Note: This review is part of the 2016 Summer Reading Diversity Spotlight.
Scarecrow by Alyssa Wong
Release Date: September 2014
Publisher: Black Static 42
Genre: Horror, LGBT
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Tor.com is honored to reprint “Scarecrow,” a horror short story by Alyssa Wong. Originally published in Black Static 42 (September 2014), “Scarecrow” has never before been available to read online. Please enjoy this horrific tale of tragic love and corvid loss. This story contains scenes that some readers may find upsetting.
Okay, so this is the second short story that I’ve read in second person and I think it’s safe to say that second person is more prevalent in short stories than long form fiction? Anyway, I liked it, even though it put me in a horror story in a way I’d never actually want to experience it again. But it wasn’t so bad after all, So if you’re a punk like me, no worries here.
Although I may be biased because not only do I love birds, I am fascinated by the symbolism of birds and if you know anything about a creepy flock of scarecrows, then you know what you’re in for here.
I love how in such a short amount of time, we’re taken on such an emotional journey here as we follow a boy who attends the funeral of the boy he loved but was too afraid to love with all he had while Eli was alive.
In fact, that fear led to lies and ultimately, led to death. Exploring what happens here when vulnerability is pushed away, pushed down, when one doesn’t believe they are strong enough to bear the weight of certain feathers, that was shown beautifully here.
Well, okay, this is horror so I can definitely see how terrifying this must read for some, especially if you’re afraid of birds. But I was mesmerized by the storytelling and the visuals, seeing the toll it takes when truth weighs you down instead of setting you free like a bird. When following a flock instead of your heart means the end of you. What a tragic and chilling tale.
Ah, there’s so much symbolism in this story and it is executed so marvelously, I love it. The story itself is standard when it comes down to it but the world in which the heart of the story comes to life is something to behold.
Read Scarecrow by Alyssa Wong at Tor.com.