THE SCENT OF GRIEF

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
coming home from vacation a woman finds tragedy

Submitted: July 21, 2008

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Submitted: July 21, 2008

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It was afternoon when the plane landed. But it was Sunday. The kennel was already closed. There was nothing in the house to eat.We decided to stop at the store.I have a good recipe for meatloaf. Excellent if you like vegetables. I call it my recipe.But it’s really from the newspaper. By way of a friend. By way of a restaurant in Venice. California. Not Italy. I’ve never been to it. The restaurant, I mean. I’ve been to Venice. Both Venices in fact.

We’d been gone a week.I had a bad feeling the moment we got on the plane. Did I really? I think I’m making that up. To be honest the beginning of the trip went like clockwork. I picked up Tom up from work. We put our dog in the car. Charlie. See I’ve —

I hated my mother’s meatloaf. Mid-west mundane boring old stuff. Now I like it spicy. And I don’t eat much meat anymore. It’s more of a vegetable loaf, really. Half meat, lean beef and a little ground pork. But two kinds of onions, celery, carrots, red pepper, green pepper… I haven’t made it for a long time. Maybe I’ll never make it again. You see that day after we stopped at the store...We came home and played the message on the machine — The car, the kitchen… Everything absorbs the odors of those vegetables, I guess. And after I played the message on the machine… for days afterwards… all I could smell was the stink of celery.Those peppers… onions… they used to be… I don’t know… happy vegetables. Primary colors. Crayon colors. And after I learned what happened at the kennel.That Charlie… that they’d put him to sleep. Even the freshest vegetables smell like death to me now.

I never knew the whole story.The details.Tom talked to the kennel.
In the middle of the night after we learned they’d killed him… killed my puppy… In the middle of that night I dreamt… I drive to the kennel and begin to set fire to… but then realize I’ll kill the other dogs there.I panic.I can’t put out the fire.I wake screaming.

They said he went wild.That the dog went wild and bit two people who work there.Bit them terribly.Charlie was a menace and everyone was afraid to go near him.They said he was not well.That the tranquilizers they gave him wouldn’t have killed him if he hadn’t been sick.

I have the recipe somewhere.

I’ll never make it again.


© Copyright 2017 Leni Willson. All rights reserved.

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