Fiction: "Dredge" by Matt Bell
Published in Hayden's Ferry Review
I found this creepy, well-written story a week ago and put off sharing it because of certain MFA-related obligations. But now that I've got time, I thought I'd better get this out to you guys.
From "Dredge," by Matt Bell:
In the garage, he lifts the lid of the chest freezer that sits against the far wall. He stares at the open space above the paper-wrapped bundles of venison, tries to guess if there’s enough room, then stacks the meat on the floor, makes piles of burger and steak and sausage until he’s sure. He goes out to the car and opens the back door. He lifts the girl, grunting as he gathers her into his arms like a child. He’s not as strong as he used to be, and she’s heavier than she looks, with all the water filling her lungs and stomach and intestinal tract. Even through her tank top he can see the way it bloats her belly like she’s pregnant. He’s careful with her as he lays her down in the freezer, careful as he brushes the hair out of her eyes again, as he holds her eyelids closed until he’s sure they’ll stay that way.
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(Image credit: "My Things No. 1, 2001-2002" by Hong Hao)