feel the rain brush your skin


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1. feel the rain brush your skin

 

 

The scent of smoke was apparent from a mile off. Even as I walked down the now deserted street it encircled me, engulfing lone cars and streetlights in a soft mist. The scent was tantalizing; gently teasing my sense and I increased my pace as the slight fragrance billowed around me in my wake. The lack of commotion unsettled me; the absence of life made me feel uneasy and I could feel my heart beating furiously as I neared the corner.

It was a humid Saturday in June and under normal circumstances I would have expected to be jostled by hurrying mothers laden down with shopping bags; knocked into by the briefcases of businessmen already late to work, and tripping over small children who were seemingly oblivious to the crowds of people around them. But not today; today was different – special in some way, and I was determined to find out why.

The heat was stifling and I could feel myself sweating profusely despite the relatively small distance I had walked. It was the kind of day that made me long for winter, where the cold easily found its way into my bones and settled in my veins; and I could swear my heart had frosted over despite its constant pumping of blood; never stopping, never slowing. I vowed to move somewhere cold, somewhere in the Arctic region, and I took comfort in this thought as I found myself at the familiar chainlink fence.

It had only felt like a few years since I was last in this spot but as I looked in dismay at the peeling paint curling round the railings and noticed how much smaller everything seemed, I realised it must have been far longer than I first thought. Memories evade time. They only happen once yet remain vivid grooves in your mind.

It was only when I looked skyward that I realised where the strange substance was arising from; but the thought didn’t comfort me – in fact it had the opposite effect. The former school; home to so many happy memories and days spent by children long gone had been abandoned swiftly. That wasn’t unusual in itself, after all it was a summery Saturday. It was the derelict building that was pumping out reams of smoke that alarmed me; as I tried to recall why it was I ended up walking here on such a day.

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