Dominican WARM BODIES
Marisol lives in Villavivos, a town where humans and undead Vivos live together in harmony—supposedly. But when the local all-Vivo theatre troupe is poisoned and descends into a feeding frenzy during a performance, tensions between Vivo and human grow. After receiving an encoded letter from her scientist mother, Marisol must make the dangerous trek across the wild west to find a cure, with nothing but a gun and the Vivo boy who makes her heart flutter.
All humans went veiled and scented in Villavivos, a custom meant either to help Vivos control their painful appetite for human flesh, or to protect humans from the ravages of the feral undead, depending on which way you voted. My own veil was a gauzy covering of white netting over my face, showcasing the delicate flowers stitched along the hem. Today’s scent was a soft rose and bergamot.
I hoped it paired well with my outfit: a blue shirtwaist dusted with daisies and full brown skirts. I’d hesitated between this and another outfit this morning, but the daisy print was just so charming. I wished very much to be charming today.
For no reason. Certainly not for a boy. Silly thought.
I dusted off my skirts and sat on my stool behind the counter, flipping open a copy of Entérate Vivo, the local Vivo newspaper. They had better coverage of the coming election for Mayor, and not just because they favored my sister for the position. A few customers came through—mostly Vivos, and two human girls giggling over their nerve for venturing into the neighborhood.
I told myself I was just as happy to greet one customer as the next, but whenever the door opened and the bell rang, my heart lifted, and whenever it wasn’t him, it dipped.