The smell, the stench stuck with me, I knew I'd never forget that stink, never. So many years later it hadn't left me, no amount of washing, cleaning, scrubbing, even to the point of bleeding helped lessen it any. The burning acidic smell scorched my nose everyday, the noises had faded, I could not quite remember how it all sounded, or even perhaps how it looked, but the smell was there, hanging over me like some morbid mist of death and burning.
The hair burning, thats what I remembered first, I didn't know any better, in fact I didn't think I would do any harm. The match sparked to life in my hand with a quick tinge of sulfur hanging in my nostrils. The sulfur was quickly wiped away however by the stench of burning hair as the match touched it and the flames danced lively up to her scalp.
Her eyes were wide I think, perhaps she screamed, I really can't remember, nor do I wish to. But that ungodly smell, the flames made a quick meal of her hair before beginning to devour her flesh. It reminded me at first of those balmy summer cookouts, the smell of hot dogs cooking on the grill. A morbid thought, perhaps even inhuman, the smell quickly became putrid, burning like some obscene incense as it torched her clothing.
I couldn't move, couldn't hold my nose, keep that ungodly stench from entering me, from violating me. It penetrated my being, my soul, hell bent to go to the grave with me. It had taken on its own personality, taunting me, reminding me, never quite letting me forget.
I had been five at the time, maybe six, I'm not really too positive, I'd spent so long behind institutionalized walls, and sterile corridors, the days, weeks, months, years, they all blended together like one mass moment in existence. And even in their sterility, the smell was there, lurking in every crevice. I knew they thought I was mad, perhaps I was, perhaps the time spent with that smell, the inhuman stench had driven me rightly insane.
But if I was mad I could not tell you when exactly I became mad, I can't remember anything else, nothing that is except that dreadful stink. No one ever believed me you see, they couldn't smell it they claimed, how could you not smell something so putridly foul, how could you deny something so inhumane, so impure. But they did, they tried to convince me it wasn't there, that the stench I had suffered with did not exist. I knew better however, and with every chance I got I tried, and tried to rid my flesh of its taint.
It played out quite the same each time, no matter how many times they tried to rid me of anything I could scrap with, anything I could use to try and wash it from me, but I always found something new. I could not let it stay with me, if I did it may truly drive that last bit of sanity left in me from my soul.
The burning had seemed seemed to last forever, that smell had lingered, some unknown amount of time had passed before they came, they took me from that place. Even then as young as I was I knew, I knew there was something wrong, even as young as I was I still able to tell them about the smell. They dismissed me and the idea that a smell could follow a person with some perhaps incomprehensible vendetta. I knew better however, the wretched thing had taken on an unholy life of it's own.