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.
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
Lots of beautiful detail in this. I especially liked the scent of wet wool
It’s a terrible smell, but if you have sweet memories it’s the best.
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.
Oh I didn’t know the exact process but it’s exactly what happens… the connection between memories and scent
It’s fascinating, Bjorn. There are scents that everyone loves, like fresh-baked bread; others that get a universal thumbs-down, like a messy diaper. But they both evoke good memories. I mean, who doesn’t love a baby?
A sad piece, but you achieved your goal, the use of the senses was exquisite.
Thank you… I love to write about scents
Great descriptiveness and emotion.
Thank you… scents are wonderful to work with
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
Great comment, full of insight!
Thank you, Penny!
Thank you for noticing,… yes I wanted to turn it around to make the memories more important than if the scent was pleasant or not.
You are welcome.
Sad and touching story. I especially liked the line: “suddenly, in reflection, I drowned inside her eyes.”
I think this will be made into a much longer story… but that sentence I was pleased with
Touching piece. Scents do trigger memories. Lot of emotions.
Yes… and some very bad scents can trigger happy memories.
Wet wool is a distinct aroma – you’ve worked it in well. Sad.
It’s a very unpleasant smell…. but with a good memory it can be a sweet perfume.
Yes, it can.
Awww, that was heartbreaking, but at least, they managed to find true love for that short period.
The pain is deep … but so is the memory.
Very sad. Scents often evoke strong emotions and memories.
Indeed they do
A feast of atmospherics here Bjorn, wet wool, belly of the subway… Wonderful.
There is a reason why I rather bicycle to work than commute with public transportation.
The scent works very well. Emotions and memories are so often tied to scents. Great melancholy piece.
I think scents are used way to little in writing… we should try to use all senses
A touching story. A man lost someone he had loved. It was her final farewell.
I see something like six months passing… it leaves a few month not knowing about the cancer.
He’ll miss the smell but never forget it. Excellent.
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Come next November and the smell will be back.
Really lovely stuff, the damp wool reviving happier times, the perfumed roses seemingly irrelevant to their past lives.Great piece as ever
Yes… sometimes we have to redefine what our favorite perfumes really are.
I know the smell of damp fabrics from many years outdoor activity and well spent youth!!
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.
I think with memories like this the wet wool is preferable.
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.
Thank you… this is an idea for a longer story playing in my mind… It might go into a short story collection, and I wanted to test the tone a little.
Even the smell of wet wool can evoke sweet memories.
Any scent is sweet if you drown in a lover’s eyes for the first time.
That was beautiful.
i think this is one of your best. the sorrow portrayed was heartfelt.
Thank you… this is a story that I’m writing in the back of my head… wanted to test a few things for a longer story.
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!
I think that you are right… and there will be a day when the narrator has to face the scent of wet wool again.
Yep, as cool rain is inevitable … at least in some locales…
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!
I think he will start to cry for the first time since she died…
It’s interesting how everyday, ordinary, things can bring back such memories, including even the power of a mere aroma
scents and memories go hand in hand.
Oh this is so sad. Beautiful descriptions… especially the belly of the subway
Sometimes travelling by subway feels like being consumed by a chthonic worm.
So true! And its neverending. First one way then the other
Very evocative. The scent images work really well to show his emotions and experiences. As do the settings you’ve used.
Thank you… it’s the first attempt to write a longer story… hope it will work
I like it when people use all the senses in a story. Certain odors alway bring the past to life. Well done, Bjorn.
There are scents that really make you remember.
Geez…this about made me cry!
Beautiful, emotional, tale.
Thank you.. I feel sorrow is deeper if it follows from the brightest of joy.
Short and bitter-sweet, it wasn’t a love that was meant to last, but still had value.
Maybe if it’s short it never had the chance to wither.
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.
I think that sentence of facing himself is one I might want to change when I write the longer version of this.
I think scents can trigger our senses in such a way as to remind us of someone we love or places we’ve been or memorable moments in our lives. A touching story, Bjorn, of scents reminder of love.
This is how it works with scents I think.
I think so because why would there be so many types of perfume based on what people enjoy smelling. Just a thought, Bjorn, but an interesting one. ~~~ : )
I love the rhythm of the lines. You use strong images and scents to share a powerful sense of loss – especially wet wool. Beautifully done.
Wet wool is such a nauseating smell…. but if it trigger memories of the happiest day of your life I think it could be wonderful
This was so full of emotions, tender and heartbreaking. And the scent of wet wool leaves behind a lingering sadness.
The words are eloquent, the story sad. And equally sad is the fake sorrow of her family.
Sorrow and scents come through this painfully real.