Family, Fiction, Health and wellbeing, Melbourne, Parenting, Relationship and marriage, Writing

Scent of the Morning

The morning’s calm deteriorates as soon as Dougie’s paws clack on the floorboards. Bessie giggles with delight and begins to grab his tail. Her sister, Hillary—with all the boredom of the disdainful teen—ignores Bessie but scratches Dougie behind his ears.

‘Hilly,’ says Bessie. ‘Come and play with us.’

‘Get lost.’ Hillary clutches the remote.

‘But Dougie’s so cute. Look at his face.’

‘Shut up!’ She points the remote at the telly and increases the volume.

Their parents, Sally and Gus, are still in bed, trying to snatch a few moments together on a lazy Sunday.

‘Ignore it,’ Gus says, pulling up Sally’s nightie, nuzzling her neck.

‘It’s only going to get worse. They’ll start fighting soon.’

‘They’ll be fine.’ He’s tugging her left arm out of her nightie and kissing her breasts.

Bessie’s screams echo from the living room, down the hallway, bouncing off the ceiling and under the door to the master suite.

‘Gus, come on.’ Sally leaves the bed and shrugs her arms back into her nightdress. ‘Time to get up.’

She’s in the hallway and heading towards the living area, where she finds her two daughters scrambling on the rug, tumbling over each other, hands and feet akimbo. Dougie is sniffing around, panting with delight.

‘Girls!’ yells Sally. She’s about to continue in a tirade about loving each other, but sniffs deeply. Her face scowls. She coughs. ‘Christ, what’s that smell?’

Gus is standing beside her, dressed in his running gear. ‘Urgh, what is that?’

‘What smell?’ asks Hillary.

‘You’re not going for a run now,’ says Sally to Gus. ‘We’ve got to find this smell.’

‘It’s Dougie. He did a poo.’ Bessie giggles.

For five minutes, the family search, to no avail. Sally lights candles in the living room, but the offending odour overpowers the scent of vanilla and musk.

‘Oh god, we’ve got to find what’s causing this smell! Book club’s on later this afternoon.’ Sally is frustrated by what the eyes can’t see.

Bessie, still giggling, calls from the dining room. ‘Mumma! Come quick.’

Sally and Gus join her. Hillary remains on the couch, lying still, her face lit by the screen of her phone. She glances in their direction, ‘Ya find it?’

Bessie points. In the sideboard where Sally keeps her good dinner set, the wedding present that’s only brought out on special occasions, is a dead rat. Rotting flesh and dried blood, guts and small bones, there, in the dessert bowl.

‘Look, Mumma, Dougie brought us a present.’

Sally and Gus exchange a look.

‘That dog’s gotta go!’ Sally screams.

Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “Scent of the Morning”

  1. Sounds a bit like Sunday morning at your place Linda? Well maybe except the dog and dead rat but maybe a dead rat smell may have inspired part of the story. I had to read to find out where it was going to end up, but a dead rat was the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, our cat did an extremely bad-smelling poo this morning in her litter tray, but that’s the extent of the inspiration. Kids were all good, no rat, once the litter tray was emptied, the smell left.
      Thanks for reading, Brian! Always love your comments πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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