L’Erin Ogle’s story “Mean Streak” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 22 February 2019.
“Mean Streak” started when I tried to understand where hatred of a group of people different from someone came from. I have known intelligent, otherwise kind people I have stepped away from due to their opinions and beliefs about who counts as a person in the world today. Winnie, the main character, crept in my head and never left. Winnie hasn’t had it entirely easy, her mother died before she knew her, her half sister is prettier and well-liked, and Winnie has the mean streak running though her to boot. Was the mean streak there first? Or did the loss of her mother and the isolation she felt in her remaining family create a wound that scarred into meanness as a way to survive? If Milla hadn’t come, would Winnie have wanted to turn to hunting witches? I’ll let you decide, but ultimately this story was about discovering where hatred comes from, and if it can be understood. I wrote an ending that didn’t fit, because I wanted Milla and Winnie’s father to have a happy ending, but it refused to fit into the story. Mean Streak was the first story I’ve written where some of the narrated passages disturbed me so deeply I felt at odds with writing it–but Winnie was who she was and she had to be written that way.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.