#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Like death and rot and sweets

Boy in an abandoned building

Image: Pixabay


He picks his way through heaps of broken glass, kicks the silver nitrous bottles aside with his trainer. The stench of old urine mixes with the scent of privet flowers – sickly, like death and rot and sweets combined.

Sometimes there’s a homeless guy huddled in a blanket, hugging a litre of White Lightning to his chest like it’s a favourite teddy bear. Sometimes there’s worse. Knives and blood, knuckles and teeth – kids off the estates come to draw new battle lines in the No Mans’ Land of the empty factory.

It never feels abandoned to him. Nature has wormed into every joist, cracked the concrete with grass, split the guttering with buddleia and fireweed. And perhaps the past has seeped into the crevices too. Rough sleepers, security guards and office workers, machine shop guys and the lady who brought round the tea trolley – they fill the air, jostling for his attention.

He stands by the broken window, hand on a sill silken with webs and cocoons. He closes his eyes and listens.


Written for My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today’s word is Abandon. See here to join in.

17 thoughts on “#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Like death and rot and sweets

    1. I imagine him as a kid who has a tough time at home – probably at school too – and has just found somewhere he can escape to where he can be alone and himself. It’s a grotty place, but it feels like his. I remember needing to escape when I was a teen – I had a park and friend’s houses to go to. Maybe this lad doesn’t have that. Thanks for reading, Jane 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How awful to feel the need to escape from your own home – the place where you should feel secure. Friends (and their parents) can make a lot of difference.
        I don’t know why, but this boy has become very real to me…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so glad he’s real to you. All the characters feel real to me as I write them, but I never know if that comes across. I think he’ll be ok – he’s seen a bit of life already, but avoided some of its nastier pitfalls. He’s self contained, but sometimes that’s no bad thing. Thank you, Jane

        Liked by 1 person

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