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Chimney Smoke (standard:drama, 538 words)
Author: BritGirlAdded: Apr 27 2002Views/Reads: 2205/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story about the smell of cigarettes.

Chimney Smoke 

"Do you want a fag?" 

My friend holding out a cigarette expectantly. Looking at me. Waiting
for a reply. Quickly, quickly force the words out. Squeeze the lungs 
and push them out. 

"No!" Too loud. "Suit yourself." 

She places the white stick between her lips and there is a dart of
flame. Tendrils of smoke float from her mouth and crawl up my nostrils. 
Cigarette smoke. Forcing its way into my body. Deep down. Too deep. 

Her. Standing with her head immersed in a halo of acrid smoke. Me with
hot, fat tears running down my cheeks, smarting from the pain of 

"Don't be so bloody pathetic." I stare as if I've been slapped. Mum
looking at the television, uncaring. The cigarette winks at me 
mockingly. Stamping up the stairs and slamming the door. As if the 
noise will penetrate her veil of smoke. Crying. The pillow tastes salty 
and warm. I cry until my head hurts. 

"Your mother smokes like a chimney!" The warm Yorkshire voice of Mrs
Acton from next door. Smiling kindly at me as she sips her tea. My 
mother laughs, amused. I stare at mum. Like a chimney? Does that mean 
there's something burning inside her? I don't like it. It's nasty. I 
look at Mrs Acton's large white hands gripping her mug. White. I look 
into Mrs Acton's kind face and wish that she were my mum. 

Skip forward. Fast forward. Don't like that bit. Don't want to watch it

Her. Lying like a spreading yellow stain on a starched white bed. No
cigarettes today. A different kind of tube is in her mouth. Now who's 
pathetic mother? A clicking machine pumps air into her lungs. Her 
lungs, where the smoke is laughing, bouncing around. Blackening them. 
Like the inside of a furnace. Her yellowing eyes look at me. I stare 
back. I can smell her. A foul, stale stench, wafting across the room. I 
move my chair back. She's still looking at me. What does she want? 
She's not my mother. My mother was beautiful with a soft voice and she 
hugged and kissed me all the time. She lived in my pillow and my 
hurting head. My tear streaked pillow. She was my mother. You're not. 
You're nothing but a yellow, wrinkled hag. One huge, dirty ashtray. I 
hate you. I'm glad you're dead. 

"Are you sure you don't want one?" 

Slapped in the face again. The friend holding the cigarette in front of
me. All women turn into their mothers. 

"Go on. One won't hurt." 

All women turn into their mothers. I take the cigarette. So smooth and
white, with the brown filter hinting at what happens in the end. I 
place it between my lips. It rests comfortably there. It has found its 
groove. I take the lighter and the flame leaps up, grinning at me. I 
breathe in and feel the warm smoke settle in my lungs, like an old 
friend settling in a chair. I blow out the smoke and watch it rise into 
the air. A white cloud against the vivid blue of the sky. It disperses. 
My mother's spirit, rising up to meet God. Her chimney smoke. My 
chimney smoke. 


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