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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Dellos

My House is Trying to Kill Me

It’s month thirteen of the pandemic. My house is trying to kill me. It’s working to expel us from the premises.

Because I’m indoors all the time, I’m now allergic to it. My eyes are bloodshot, itchy, and watering -- all the time. My nose is a faucet. Flonase is a necessary part of my morning ritual.

There’s also a phantom smell emanating from our laundry area. I figure it’s probably the 30-pound bag of dog food our puppy, Bo, is chewing tiny holes in, so she can self-feed straight from the source. She’s whip-smart that one.

Once the smell turns into a toxic mushroom cloud of stink, I do what every good mother does -- I buy a bottle of Febreeze and spray half it all over the laundry closet. I decide it’s problem solved.

In my pandemic-fueled malaise, I’m certain that there’s a mother of the year award heading my way for conquering my savage home with Flonase and Febreze.

Overnight, the smell overpowers the fresh Air & Linen scent. The smell is back, and this time it wants revenge. Something in my mother’s intuition tells me this is bigger than Febreze. With my rheumy eyes and my swampy nose, I pull out the metal shelves jammed next to the washer.

And there it is—the source of the smell. A mini but mighty Mt. Everest of mouse poo.

I gag.

Now, I’m fueled with a real purpose. It’s me vs. the mice. I scout out every nook and crook of my home, looking for tiny pellets of poo. I’m sweeping, scrubbing, and planting traps.

But the traps aren’t working. Finally, I put peanut butter in them. And this time, it really is problem solved.

This story is included in a series I wrote and performed through “99 Workshop” hosted by Story Jam and GRIT. Storytellers are challenged to write and perform a 99-sec story.

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Susan Boettcher
Susan Boettcher
Jun 14, 2021

The mice were out of hand this year, or at least that's my impression. I'd like to say I've moved into a mouse-free setting but I'm afraid to jinx it.


Jun 14, 2021

Love this! My laundry room has that smell too. My significant other says it's the washing machine, even though we leave the top open all the time. And our house is overrun with mice. We catch and release. We're thinking of color coding them.

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