(Editor’s note: SHORT SHOTS is a column where I review short stories from horror anthologies, collections, and zines.)
“The Wolf Hunters” by New Mexico author Jennifer Lynn Krohn is a fierce piece of folk horror flash fiction about a woman who challenges the traditions of a male-dominated society. The story appears in Volume 13, Issue 5 of The Molotov Cocktail ezine. Krohn, by the way, is a master of microfiction, winning The Golden Key 2017 Flash Fiction Contest.
Set in a village where wolves are killing the women, “The Wolf Hunters” begins with the females singing inside a church while the men “bravely” hunt the ravenous animals. However, not all is as it seems.
The narrator of the story is the daughter of a prominent leader in the village. She catches her father in what appears to be a simple lie, but it sparks her suspicion enough to challenge him with a rather bold retort.
“It must be a strange wolf, I said to my father, who prefers milkmaids to sheep. My father rolled his eyes and said, what do you know about wolves?”
She will soon know a lot about wolves. One night, while the women sing and the men hunt, the knife-wielding narrator slips out of the church to investigate why the attacks are increasing even though the wolf population is decreasing.
Her spying mission reveals a harsh truth about the men in her village. When she dons one of the wolfskins, it fails to warm her body because “the cold creeps into my heart.” However, she still wears the skin, a symbolic gesture as beautiful as it is compelling. The ending is perfectly satisfying.
At less than 800 words, “The Wolf Hunters” packs a powerful punch, shining the light of truth on a dark society and creating a common hero willing to sacrifice all to challenge the status quo.
7 thoughts on “SHORT SHOTS | ‘The Wolf Hunters’”
Good review, Lionel. Congrats to Krohn on a “killer” flash story!
Thank you, Priscilla!
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