Tag: Unnerving

The Smell of Seashells by Vera Hadzic

An old friend of mine could sense storms by smell. When I asked, she said they smell like water. I must have smelled water a million times, but never like this, she claimed. When a storm’s coming, water smells like soil and metal, as though the earth is cut open and the storm is its blood, pouring out into the world.

It had been months since I’d spoken to her.

“Smells like a storm,” I said one day over break. Nobody listened to me – they had more important mysteries to solve. I hadn’t really been talking to them, anyway. The fog made the sun a pink and hazy fingertip, smearing its oils over the sky. Conversation carried on as though I hadn’t said anything:

Friend Templates by Andrey Pissantchev

Picture this.

Friend A is from Poland. You met when he briefly studied in your university. He has blond hair, too long to be due to negligence, too short to be tied back. He is relaxed and has a kind of vulnerability to him that he is happy to expose. This makes him extremely easy to be around. You are always quick to let your guard down around him, and that has been the basis of your friendship.

The Cat Conveys by James Willsey

­­­­We noticed the cat—a standard tabby, dusty from dandruff or dirt—upon entry because we expected the residence to be empty. It gawked from a corner, one muddy eye fixed on us, misaligned other paralleling the wall—not unusual for a cat but it made the stare appear vacant or as though it were looking through us. It also appeared to grin, the way its mouth was set. Ava commented on how the listing made no mention of pets and our agent deftly responded that “it also doesn’t say that there are no pets.” We ignored the cat for the next hour or so, our guided tour, opening cabinets and peering in empty closets, inspecting oddball nooks not really knowing what to look for. The remodeled bathrooms and kitchen had farmhouse sinks and stainless appliances; there was a mudroom in which Ava and I glanced at each other and she absently touched her tummy; in sum, the house was just about perfect. We were already talking about making an offer before we got to the backyard, which is when the cat escaped. It slipped between the agent’s legs in a stealthy trot, nearly knocking her on her ass. “Ope,” she said.