DIAL M FOR MONGOOSE (Cont.)
An excerpt from Chapter 1 – The Big Stink
I shook my head. "Wasn't me."
"Sure," said Rick. "We believe you."
Then the funky stench cranked up another couple of notches, from cheese-cutting to paint-peeling. It seemed like it was coming from the direction of the wall. Poor wall.
"Oh, man." I stood and backed away.
Mr. Ratnose's lecture droned on. But by this time, the odor had tiptoed on its little stink-footed feet throughout the class. More and more kids were turning and searching for its source.
Finally, even Mr. Ratnose noticed me. "Chet Gecko, why did you leave your seat?"
"Smells like he blasted himself out of it," said Waldo the furball. "Hur, hur."
"It wasn't me!" I repeated.
Now the class laughed uncontrollably. Some of the nearer kids got up and scooted back.
Mr. Ratnose put a fist on his hip. "Settle down, class."
I covered my nose. "I think it's coming from over near the vent."
"What is?" Mr. Ratnose asked. Then the stench wave hit him. "Oh. Sweet Norwegian pie! What is that?"
Somewhere along in here, the class finally realized this stench was way beyond anything one kid could have caused. More and more of my classmates were on their feet, moving back from the heating vent.
I joined them.
"Oh, baby," cried Bo Newt.
"That stinks!" said Shirley Chameleon.
"Hoo-eee!" said Waldo.
How can I describe the intense odor? It was the pharaoh of funkiness, the sheik of stenchiness, the Grand High Poobah of putrid. In the ranks of rank smells, it would be head honcho of the whole dang enchilada.
And all I wanted was to leave it behind. (No pun intended.) Luckily, Mr. Ratnose agreed.
"Class!" He coughed and waved his hand. "Out — kaff kaff! — side!"
We were way ahead of him. By the time he finished speaking, everyone had jammed into line and was pushing through the doorway. Out in the hall, other classes milled around, eyes watering, noses covered.
It wasn't just our stink. Every classroom in the school was emptying out.
"Terrible!" cried Bitty Chu, teacher's pet. "Think of all the class time we're missing." She held her nose.
"Wonderful," I said, breathing deeply. "A fresh mystery — koff! — at last."