"Aura" is a short story (or novella depending on what you consider to be the length of one) which reads a lot like an Edgar Allan Poe story. It's heavily gothic in tone, has many horror elements, and has a supernatural twist at the end.
A young man called Felipe applies for a job translating the writings of a long dead General, husband to his employer - an extremely old woman called Consuelo - before she too dies. Insisting he stay with her during his work in her decrepit and dark house, he falls for Consuelo's beautiful niece Aura. But all is not as it seems when the moon comes out...
Having never read Carlos Fuents before, I found him pleasant to read with a strong gift for narrative (the story is written in the second person, not the easiest of perspectives), and a keen mind for keeping the reader guessing. For those readers who enjoy gothic horror, the elements are all present in this story: the religious iconography, the ghostly cats, the garden that's there but isn't, the hallucinatory dream sequences that may or may not be real, the hints at the impossible... or are they?
I don't like the second person narrative perspective which made reading this less enjoyable than if it were in the first or third person, and even for a short story it felt overlong in places. That said, it is an enjoyable enough story that's well written and has a pleasingly chilling tone to it that comes with all good horror stories. Recommended for all horror fans looking for a quick read.
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