Fiction: "Dredge" by Matt Bell

Published in Hayden's Ferry Review

Mar. 18, 2010
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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 theres enough room, then stacks the meat on the floor, makes piles of burger and steak and sausage until hes 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. Hes not as strong as he used to be, and shes 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 shes pregnant. Hes 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 hes sure theyll stay that way.

Click here to read the full story.

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Ken Brosky

(Image credit: "My Things No. 1, 2001-2002" by Hong Hao)


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