself with all those in the area. Few would stop for carelessness, only for continuing their path a few seconds later. None having it as a destination.

I open the door squinting my eyes at the evening light. Rays of light still softly brush the edge of my cabin. One false step and my existence evaporates. So I sit on my suitcase and wait. It is the winter solstice. The only day where mankind desires night over day. Soon it will be dark.

A few seconds pass before the orange merges into violet and the stars begin to greet the moon.

I stand up, grab my suitcase, put on my hat, too big for my size, and start walking.

It's a thirty minute walk during which I stare at the lighted windows of my neighbors. These are the only minutes of the day when I can get to know the humans around me. Pretend that, for a few moments, I am part of their daily lives. To imagine what their heads are thinking and devising. To feel...that I am part of their community. Part of the society of light....

Oh, Mrs. Margaret is still awake, can you see her swaying to the rhythm of the waltz in her rocking chair? Her crystalline eyes fixed on a photograph of a beautiful cat softly lit by the fireplace. I see her lips tremble softly wanting to cry, and, unbidden, her tears wet her cheeks.

I feel a stirring where there should be a heart. Mrs. Margaret is alone now. She should talk to the consulate...perhaps they could send her some sign to appease her grief. Even if in her belief that would be impossible.

Maybe she would think it was a lie.

A sweet lie.

"Bang, bang, bang." In awe I look down at my suitcase.

"What a scare you gave me but remember it's not time to leave yet...". I gently caress the walls of the suitcase.


"Cute kitty, can't you see the night is still young? I know you want to see your owner but it's not the time yet. Soon it will be, bear with me" . I whisper to her as a small smile peeks on my lips.

'Mistress Margaret' I think, 'I'll take good care of her for you, don't worry'.

I keep walking, passing by Mr. and Mrs. Mendez's house. As always their house is brightly lit. As if they want to keep the darkness away from their home. They, like every year, instead of celebrating the solstice, gather with their relatives. Raising their glasses, toasting to new life on a day when death is celebrated.

They are a large family. Product of love, time and dedication. Many of whom are still present even if their relatives have not seen their faces for years. Listening. Celebrating. Waiting. Waiting to meet again, knowing that the present is the most precious thing they have.

In another house a strident and overwhelming music is heard. Typical from a disco. It's the next door neighbors. I chuckle to myself. Probably the parents have gone on a business trip again, leaving their crazy teenagers in charge of the household. Home that is now the town disco.

I continue my walk leaving the hustle and bustle behind. The laughter, the encounters and the beating of the hearts of the living. Frenzy that reaches my suitcase, which has noticed the laughter of the living. Of how their relatives are enjoying themselves, their friends dancing and feeling that they have been left behind. The souls of those who will cross over. But today was not that day. A sweet surprise awaited them.

Maybe I still don't understand why they suffer if they all go through bittersweet endings and new beginnings. I can only bend down. Stroke their lid and whisper, "Soon, bear with me."

But they refuse to appease. They flail, scream voicelessly and cry tearlessly. So I hasten my pace.

And between blow after blow I reach my destination. The resting place of my dear companions. The moonlight gives it an ethereal aspect, the ideal place to rest after a long life enjoyed...or that should be the case.

My gaze settles on a tombstone that a few months ago made its appearance. Its owner was a little boy who had wept bitterly the first night I came to collect his soul to take him to the other side. He had screamed, kicked and begged to see his mommy. He had not been able to satisfy his wish at that moment.


I take my shovel and dig it into the dirt where the flowers his mother planted on his grave are growing.

"Come out!" I shout as my suitcase opens and the cemetery is invaded by trembling indigo fires.

As the seconds pass the flames take shape, dogs, birds, people from all stages of life fill the space. All of them waiting for me to say the magic words that will allow them to visit their relatives, even the little ghost from before looks at me with illusion. I can't help but smile at the spectacle. Even death is bursting with life....

"Happy Halloween!" I exclaim.

And like a gale all the souls scurry off to their homes rampaging everything in their path in an attempt to make the most of these hours when, once a year, a bridge is formed between life and death.

So if on Halloween night your mask flies through the air or your makeup runs, I apologize in advance. Understand, it's just a soul wishing to be able to see their loved ones.