Horror / Halloween / Scary

A Night to Dismember

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

Mark McMillion
8 min readOct 25, 2022


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…



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.