Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Wilderness Wednesdays

Akashic Books introduces a new flash fiction series, Wilderness Wednesdays. Inspired by Nina Revoyr’s brilliant and chilling new novel, Lost Canyon, which is set in the Sierra Nevada and could be categorized as “wilderness noir,” this series will showcase hard-boiled short stories of men and women in perilous encounters with the natural world. But if you think surviving an encounter with a black bear, a 10,000-foot elevation, or a cell phone dead zone sounds difficult, try describing the experience in 750 words or less. Pretty wild.

“Number Two” by Bruce Harris

More powerful than a locomotive!” screamed the headline in Maine’s Portland Press Herald. Ted Schultz feasted his eyes on the front page, and then turned his attention to the meat eaters’ breakfast special in front of him. “It’s got bacon, ham, sausage, and corned beef hash over three eggs,” pined the diner’s waitress minutes prior. “Breakfast special number two, a meal fit for a hero. And it’s on the house! . . .”

“Doom Desire” by Josh Warrener

Cold permeated. I’d been shaking uncontrollably, teeth rattling, for the better part of an hour; every time I’d try to make myself stop, the shaking would multiply by an exponent and my mind would wander off somewhere else . . .

“One Night Driving Out In the Woods . . .” by Alexander Jones

Your eyes widen, heart clenches, fingers dig tightly into the pliable steering wheel cover, and you stomp on the brakes, your quadriceps forcing the pedal down as far as it’ll go, and the heavy, heavy SUV swerves and fishtails and pitches you forward, rubber shrieking, but it’s too late.

“Searching for Graceland” by Vanessa de Sade

Even though it was June, the entire island was still engulfed in a soft gray mist like a widow’s mane, and I felt it caress my face with curiously skeletal fingers as I stepped gingerly down the shaky gangway they provided for foot pedestrians . . .

“No Man” by Nathaniel Kressen

Bugs fornicate in the still water from the storm. They leave their young to swarm my knotted limbs. I flash my teeth like a horse resisting the needle . . .


Featured: Young Adult/Middle Grade