Aunt family, rather early on in Eva’s story, I think.
It was a quiet evening, a Friday on the edge between autumn and winter. There was a fire roaring in the wood stove – their family liked to do things old-school when they could – and the lanterns were all filled and ready. Nights like this, the power liked to go out, and if there was one thing the family as a whole agreed on, it was that being prepared was far better than cursing the darkness.
Especially considering the darkness had a tendency of cursing back people like them.
Eva was playing cards – gin rummy, a relatively safe pursuit – with one of her older aunts. Aunt Karaleen had celebrated her hundred-and-third birthday just a few months ago, and while nobody would ever say one of their family was going senile, she did tend to forget what decade it was now, and she had a habit of wandering combined with the family’s trademark stubbornness. About the only way to keep her in one place for any length of time was to entertain her, and tonight was Eva’s turn.
Eva pulled a card from the pile and glanced at it. “Oh, this isn’t supposed to be here.” The joker on an ancient wild card grinned back at her. “I don’t even think it’s from this deck.” She dropped it into the discard pile.
Aunt Karaleen chuckled throatily. “Oh, him? He never shows up when he’s supposed to. But now you’ve seen him, you’ll be seeing him again.”
The lights flickered and popped as the neighborhood went dark. Karaleen laughed again. “See? And now we’ve called him. It will be a long winter, mark you, and fruitful, but not one of us will forget it.” Something strange and sad took over her voice. “Not even me,” she whispered.
|Is there more
in the cards?
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