“Curious story ye had there Joe,” Gordon spoke with a grin. Mali smiled and pulled up her pants to reveal purple and black striped socks with little Cheshire faces. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. One of my favorite quotes.” Casey’s words ended in a smile. Joe nodded graciously, satisfied with the idea that his words were put to some use. The San Diego sky spoke volumes of the city, not a star in the sky. Casey took in the night deeply, allowing some time to pass. The idle chatter of the city discouraged conversation, and this annoyed her. She was on this trip for more than the sight-seeing, though the world did have much to offer her.
As they passed a Panasonic television that sat in a window, playing for the entertainment of a mannequin mock-up designed to mimic decades earlier advertising, a local news program played, airing a segment discussing the recent surge of violent crime in the area. How very common, Casey mused.
“Alright ladies and gents, I have an idea for a story, give me the dice.” Joe reached into his pocket and dropped it into Casey’s hand. She immediately gave it a roll. “A five? You have to be kidding.” Gordon laughed, chiming in, “Haven’t seen one a those yet.” Parker looked at the dice, happy that it wasn’t him receiving that particularly glaring realization that they needed to improve as writers. “Here goes nothing I guess, I’m not making any promises.”
Blood. It speckled the sidewalk, a splash of violence rolling across Park Avenue. Her throat was agape, a clean wound, obviously done quickly with a sense of precision. Her kind fingers clutched her purse in the same fashion those her age would do when waiting for the bus, and the sign located on the pole three feet from her body indicated that was the case. There were two others present at her time of death, a 40-something waitress heading home for the night and a large biker who suffered from a recently revoked license. Both were smattered with blood from the victim however the only fingerprints found on the recently identified Mrs. Jameson’s body, were handprints on her shoulders, most likely from being caught falling. Witness testimony amounted to nothing, both stating essentially the same idea; there was a faint pleasant smell, then Mrs. Jameson fell, her neck opened by a mysterious entity. Where they departed was on the smell. The waitress swore the aroma of her grandmother’s apple crumble wafted through the air at the moment whereas Mr. Engram insisted it was the same smell his wife had after a night of drinking and intercourse. Without sufficient evidence, or any at all for that matter, the witnesses were allowed to return home with a notice that further questioning may occur.
This continued to happen. Random deaths scattered the country creating a subdued panic. No single authority had a remotely reasonable explanation for the acts. If witnesses were present, they saw nothing. The single overriding characteristic is that a smell is present; an odor that is pleasant and accommodating to whomever smells it. Not a single testimony coincided. The country was a mess. Imagine an application of the Washington sniper, extrapolated country wide. After several months, the only real connection between the murders, if they could be readily called that, was the fact that those found dead were good people who wouldn’t have a real enemy. Age, gender, race, none of it mattered when they hit the ground. Some were found in their homes, others in public places, at every time of day.
Martin Sassax developed an obsession with the phenomenon. The Combination of horror, public paranoia and pleasant smells intrigued him to the point where his wall became plastered with any pertinent information related to the phenomenon. His detective agency became swamped with clientele seeking outside assistance in discovering the origins of the phenomenon. Then he received the call.
Her name was penny. She wanted ice cream, that felt like a hardly imposing demand. Granted, the motivation was the strawberry pineapple blend the pastor she was standing next to was enjoying, but that wasn’t why she called. She kept staring and staring and staring, and then suddenly, she smelled her mother’s cookies and a “lady looking man” as she described it, appeared behind the pastor, smiled at her, nodded, then cut the pastor open. Before she could scream, the man was gone, hitting the cement following his sherbet, that began to melt, blending with his own crimson life.
Martin was elated. For the first time, there was a witness, no matter how unreliable. At this point he’d take anything. That night, Martin did not sleep well. An entity that appeared neither male, nor female spoke to him. It spoke one word “Rapture.” He awoke the next morning to a quote he recalled. “Not with a bang, but a whimper.”
Casey finished her line and looked up to realize her audience was entranced. Parker smiled knowingly while Gordon spoke simply;” Found a lil God in ya, did ya now?”