Short Story Review: “The Crevasse” by Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud

3 of 5 stars.

Stress and a bleak environment combine to create a psychologically compromised narration. In this tale, the unforgiving Antarctic landscape lends a Lovecraftian twist to an expedition.

Divided between two sledges, 4 men and 10 huskies aim for the coast to get the dying teammate, Faber, to a safer environment. The front sledge slams into an emergent crevasse swallowing the lead dog, Atka. The men are grounded as the weight of the dog pulls on its team and sled. The doctor, Garner, hedges in sacrificing the lead dog as his mind drifts to his wife, Elizabeth, who succumbed to the Spanish flu while he was in the French trenches.

On the glacial plain, the screaming winds, whimpering dogs, howling Atka dropped to the crevasse’s depth, raving Faber high on morphine and Elizabeth’s siren call all compete for attention . . .

This short story was included in the anthology The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2010 edited by Paula Guran. I’ve previously reviewed Bailey’s “The End of the End of Everything” and Ballingrud’s “The Monsters of Heaven”.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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