Writers series offers tantalizing tidbits

by Heather Penn

Sun Star

Over the past 30 years, 1,200 aboriginal woman have been recorded murdered or missing in Canada. Author Adrianne Harun spent time in British Columbia and traveling along what is known as the “Highway of Tears.” A remote stretch of Highway where many unsolved disappearances have taken place.

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Adrianne Harun discussed her book, The King of Limbo, at UAF on November 7 as part of UAF’s Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series. Photo Courtesy of UAF English Department.

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series brought writer Harun to Fairbanks last Friday. Harun who has been writing since her early thirties, read excerpts from two of her books, “A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain” and “The King of Limbo.”
Though her stories are fiction and take place in fictitious towns in Canada and the Northwest, the inspiration to write them is based on something quite real and terrifying .
“Indigenous women of Canada are disappearing at an alarming rate, ” said Harun.  The excerpts read by Harun hint towards a sinister force abducting the characters in her stories.
One such force is discussed in a short story about a girl who cleans hotel rooms. It has long been knowledge that women disappear from the hotel quite frequently. Due to this knowledge the girl is to follow specific protocol when cleaning. Always place a wedge in front of the door so someone can’t easily close you in. Never enter a room when someone is still in it. The girl always follows these rules until one day she enters and doesn’t immediately see the man sitting on the rug in his boxers playing with cards. After setting the wedge just so she notices him and starts to back away. But something keeps her from backing out and she finds herself moving forward. She isn’t scared but her mind keeps telling her this is a bad idea. The man begins to speak and gently takes her two hands in his. The door clicks shut behind her and…That is where the listener is left to wonder what happened.

Another enticing story focused on a mother who had 12 daughters. Not all were born by her, some were cousins and friends but all were a family. One day as the mother is taking the washing off the line, she notices a man in a suit standing there watching her. The mother keeps her distance and eventually persuades the man to leave. Just as he turns to go he decides to take the washing down himself. Before the mother can stop him he swiftly unpins all the items and is almost instantly standing inches from her with the washing laid over his arm. He hands her the pile then walks off. The mother returns to the house and for the first time in memory locks the door. As she begins to separate out the items she notices each one bears an identical stain. One dress is missing completely and this truly vexes her…
The listener is left to wonder about this stranger and what happens to the wearer of the missing dress.

Lastly and by far one of the creepiest tales, tells the story of a man who came into some money. There is a telling that when this happens a door opens in the mountain and a man comes out. This man goes to the newly fortunate’s house and entices him to spend it all, many times at the expense of the once lucky mans family. Once the money is all spent the man turns to leave but slaps his hand at the top of the door leaving a mark that forever follows the family. Through moves and changes the mark always reappears. The mark can only be one thing the mark of the devil.

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