Saturday, August 23, 2014

CSI - Saint Cloud

“What is that smell?” I said, sniffing the air like an elephant sensing danger or a circus tent. I was in our family office.

Number two son mumbled, “What smell? He did not look up from his computer.

Sniffing loudly, I said, “That. Funky.” Sniff, sniff. “Smell.”

The mumbler mumbled something else. I was left to my own conclusions.

“That smell . . . you can’t smell that? It smells like bat guano in a crock pot.”

The mumbler may have shrugged, but I was already on my hands and knees sniffing behind various pieces of office furniture. Our cat blinked and stretched as I pushed the futon she was draped over away from the wall. She may have shrugged.

A trail of wispy feathers spun wildly as I sniffed my way along the baseboards behind the futon. My hand landed in something gunky, just as I noticed a gicky stain on the back of the futon skirt. I knew at once what I was looking at—a crime scene. 

I studied the swirl of feathers around my head. I measured the gicky stain. I sniffed some more. 

“Either it’s bat guano in a crock pot or something is very dead,” I said, to absolutely no one; son number two had left the crime scene. 

Suspicious, I thought. Make a note.

Pushing the futon farther into the room, I uncovered the source of the smell. Immediately, I began my investigation. 

Out loud, I reported, “The victim seems to have been deceased for extended period of time judging from the amount of gicky gunk that has been allowed to soak into the grout. Victim appears to have been a bird (note wings, feathers, and beak.) The body may have been placed under the futon in a ritualistic fashion with the head pointing to the wall socket and the feet pointing to the ottoman—possible occult overtones.”

The cat stretched, meowed, picked a feather from her teeth, and jumped from her perch on the futon.

I prepared to start my interviews with everyone even slightly connected to the office, futon, ottoman, or baseboards. 

My questions included: How could you not have smelled that smell? At any time were you aware that there was a dead bird corpse under the futon in the office—melting? Did you know about said bird corpse and simply ignored it so that you wouldn’t have to clean it up? Where were you every minute of your life for the last two weeks? HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY NOT SMELL THAT? Let me see your nostrils.

Everyone had an alibi. I was back to square one.

But then I formulated a theory to explain the inability of absolutely everyone in this family to smell a decomposing animal under the office futon except for ME!!! Mostly, I live with boys—big grownup boys. And it is my belief that because of a propensity they have to sit at their computers in a haze of their own bio-methane they are no longer able to detect the presence of a dead body in the same room due to an advanced case of dead nose syndrome. Son number two swears that he does not produce bio-methane—ever. And husband number one swears that everyone produces bio-methane at least and on an average of twelve times a day. I’ve got my nose on both of them. 

It’s just a theory. DNA testing will, of course, prove inconclusive.

What it comes down to is this. I had to dispose of the corpse (I used a dust pan), strip the ruffled skirt off of the futon, vacuum up the bed feathers, and scrub the grout with bleach. I also had to dispose of a dead field mouse, two dead moles, and a dead snake. (Note: Not all on the same day.) 

There’s only one conclusion that can be made. That’s right. I’ve got a serial killer on my hands.

Linda (Book ‘Em) Zern

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