A corpse in the spare room
January 14th, 2012
When you’re an author, every experience is a useful one. (WARNING for those with tender stomachs and soft hearts: this is a rather gruesome post.) For example – last week my cat caught a mouse in the compost heap, brought it inside and then lost it. She does this occasionally, and I usually manage to catch the mice and let them go again. But I couldn’t find this one, and eventually forgot about it.
Until this morning when I woke up to a most peculiar smell coming from the spare bedroom. A sickly sweet smell. The sort of smell that crawls into your nose and won’t go away.
That’s when I remembered the mouse.
It took me a while to find it, because the smell seemed to be everywhere. And by now it was seeping out of the spare room into the rest of the house. But I managed to track it down to one corner, under a pile of blankets. Poor little mouse, thoroughly dead and beginning to stink. I carried it outside, then I opened all the windows and put the blankets out to air.
And all the time I was thinking – I now know what a corpse smells like when it is starting to rot! What a useful and important thing for an author to know!
The smell wasn’t as grossly awful as I had always expected (though I’m sure it would have gotten worse if I hadn’t found it when I did). It was more a creepy sort of awful, that made me shudder and feel a bit sick, and not know why.
Now I think I shall go and make some notes about it, so I don’t forget it.