Matt Bell’s “An Index of How Our Family Was Killed”

One of the most interesting short stories I’ve read in a long time is Matt Bell’s “An Index of How Our Family Was Killed,” up now at the Conjunctions website. Here’s the “T” section:

Tattoo of my sister’s first initial, eventually to be inked but not yet necessary.

Tattoos, as reminders, as warnings, as expectations of loss.

The sound of a black bag being zippered shut.

The sound of a brother comforting a brother, ignorant of the doom between them.

The sound of a bullet making wet music in his organs.

The sound of a car breaking the surface of a lake.

The sound of a confession, taped and played back.

The sound of a gunshot reverberating, echoing between concrete facades.

The sound of a knife, clacking against bone.

The sound of a message played over and over until the tape wears thin.

The sound of a phone going unanswered.

The sound of a police siren, of multiple sirens responding to multiple events.

The sound of a sister crying and crying.

The sound of a sister saying good-bye, saying that this will be the last time you will see her, for both your sakes.

The sound of a sentence heard three times, that means loss, that means murder, that means another taken from me.

The sound of a woman screaming for hours.

The sound of an alarm ringing.

The sound of sirens, a Doppler effect of passing emergency.

The sound of testimony, of witnessing.

The sound of words left unsaid.

Things that never were, and things that never will.

Check out the story in its entirety here. Hat-tip to this post over at Emerging Writers Network for pointing me to it in the first place.


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