Weekly Challenge #369 – Smell

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com. I’m your host, Laurence Simon.

This is Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

The topic this week was SMELL:

And we’ve got stories by a lot of people:

A story by Miata Stardust was rejected because it included me as a character.

The next 100 word stories weekly challenge is on the topic of PLAY.

And if you want to spam your social networks with this episode, use the Share buttons at the end of the post… this obligatory cat photo should help make the Internet go faster:

Myst and mousie


JEFF

Strange Bedfellows

Her words were fraught with love and lust as she caressed him.
« I caught a whiff of my wife’s presence, she will be crazier than a shithouse rat if she sees you here, please vanish »
« What ! you said she wouldn’t come home tonight?»
« I know; I must be cursed »
She glared at him with a frown, thought of spilling the beans, then said « Listen to me carefully shapeshifter, do this to me again and I will make sure to suck your blood until the last drop and bury your companion alive»
Then she warped; blood in the eyes.

TOM

Since I gave up dairy and meat the lack of their proximity has led to a dimming in my memory. There is nothing like a stroll through CostCo’s meat kingdom to tap into the visual aspects of meatness to trigger the joy of grilling bacon. At either end of the gantlet was three count them three sampling kiosk pumping out burning animal. Then someone opened a door to the glassed refrigeration wall I swear I could smell the ham right through the wrapper. I do not doubt atomized meat gas is being pumped in the air ducts

God Bless them.

TURA

There was once a monk, who never washed, and so he became odious to his fellows. But he was perplexed by this, for he could not smell himself.

He spoke to the head monk, saying, “The other monks tell me that I stink, but I do not perceive this, although I can smell them.”

The head monk replied, “Can you see the hair on the back of your head? And do you not allow the work of the barber?

“With your nose, you can smell your brothers. With their noses, you can smell yourself.”

Thereafter, the monk washed every day.

JEFFREY

Roses
by Jeffrey Fischer

When I heard that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, I wondered if the opposite was true, that any other Rose would smell as sweet.

I tried Abie’s Wild Irish Rose, but she smelled of booze.

I then tried Rosey Grier, but he smelled of sweat. Pretty rank.

Next I tried Rose Kennedy, but she smelled dead.

Finally, I sniffed a tea rose from the botanical gardens. It smelled like old lady perfume.

Now, Doctor, can you please get these damn thorns out of my nose?

An Unsuccessful Revival
by Jeffrey Fischer

In the 1960s, Smell-O-Vision made a brief but unsuccessful debut in theaters. In the 2020s, the technology made a comeback. Movie studies tried to generate revenue from older releases by adding smells.

At first, things went well. In “Chocolat”, Juliette Binoche never smelled so good. “Days of Wine and Roses” was another hit: the smell of the roses, the fruity aroma of wine, and even a hit of lemon every time Jack Lemmon appeared on screen.

The trouble started when audiences gagged at the smell of blood in “There Will Be Blood”. The last straw came with the re-release of “The Trouble with Harry”. Every time Harry was in a scene, audiences received a strong odor of decomposition.

The audience provided the accompanying smell of vomit.

THOMAS

The worst thing I ever smelled was the morning the dentist pulled two, abscessed front teeth…from directly under my nose. The putrid smell leaped directly up my nose, and on to the olfactory receptors and my brain. The smell was amplified by my pain and fear. I’ve never had any episodes of phantom smells–smelling something that’s not there, because phantom smells can be triggered by temporal lobe seizures, epilepsy, or head trauma. If you start to smell rotten eggs, bad perfume, garbage, a gas leak, a wet dog, body odor or spoiled fish, or poop, get to the doctor.

#

My job for a realty chain in Washington is to help the crew “stage” the home for an open house. Staging involves furnishings, flowers, and scents. I’ve engulfed homes in the smell of freshly-baked cookies, and the yard with the smell of roses and lilacs after I’ve fogged the area with an industrial machine I carry with me. Some of my recent research shows that a home scented with a simple orange essence is more effective than the cookie and flower aromas. I use real, fresh orange zest prepared with my own blender, and earn high fees for my expertise.

#

I assembled a box of manly smells for my pal’s sixtieth birthday party. It wasn’t the usual aromas associated with the “manly man” like: leather, gun powder, after shave, a campfire, shoe polish, or a hardware store. It was a unique assortment of smells that he would associate with his years of work on the docks in Seattle. I arranged the collection in a wooden box, starting with a small bottle of bourbon, a couple of cheap cigars, a bit of stale beer in an atomizer, some antiseptic wipes, a glop of bag balm, hand salve; and a new condom.

#

“Once you can get by the smell, you have it licked.” This sign was posted on the blue-veined cheeses in Uncle Kenny’s delicatessen. Other signs adorned some of the exotic cheeses and meats in the shop. “Check out our rump”, “Squeeze this pork butt”, and so on. Kenny thought he was a comedian, but he made his customers uncomfortable. He vowed to lighten things up a bit, and quit using the coarser texts. He made some signs and posted them above the cheese: “What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory? All that was left was de brie.”

TARALYN

I love memories of those times that make you smile inside. Most of them are associated with a smell. I love the smell of a new can of tennis balls. It reminds me of my youth when I played tennis all summer long. But the smell I love the most, is the smell of my husband when I’m lying in his arms, in the silence of the night. His eyes are shut as he sleeps, and I secretly snuggle up to him. Breathing him in slowly to remember that moment. The smell of love, I can’t explain but why try.

MUNSI

Cologne

By Christopher Munroe

I’ve released a cologne!

No idea why. A company offered to create one for me and it seemed the thing to do.

Many public figures market a signature scent, for people who inexplicably want to smell like Lady GaGa or Justin Bieber in spite of never having been near enough them to know what they smell like.

I was surprised at the offer, honestly, what with the fact that I’m not famous and all.

Still, I will admit, I’m thrilled to help bring my new cologne to market.

…should any of you buy it, let me know how it smells.

ZACKMANN

Uncle Boy tweaked Charlie’s face saying “I go your nose, I got your nose.

Charlie decided to get his uncle back for this so feed his toddler cousin chili and gave some dried fish to his uncle’s dog.

Uncle Boy explained that the nose thing was only a joke meant in fun then Charlie told him that he was very sorry which Boy knew was true because the dog had come in from the rain and started licking Charlie’s face smelling of wet dog and fish sauce while Boy changed baby’s diaper. Charlie then wished uncle had taken his nose.

RICHARD

#1 – The smell of fear

They do say that fear has its own distinctive smell – I’ve never really believed that to be true. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been mortally afraid many times, and I can honestly say that, whilst fear pervaded every other sense, I’ve never caught the slightest whiff of that elusive scent.

Certainly there have been other smells that I associate with fear – many of them quite unsavoury and generally related to the body’s automatic reaction to being frightened: naturally, I always make sure to tightly hold my nose.

Coming to think of it, maybe that’s why I’ve never smelled fear!

#2 – On the market

The house filled with the wonderful smell of newly-baked bread and fresh coffee – I’d pulled out all the stops this time – completely de-cluttered, used minimalist, neutral colours for the decor, rehearsed my sales patter, and even shipped the kids off to their friends for the day.

Surely I’d get a buyer today?

Sadly not – as the last couple left mumbling that the property ‘just isn’t to our taste’

It looks like I’m doomed to stay in this property forever!

I simply can’t think of anything else I can do… although, I suppose I could try painting over the bloodstains?

#3 – Distant Lands

Every destination has it’s own distinctive smell.

Whether it’s the drifting fragrance of incense and frangipani, the aroma of beef ribs cooking over smoky wood barbecues, the scent of wet leaves and hot, fertile, soil, or even the stink of open sewers and decaying roadside rubbish. Every place has its own unique smell that tells you more about the culture, lifestyle and attitudes than any glossy photograph or travel agent’s polished prose will ever dare to reveal.

The smell of a place always tells the true story.

If I had my way, every travel brochure would be ‘scratch and sniff’!

#4 – Old Jack

“I’m looking for Old Jack”, I announced to the men stood at the bar, “does anyone know where I might find him?”

“And why would you be doing that, matey?”, asked a grizzled old seadog.

“It’s fishing I’m after, and I’ve heard he’s the best – they tell me he’s practically a fish himself!”

“Aye, that’ll be Jack! He’s down at the harbour – go out the door, turn left, down the hill, turn second right, then left, then just follow your nose.”

“You mean, go straight ahead?”

“No, I mean, follow your nose – you’ll smell him, afore you see him!”

#5 – Into the Open

His shock in the mortuary convinced George he should leave the hospital. The putrid smell of decaying bodies lingered in his senses, causing him to feel profoundly nauseous. It struck him that a hospital would likely contain numerous shocks of a similar nature, and he was determined to leave in all haste before encountering further unpleasantries.

Finally, he found himself at a doorway signposted ‘Exit to Street’.

With thumping heart, he eased the door open a crack, this time sniffing cautiously for any noxious warning smells. Then, pushing the door wide, he stepped with some trepidation, into the open air…

SERENDIPITY

The hunter cautioned me to stay silent and keep low: our quarry was no more than a few yards away – a family group, in a small clearing.

Carefully the hunter tested the wind: it was blowing towards us.

“We have to stay downwind”, he whispered, “if they should smell us, they’ll panic and flee, and we’ll not eat tonight.”

We’d masked our scent with earth and plant juices, and tonight the wind would be our ally.

Stealthily, we crept forward, closer still, paused, then sprang at the group!

The humans didn’t stand a chance… and we feasted well that night!

LIZZIE

The ability to trace toxic particles was carefully developed. A whole generation of genetically modified humans with a heightened sense of smell prevented the end of civilization for a century. As their lives expired, one by one, society trusted toxic levels to be so low that there were no replacements. At the turn of the century, when the flow of time shifted unexplainably, humans became lost in a world of mutating units, as they were called, the ones who went outside. They had a vague recollection that there was a solution for the problem but they just couldn’t remember it.

CLIFF

It wasn’t enough for Dave that he’d gotten my promotion. He’d robbed me of it. He hacked my computer, stole my research, and then turned it in as his own. I’d protested and had simply been marked as a jealous spoilsport. But even that wasn’t enough. With his bonus, Dave bought a fancy Italian sports car. He offered to let me sit in it, saying that the interior smelled like money. Instead, I tossed my coffee cup into it. The gas in the cup smelled like money too. When I struck the match, I decided it smelled more like justice.

*****

I love my country. I love the values and ideals that this country was founded upon. I truly believe that America has generated some of the most amazing people and ideas in history. And yet, I am ashamed of some of my countrymen. The final straw was a few years ago in Egypt. We’d toured the pyramids and were approaching the Sphinx when I heard a couple of distinctly American voices behind me.
“Hey, that statue has no nose!”
“Really? How does it smell?”
“Smell? It sphinx!”
I love my country, but when I travel abroad, I say I’m Canadian.

REDGODDESS

It’s been a few weeks since Lola has spent time with her lover. They had been inseparable since the New Year, but now they are slowly seeing less of each other. It’s like they’re playing hide and seek with their hearts.
After months getting to know him, she doesn’t want to play games. Somehow, she has avoided giving him an answer about his proposal. She still remembers his words.
In spite of her resistance, she misses him more than she’s willing to admit. He smells so delicious, she says to herself. while undressing before bedtime, Lola concocted a secret plan to show him how much he means to her. On their next date, he finally will taste a new side of Lola, and he’ll get his answer on the spot.

NORVAL JOE

Ulnar Styloid, warrior and clan chief of the Olecranon Process scanned an empty sector of space represented on the three dimentional holographic display.
He had skirted the costal margins past the illiac crest and warped through a vascular dilation bringing himself into sub-talor neutral alignment.
Thuogh his vestibular class assault frigate purred like a Coratoid from the jungle planet of Vastus Lateralus, something told Ulnar, all was not right.
A smell eminated from the warp capacitor cabinet which made him think of overripe bananas, aftershave and death.
He was allergic to bananas and aftershave. The two, together, would kill him.

JUSTIN

The onslaught of Zerg across the planet is marked by the transformation of the landscape. Comforting vistas of stone, soil, and seed morphed into a nightmare of purple ooze, ghastly spires of bone and sinew, and maws birthing horrors of teeth and spine. This ooze, Creep, smells of fluids alien to our senses. The unfamiliarity causes disorientation and disgust. But as with anything, over time the field of battle on the foreign substance becomes known and familiar, along with the smell of blood and bile of the dead. Even after the Creep is burned away, the scent remains, a reminder.

SINGH

from ‘The Lady Punter’s Nose’

1.
Jocelyn inhaled her asthma spray. The $100 bet also made everything sharper. Inexplicably she smelled tinned tomatoes. The crowds were pushing her up against the rail, not just their colognes but all the acrid pheromones beneath reached out to stroke tentacles against her skin. For no reason she thought of chocolate; looking at the green turf of the track she tasted peppermint drops, and somewhere in the distance the horses were snorting salty and truculent as centaurs entering the barrier restless to run. As the last horse went in the gate something internally signalled tomato-red, she turned her head.

2.
And there he was – flannel suited with dark glasses, head above the crowd. Her eyes lit up, but Davidson, who’d entered as the late starter in the contrived courtship of Jocelyn Enzensberger stood there, crowd-locked so he could remain un-crumpled and aloof. The louder haler coughed its metallic cry like a lasso over the crowd gathering eyes raceward. A gust of wind picked up and riffled thousands of yellow trackside roses wafting spicy musk. It masked the alcohol buoyant crowd. The race about to start, they locked their glance for a moment.

Then, the caller said: “And they’re racing!”

3.
In this gambling fantasia, desire combined with asthma funny gas on an empty stomach was effecting her olfactory sense. A lady’s cream hat smelled vanilla. The security official’s orange vest promised fruit punch. It was her synesthesia playing up. When the horses careered into the home straight the jockeys’ silks were edible pink, green apple, jelly-red and blueberry candy floss. Then, her 20/1 outsider Filly Mignon glided over the finishing line and she could taste the rainbow. She turned to share her secret elation, but Davidson had gone. Everything turned suddenly rancid and she vomited on the rose bushes.

4.
The smell of winning was so strongly with her, heightened by the sense of loss. Why had he gone? Mick Dalby the fellow syndicate member she had erased temporarily from her side took her arm and offered a handkerchief. 

“Are you ok? That’s a pretty strange way to celebrate a win,” he said. Between them they had just clocked $4,000.

“I guess,” she answered dabbing her mouth with the handkerchief. She couldn’t quite explain the phenomenon either. Jocelyn had a rare form of neurological synesthesia, but nothing as acute as this had happened before. Some new switch had flicked on.

5.
As Filly Mignon returned from up track to the judges’s enclosure for weighing and presentation of cheque and winner’s cup, she got a strong whiff of horse lather and from now she would always associate this with the sensation of victory, just as the presentiment for selecting winning horses through her inner nose would always smell of tinned tomatoes. $2,000 richer, she was ravenous for Pasta Neapolitan, but couldn’t resist the temptation of sniffing out another jackpot win for the next race first. Strangely, Davidson’s presence was a part of it. To win, did she need to be in love?

PLANET Z

Sister Francis warned the boys not to sniff their own brains, but the boys never listened.

“Who ever heard of a boy sniffing his own brain?” they would say.

You do not laugh at Sister Francis, so they did it on the playground.

“What are you laughing about?” Sister Francis would say to the boys.

“Nothing,” said the boys.

So, she rolled up her sleeve, and punched each boy in the nose, driving bone fragments into their brains.

Any martial arts connoisseur knows that this results in instant death.

And no time for the boys to snuff their own brains.

3 thoughts on “Weekly Challenge #369 – Smell”

  1. Loved Tura’s story. Thomas, welcome to my life: I’m always smelling a high percentage of those things. And Taralyn’s story was very sweet.

    And I learned something new: no stories with Laurence Simon as a character. Who knew?

  2. Zackmann did a few, and they really annoyed the shit out of me.

    I put up with it a few times, but now when I see myself as a character or even mentioned, good or bad, I just toss the story.

    -ls/cm

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