Martin Blaskett moves to a small town to oversee construction of a housing development, where he encounters a shape-shifting figure from local legend — Scratch. He is taken under the wing of his new neighbor, a retired hunting guide named Gil Rose, and befriends a local woman named Alison. Along the way, trouble ensues as Scratch feels threatened by changes to the landscape, luring locals out into the woods, including Alison's son. As the blame for a range of events falls at Martin's feet, he is beset by increasingly inhuman dreams, and comes to doubt his own innocence. A literary novel of wilderness noir that engages the supernatural elements of folklore in the manner of magical realism, Scratch explores the overlapping layers of history, ecology, and storytelling that make up a place.
Steve Himmer is author of the novels The Bee-Loud Glade and Fram. His stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Hobart, Hawk & Handsaw, The Collagist, and Los Angeles Review, and in anthologies such as On The Clock: Contemporary Short Stories of Work and Re:Telling. He edits the webjournal Necessary Fiction and teaches at Emerson College in Boston.