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hs15150.jpgbuy prints of select* halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (*prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 15

The icebox was built. It was rough and uneven in places, but it would do. The ice – which had to be replenished constantly – filled the space that ran along the back of the crate. Tucky drilled holes in the base to allow the water to drain out into a basin. During the day they’d keep it outside and let the water seep into the ground. Plus, an outdoor location would help with the smell, which was becoming harder to mask. The box stood upright, the Lady Sasquatch having been carefully nailed into place by a local taxidermist.

It was Dave’s job to sit overnight with the Lady Sasquatch, replacing the ice and emptying the basin. He was used to the smell, though it had started to permeate his clothes. And didn’t mind staying up through the night.
He was alone in the garage, reading. His chair faced the Lady Sasquatch. The sheet of plexiglass Tucky attached with hinges to serve as a door when the Sasquatch went on display the next day was open. The taxidermist suggested they keep the door unlatched whenever possible; something to do with combustible gasses. He also suggested Tucky have her embalmed, but he refused. He’d lose at least a day with her, he said, and that day could mean a lot of money.

So Dave sat and read and listened to mix cassette tapes filled with Joy Division and Bauhaus songs that Lisa told Rebecca she could borrow. Every fifteen minutes he climbed up on a stepladder and added another bag of ice to the back of the box.

Every once in a while someone would bang on the garage door and yell something about the Sasquatch. He’d turn the music up and ignore them.

By four a.m. it was quiet. Outside, the sun rose higher and brighter, but the garage was windowless. Dave appreciated that it felt like night stuck in the smelly room, away from the constant summer sun that could, even after all of his seventeen years, still be disorienting. His mother would be up at five and take over ice duties. Tucky had a press conference scheduled for ten.

Dave pulled another bag of ice out of the freezer and lugged it over to the Sasquatch icebox. He poured the ice in and checked the basin. He used a plastic pail to scoop out three buckets of water that he then splashed on the concrete floor. It was warm; it would dry.

He walked around to the front of the icebox and looked up at the Lady Sasquatch. He averted his eyes, not wanting to catch hers. She was dead, he knew this, but he couldn’t look too closely at her face. And when he did sneak a glance it was always from the side and with great, undeniable guilt.

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke