Day 4 of this 30-day series of one-a-day short stories…

Today continues the “Emilie and the Strange…” story. If you haven’t read the first two parts, click on the “Emilie and the …” titles below the current post on the main page, or just click on part one and part two. Each link should open in a separate window.

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Emilie and the Strange Journey

“Follow me,” her companion said. “And whatever you do, don’t let go of my hand.”

Emilie and the shadow smell made their way out of the Holding Room, down the hall and by the Observers, unnoticed. They found an exit, and went downstairs and out of the building. They traveled down the street toward her home.

The two moved as one, faster than Emilie’s feet would normally travel, especially at her age. Throughout the trip, she never felt the sensation of her feet ever touching tiles, or stairs or pavement or grass.

She pictured herself being pushed really fast in a shopping cart on the smoothest of surfaces, something Emilie always wanted to experience, even as an adult.

At her front walk, Emilie stopped moving. There was a party going on in her front yard, or a gathering of some sort. People were paying for things and carrying them out and away. She let go of her companion’s hand and was alone.

.   .   .

“Detective, in here.”

The officer waved the detective into the bedroom. He pinched his nostrils closed and breathed through his mouth as much as possible.

“Looks like she’s been dead for quite a while. The neighbors said that they hadn’t seen her lights on for almost a week. Probably died in her sleep.”

“What’s that smell?”

“Besides her? This bottle of perfume or cologne or aftershave – not sure I know the difference. She was holding the bottle close to her chest, but it was open and overturned. Most of it soaked through her robe and into her skin.”

“That’s old-school de toilette,” the detective said. “They haven’t sold that stuff in years. Nice bottle though. A collectible.”

“Nasty stuff if you ask me.”

“I’m not.”

“She had a cool cane. Hand-made.” The officer ran his hand along the curve.

“It’s yours. Consider it a small token for your service to the community.”

“Gee thanks. Now Santa can skip my house this year. Want her cologne bottle?”

“Nope. I didn’t get to be Detective by stealing from the dead.”

The detective conducted a quick scan of surroundings. “No suspicious activity. Tag and bag her. We’re done here. Double-homicide reported on the corner of Belmont and Lee. Kids today.”

“Yes sir.”

.   .   .

“Nice day for an estate sale, wouldn’t you say?”

“Brisk,” a customer replied.

“Brisk weather means brisk business. Let me know if I can answer questions. Make an offer. Everything goes,” the estate manager said.

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