Wet wool

Blackbirds singing, linden blooming and a nauseating reek of roses. I withdraw to the back of the chapel.

I can neither face the fake sorrow of her family nor myself.

We had met a grey Monday in November.

I remember the scent of wet wool as I sat, squeezed inside the belly of the subway; staring into darkness when suddenly, in reflection, I drowned inside her eyes.

We left together, we made love the following months until her last cancerous heartbeat.

I leave the chapel before her sermon ends and walk toward the subway missing the scent of wet wool.

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Tonight I was in the mood to write about sorrow using scents. Hope it works to signal emotions.

Friday Fictioneers is steered by Rochelle, and each Wednesday she offers us a new picture, and we write, we comment and try our best to read as many as we can. I usually have troubles commenting until Sunday, but I will do my best to be earlier.

February 20, 2018

76 responses to “Wet wool

  1. Scent goes straight to the amygdala in the brain, which maybe you didn’t really need to know, but the result is that it’s the first thing we notice and the scents that mean the most to us will be part of us for ever. This is a beautiful story.

  2. you’ve turned the usually regarded scent of roses into a reek with the fake emotions of the family and the usually regarded reek of wet wool into a memory scent of your love for your now-dead lover. you weave magic

  3. The scent works very well. Emotions and memories are so often tied to scents. Great melancholy piece.

  4. You did this brilliantly, Björn. I agree, the stench of wet wool is nauseating as are too many flowers…
    I really felt the emotion in this one.

  5. You’ve written this poignant story beautifully, Bjorn. The narrative is so precise and consistent in tone, by which I mean that there are pleasant things – blackbirds singing, linden blooming – unpleasant things – the nauseating reek of roses, the fake sorrow of her family – but all is suffused by the same melancholy and sense of loss. And you even bear in mind that the piece is for FF and slip in the word ‘cancerous’ so that we don’t get the idea that the narrator is responsible for her death!
    A tour de force.

  6. Scents are primal signals … and they linger without reason — for good or bad or in between — and even when we do not expect just how much they’d dredge up …
    Sorrowful and lovely, both, Bjorn!

  7. It’s interesting that even the sweet scent of flowers can conjure up sad or difficult feelings if we have a bad association with the smell. I think wet wool will cause him to cringe from now on. Brilliant writing!

  8. It works!

    The smell of wet wool…suddenly i am 15 and wearing my favorite wol coat, thawing after coming in fron m the snow.

    Loved your first sentence(cant stand that rosewater smell myself) and also “in the belly of the subway.”

    I read second two ways: he cant face his own fake sorrow or, he can’t face himself. You had me wondering, but his sorrow sounds genuine enough.

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