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A Chuck Wendig Challenge
murgatroid_98

This challenge is to write the first 200 words of a story this week. Next week someone else, I hope, will add 200 words to what I've written and I'll choose another writers story to continue. This is my offering to the experiment.

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The Jacksons, Ed and Marnie, had been away for two months and no one in the neighborhood had heard from them. Everyone assumed they were still traveling across the country to celebrate Marnie’s retirement.

Lena held her breath as she approached the driveway. She had noticed the stench during her morning walk. Something dead. An animal perhaps, a large one by the smell. Plenty of feral cats lived and died in the area. Coyotes, too. Burying the poor thing, whatever it was, seemed kinder than leaving it to rot and stink.

A glistening wetness oozed from under the door as the odor became almost tangible. She gagged. Maggots. Her stomach roiled as she backed away, stumbling onto the lawn. She bent over and heaved onto the grass, gasping for an untainted breath. As she stood back up, she noticed that the front door was slightly ajar.

Lena moved slowly to the door to peek through the crack and listen. Dim light filtered through the curtains into the living room. She pushed the door open and froze, stench and maggots forgotten. Horror and relief fought for dominance, because what lay on the carpeted floor was not one of the Jacksons.

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