She looked downstairs, and then at the light switch. The switch was on, but upon looking up towards the ceiling, she discovered that the socket was empty. At that moment, an overwhelming stench smashed into her brain.

“Oh my…ugh…that’s bad,” she managed to say, while holding her nose and struggling to breath through her mouth.

Shelby smelled the dog feces and noticed the tracks at the same time. She calculated the dogs had been in the basement, but somebody had let them out before closing the door; unfortunately not until after they had tracked their own poop up the stairs. The filthy footprints triggered a red flag in Shelby’s mind. She knew the possibilities associated with such unclean conditions, a sudden thought pressed forward,”unclean brings unclean.” Something she had been taught by her mother at a young age. Hoping that she was wrong, she pressed on. “Must be the kids… I just missed them,”she said half-heartedly.

First straining her ears for a response, Shelby yelled down to the basement, hoping for a sign of life, “Hello… Adam… Dez…Hey…Ninos!”

Nothing, not a sound came back from below.

“Desiree… Adam are you downstairs?… Hello hello hello,” she yelled once more, still hoping, and not wanting to give up.

The smell was bad, too bad to ignore. Peaking through the curtain first to make sure the screen was closed, Shelby opened the door to the backyard. Both dogs ran to the door and extended their front paws as high as possible, trying to get a look at whoever was standing behind the heavy protective barrier. The screen door doubled as a security door and had been designed to withstand intrusion, including large four-legged pets that weighed over one hundred pounds. An average screen door would not have lasted a single day, but the heavy black steel door remained nearly unblemished.

“Nice try…you can’t wheedle me with all that sweet talk you little monsters,”she said.

Shelby was not fooled, she knew from experience that the playful attitude was an act, and neither dog could be trusted even for one second

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