The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

The Smell of Distress
by Michael C. Keith

The nose is the most powerful of the human senses. It has the ability to reclaim memories and images long tucked away. Even people in comas detect smells, or at least that’s what Fergie Myerson had read, and she believed it. It was this certainty that led her to seek a method to change the way people on their deathbeds spent their final moments. She asserted that scents pleasing to those about to perish would make their passing a less traumatic, even pleasant, experience. 

After extensively researching which aromas evoked the most agreeable visceral responses in humans, Fergie offered her idea to hospice patients in the last moments of their lives. To the amazement of relatives, happiness covered the faces of their loved ones as they breathed in the mellifluent vapors of Ambrosia upon passing. Even those who had been the most morose of patients exhibited blissfulness as they took their final breaths.

Soon, Fergie’s services were in such great demand that she found it necessary to hire others to take on the additional requests. This turned out to be a fateful decision on her part since one of her new staffers suffered from Anosmia and inadvertently mixed a few drops of hydrogen sulphide into the formula intended for a client. Rather than provide the dying person a bucolic departure, it so offended her olfactory senses that she punched out the priest giving her The Last Rights.