Then begins the forest. It’s possible to sleep there at night without a roof over your head. The wind is calm, and a good bonfire will hold. There are few animals there, and one creature who whispers your name while you sleep.
A short, and not so sweet, story, Rakovich weaves a rich tale in so few well chosen words. In this dark fairytale, our unnamed hero is sent on a quest to find a would-be witch. It reminded me of Margo Lanagan in tone, the world is almost a dreamscape, beautiful, unforgiving and frightening. He gives his characters depth, creates a vivid world for them to inhabit and then lets them run. This one isn’t even novella length, more like a long short story. He’s clearly a talented emerging author and that’s something you should support. Grab a copy of this one and keep your eye out for more work.
The End of the Trail, Louis Rakovich: four stars.
Read it for: a half hour escape.