That Goddamn Smell
It was so cold, all that time ago, when I used to walk to school in the snow. Half a mile each way, not too bad. But that winter...that bitter, cold winter. My feet shiver just thinking about it.
Truly, though, it wasn't that bad. At least not for the first couple times. That was before he came around. He'd walk past me every morning, a sneer frozen on his face. He hated me. I could tell from that look. I remember, back then, I was scared, terrified even, of the couple minutes that we would walk towards him. I'd try to look away, to pretend I didn't see him. He knew. He could smell my fear. I would always run through the basics in my mind, anyway to try and defend myself from the bastard. I'd feel the pencil, or maybe the car keys in my pocket, and I'd feel safer.
That was then, though, and I had something that made me feel a little safer now.
That day the walk to school was no different. It was cold, and I was tired. Falling asleep where I stood, practically. And the bully was there too. Same as usual.
This time I walked straight, looked him right in his brown eyes. He stared back at me. Nothing happened. That was ok, it wasn't the right time, not just yet.
I walked into school, like any other day. Walked to the bathroom, like any other day.
There was someone else in the bathroom, so I had to wait. I just went into a stall, sat down, pretended to be using it. He left soon enough, and so I went back out. Took a look in the mirror, washed my face.
I reached into my backpack, and pulled out a box of bullets. And another. And another. Laid them out on the sink. The sight made me nauseous. I looked back in the mirror. I was dizzy. Couldn't think straight.
It happens sometimes. I threw up.
And then I was back. My head was clear, and I pulled out the pistol. It was time.
My head was still clear when I loaded it. I was ready.
I tucked it back into my waistband, and left the bathroom. I walked up to my classroom and took a deep breath. My God, my head was dizzy again. Something in the air. A faint smell. I just couldn't place it, but it seemed to grow as I approached the door. I wanted to stop, but it was too late now.
I kicked open the door, drew my gun. I pulled the trigger as fast as I could.
The two bullets peirced Mrs. Allen in the forehead. She fell to the ground.
No one yelled, no one screamed. They sat there, the damn kids, in complete awe. Reverence, even. And then it hit me. The dizzyness. I was going to faint.
I couldn't think straight. I could barely stand. And worst of all, I couldn't think of any reason to justify what I had just done. That smell, that godamn unrecognizable smell. I couldn't do anything except breathe it in. I was drunk on it. Some sort of Pine? Lemon? Ammonia? I couldnt think of anything else but that fucking smell, and that's when I knew it.
I was losing my mind.
And then, while I was gorging myself on that goddamn smell, a large black woman revealed herself from behind a desk.
"That's the power of Pine-sol!" she shouted.
The whole class joined in on my laughter.