TRUE TALES OF TERROR
The Smell of Success
“That Benjamin Whiffer is such a weirdo, going around smelling things like some odor fetish freak!”
Benjamin sunk down lower in his seat, hoping his cruel coworkers didn’t sniff him out in the break room.
He was not that lucky.
“Well, well, well…or should I say smell, smell, smell… look who we have here!”
The entire room erupted in laughter as Benjamin’s face reddened. He wished he could just disappear.
“You like nosing around, you human sniff machine?” the sneering leader of the pack asked. “Well, you know what they say; he who smelt it, dealt it!”
Again, the taunting laughter of the crowd pummeled Benjamin like an assault. Other members of the group, emboldened by the laughter joined in and hurled their own harsh insults.
“Ben! Ben! The stink loving man!”
“He smells seashells at the seashore!”
“Hey! Sniff this, odor boy!”
Unable to take any more abuse, he leapt up from the table sniffling and bolted away from the crowd, racing past the break room television as the news blared its apocalyptic warning. Benjamin heard none of it as he ran and ran and ran.
Many of their taunts didn’t even make sense, but they stung nonetheless. Why did they have to be so mean? Why couldn’t they just leave him alone? Benjamin no longer wished to disappear; he wished that THEY would disappear. All of them! So he could smell his fragrances in peace.
Benjamin ran to his secret hiding space deep in the basement of his office building where he wept himself to sleep.
When Benjamin emerged, days later, finally ready to face his coworkers again, but mostly because he needed to eat and use the bathroom, he found himself alone in the building. Was it a Saturday? A holiday?
He stepped outside into the predawn mist and there he found all the people. They were dead. Every single one of them. In the subsequent days, Benjamin found out that a plague, from a lab or a bat, no one was ever quite sure, had spread across the earth, killing every single living creature… except for him.
And Benjamin was thrilled!
He finally had all the time in the world to smell things. To smell everything. To smell anything. The world was his oyster and he was going to shove his nose into it and take a big long whiff.
But as the sun crept over the horizon and the temperature rose, the stench of the putrefying corpses overpowered every other scent around him. It wasn’t fair! He finally had nothing but time, but the repulsive aroma of rotting flesh was what he’d be smelling for all of eternity.
“Noooo!” Benjamin fell to his knees and screamed at the heavens as the bouquet of death enveloped him like a suffocating hug. His horribly selfish and incredibly shortsighted wish had gone shockingly wrong!