The Realtor



I smell dead people.

Not dead in a gross way—I smell who they were. And so, when I walked into my new listing on Linden, I knew we had problems.

“How long have you been here?” I asked the seller.

“A year.”

Only a year, and this homeowner had turned jobless, depressed and pre-foreclosure.

In the kitchen, the spirit-smell was strong: cigar smoke and man-sweat and a foul mood—all hanging in the air like last night’s onions cooked in cheap grease.

“What do you think? Should I paint?”

“Actually, I’m going to suggest sage. And possibly, an exorcist.”



  1. Excellent story as always. This one is both creepy and funny. Well done!

  2. nice story. I would leave that house and never come back…

  3. I love the hint of supernatural. Fantastic story.

  4. Clever. Bodies and ghosts. Great combo.

  5. Brr.. that sent a shiver… Hope the spirit vacates the house soon.

  6. Chilling, sinister and I liked the voice of the narrator. Kind of crisp and matter of fact. Nicely done.

  7. A realtor and a ghost hunter- all in one. Nice story.

  8. Ah.. Yes it seems bad karma for any potential buyer.. love the language.

  9. No, no, get off my realtor!

  10. In the kitchen, the spirit-smell was strong: cigar smoke and man-sweat and a foul mood—all hanging in the air like last night’s onions cooked in cheap grease. You really get your point across in this sentence. Nicely done!

  11. Loved the onions analogy; that totally worked, and the realtor’s matter of fact attitude to a weird situation. I think either take the comma out of the last sentence, or add another before ‘possibly’. Good stuff.

  12. I love how you used the sense of smell to tell this story. I wish I were better at that. When it started, I thought we were going to be graced with that “old people” smell of body odor and urine, but you went far beyond. Excellent writing.

  13. Nice story, very imaginative! Imagine smelling the ex-lives of dead people everywhere. Not a super power I’d enjoy.

  14. I love this – very intriguing. What a thing to be able to smell.

  15. Great writing! I often feel a vibe when I enter old homes. No “feel” to new construction… Sage–love it! 🙂

  16. Terrible combination, hopefully the exorcist is enough, but at least make it beautiful enough to fool the next buyer. Although, don’t those things have to be disclosed? Oops, that could be a whole other can of worms. Love where this could go! Excellent!

  17. creepy as it gets.

  18. Beautifully Written

  19. Clever story. You conveyed so much with so little. Really well written with a nice finishing line.

  20. AnElephant loves the delivery here.
    Super stuff.

  21. Dear K,

    This made me run for the air freshener. It was pungent with description. Well done.



  22. Brilliantly told. What an unusual gift this real estate agent has. I hope the client takes the good advice.

  23. You had me at I Smell dead people – nice play on the famous 6th sense line.

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