Title: Last Wish & The Gulf
Author: Poppy Z Brite
These two sort stories represent and ending and a beginning (I hope) as Brite hasn't released new fiction for a decade. "The Gulf" was the last piece he worked on before he went on a hiatus, and examines the sense of place that creeps into a person. Mired in nostalgia, it evokes environment and personal nostalgia in the aftermath of Katrina.
"Last Wish" is a deceptively simple flash piece with a wicked little hook at the end that made me gasp in delighted horror. It's short, it's nasty and it's *tight* and I truly hope that this marks the author's return to writing because this piece is *good*. The writing is tighter, has more punch than older works but features all the characteristic mood.
Brite remains my go-to for descriptive writing that paints a vivid, visceral environment.