“Just skunks — wait, skunks? In the basement? Why didn’t we smell them before?”
“Maybe they just arrived.”
“That’s all this place needs on top of being ugly as sin, haunted and the long-term domicile of a dog-eating snake.” Chief Mendez sighed.
“What’ll we do?”
“We’re not just cops, Little Timmy. We’re animal control. I guess we’d better get a couple traps and head for the basement.”
“I hate this house.”
“With reason, Little Timmy. With reason.” The Chief patted his assistant on the back. “It’s all in a day’s work.”
The two men went out to the police car, opened the trunk, and retrieved a couple of foldable wild-animal traps.
“It’s not like they’re hard to catch. The thing is, you catch ’em and you have to carry them somewhere. Last time I transported a skunk my wife wouldn’t come near me.”
“That’s bad, Chief.”
“Had to sleep in the spare room. It was months before she finally let me back in our bedroom.”
“Skunk is hard to shake, that’s for sure.”
“You know how to bait these?”
“Sardines. We got sardines?”
“Sardines. That’s a good idea. All we have is peanut butter, but it’ll work.”
Chief Mendez and Little Timmy Ortiz unfolded the traps, set the bait and headed slowly and silently down the steps to the basement.
“How’d they get in?” asked Little Timmy looking around.
“Shhhh,” said Chief Mendez his ear cocked in the direction of the water heater.
“I’m just saying we need to put the traps near their entry point.”
“Timmy, listen, we need to get upstairs as fast as we can and outside this God-forsaken house.”
“You hit the gas line when you fired your gun.”
Part 3:Tender Reunion