The Visible Filth
Nathan Ballingrud
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
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Chapter 3

Carrie is already awake when Will finally gets up, and is in the kitchen making breakfast, humming something quietly to herself. He thinks about Eric and how he will wake up in pain; at the same time, Will is somehow happy that he, himself, is okay. Later, he joins her in the kitchen and wraps his arms around her. They talk and touch for a while before she enquires about the yellow phone; Will shares the story surrounding the device, despite how it makes him all tense. She also asks about Alicia and whether she was at the bar, to which he informs her about the double date idea, which she thinks is awful.

Carrie pulls the yellow phone to herself and starts going through it, saying that she wants to find the owner. She curses and questions him about the person he was messaging last night. Will sees the continuation of the conversation he abandoned, and there is a picture of half a dozen bloody teeth arranged in a cluster on a wooden table. At this point, Carrie believes that he should take it to the police; but Will still believes that the kids might be messing with him. But he proposes to hand it over to Derek, a policeman in the Sixth District and a regular at Rosie’s, and at which he likes to help out.

The conversation moves on to her paper, where Will is not happy that she calls her professor by his first name. Next, he informs her about going to see Eric due to the fight, but she does not seem happy at all. Finally, with everything said, they share a kiss before she goes into her office where he looks at her and affirms her exquisite beauty. She smiles.


Will does not seem like a person who sleeps a lot considering the hours at which he goes to bed and wakes up. On the other hand, Carrie seems to be following a more-standardised set of hours, where she is already up and making breakfast. The two are genuinely in love and passionate about each other, especially when considering their behavior and mutual attraction. He is drawn to her, and her to him. Carrie’s inquisition about Alicia, and the shame observed in Will, paints the picture that there might be a past between Alicia and Will that the reader is yet to be made aware of. Furthermore, her investigative behavior towards the yellow phone indicates that she may have trust issues towards him; Will, too, can sense the concerns as he feels the tense mood between them.

The picture sent to the yellow phone is breathtaking and scary and is something they should probably show to the police. Will’s reluctance stems from the importance of his own self image, specifically with how that is portrayed to the world. For this reason, he decides to look for Derek, who he can approach without fear of shame. Interestingly, he is also jealous of Carrie calling the professor by his first name. But nevertheless, he is both happy and appreciative to have her, as demonstrated by his admiration of her beauty.

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