He opened the creaking dust clogged screen door, noting the Inspector’s brown suit and shoes matched the sedan parked in the weed riddled yard. ‘Whatchya lookin’ for?’

‘Just a routine inspection,’ looking at his clipboard’s list. The pen in hand clicked. Ticked the sheet. Unclicked the pen.   Eyes flicked around the room as nostrils flared.

‘Somethin’ wrong?’

He pursed his lips together. Pen clicked, unclicked. ‘There’s a distinct odour,” scanning piles of dirty dishes in the sink, newspapers stacked in the corner by an overflowing rubbish bin buzzing with flies.

‘Wife cooks some crazy crap.’

‘Where is your wife?’ Pen clicked, unclicked.

‘Hangin’ round somewhere. Where’s yours?’

‘Not married.’

‘Not surprisin’,’ he mumbled under his breath.

The Inspector cleared his throat and moved further into the house, sniffing like an echidna on a picnic-raiding-ant hunt. ‘It’s a wrong smell.’

‘So what’s a right smell?’

‘It’s in there.’ The Inspector pointed his ballpoint at the hallway cupboards.

‘Ya can’t open that – it’s private.’

‘It’s my job in case there are issues,’ and opened the closet. ‘UUUGGGGGG….’ He fell backwards to the floor hugging a skeleton wearing an apron.

‘That’s my wife, you should ask her if there’s any issues.’

(200 words)

Random writer’s note: For my overseas readers, the Australian Echidna (photo below), AKA Spiny Anteaters, are an egg laying mixed-up mammal similar to our Platypus with pouches like Kangaroos.  They’re rumoured to be the oldest surviving primitive mammal on the planet today. Their cool quirks are an ability to roll into a spiky rock, and their consistent no-rush walk that’s in-between a waddle and roll – I think a tortoise might be faster should they ever race.


echidna - courtesy of National Geographic
Courtesy of Australian Geographic