Ammonia, Iodine, Dust, and Death [The Sweetest Stink Challenge]

Gene shrugged into his coat and eyed the clock. It was two minutes before five AM, two minutes before his shift started. It promised to be a long one. He grabbed his clipboard and walked briskly into the hallway, his steps echoing on the marble floor. Today marked his 30th day as a resident doctor at Blessed Cross Hospital.

As he opened the door to his first patient’s room, the familiar scent accosted his nostrils. He breathed it in with a sharp sigh. It had always simultaneously bothered and tantalized him that he could never identify the smell. What was it? Ammonia? Iodine? Dust? Death?

It bothered Gene, too, that his wife would never truly understand what pulled him here. To say that she was displeased with his new work schedule would be the grossest understatement.

“I don’t know how you could be happy working like a slave. I’ve barely seen you all month!” she’d shouted last night before grabbing her bag and leaving the house.

She didn’t stay to hear his reply: “I just love the smell of hospitals.”

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