About Goddess of Filth
“Five of us sat in a circle doing our best to emulate the girls in The Craft, hoping to unleash some power to take us all away from our home to the place of our dreams. But we weren’t witches. We were five Chicanas living in San Antonio, Texas, one year out of high school.”
One hot summer night, best friends Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla, and Pauline hold a séance. It’s all fun and games at first, but their tipsy laughter turns to terror when the flames burn straight through their prayer candles and Fernanda starts crawling toward her friends and chanting in Nahuatl, the language of their Aztec ancestors.
Over the next few weeks, shy, modest Fernanda starts acting strangely—smearing herself in black makeup, shredding her hands on rose thorns, sucking sin out of the mouths of the guilty. The local priest is convinced it’s a demon, but Lourdes begins to suspect it’s something else—something far more ancient and powerful.
As Father Moreno’s obsession with Fernanda grows, Lourdes enlists the help of her “bruja Craft crew” and a professor, Dr. Camacho, to understand what is happening to her friend in this unholy tale of possession-gone-right.
Praise For Goddess of Filth
“Castro’s compelling and immersive novella displays exhilarating talent, and will appeal to fans of both Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts (2015) and Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties (2017).”
—ALA Booklist (starred review)
“A reclamation of history and women’s sexuality, Goddess of Filth takes unexpected turns at every page, rewriting the myths of sin and holiness, lust and innocence. This story holds a mirror to countless horrors and doesn’t flinch.”
—Natalia Sylvester, author of Everyone Knows You Go Home and Running
“Timely, important, and packing more literary gut punches than anything I’ve read in a long time. Goddess of Filth is fantastic. Do not miss this one!”
—Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rising
“Goddess of Filth is a dark, haunting story that I couldn’t let go of—and that wouldn’t let go of me. Castro blends Aztec mythology, her own unique life experiences, and a collection of memorable characters together to create something wholly unique, disturbing, and mesmerizing. Sometimes possessions aren’t all bad, and Goddess of Filth tells that story with verve.”
—Alex Segura, author of Blackout and Miami Midnight
Starts with powerful desire to break free from shackles, borders, realms, and touch something greater, with strength one will rise, hooking you in, reeling you forward the prose impacting, potent precise, on edge lyrically pulling you succumbing to the voice with a little bruja magic.
The lives, chronicles of young women, sisters at the precipice of something unearthly, ungodly, succumbing the reader forward with all the disgust, filth and power.
There is fiction play with religion things, filthy things, and horror, so do not enter forth if these factors may upset.
Since the experience through The Exorcist, the Shining, and Carrie one may have been wanting for more to read and this serves up more to read.
“I thought about who I wanted to contact. If I could reach a spirit, it would have to be a thing of power, something to give me hope.
I concentrated every ounce of will, the kind of ganas you would need in a life or death situation, then released it all through my lips with authority.
“I want to reach a spirit. An old spirit, one from before the world was what we know today. If you are there, speak to us. Give us a sign.”
Ana, Perla, Pauline, and Fernanda had their eyes closed. Not me. If there was something or someone listening, I had to see it. I was as broke in faith as I was in pocket. This was a time when you had ICE storming around like possessed Storm Troopers on crack, people getting shot trying to learn or pray or buy milk. Stories of people going missing. Bodies of displaced people washed up on river beds and coastlines for all to see, to cry about, but ultimately forget. You’ve heard of the Cold War? This was the beginning of the Border Wars. I wondered how much time was really left for any of us. I think I would have settled for the devil himself if he promised me things would work out in the end—for me, for my friends, for my sisters who couldn’t even spell their names yet.
“Naqui.Naqui.Naqui. Niyoli.Niyoli.Niyoli.” Her eyeballs shook with sporadic tremors, her pupils those of someone rolling on ecstasy. I was closest to her and probably the only one to notice that they were changing in shape and color. Suddenly the air-conditioning was too cold on my skin. There was no way I could be seeing what I was seeing.
When we left the classroom, I gave Pauline a hug. Senior year was hard, knowing there was nothing happening after. I had to stay behind because I couldn’t even afford community yet. My parents didn’t earn enough to put extra aside for me with three other mouths to feed, or have any collateral for a loan. They also did not fall below the poverty line to qualify me for free money. But I appreciated Pauline’s support at that moment.
Voices cried out, bodies swayed, bands played in jubilation to conjure the descending dove, the power of God. Despite the noise and great sense of belief surrounding me, I still felt nothing; only once was there enough guilt for me to think about tossing out my Danzig CD with the black demon on the front that made me think about sex.
You are good enough. In all cultures there are those that work as conduits, healers, shaman, witches . . . so many names. Some are more tolerant of those reaching to the other side while others believe it is an act of evil. As if they alone possess such absolute knowledge, something they can hoard and deal out as they see fit. I am a goddess and you a mortal female with much to learn about life and about yourself. However, these are the very attributes that will allow me to thrive without harming you. At first it will be like you experienced before; I will need control for a time as we test our compatibility. Perhaps we can do great things together?
About V. Castro
V. Castro is a Mexican American author from San Antonio, Texas now residing in the UK. She is a full-time mother, a Latinx literary advocate, and co-founder of Fright Girl Summer, a platform to amplify marginalized voices. She writes Latinx novels of horror, erotic horror, and science fiction, including her most recent, Hairspray and Switchblades. Connect with Violet via Instagram and Twitter @vlatinalondon or at www.vvcastro.com.