If you’ve never met a skunk ape, count yourself lucky. Considered the southeastern US’s bigfoot, a skunk ape is a bipedal hominid that emits a most ungodly odor. Floridians have reported skunk ape sightings for decades, and many believe the state’s swamplands are the creature’s preferred habitat. Some say the skunk ape is homicidal, some say it is just misunderstood. Everyone agrees that it smells rotten.
Thus, we are in Florida, investigating some sightings in the Three Forks Marsh Marsh Conservation Area, at the headlands of the St. John’s River. The marsh has a decidedly rancid odor and locals insist that usually the area smells like wildflowers and sunlight. Skunk ape?
Effluvium is a noun defined as an invisible emanation; an offensive gas or exhalation and also an impalpable emanation; an aura. From the Latin effluvium – a flowing out – from effluere. The plural is effluvia.
I am writing this sitting on one of the old trestles from when the Union Cypress Railroad crossed the area and the St. John’s. There is a definite effluvium blanketing the marsh. If it’s not from a skunk ape, there’s something else wandering these lands. If it’s not homicidal, the stench is turning Bubo homicidal.