My name is Honoria Sweet—you can call me Honey; most people do—and I see dead people. Not all of them, of course; just the ones who want me to see, and hear, them. But not the ones I want to see, like my late parents, so I could tell them one more time how much I love and miss them. And, while it might be helpful in my day job as a defense attorney to know if I’ve got an innocent client or not, I’ve yet to meet the spirit of a murder victim in any of my cases. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?
Oh, and one more thing you need to know about me: I’m a fictional character created by Kate Freiman. You’ll get to meet me for the first time in Kate’s short story, “A Matter of Minutes,” in the Villainous Vacations anthology edited by Karen Blake-Hall. I’ll appear in my own full-length novel, Haunting Justice in the near future. I’m certainly not her first character to encounter formerly-living-people. Between Kate and myself, I’m the only one who can commune with ghosts, so I’ve been asked to try to explain why Kate writes stories with—to put it bluntly—dead characters in them. (I’m in the middle of a really irritating murder trial, so this will have to be brief.)
According to Kate, and I quote: “Birth and love are the most profound miracles of human life, while death and love are its most profound mysteries.”
The thing is, Kate says, she doesn’t “get” death. What happens to our thoughts, our ideas, our emotions, when we die? What happens to our regrets and postponed intentions? It’s hard to think that everything that makes us alive, makes us human, just disappears when we die. What if we’re not done yet? How can people about whom we say they are “larger than life” suddenly not exist? Where does the love go?
Storytellers get to make up the rules of their story worlds, so Kate has created a world in which some people manage to stay after they… leave. Justice and resolution have a lot to do with that world. Kate’s big on the concepts of justice and fairness and resolution, so in her world, it’s possible for some—not all—people to finish what they’ve left undone, repair what may have been broken, close doors that should no longer be open. She’s also big on the notion that love lasts beyond the end of life. And really, I can’t find fault with that, even if her logic and knowledge of biology and physics are a little… weak.
That’s one of the best things about fiction, isn’t it? Storytellers can play what if? with all sorts of ideas and who’s to say whether the “truth” of a story is—or isn’t—really true?
MYSTERY, MURDER AND MAYHEM: Why settle for one nefarious crime when you can have eleven?
If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns, then you will love this new collection of edge-of-your-seat crime stories guaranteed to make you flinch.
You will not be able to put “Villainous Vacations” down. Or fall asleep after reading these gripping stories.
Re-connect with familiar authors and find new favourites in this delicious collection.
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