Smoking Stock

I come from smoking stock.

My childhood came with its own retro Instagram filter, a nicotine miasma that separated the carpet kingdom of the children from the sky-scraper world of shhh, grown-ups are talking. Ceilings painted once a year, instantly the virgin ivory patch highlighting tar-yellow. Long car journeys with the windows closed, watching silver curlicues tickle the glass like the fingers of ghosts.

I come from smoking stock.

Inhaling the fishy aroma of burning line ruled paper. Stealing cigs from an abandoned pack of a brand my mother hated, one by one til there were none. Playing with matches, lighting acetone fires in the palm of my hand. Are you sixteen? No. Let’s try again, shall we? Only this time, say yes.

I come from smoking stock.

Cigarette loosely dangles from a curled lip. Elegance personified in a black dress and foot-long filter. Roll-up casually lingering between nicotine stained fingers, stacked with silver rings. Guitar solo played with only a pristine white tip showing through unruly hair. Stick-thin arm holding a glass of champagne. 40oz and a blunt.

I come from smoking stock.

Gold-tipped Sobranies, throat ripping Camels, early morning Marlboros, late night Regals. Benson & Hedges, Embassy No.1, Cutters Choice, American Spirit, Golden Virginia. Silk Cut, silk slut, head rush, mind fuck. The pop crackle flare of lighting up in the dark. Familiar chemicals in the sun. Velvet comfort in the snow. The minty whoosh from a fresh bag of green. After dinner, after sex, with a cuppa, in the bath, tell me I can’t and it’s all I want. No-smoking sign pings off and twenty pairs hands of hands rush to mouths, duty free.

I come from smoking stock.

Three from seven. Who’s up next? A stent, a statin, a stroke and what’s high cholesterol between friends? You ex-smokers are the worst, how dare you not want me to die.

I come from smoking stock.

Hacking black death and an iron lung.

I come from smoking stock, but not for long.

12928327_10154125355971450_4519934756776168335_nEm Dehaney is a mother of two, a writer of fantasy and a drinker of tea. Her yet to be released first novel, The Golden Virginian, features magic, murder and marijuana. She posts short stories, extracts from her novel and other random brain spews at You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter @emdehaney


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