That Three Day Smell

 “You may place the cats on the front porch,” Dee said.

Phil looked at me.  “You want these monsters inside?”
 I peered into the crate.  A Siamese poked a paw through the bars.  “She never remembers I’m allergic.”

“Driver,” Dee indicated the crate.
“His name’s Phil, Dee.  I’m sure you remember your old neighbor.  What are we going to do with these cats?”

I’m going to take them inside.”
“Let’s keep them out here.”

“In this heat?  That won’t do.”


A car drove up.  “Dee!”

Phil rolled his eyes.  “Milton must have heard about Dee’s marital problems.”
“Don’t hold dinner.”  Dee ran to the car and got inside.  Milton sped away.  I considered the chicken browning in the oven. 

“You got any cat food?”  Phil said, after we hauled the crate to the basement.   
There’s probably some jerky at the back of the crate.  Makes it herself.”

Phil brought forth two jars.  “Which one?”
“Shouldn’t matter.”

He opened a jar and sniffed.  “Mmmmm.  Mind if I try?”
“Lord knows what Dee puts in that stuff.  Catnip for sure.  Why don’t you stay for dinner instead?”

* * *
“You hear from Dee yet?”

“Three days, Phil.  You think she would’ve checked in.  She’s gallivanting around town and Derrick is in the hospital.”
“What happened?”  Phil’d always liked my son-in-law.

“Food poisoning.”
Phil chuckled.  “He’s going to have to learn to cook.”

“Dee’s phone is off.  I have no way of…Do you smell something?”
Phil sniffed; made a face.  “What is that?”

“The cats.”  I hadn’t checked on them at all.  “They’re so quiet.  I forgot…”
We rushed downstairs. 

The front door opened.  “Mother?”
“Be right up!”

“Mother, I’m engaged!”  Dee came down the stairs; saw her lifeless cats.  “You didn’t feed them.”
 “Of course I did.  I don’t know what could have…”

“Which jar?”  Her hands were shaking.  Her eyes were wild.
Phil picked up the jar.  “This one.”

Dee screamed. 
That night, Derrick died.

The next day, Milton broke off the engagement.
This was written in response to a prompt from Trifecta:
We promised we'd keep the fun going on the weekends, and here we are. This weekend's prompt is borrowed from Benjamin Franklin, who once said, "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." We want you to tell us a story about a guest, invited or otherwise, who begins to smell, metaphorically or otherwise, after three days.


Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: That Three Day Smell

Saturday, July 14, 2012

That Three Day Smell

 “You may place the cats on the front porch,” Dee said.

Phil looked at me.  “You want these monsters inside?”
 I peered into the crate.  A Siamese poked a paw through the bars.  “She never remembers I’m allergic.”

“Driver,” Dee indicated the crate.
“His name’s Phil, Dee.  I’m sure you remember your old neighbor.  What are we going to do with these cats?”

I’m going to take them inside.”
“Let’s keep them out here.”

“In this heat?  That won’t do.”


A car drove up.  “Dee!”

Phil rolled his eyes.  “Milton must have heard about Dee’s marital problems.”
“Don’t hold dinner.”  Dee ran to the car and got inside.  Milton sped away.  I considered the chicken browning in the oven. 

“You got any cat food?”  Phil said, after we hauled the crate to the basement.   
There’s probably some jerky at the back of the crate.  Makes it herself.”

Phil brought forth two jars.  “Which one?”
“Shouldn’t matter.”

He opened a jar and sniffed.  “Mmmmm.  Mind if I try?”
“Lord knows what Dee puts in that stuff.  Catnip for sure.  Why don’t you stay for dinner instead?”

* * *
“You hear from Dee yet?”

“Three days, Phil.  You think she would’ve checked in.  She’s gallivanting around town and Derrick is in the hospital.”
“What happened?”  Phil’d always liked my son-in-law.

“Food poisoning.”
Phil chuckled.  “He’s going to have to learn to cook.”

“Dee’s phone is off.  I have no way of…Do you smell something?”
Phil sniffed; made a face.  “What is that?”

“The cats.”  I hadn’t checked on them at all.  “They’re so quiet.  I forgot…”
We rushed downstairs. 

The front door opened.  “Mother?”
“Be right up!”

“Mother, I’m engaged!”  Dee came down the stairs; saw her lifeless cats.  “You didn’t feed them.”
 “Of course I did.  I don’t know what could have…”

“Which jar?”  Her hands were shaking.  Her eyes were wild.
Phil picked up the jar.  “This one.”

Dee screamed. 
That night, Derrick died.

The next day, Milton broke off the engagement.
This was written in response to a prompt from Trifecta:
We promised we'd keep the fun going on the weekends, and here we are. This weekend's prompt is borrowed from Benjamin Franklin, who once said, "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." We want you to tell us a story about a guest, invited or otherwise, who begins to smell, metaphorically or otherwise, after three days.


Labels:

6 Comments:

At July 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Susanwritesprecise said...

Wow. Good story!

 
At July 14, 2012 at 7:01 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Chilling story! Milton is a smart man. I'm guessing the catnip comment kept Phil from trying the contents of the jar? Hope so!

 
At July 15, 2012 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Ruby Manchanda said...

Nice response to the challenge

 
At July 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Oh, the wickedness! Fun.

 
At July 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

OH what tangled webs...

 
At July 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

Thanks so much for linking up with Trifecta this weekend. Please remember to come back and vote for your top three posts!

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home