Stories in Short #4 (Daily Prompt)

storiesinsharpDaily Prompt: Aromatic

His favourite smell was damp towels. I’d walk into the bathroom and see him with his face pressed against the towel rack, where the red-and-white polka dot towels hung after someone had showered.

“Not smelly towels,” he said, “just these towels.”

On the landing at the top of the stairs there was a plant in a pot that had always been there, since we’d moved in. I didn’t know what the plant was called, and it didn’t matter, because all he cared about were the small rocks and pebbles sitting on the earth in the pot. First he’d put them in his mouth, and then he’d smell them, because he wanted to know if the taste was like the smell. This was his second favourite smell.

I was always worried he was going to choke on a pebble. He never did.

When he comes to the house now, I think of the times I found him in the bathroom with his face in the towels, or at the top of the stairs with his mouth full of pebbles. I wish we were back there again. Sat on the sofa, the sofa with the arms shredded by the dead cats, the sofa with the seat still warm from the absent dad, and his little face turned towards mine, explaining why he loved the smell of the rocks and the red-and-white polka dot towels.


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