Flash fiction: The smell of a mother

three_chairs

Outside the library the woman is sitting at one of the tables and flicking through a newspaper. She has her back to me, but I recognise the straight hair and green mackintosh I saw through the café window.

My heart thumps in my chest as if I have been running. ‘Mum,’ I whisper. I step forward, close my eyes and breathe in the smell of her. For a few seconds she is returned to me.

When I look again, the woman is slowly turning around. She is my age, perhaps even younger.

‘Can I help you?’ she says, suspiciously.

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A 100-word or so story for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the picture above (supplied by Melanie Greenwood). Click here to join in, or here to read stories from other writers.

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This week I’ve written a blog post about the editing process I went through with my agent and the submission of my novel to publishers. Click here to have a read.

60 thoughts on “Flash fiction: The smell of a mother

  1. Interesting that you construed this as a library; our local library is just like this photo. That moment of mistaken but hopeful recognition has been beautifully depicted here Claire. I sensed the let-down.

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  2. Dear Claire,

    I feel like I’m repeating everyone but I’m going to anyway. 😉 Many layers to this one and I feel like I’ve read the back story. A sad and embarrassing moment well told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  3. I came back to read this again today. That sense of smell. Such powerful memory moments. I feel badly for the narrator.
    Then, I thought, maybe the narrator and ‘the woman’ will begin some sort of conversation.
    I enjoyed this, Claire..
    Ellespeth

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  4. Dear Claire, This is so good! I have been through this ‘feeling’ so many times over the years – not only with my Mother, but also with Daddy. Most of the time, I’m following a car that has a person driving that looks like one of them and just for a nano second, I am happy and it’s been over twenty years. Good job and well done! Nan 🙂

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