“Dry” by Judy Hall published in DIGGING THROUGH THE FAT | ripping out the heart is told in first-person and in only 261 words we learn of a woman’s depression and guilt and fears and history. Poetically told how she succumbs to an underwater life at night with “fear of having to escape Daddy.” Suicides of a friend and another possible haunt her as well. Her own? She imagines herself as a fish that can swim to escape the house through some crevices; however, then finds the house a fishbowl in which she swims round and round, seeing her children but unable to relate, separated still. During the day she once again lives in a dry place with lover and children. Every night she submerges again. She’s so tired. She cannot stop swimming “for to stop is to die” but she longs for rest.
This is the type of short story that should be memorized and recited aloud. It is poetic and concise and pretty but with very sad undertones.