Brian Van Reet


“Eat the Spoil”

Winner of the Texas Institute of Letters Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story. Named a Distinguished Story in The Best American Short Stories 2015. Published in the Missouri Review Vol. 37.1 (Spring 2014).

mortar exploded on roof

From the “Kindred Issues” foreword by Speer Morgan:

The fiction in this issue includes Brian Van Reet’s “Eat the Spoil,” an Iraq war story about a mission to discover the source of mortar fire bombarding a camp outside Baghdad. The gunner-narrator describes going out in a tank convoy to locate the enemy. Command is convinced that the enemy has escaped the fire of attack helicopters and is hiding out in the hospital that they come upon, but when soldiers enter to search the building, the lunacy of the situation is just beginning.