Read She Smells the Dead Online
Authors: E.J. Stevens
Tags: #Teen Paranormal
Praise for the Spirit Guide Series
by E.J. Stevens
She Smells the Dead
"She Smells the Dead provides something new and fresh to the YA realm."
-Stacey, Flippin' Fabulous: A Reader's Record
"This series is like Nancy Drew meets the Winchester Brother's from Supernatural."
-Natalie, I'd So Rather Be Reading
"I absolutely loved every last delicious page of She Smells the Dead!"
-Mary, Sparkling Reviews
"If you love ghosts, Goths, and a little bit of YA romance, you will want to check this book out."
-Yvonne, Diva's Bookcase
“Great YA Paranormal Romance.”
-Were Vamps Romance
"Part mystery, part adventure, part romance and all the things a reader wants."
-Mechele, Read For Your Future
"Fans of Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall Series and Lauren Kate's Fallen Series will love this!"
-Kristen, Seeing Night Reviews
"These characters are so unique and fun to follow."
-Amber, The Musings of Alymbnenr
"I haven't read a truly great YA paranormal in more years than I can remember, and Ms. Stevens delivers the most well written tale imaginable!"
-Tamela Quijas, At Your Fingertips
Also by E.J. Stevens
SPIRIT GUIDE SERIES
Legend of Witchtrot Road (October 4, 2011)
Brush with Death (Coming 2012)
DARK POETRY COLLECTIONS
From the Shadows
Shadows of Myth and Legend
She Smells the Dead
Published by Sacred Oaks Press at Smashwords
Copyright © 2010 E.J. Stevens
All rights reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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I can smell the dead. I know, you hear of people with superhuman paranormal powers and you think,
how cool is that
but there is nothing cool about smelling the dead. I mean it could be worse I suppose. The dead don’t smell like rotting corpses, usually. It’s often more of a symbolic smell. “Smell Impressions” as my friend Calvin likes to call them. Ugh. I know, again with the uncoolness. You have
Imagine biting into your favorite veggie burger loaded up with ketchup and suddenly smelling rotten eggs. Heck, my biggest fear is finally kissing Garrett Hamlin, the guy I’ve been drooling over since 8
grade, and smelling something awful. Like skunk butt or sweaty gym socks. I. Would. Die.
So yeah. My name is Vanessa Stennings but I go by Yuki. When you’re a kid the name Nessie gets you teased and Vee for victory takes on a whole new meaning when you reach high school and all the boys can think about is getting lucky. So I picked Yuki. It means
snow covered village
which, considering all the snow we get here in Maine, seems fitting. I didn’t pick it for that reason though. I decided on Yuki because the smell of freshly falling snow is a clean, beautiful smell and if I’m anything, it’s ruled by smells.
Of course I hadn’t realized that a few jocks would start calling me Yucky, but heck, they’re
. It’s not like I acknowledge their existence anyway. We live in different worlds. They are obsessed with muscles and fart jokes--and I smell the dead.
I was staring at my black nail polish which was now chewed around the edges and wondering if I now had black flecks in my teeth.
. It was only second period of the first day of school and I was already a nervous wreck. How was I ever going to survive an entire school year when I couldn’t even make it through one day?
. Strong, pungent apple cider vinegar. It made my mouth water and my eyes burn. The smell also made me think of dyeing Easter eggs as a kid. Funny how smell could take you back inside a memory. But this wasn’t a real smell, unless one of my classmates was wearing eau du pickles; it was a smell impression.
I was sitting in second period English class and I was smelling dead people.
. Maybe I was being haunted by the Ghost of Easter Past.
Let’s not go there
. The Easter Bunny always did creep me out with his gigantic teeth and wide-eyed permagrin.
Yeah Yuki, let’s not go there
Trying my best to take notes while my eyes were watering would at least keep my mind off Mr. Pickle Pants. There wasn’t much I could do for him until I got out of school for the day. The smelly dead dude would just have to wait.
I had changed into comfy yoga pants and my favorite hoodie and was now ready to tackle the mystery of my new smelly friend. I grabbed my laptop, notebook, and pen and plumped my nest of pillows up at the top of my bed.
I might as well make myself comfortable
. I had learned over summer vacation that these hauntings would stop when I figured out what the ghost wanted. The problem was that all I had to go on was a smell impression and it’s not like I had a fancy CSI lab for analyzing clues. I had one clue, a strong vinegar smell, and no idea where to begin. I was probably going to be smelling vinegar for the rest of my life.
Might as well get on with it
My research methods were extremely advanced. I Googled vinegar. I then tried limiting the search parameters to include Maine and exclude recipes. Amazing detective work I know. I scrolled through page after page until I felt like my eyes were bleeding. I was about to close the search window when a link caught my attention. It was to an obituary in Maine that included the word vinegar.
My heart started racing and I suddenly felt dizzy. I probably shouldn’t have skipped both lunch and dinner, but you try eating when everything smells like vinegar. If this lead panned out I might be able to eat a late night snack and if not, then I would just have to stop and grab some salt and vinegar chips on the way to school tomorrow. With a plan in place I tried to refocus on the computer screen.
Jackson Green, 81 was laid to rest today in Pine Hill cemetery outside Sansborough Maine. Jackson is survived by his wife Grace. He was predeceased by his three sons, Richard Green, Jonathan Green, and Samuel Green, who passed away in a tragic boating accident this past June. Jackson Green was CEO of the Green Orchards Apple Cider Vinegar Company. His fortune was to be left to his wife Grace Green, however, his last will and testament seems to have been misplaced some time just before his death. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Mr. Green’s Will is asked to please contact the local Sansborough police department.
I jumped as I heard a knock and my bedroom door opened.
Maybe I was just a little jittery
Calvin stood there leaning against the doorway with his thumbs in his jean pockets and his shaggy brown hair hanging in his eyes. “Hey Yuki. You seemed kind of down at school today. Thought I’d stop by to cheer you up,” he said with a wry grin. “Your mom let me in.”
Of course she did
. My mom loved Calvin.
For a second I was glad that I had changed into my hoodie and yoga pants and not into my girlie pajamas when I realized I was worried about what I looked like in front of
. This haunting really did have me messed up. I started to smile nonchalantly as Cal walked in and tossed his backpack on my bed. It was then that I saw what he was pulling out of it. Oh no, not another dung beetle plushie. He was never going to let me live this down.
“Thought this might cheer you up,” he said as he set it atop my laptop.
You suck Calvin Miller
You suck times ten
. The beetle plushie was an inside joke and a way to tease me that Calvin never tired of.
Calvin was very Zen and into all things mystical. Heck, maybe that was why he was always following me around. A few years back he decided we should go to a Shamanism retreat and discover our spirit animals. At first I dismissed the idea as one of Calvin’s hokey hair brained ideas. Right up until he called me shallow and incapable of spiritual awakening or some other mumbo jumbo. So yeah, I went to Shaman Camp.
Calvin was in hippie Heaven and I was, of course, in total Hell. It was muddy and buggy and everyone wanted to hold hands and be one with each other, or mother earth, or
. I just wanted to crawl inside myself and disappear. He got to sit there cross-legged in his cargo shorts and hemp necklace looking all tanned and buff and
while I was sweating in my layers of black skirts, tights, and long sleeve tee. At least I had my 14-eye boots on. There was mud
My plan was to stick around until the animal totem workshop ceremony thing was over and then find a way home,
. I was supposed to lay in the mud and journey on my spirit animal, or power animal as some of the guys were calling it, but since I refused I ended up picking drying mud off my Doc Martens while the head shaman dude had a vision and declared my spirit animal to be a beetle.
? He went on about the beetle representing resurrection. Something about how in ancient Egypt the scarab beetle would form a piece of ox dung into a ball, then fill it with eggs, and roll it from East to West.
Uhm hello, gross
? The beetle would then wait a month and dig up her ball of kiddoes and toss it into water where the little beetle babes would hatch. Beetles tossing egg filled poo into water in Egypt? This couldn’t be
spirit animal, right?
Or maybe I was just in de-Nile
So ever since Shaman Camp Calvin would bring up my fab spirit animal as the dung beetle and I would remind him it was the sacred scarab, though if I were honest with myself even that sounded lame. What kind of universe would shackle me with such a crappy (o.k. go ahead and laugh) spirit animal? What made the whole situation even worse were the spirit animals that everyone else got. The girl named Sky received an eagle, some guy with dreads a tiger, a red haired girl ended up with a fox, and Calvin a wolf. Of course Calvin would receive something über cool like a wolf, but did I have to end up with a dung beetle? It just wasn’t fair.
So I glared at the beetle plushie and grumbled, “sacred scarab” at the same moment Calvin said, “dung beetle.”
I sighed, rolling my eyes to my bedroom ceiling, and asked, “I’m never going to win this one am I?”
“Nope. Never,” he replied, so quickly I knew he had been waiting for the question. “So you tuned into your Smellavision?” he asked casually.