Author: Nick Antosca
Publisher: Guernica Magazine
First Published: January 28, 2019
Source: Read Online
But there was no Goldilocks in his story. There were only the Wolfs, who lived together in a cave above a town. Big Wolf, Middle Wolf, and Little Wolf. Big Wolf was a brute. Little Wolf was timid. Middle Wolf was the peacemaker.Also by this author: The Girlfriend Game
After seeing the trailer for the movie Antlers, which is set to be released next year, I was excited to find out that there was an accompanying short story that was published for free online. I decided to give it a read and it made me both excited for and dread the new movie. A majority of the students that I work with are aspiring teachers, and this little story is every new teacher’s worst nightmare.
“She just wasn’t sure she loved being a teacher. Especially not here, in this town.”
Julia Grey is a new teacher that is participating in the Teach for America, a nonprofit program that places teachers in areas with high levels of inequality. Julia is assigned to a small town in West Virginia. She finds herself struggling with her new position in a depressed town, but her heart is opened to the poorest boy in her class, Lucas. Out of a desire to help him, and the seeming disinterest of the other educators to help him, she takes it upon herself to help him and meet his family.
The story spirals down from there as Julia finds herself in over her head. Even though some elements of the novel were predictable, it still managed to send chills up my spine. The atmosphere is extremely dark, and the allusions to the occult made me feel nervous while reading. It reminded me why I love and appreciate good horror, and prompted me to immediately pick up another book by the same author. For moviegoers looking to see the film next year, I definitely recommend giving this short story a read!