Note: This story is an entry for the finals of the 2015 Creepypasta Freestyle Competition.
For a full list of entries, see this category.
Subject: Hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity, usually involving one or more increased senses)
“Does this smell odd to you?” Karen asked, suspiciously eyeing the noodles wrapped around her fork. The constant clamor of the shopping mall’s food court rumbled around them as Glen looked up at her from his own plate, a piece of Mongolian beef in the vice-grip of his chopsticks. He raised a quizzical eyebrow at her as she proffered her utensil.
“Seems like you think everything smells odd to you nowadays, K,” he teased.
“Hey, I’m pregnant! I’m allowed!” Karen snapped back playfully. Her free hand strayed to her stomach, where her already prominent baby bulge had begun to show. She and Glen had been trying for years to have a child and now it was finally happening for them.
They had come to the mall to shop for baby clothes and toys. They were just leaving the Gymboree when Karen had suddenly begun to crave Chinese food and hot dogs. A few minutes later and here they were at the food court, Karen eating her Hot Dog Lo Mein and her husband eating beef and fried rice. Yet, even though the food had sounded good to her, it suddenly seemed to smell strange.
Suppressing a grin, Glen took the fork and gave the contents an exaggerated sniff. He paused, as if in deep contemplation, before responding, “Mmm’yes, a full bouquet. It’s rich, but not overpowering. The hint of hot dog really brings out the savory aroma.”
“Alright, alright, wise guy,” she replied, taking back the fork. “I was just wondering, is all.”
They ate in silence for a few minutes. Karen did her best to ignore the odd smell. It was a rotten, cloying scent, just on the edge of smelling. As she chewed, she absentmindedly looked around for an open trash can. Finding nothing to explain the scent, she turned back to Glen.
“I really wish you didn’t have to go back to work tomorrow,” she remarked. When he grunted in agreement, she continued, “We really haven’t found that much for the baby, and we still have to shop for cradles. Couldn’t you take the day off?”
“Wish I could, K,” he responded, genuine longing in his voice, “With all the OBGYN visits we have scheduled, though, I don’t really have any extra days to work with. We can come out shopping again next weekend.”
Karen nodded her agreement, twirling more noodles around her fork and spearing a hot dog slice on the end. As she brought it to her mouth, she was suddenly washed over by the stench. It was stronger now, as if someone had opened a trash can right next to their table. Disgustedly, she put down her fork and slid the plate across the table. Glen looked up at her curiously.
“I’m full,” she said, “Let’s head over to the cinnamon bun place for dessert!”
The next day found Karen at home, scrubbing the floor vigorously. Ever since she had returned home the previous evening, the smell had persisted. At first she tried to ignore it, but as time went on it became stronger and stronger. She had taken a shower, and Glen had done the same, but that had no effect. She had blown her nose, taken out every trash bin in the house, and checked all the food for mold. Everything came up clean.
Glen had not been helpful, either. After about two hours of dealing with the phantom scent, he was content to believe it was all in Karen’s head and had gone to bed. Grudgingly, Karen had followed him. She had not slept a wink that night, however, and was committed to eradicating the smell the next day.
She sat from her kneeling position, wiping the sweat from her forehead with her arm. This was the last floor in the house. She could smell the pervasive scent of Pinesol, but all it did was mingle with the terrible scent that she could not seem to get rid of.
She stood, grateful that she was not very far along in her pregnancy. Getting up on her own was going to be tough, soon. Still, it would be worth it…
A fresh wave of putrid odor assaulted her anew. She dry-heaved a few times before the odor abated enough to breathe properly. She knew it was real, it had to be! She feverishly began her search anew.
She walked around the outside of the home, looking for dead animals. She checked the vents for rats or bugs. She even went in to the attic to search for rotting clothing or wood. Everything seemed fine.
The day ran on, and Glen still hadn’t returned home from work. She sat on the couch, miserable and sick to her stomach. Every hour the smell grew stronger, and she had vomited until there was nothing left in her to bring up. She descended into a feverish haze, as wave after wave of nausea took her. Frantically, she tried to think of anything she may have missed.
She had smelled it at the mall. She smelled it here, inside and out. Whatever it was didn’t seem to be in any one place. It seemed like the scent was following her around everywhere she went. It was almost as if…as if…
She looked down at her own, slightly distended gut.
…as if she was carrying it with her…
Glen arrived home just as it was getting dark outside. He had had to stay late at work due to a pressing deadline, but now he was ready for a nice dinner, and some relaxing cuddling on the couch with Karen. Smiling to himself, he stepped out of his vehicle.
The first thing he noticed was that, despite the darkness outside, there was no light in the house. Figuring that Karen must have gone to sleep after a long day of ‘bad smells’, Glen undid the lock and opened the door.
The stench hit him like a tidal wave. It rushed over him, making him feel disgusting and causing him to retch. He went down to one knee, bracing himself against the door frame and blindly seeking the light switch with his hands. He felt his knee become soaked by a cool, viscous fluid.
He called out for Karen before retching again, becoming aware of another smell underlying the putrid rot: the coppery smell of blood.
“G-Glen is that you?”
Looking up, Glen saw a slumped silhouette against the far wall. Suddenly fearful for his wife, he left off searching for the switch, made it to his feet and carefully moved across the slick floor to where she sat.
Even in the failing light, he could see that her skin was ashen. She had a glazed look to her eyes that dully reflected the failing light from the window. She smiled faintly as she looked at him.
“Glen, I found it,” she whispered faintly, “I knew I wasn’t crazy. I knew I could s-smell something. But I threw it out. It’s all better n-n…”
Karen fell silent.
Desperately, Glen pulled out his cell phone to call 911. What he saw in the light of the glowing screen caused him to freeze.
There was a large kitchen knife in Karen’s hand. Across the width of her stomach was a large cut, through which entrails could slightly be seen. Blood, viscera, and…something else pooled away from her, covering the floor. The scent came again then, throwing him into a fit of convulsions and retching. Glen fell to the ground, hacking and coughing. His vision began to swim, and as his consciousness faded he could make out the faint sound of something making slopping and smacking sounds as it dragged itself across the kitchen floor…
Written by BrosephFritzl