How High We Go In the Dark: Self Can’t Even


A grieving father volunteers to take his daughter’s place in a research station in Siberia. He’s shown the crater the scientists were exploring when his daughter had the accident that killed her. Then, of all the crappy things to happen, the 30,000-year-old corpse that his daughter stumbled across on her last day alive turns out to be infected with a virus. And it’s the grieving father who’s been dissecting it for study. (Why did you — oh my God — WHAAAAAT?)

This is what self will refer to as the Don’t Look Now moment, after the short story by Daphne du Maurier: in the story, a grieving father chases the memories of his dead daughter, which lead him straight to . . . a serial killer!

In How High We Go In the Dark, the father knows what’s going to happen:

  • I put on my daughter’s snow gear, taking the dogu figurine with me, and walk out onto the tundra, picture Clara there beside me beneath the aurora. I don’t take the ATV. I walk the mile to the crater’s edge. I imagine the virus and anything else the ice has kept hidden from us being sucked into the figurine, its stone belly filled with all that can harm us. I tell my daughter I love her and throw the dogu into the crater, waiting for all that has been unburied to be retaken into the earth. I walk back to the outpost. I can barely breathe.

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