Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Barrio Girls, by Charles de Lint

Triskell Press, May 2019

Ruby and Vida are barrio girls, cousins and best friends. As children, they were obsessed with fairies. As teenagers, they're obsessed with vampires, and have crushes on the stars of a hit vampire movie, based on a set of books they also love.

They go out one night to the arroyo, looking for bits of magic, most especially a "magic pearlstone" that will help them be like the heroes of their favorite movie and books. What they find instead is a witch, a tlahulpuchi, a vampire witch. And when the witch starts to get alarming, the man following them, Pepé, one of the members of their Uncle Crusher's gang, steps forward to protect them. The witch tosses a spell, and in moments Pepé is dead.

The girls get out of there, tell their uncle that Pepé fell and is dead. They don't say anything about the witch because they don't want anyone else killed. They decide they have to deal with the witch themselves.

I can't really say much more, because in a short story, it's hard to avoid spoilers.

Ruby and Vida are good friends, loyal to their family, full of imagination and initiative. I like them, and I like their extended family, its cohesion and mutual support.


I bought this short story.

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