In the old stories, strangers at the door could be disguised gods, so you had to invite them in. It was a sin to turn away a guest. Atithi devo bhava. Sanskrit: the guest is God.
Once beyond the twilight there were three lionesses pacing. / "I can no longer bear the weight of days," said the first, / and her paws beat the earth, skin of a drum.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Rachael K. Jones's "Traveling Mercies."