The smell was worse than surströmming. Even people who didn't know what surströmming was knew that the moment the corpse of the god washed ashore. We didn't know it was a god, not then, but we all knew what it smelled of: imagine the worst thing you can smell. No, worse than that.
Imagine what the despair of hope smells like, then the sour smell -- more a taste of a body days dead -- that bypasses the olfactory entirely to lodge in the liver. An apotheosis of plague.
The god was scarcely bigger than a man, and by the time we'd begun to understand it was almost too late. New York had been contaminated by one, ground turned sour, the air a bruise.
We burned it, using napalm and curses. It took children in the end to get the fire going but the god did not infect the land and that was enough for us.