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  • Charlaine LeRoux

Oooooh, That Smell

Hey Bookworms! I know we usually talk about ye olde timey folklore stuff but folklore is happening all around us all the time. Stories are being born every minute, you know? That’s a convoluted way of saying that this week we’re talking about some modern day shiz. Our subject doesn’t hang out in a bog. It hangs out somewhere far more sinister. Schrecklicher Mittaggeruch thrives in the office place.

Weird, right? I, admittedly, don’t know much about office culture. I spend my time makin’ merkins and co-writing internationally acclaimed mysteries with my buddy Smoky. I thought office life was all putting people’s stuff in Jell-o molds and being randomly attacked by both a bat and a coworker. It sounded like a real hoot, but one of my dear friends told me it was quite the opposite. People leave disgusting messes in the kitchen, steal things from the fridge, and do frankly unspeakable things in the bathrooms. I’d rather tousle with a hatchet wielding Goatman any day.

My friend deals with this nonsense on the daily. She thought she was strong enough to handle it. Life in the office made her appreciate the real world even more. The air felt fresher, the colors seemed brighter, and she didn’t have to hide her food and beverages like she was bear proofing a campsite. It wasn’t until this Monday that the office broke her.

She was at her desk doing whatever it is she does all day when suddenly she was slapped in the face with a stank so strong she forgot her name for a second. Oh, no! It was lunchtime. She had dealt with fish and even Brussels sprouts being microwaved in the kitchen many times. It was almost like a badge of honor at this point. However, this was unlike anything she had ever smelled. She took a breath and immediately regretted it as the thick stink slid into her nostrils and coated her throat. It was like barbecued bologna served with 3000 cans of Rotel and it filled the whole building. Vomit rose in her gullet and only the horror of throwing up into a toilet still warm from a stranger’s butt kept her stomach from rebelling.

Who would do this? How could someone even put a forkful of that steaming nightmare in their mouth? It was too much. A bridge too far. How had so many people abandoned the rules of decent society to ruin everything whilst hidden behind a cloak of anonymity?! She fell to her knees, screamed, and cursed at the sky. WHYYYYYYY?! She gnashed her teeth and clicked her retractable ink pen angrily. She pounded her fists on the ground and repeatedly slammed on her Jell-o free stapler. She paused to answer a phone call and then resumed violently cursing the wretch who had brought the smell into her life. What monster would do such a thing?

An actual monster, that’s who. Schrecklicher Mittaggeruch’s name means “nasty lunch smell” in German and it’s a low-level chaos demon that possesses its prey and causes them to make inhuman smells, messes, and to voice blatantly offensive personal opinions. Then it feeds on the disgust and frustration of those nearby. After it gorges on negativity for a while it moves on to a new host.

Schrecklicher Mittaggerruch is a real douche canoe. An office environment is like heaven for the jerk. Where else could he find so many potential victims and passive aggressive rage? The worst part is that there’s no way to fight SM, heck you don’t even know you’ve been possessed until it’s all over. Black eyes, heartburn, and being blocked on social media are your only clues. There’s no way to tell who will become infected over time. In fact, maybe you already have been. What did you eat for lunch today? If it was liverwurst and an entire jar of horseradish, you’re probably possessed. At least I hope you are because that’s nasty.

It turns out that the office is much more than bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica. It’s a dang spiritual battlefield, y’all. Good luck out there Bookworms. I’ll see you next week.

#FeatureFriday #Fridayreads #FolkloreFriday

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