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Monday, April 7, 2014

"Beneath the Surface of Two Kills" by Shauna O'Meara

First appeared in WotF 30. Author website.

This simple, stark if paradoxically quiet story took me off guard as I'm used to sweeping dramas from this anthology series (which I do enjoy).  The narrator, a hunter, has to track down the endangered Warygu as a last meal for a cruel killer on death row.

Spoiler: As he successfully tracks the creature down, he realizes he's no better than the killer and lets the creature go, equating the ideas of hunting with cold-blooded murder.

Thematically, a strong and effective if a bit overt work (see title).  It might have been even stronger if the author had listened to a reasonable hunting proponent and then argued against him.  Also, a more moving work might have made the hunter related to either the killer or his victim.  Nice to see variety in the anthology series.

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