The last time we talked about The Thrashed Wheat of Yellowed October, by Jacqueline Kharouf, we said this: “We like a story that requires something of the reader, that doesn’t lay all its cards down face-up. This story is a beautiful tale about lies and desires, family and foes that wraps around on itself nicely.” These words still hold true, so it’s no surprise that this story is popping up in our revisit of the best stories of last year.
By Jacqueline Kharouf
Young Hollow dipped his bloody hands in the river. His horse stamped in the cold, and the yellow, tarnished leaves settled. Uncurling in the current, the blood seeped away from him. He turned his hands, rubbing at the blood around the edges of his nails and knuckles.
Young Hollow’s horse was gray and spotted white, with a white mane and tail, and dark brown eyes. He flicked his ears toward sounds Young Hollow couldn’t hear.
“A man approaches,” the horse said, his voice low and humming. He backed away from the water.