Whiff of It

At first, she’s not aware of the smell. Not consciously, anyhow. She’s too busy grinning in her bubble of nothing, but then, ever so slightly, she gets the faintest whiff of it. It’s barely there, like the faded scent of perfume on a scarf, sprayed weeks before on the neck of her mother. She’s not sure what the scent is. It’s certainly not her mother’s perfume. Sniffing like a curious baby in its crib, she closes her eyes and concentrates as hard as she can. The smell is dark, but not as dark as the darkness cradling her. It’s, musty? Yes, musty and woody. It reminds her of damp wooden logs left outside during the winter, the kind they had in the place where she lived before, a house with a garden, as green as anything she has ever seen. As the Ferris wheel and moon dissolve in her mind’s eye, they’re replaced by the image of a puddle on a sidewalk. Although many droplets of rain pierce the puddle, she can make out something in the rippling reflection it holds. Scrutinising it as if it were a map, she makes out the warped reflection of a neon sign. A sign such as this, she ponders, must belong on the sides of the buildings downtown, like those she passes whenever she’s in the backseat of her parent’s car on the way to the supermarket. The buildings are not the kind she’s ever visited, and yet somehow, she knows her father has. She doesn’t know how she knows, but she knows. With the smell growing stronger, the droplets of rain fall so hard that the image in the puddle disperses like a cloud of steam.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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