256 Words

The Stench of Evil

M. Stanley Bubien

Bleep snuffled at the jamb, and as his nose pressed against the door, it creaked open. My heart raced, and I stood frozen though everything in the core of my being cried out to turn and flee.

A hand clapped my shoulder from behind. "Inside!" the voice ordered.

I stepped forward, and Bleep raced into the apartment. The entryway was filled with the reek of what I had boiling in the kitchen---a smell that always nauseated me.

A burly fellow charged out of the kitchen, past the armed men and straight at me.

"This him?" he asked, and without waiting for an answer shoved me backward. I stumbled, arms flailing, but I landed safely on the sofa. His face was in mine, and though his breath stank, I took it in, thankful to have that other stench out of my nostrils.

"Who was that in there?" he demanded.

My eyes flashed toward the kitchen. "I don't know her name."

"You boil... everything? Or just---"

"Sarge!" a voice interrupted. "Ain't read him his rights."

"Do it!" the sergeant commanded, backing away. I heard the litany I'd been expecting for the past year, "You have the right to remain silent..."

The sergeant breathed on me again, "She was your last victim. We've already found three of the... bodies. And the kitchen..." He wiped his eyes and quieted. "It's over, damn you. It's over."

I nodded, relieved to hear those words; words I'd been dreading---and longing for. "It's over." They covered me like a spell being broken.

Based on a true story.

Copyright ©2002 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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November, 2002
Issue #79

256 Words