Horror / Halloween / Scary

A Night to Dismember

One man’s garbage is another carnivore’s meal!

Mark McMillion
8 min readOct 25, 2022

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Image courtesy of MaxPixel. CC0

“Honey, it’s Monday . . .” my wife called out.

Oh yeah, tomorrow’s garbage day. “Is it gathered?” I asked.

“Yep, by the garage door.”

I grabbed my flashlight. We lived out on the edge of town and there were usually deer hanging out. I liked to put the light on them and see them in the dark. I guess I like the deer in the headlights look.

It was late October. As I stepped outside, the cold hit me, then the dark did. It was pitch black. I’d just gotten home a few minutes earlier and it had been a little overcast but you could see a few stars. Now there was nothing.

I heard a coyote howl in the distance. Damn things. They run off the deer and eat cats, nothing but a freakin’ nuisance.

I’d grown up here, left for a career in the Army, and then came back. Growing up in West Virginia, you just naturally spent time in the woods, hunting and fishing. I was no exception. There weren’t any coyotes then, just a bear or two. Some genius decided to reintroduce them and the population was exploding.

It was about two hundred yards down the driveway to the garbage bin. I did this walk every Monday night, never seeming to remember to take it down until late.

It was still, really still. Then a slight breeze. What the . . . my nose crinkled and I squinted my eyes against the smell. A damn skunk was my first thought and then oh hell no, that’s no skunk. If you haven’t smelled a skunk, let me tell you: it’s pungent. And distinctive. The scent penetrates the sinuses and then hangs out there for a minute or two. This was no skunk.

I started the trudge down the driveway, puzzling over the smell. Not roadkill, but something similar?

Dead animals also have a powerful and unique smell. It’s just about as bad as skunk. Roadkill stink seems to curl up your nose and then sink hooks in there to stay a while. This wasn’t roadkill but something to do with death, I could tell.

The smell was getting stronger as I got closer to the garbage bin. I flicked the light on and moved the powerful beam…

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Mark McMillion

Retired Army officer with two tours in Baghdad, married with four kids. Proud West Virginian and West Point grad. Works available on Amazon.