A review of Lydia Peever’s “Everyday” (in Pray Lied Eve, Hora Morior Productions, 2013).
By Derek Newman-Stille
Our houses are places where we are supposed to be safe, places of comfort and security… but what happens when that space is disrupted? Houses can become estranged fast when we are alone, and when changes happen to our dwellings that we know could not occur – the familiar can be quickly made unfamiliar.
Lydia Peever’s short story “Everyday” explores a woman living alone in her house yet waking each night to sounds after dark and finger prints on her door. She loves Halloween, but things start to get strange.
Peever examines the oddity of Halloween, a sort of temporal monstrosity that combines childhood innocence and the darkness of death – candy and monsters. It is a form of escape, but it is also fundamentally dark, reflective, and represents a sort of hyper-reality where issues such as death and the things that we relegate to the dark become visible.
The reflective nature of Halloween and the odd ways that Halloween haunts her house (originally just cluttering the basement with old decorations and nostalgia, and then becoming more real as spectres of children in Halloween costumes drift through her home) cause Kaia to reflect on how her life has become like a haunting, like a parade of Halloween performance and invisibility. She realises that she has been haunting her own life, pretending to live with her costumes of the everyday, an apparition in her own home.
To find out more about Lydia Peever and her short story collection Pray Lied Eve, visit her website at http://nightface.ca/portfolio/ .
That would be so freaky! There are times when the natural creaks and moans of our house shifting, expanding and contracting with changing temperatures or the heavy paws of my large cat can be unnerving when home alone, but to have Halloween characters slipping through the halls of our supposedly solid building would be cause for extreme anxiety!