‘The Less Said’ by Jolene McIlwain

This is a deeply disturbing story that brings to mind Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino and Twin Peaks. A rural community clashes with a small group of outsiders – with good reason. The title of this piece sums up the attitudes perfectly – the characters are frequently unwilling or unable to speak about the horrors in their community. “More you stir the shit, more it stinks was what everyone said.” But who needs words, when you have actions? ‘The Less Said’ is a brilliantly told story of hurt and revenge, that weaves a whole community consciousness into just a few hundred words. 

first published by New Orleans Review, May 2018. Available to read online here