51. It was a warm, sunny day. Marcia put a hat on to keep the sun out of her eyes. She needed to visit her bank. She had to withdraw some money from the ATM. She started walking down to the corner. There were four buildings at the intersection of Lima Street and Sierra Madre Boulevard. One was her bank. Just north of it was a fast food restaurant. A dry cleaner was catty‐corner to the restaurant, and a small, one‐story office building was catty‐corner to the bank.
Long before she arrived at the corner, she could smell the fried chicken. The restaurant was open seven days a week, and the odor of fried chicken was in the neighborhood daily. She didn't mind the odor of deep‐fried birds. She still ate poultry and fish, even though she had recently sworn off red meat.
Her diet change had occurred suddenly about a month ago. She was walking to the post office on Baldwin Avenue. She smelled something that she guessed was a dead animal. The odor seemed to be coming from the dumpster ahead of her on the left. Ordinarily she would hurry by the dumpster. But because there had been several incidents in the TV news recently about people leaving dead babies in dumpsters, she decided to investigate this one.
Lifting one of the two plastic lids on the big dumpster, she held her breath as best she could and peeked inside with only one eye open. She didn't see a dead baby. She was thankful for that. Instead, she saw a dead cat. Maggots, she guessed, were busy eating at its flesh and guts. The sight almost made her gag. She quickly dropped the lid, walked a few steps upwind, and took a deep breath of fresh air. 4.9, 303
51. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved. www.eslyes.com