Pinckney Benedict, "Dog"

A dog has holed itself up under the trailer to die.

(from Town Smokes)

Eldridge heard the noise before Broom did. Broom was watching cartoons on the little black-and-white tv on the floor in the living room and he had the sound up pretty high so he missed it.

The noise that Eldridge heard was a squeak, a high squeak and a scratching sound. He was coming out of the bathroom when he heard it, walking in his bare feet, just a towel wrapped around his waist. He figured at first it was the floor of the trail — it was an old trailer that he and Broom lived in and beginning to rust out a little, starting to settle down uneven on the cinder-block foundations. Then he heard it again when he was a little ways down the hall toward the biggest bedroom and he knew this time that it was something that was alive.

“Dog” was was
inelegant but so visceral and descriptive, I was able construct a lucid mental picture of the scene. Who these guys are and why they share a trailer, or are even friends, is never explicitly stated, but their shared dilemma seems to unite them. Suspenseful and strange, this story kept crept along but kept my interest, maybe even worried.
Read it here.

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