Evil seeped through floorboards. Only the dead could endure it. From a faint bud it blossomed into a putrid flower stuffing every pore, rank as hell. So I imagined a dead whale beneath the house in blubbery liquefaction, or corpses bloated with gas, or death itself, if it has a smell. The red velvet of my guitar case began to stink. We called a professional. I led him to the crawl space vent where it reeked so thickly I thought the air had died. Gowned and masked for his grotesque midwifery, he pulled a rigid possum out, pink tail curled like a stiff worm dangling, fur falling out in chunks like some cheap carnival toy. And the sharp-toothed grin on that pointed face with its obsidian eyes looked mean, even vengeful, as if he decomposed to spite us.
C. E. Chaffin