Short Tuesday #28: “Wilderness” by Letitia Trent

This week I returned to Nightmare Magazine to take a look at “Wilderness” by Letitia Trent. You can read it for free here…

I had a lot of fun with this short story! It concerns a group of people waiting for a delayed flight in a small airport who become increasingly concerned that dire secrets are being kept from them by the airport staff. The main character is traveling alone, is feeling sick, and gives off aloof vibes, which introduces a wedge between her and the other passengers. If you’re a fan of fiction with a paranoia/mob mentality focus (The Mist comes to mind), then this is probably a good read.

One thing I thought was interesting was the author’s decision to not employ quotation marks for any of the dialogue—perhaps to keep everything happening around the MC feel a bit more distant to her? Her character is of an observer, and I think that not using quotation marks perhaps gives readers a stronger feeling of being fully in the MC’s head. It’s a writing technique I might think about using myself in the future.

I do wish there had been more of an ending to the piece; like a lot of other short stories, “Wilderness” ends abruptly, and I didn’t find the conclusion satisfying. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the author’s voice and all the character details.

3 thoughts on “Short Tuesday #28: “Wilderness” by Letitia Trent

  1. I check out this magazine because of your last post about it and I’m so glad I did! That said, I kind of feel like this story was my favorite out of the bunch because of how few answers it had and because of the terrifyingly abrupt ending. It somehow added to the horror experience for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you took a look at Nightmare Magazine, they’re such a great site! I know a lot of people do like a sudden ending to their short fiction–that’s something I’ve encountered a lot since I started reading more short stories.

      If you get a chance, I’d check out “In a Cavern, in a Canyon,” also at Nightmare Magazine. Definitely in the running for my personal favorite short story of this year.


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