Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
I was very indecisive when picking my Deal Me in Stories, so I added an extra “Lunar” twist.
For each full moon, I’ll be reading a horror story written by a woman.
“The Belated Burial” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Card picked: A Seven
Thoughts: I’d venture to say that to some extent everyone has a fear of being buried alive, but the premature burial hysteria of the late 1700s and 1800s took the matter to an extreme level. Edgar Allan Poe had a fascination with the subject and many of his works involve the trope. Caitlin Kiernan’s “The Belated Burial” takes the concept and flips it on its side.
Brylee has been undead for nearly a month. Tradition states that the young vampire must be given a funeral and buried, if only for a day and a night. Brylee knows that no harm can come to her in the black lacquered pine box, buried in the frozen winter earth, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t fear the experience. Her mistress, Miss Josephine, assures her that the experience is necessary and that “there is always something incalculably worse than the very worst thing that she can imagine.” Which is a comforting thought, isn’t it?
Kiernan borrows from another work of Poe, his poem “The Conqueror Worm,” to illustrate just what a vampire might have to fear.
Previously: Caitlin Kiernan is a name I’m familiar with, but this might be the first story of hers I’ve read. Just today, I notice that she has a story included in the upcoming Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 2.