Gordon G Hall
Writer and Neo-Philhellene

Other Short Stories

Makes Scents

OK - nose to the ground – sitting room floor – sniff – whew must have been a good party last night – subtle aroma of Claret, - St Emillion possibly – no, not sure about that - might be just a tad more fruity – but definitely a Bordeaux of some distinction?

 Aha – a bit of canapé under the sofa – good these smoked salmon and creamed cheese ones – not the very best smoked salmon though - they must be on another ‘economy drive’ – hardly my place to start criticising although it might affect what I am given to eat.

Good news how that vacuum cleaner thingy never gets quite to the edge of the carpet so that here, next to the skirting board, there are all manner of rather nasty smelly things - let’s see what we’ve got – hmm - a bit of fruit pastel unless I’m much mistaken - and a burnt out match – don’t like that very much – and a pointed stick-object - possibly a cocktail stick – oh no, it’s a toothpick - bit disgusting that one.   

Just a quick snort around the fireplace - you never know - yes, no surprise in that -  a plum-stone that has been shied at the fire and is now hiding behind the fire tongs - bit old I think - although sticky and with a heady aroma. - a peanut - that’s strange - no peanuts last night, must go back a bit - nice thing about smell, there’s a history to it – right moving on and out.

Through the French Windows into the garden – grass needs a bit of a mow, but I prefer it like this, hides tennis balls – bloody cat been here in the night – Ugh, foul scent, nothing much worse than cat shit – now Deer Slot, that’s different altogether – wonderful really, such a treat.

Hello what’s this - hmm met this before - nasty prickly hedgehog thing – and the fleas - I have never had so many fleas trying to jump onto my nose at one time. - I flap idly at them and leave Prickles and his hopping friends to themselves.

Now, this is interesting – paws - it’s Ambrosia from next door – sweet little Blue Merle Springer – she sniffs of powder – that’ll be her mistress - always cuddling her and pulling her about.

“Hi Amby, how goes it with you today?”

She never gives me a direct answer - just brushes against me and offers me her bum to smell.

“Been eating curry again?”

Her mistress likes to feed her scraps at the end of her own meal – there’s no mistaking a Vindaloo flavour to things this morning.

Normally Ambrosia is up for a game of  ‘chase you around the pond’ – which ends up with one or both of us joining the goldfish - not today - she’s definitely off colour - and there are rumblings from within her slightly distended gut - she lets one fly – now that is what I call a fart!

Gruff growling from the far side of the shed - oh no!  - it’s Anaconda.

Ambrosia is sniffing the air and trembling - I’m not surprised - that bag of muscles and teeth is only a picket fence away and that’s hardly enough to keep an enraged Doberman at bay.

“Hi Con” I venture, in a slightly shaky voice.

The growling grows more intense and is interspersed with a number of frantic yelps – I’ve met those jaws before and can tell you that Con keeps his teeth well cleaned. - I do not fancy offering myself up as toothpaste so calling to Ambrosia I beat an orderly withdrawal from the immediate area.

This garden shed is a wonderful place – there’s a strong smell of creosote -  this tends to smother everything else - but there’s so much going on in here - I carefully inspect a pile of droppings - mice, not rats - I don’t much like rats, not that I’m scared of them you understand - they just don’t agree with me- hah - motor mower - best avoided - stinks of petrol and, if used recently, can give you a nasty burn – caught me out once - mind you not much danger now -  it has not been used for a couple of weeks or so.

Ambrosia has got herself in amongst the rakes and hoes following some scent -  possibly  a shrew - her tail is wagging fit to fall off -  oh bloody hell – what a crash! - she’s knocked over a great swathe of tools that clatter down on our heads like policemen’s truncheons - the little Blue Merle hightails it back to her side of the neighbours fence - I wait to see what sort of trouble I am in – but no one seems to have heard the racket.

I sit down next to the runner beans and contemplate - all is silence - although from time to time I can still hear Anaconda snuffling around looking for a way through the fence at the bottom of the garden - there is a light breeze from just north of east it brings with it the small of cow-shit - they must be mucking out the loose housing - bit late in the year for that - but then I suppose it has been raining a lot recently.

Enough resting – time for a bit more action - I walk slowly towards the back door - it is standing half-open-  there are the most delicious smells wafting towards me - must be baking day - I can make out yeast - so that must be for the bread – and scones – ooh they smell perfect - and turkey soup – that must be for lunch – I start to salivate - I just adore turkey soup.

The scones are out of the oven and sitting on two square metals grids on the work surface - must be a couple of dozen of them - surely she wouldn’t miss just one?

I sneak cautiously up to the island unit - she’s not looking - I stand up and lunge towards the nearest one - I miss - but it rolls off the grid and then off the work surface - it lands next to me on the floor - I make no mistake this time - in an instant it is in my mouth.


Damn, she knows it’s me - I creep stealthily around the kitchen unit keeping as close to the floor as I can.

‘Oh no you don’t!”

A firm pair of legs is blocking my way.

“You can’t just come in here and steal scones whenever you want to!”

Bugger - I thought I had got away with that.

“And for goodness sake, Gordon, stand up straight and stop pretending that you’re a bloody dog!”

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Distant Fells
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