Devils Passing

In our culture, we believe that the difference between the living and the dead is not so great at all. The born live in bodies of flesh and blood, beholden to their families and friends, impacting the world around them throughout their entire lives. A person is only able to leave a mark upon the world by ensuring that they are known, and all of their deeds, good and bad, leave a tapestry upon the world when they have died. And when a person dies, their tapestry complete, they are never truly gone while others can look back at that tapestry and remember them. They go on to the next realm, but they are still there to help guide us, to help us learn from their actions, both good and bad. In this way, they are never so different, even in death.

In our culture, we have entire days dedicated to remembering those that came before us, and when we celebrate them, they join us at the altars, at the cemeteries and churches, sharing our food and drink, enjoying our music. The dead come and appreciate the effect that their tapestry has left upon the world, the lessons they've left behind for the living. And when a person hasn't impacted their world, has no family or friends to remember their deeds... Only then is their story truly done.

There is another part of this tradition that we do not often speak of. Each family holds it in their most secret of hearts, and one person is chosen to keep that secret, and to recognize the black tapestries that have come before. On the calendar, in the dark month, exists a separate set of days, put aside for the monsters among us. This time, informally referred to as the Nights of Devils Passing, is never celebrated or recognized in the community at large. But every family has an altar set up for it, in a basement or an attic, in someone's closet or a sealed off back room. This is when the most vile, unrepentant, monstrous members of our community are remembered, for worse (never better). For they must be remembered, lest the community forget and be in danger of repeating their sins. In this time, the chosen representative for the family (who must have been spiritually cleansed beforehand and after) spends days with the dead, surrounded at all times by the devils of their family's past. So it has been for centuries, but the hidden tradition has started to be forgotten. And when the evil dead are no longer given their nights of passing, what will we do then?