Daily Prompt: Scent

via Daily Prompt: Scent


The scent of life screaming for continuance. The scent of death waiting around the corner. The stinging scent of anger and helplessness. The scents of fears. And the scent of quiet dignified sorrow.

She could feel them as she entered. The scents from those scattered around the room. Various emotions in a confused jumble. The disbelief of the young. The resignation of the old. The confusion of the children. Poor things, trapped with no idea of what it all really meant. Told to mourn a person they barely knew.

The son came forward, grief and exhaustion lining his face, ironically highlighting the resemblance to the man in the casket. She murmured the words of condolence that came far too easily nowadays. He accepted them quitely, with elegance and true sorrow. She surprised them both by envoloping him a fierce hug. He froze for a second and then hugged her back with equal strength. “Thank you”. The soft voice conveyed everything necessary.

Sarah sat by the window, politely accepting the whispered words of sympathy. She was a clockwork doll someone had wound up. No emotions, not even those of love and empathy could not reach her now. She was too lost in her sorrow. The young woman beside her was more receptive. Fighting back tears, she greeted those who came by, thanking them gracefully.

The father had been proud of them, and striven to be the man they thought he was. There had been times he disappointed them, times they disappointed him, but it had never mattered for long. It had been a good life. Long and fulfilling. She had no doubt he had gone down fighting, but she knew he would have with no regrets. Or atleast not too many. He had loved to live after all.

She looked at him lying there. It wasn’t true at all. A person does not look like they are just asleep. They look… wrong. Empty. She smiled softy. “Am I getting wistful in my old age Ray?”

She still remembered those days long ago when she first met him. A brat among brats. A boy growing into a man, who felt and thought as deeply as she did. She had been star struck, unable to really tell him what she felt. It hadn’t mattered. They formed a friendship that withstood the test of time. He came to her when he needed an attentive ear, and over time she had learned to count on him too. They met rarely, -the family barely knew her, and yet he had always just been a phone call away.

Untill now.

Suddenly it hit her. All this time, since she first heard of the illness, during the hour she spent with him the day before, when the news reached her yesterday, in all this time the situation had felt unreal. Distant. And now it finally reached her.

He would never complain to her again.

He would never again be there with the chocolate cake when she needed it.

He would never laugh and tease her again.

He would never be Ray again.

She could not stop the tears.

They rolled down one by one, her sobs slowly becoming more pronounced.

She really should stop. This was not the way to behave.

“I can’t stop.”

It was Sarah who came. She softly pulled her in, letting her cry out her disbelief and grief. Sophie clung to her like a baby and bawled. Not for him, but for those he left behind. For this strong woman who was now so alone. For the daughter who lost her knight. For the son who lost his best friend. For herself.

They all cried, not for the man who lay at peace, but for themselves.

The scent of loss filled the room.

The scent of pain.


Do not go gentle into that good night:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas


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