The Scent of Summer
My throat fought against the spore-clogged air, coughing up as much breath as it sucked down, as I slipped over the window sill. The glass was long gone and with it the house’s hope of resisting the elements. The walls were mottled black with mould, wallpaper bubbled and curling from the crumbled plaster. In one corner an armchair was slowly transforming into a pile of sludge.
I picked my way to the next room. The bed remained, though the frame had cracked in two and the mattress rotted into the fold. A faint outline of flowery sheets remained. I lowered my weight onto the rickety bed, casting up another cloud of spores. The bedframe held, but it clearly resented me. The house was dead and rotten.
I smiled, drinking in the sickly smell. It smelt of childhood summers, of bounding out to the beach and scribbling wild imaginings on rough paper. The house had always been mouldy – the stench and the summer holidays had woven together in my memory. The damp had killed the house, but it brought to life the past.