Something Smells Funny

28 Sep

“What is that?” Derek asks from the couch. His face is contorted and gross-looking, like a taller, more Polish Benjamin Button when he was a baby.

A face that only a m...GOD WHAT IS THAT?!

Derek scans the living room.

“What are you talking about?” I ask.

“It stinks in here. It smells like what that baby from Benjamin Button looked like.”

We both shudder.

I sniff the air. After a few inhalations, it’s clear: something stinks in that room. Derek lifts the couch up and looks underneath it.

“Anything under there?” I ask.

“Nope. Just some some gum wrappers, a chip bag and a human hand.” Derek sets the couch back down. We both turn white. I experience a flash of sickness in my gut. Derek lifts one leg slightly off the ground and farts. “Ah,” he says. “That’s better. Do you want to look under the love seat?” He begins to walk toward the love seat.

“Derek!” I exclaim. “Derek, what did you say was under that couch?” My voice is high with tension.

“Just some trash and stuff.”

“And stuff?” I ask.

“A human hand.” Derek seems confused by my frantic demeanor.

“DO YOU THINK THAT MAYBE IT’S THE ROTTING HAND THAT SMELLS SO BAD?!” I scream, now perspiring along my back and under my arms–you can’t tell, though. I’m wearing Old Spice High Endurance Smooth Blast antiperspirant–because who wants to just smell good when you can smell and feel great?

“Listen, Kyle. It’s a Brozowski family tradition to keep the hand of a homeless man under the living room couch. It wards off bad spirits and the homeless.”

My mouth slightly agape, I say nothing.

“If you’re going to freak out about it, we can move it.”

“Move it.”

“Yea, to, like, the sun room or something. Maybe the laundry room.”

“How is that any better?!” I ask.

“Out of sight out of mind,” Derek responds.

“It was out of sight before! Now I just know about it.” That vein in my forehead is starting to protrude just a little bit.

“Pish posh,” Derek responds, casually waving his hand to and fro.

“Please get that hand out of the house, Derek,” I say, trying to remain as calm as possible. The room goes quiet and all that can be heard is the soft trickling of water running through the fish tank filter.

“Kyle, do you like evil spirits?”

Trying to think of a single evil spirit I was still friends with, I shake my head to signal “no.”

“Do you like me?”

“Well, of course,” I say.

“Do you like being accosted by the homeless?”

Seeing where this is going, I sigh heavily, but still respond. “No.”

“Then I think we should keep the hand.”

“Absolutely not! It smells like death in here!” I point at the hand, hidden beneath the couch. “And that thing cannot be sanitary.”

“Oh, it’s sanitary,” Derek responds.

“Yea? How?”

“I sprayed it off with a hose before I brought it in.”

My head begins to hurt as I lift up the couch, inhale just a whiff of the pungent stink, dry heave, and put the couch back down.

“Derek, get that thing out of here.”

Derek puts his hands on his hips, huffs, puffs, and begrudgingly removes the hand.

The smell dissipates quickly. That night, I lay in my bed. As I pull the covers around myself, I’m suddenly gripped by a feeling of being observed–yet I am alone in the room. The sounds of distant screaming swirls above my bed. I throw my blankets over my head, attempting to hide from any apparition that hovers above me.

My heart pounding, I almost jump out of my skin when there’s a knock at the door and the muffled call of “Got any change?”

Next door, Derek laughs bitterly.

The End.


One Response to “Something Smells Funny”

  1. greenchikin September 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm #


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