How to Kill Blight Rats

The Wind Has Teeth Tonight  by Chuck Wendig is a short story/flash fiction/teaser for other writing. I read anything that is written by Chuck Wendig. My mind is always diverted to new directions by this creative writer. And if you follow his author page on Amazon, you will see there are some short award-winning films as well.

This short story should be pleasing for young (think fifteen-year-old and under) readers as well as readers of indeterminate age, like me. First, it is short. Readers who like this might even be encouraged to read longer books. Second, there is the satisfying idea that young women are creative and smart. They can sometimes come up with better solutions than their experienced slightly older male elders.

Then there are the creative descriptions of a dystopian world. There is malevolent corn (it will hurt you). We can sort of figure out what “shuck” rats are, but what are blight rats? The story explores the society that fosters the formation of gangs necessary for survival. There is a ruling Empyrean structure that has Obligations enforced by a semi-military group, the Babysitters. Gwennie is a part of that world and she doesn’t like her assigned role in it, that of a seamstress. She meets Cael while on a search for her brother. Her brother wants to be part of Cael’s group but group members think Gwennie’s brother is too young. Traveling through a hostile physical environment (the corn) to an abandoned processing plant full of valuable scavenging treasure, Cael and Gwennie discuss why her brother is there, what dangers he and they might face in the rescue attempt and why their world is not a good place to live in. And also Gwennie thinks Cael is sort of hot. And vice versa.

There is an interesting solution to threatening vermin which endanger the rescue attempt. Not surprisingly (to the reader) Gwennie thinks of it. This short story fulfills all expectations of it. It entertains. It encourages further reading. The ending entices the reader to more Chuck Wendig books. That is a good thing.

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