Scent of a Mother – Friday Fictioneers, November, 2018

Nick Allen

Her fragrance lingered long after she’d left, permeating the bed-linen, strongest in her half-empty wardrobe.

I located the source, a black glass bottle, gold-capped, the neck encircled by a pink satin ribbon grown greasy with careless use.  Months later, I loaded the tiny wand within and transferred the essence of my mother to my curtains, pillows and towels, contentedly refreshing her presence.

My father beat me, before crushing me, sobbing, to his chest.

The half-empty bottle is sealed in cling-film, stored in a canister, high on a shelf.

I could re-create her at will.

But that will is long gone.

Anyone remember this?  Long before my time, of course.  😉  This week’s prompt comes from an old writing colleague of mine, Nick Allen.  Thanks, Nick, beautiful collection.  Our Friday Fictioneers  hostess, Rochelle, is also a collector…  of 100 word stories.  Click on blue linky-tool to read them.

 

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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91 Responses to Scent of a Mother – Friday Fictioneers, November, 2018

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Gorgeous poignant fantasy, Sandra

    Like

  2. Very beautiful imagery.Loved the story you painted. The last line was a killer, Sandra.

    Like

  3. Heart-wrenching story, Sandra. Beautifully done.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  4. Dear Sandra,

    There’s so much emotion in this. The child’s desire to recreate her mother and the father’s anger and grief. Olfactory is a powerful memory trigger. it made me think of my mom’s favorite perfume. Tabu. I don’t think it exists anymore. But if I smelt it now I’m sure I’d be back in her arms. Lovely story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      I remember the name Tabu, but I don’t think I ever came across it. I remember a perfume called Intimate (a fairly cheap one that was within the financial reach of most of us schoolgirls). And then some young wit labelled it ‘Antimate’ and it lost its appeal for us. Thanks for reading, Rochelle.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. What a moving and beautifully written piece Sandra.

    Like

  6. ceayr says:

    Gasping for breath after that denouement.
    Another classic, and a killer last line.

    Like

  7. Chilling and poignant. Really well done.

    Like

  8. WOW! That’s awesome! I don’t know if I would want to recreate my mother after she passed but this is an interesting twist! Well done! ❤

    Like

  9. Her father’s grief crushed her will. A sad tale of loss and moving on without the presence of a lost loved one. I hope she is free one day to remember freely by recreating her mother’s presence. A powerful story, Sandra.

    Like

  10. Eileen says:

    Lily-of-the-valley always conjures up memories of a favourite auntie for me.

    Like

  11. There are scents that immediately transport us to another place and time. Lovely rendition, Sandra.

    Like

  12. granonine says:

    Tragedy on tragedy. The sense of smell, I have discovered, is something to be treasured. My own is just about gone, what with sinus infections and medications.

    Anyway. This story just made me want to get one more whiff of my mom’s perfume. White Shoulders was one of hers, and yes, Tabu.

    That bottle was about 20 years before my time. Don’t remember it at all.

    Like

  13. Iain Kelly says:

    The powerful emotions that smell can evoke, for her and her father. Expertly done.

    Like

  14. Danny James says:

    Glad she’s got some left.

    Like

  15. Very nice, my dear. Mother’s favorite perfume was Bluegrass. Simple and understated. You’ve stirred up some fond memories. Thank you.

    Like

  16. 4963andypop says:

    Touching. Smell is such a powerful reminder of irretrievable things. Beautifully sad.

    Like

  17. jwdwrites says:

    Vivid and touching, you had a lump in my throat with the sobbing father! well done. 🙂

    Like

  18. Heartbreaking… and written so that we can feel all the emotions and imagine the scents of the missed memories.

    Like

  19. michael1148humphris says:

    Poignant, and story that is true to life. Lovely

    Like

  20. plaridel says:

    the story has captured a child’s sense of loss. it resonates because you have chosen your words very well.

    Like

  21. Dale says:

    You will not believe this, but just today as I was hiding stuff for another house visit, I opened a hidden cupboard where a bottle of Mick’s cologne is hidden away. (Which my son had taken for himself and no, I did not beat him but I took it back and hid it there.) I opened it and sniffed deeply before putting it back…
    Obviously, your story has resonated deeply with me. Beautifully done.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It is just the mind, is it, that can recreate the past? Sometimes it’s smells, sometimes it’s music. I’m not a great fan of Christmas largely because of the memories it brings back when they start the endless round of christmas tunes, some good, some not so, but all of them reaching deep into your soul.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Abhijit Ray says:

    A nice way to remember mother by her fragrance. The post describes pain of separation from her mother by her child. Nice;

    Like

  23. An emotional, gut-wrenching Fantasy tale. Could it possibly get any better than this?

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Lovely story, sad and touching.

    Like

  25. WOW! That evoked some emotions. It made me tear up! ♥

    Like

  26. Jelli says:

    Wow! Again, I say, Wow! That was powerful! The power of a simple smell… indeed.

    Like

  27. Touching hearts with every word, Sandra. The scent of those we love can linger in certain things including clothes or linens I wonder if this is a way we are supposed to never forget them.
    Beautifully written … loved it.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  28. jillyfunnell says:

    Very real and very well written.

    Like

  29. My mother wasn’t big on perfume, but she did use a lotion that had a wonderful fragrance. Thanks for bringing that memory to the forefront of my consciousness.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. k rawson says:

    Awwww, volumes of emotion in this. Loved “My father beat me, before crushing me, sobbing, to his chest” especially.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Violet Lentz says:

    The picture of her father torn between beating her and clutching her to him is haunting.

    Like

  32. Poignant and heart-wrenching. Love your last line. Time heals!

    Like

  33. Liz Young says:

    Scent is the most evocative of senses.Lovely piece.

    Like

  34. James McEwan says:

    Sensory memories last a life time. A thoughtful piece, I enjoyed.

    Like

  35. Scent is a powerful memory stimulant. A powerful and sad story. 🙂

    Like

  36. subroto says:

    Most men turn misty smelling meat on a barbeque but I understand the child. A sad and touching story.

    Like

  37. Very beautifully written! It’s amazing how powerful scent can be in stirring memories.

    Like

  38. I love this… scent is the sense we have that is closest tied to memories… and how different it can be for the father and the daughter

    Like

  39. Oh! So many emotions surface here. Her palpable sadness and hope in memories, the father’s unbearable sorrow that would raise at hand at his daughter. Beautifully done, Sandra!

    Like

  40. i b arora says:

    the last line hits like a punch, great

    Like

  41. I was thinking “what a good idea!” until the father came into the picture. This story took a very different turn after that. You always amaze me with what you can do with 100 words.

    Like

  42. magarisa says:

    Vivid and descriptive, with such a mixture of conflicting emotions.

    Like

  43. Wow. A beautiful picture painted. I can smell the mother and feel the grief of child and father. Loved the line he beat me…. and also the last line which packs a punch.

    Like

  44. Indira says:

    Lovely, touching story.

    Like

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