Jay Alexander (RIP Nick Harper) is making his folk horror debut with “Elken,” a short story that is beautifully haunting and heavy with atmosphere. The prose are deep and descriptive, poetic and unsettling. This reads like a Harper story, but why wouldn’t it? In fact, it might even be stronger than a Harper story, because there’s a confidence and ease to be felt here in the dark world of the Elken, the kind that is reflective of a man at peace with the war inside himself. Jay writes like a lost artist in the world he’s creating, despite the foreboding darkness. He becomes one with the beast and writes like a nightcrawler, reporting the horrors as they play out before him.
“Elken” features enough blood and gore, monsters, and illusion to warrant rejoice from all fans of horror and fucked up fairy tales. I want more of this god and what it can do, what it can destroy and change.
Obviously, I’m excited for the story collection to follow later this year. Bring on the Starving Grounds!