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  • Writer's pictureP.J. Powell

You say dead squirrel / I say zombies

I’m sitting at my computer upstairs, and something smells.  My grandfather used to order some sort of food item through the mail, and it came in these wooden cigar boxes stuffed with straw (how do I not know what was in the straw?).  Those boxes always smelled like a combination of sawdust, salt, and fish.  That’s what it smells like in here.

And I have to say, I’m a little scared.

My first thought was that it could be the wood under our little portable AC unit.  We put it up on stacked 2×4’s so we could drain the water out as needed, with little fuss.  The wood has gotten wet a few times.

Alas, I check the wood and that’s not the origin of the smell.

The windows are open and I hear scrabbling noises coming from outside, something rustling against the rooftop spouting and shingles.  I look out.

I count FIVE buzzards.  Four of them in the tree next to the house, and the one doing the scrabbling, who I can’t see.   What I do see is a baseball fall off my roof.

Stephen-King-Theory Number One: Kids play in our yard all the time.  Kids hit baseball onto roof.  Kid goes up to get it, dies.  Buzzards snack on kid, eat hand.  Baseball falls back to Earth.  No good?  Ok.  Sounded a little far-fetched to me, too.

Stephen-King-Theory Number Two: The DEAD something on our roof isn’t human.

(holy crap)

An Inhuman Something, seeking brains, penetrates home by crawling into attic.  Dies.  Decays and soaks into insulation/rafters.  Starts to smell.  Buzzard gets into attic for snack.  Gets stuck, dies.  Attracts a pack of the Inhuman Something’s cannibalistic relatives.  Unsuspecting homeowners slowly open the attic’s trap door…  Fine, I’ll stop.

But what DIES on the roof?  Maybe it was less like a Stephen King story and more like a COPS episode.  Domestic dispute in the sparrow nest.  Drunk-sparrow social media video project gone wrong. Of course, those theories don’t explain the baseball…

The sad thing, other than not getting to the bottom of all this, is that my investigation scared off the buzzards. They moved on, probably to someplace far away like a Cracker Barrel rooftop in Texas, leaving the snack on my roof unfinished, smelling up my office.

Think they’d come back if the county agreed to hire them into the sanitation department?

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