The Smell of Smoke

Uploaded 31 Jan 2008 — 6 favorites
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© Megan Horsburgh
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  • The Smell of Smoke
Photo Info
UploadedFebruary 1, 2008
TakenJanuary 31, 2008
Exposure1/60 sec at f/5
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length18 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

I don't smoke, just for the record. Last night (well, early this morning), I was still awake at 2am. Almost asleep, but still awake. The fire whistles started blowing- we live pretty much right next to the fire station, so it's pretty offensively loud here. After a minute or so, I started thinking I could smell smoke. I told myself I was being paranoid and imagining it, but the whistles blew again and I got up. Walking out of the bedroom, the smell seemed stronger. I walked up to our door and looked out . A few houses away, I could see smoke billowing into the sky, and a flickering orange glow below it. And I could smell the smoke.

When I was 4, my parents house burned. It was August, in the middle of the night, and there was a thunderstorm. Our house was struck by lightning, and caught fire. We all got out ok, and the house wasn't a total loss. My parents' room and my room were pretty much ruined from the water damage, but luckily, the fire mostly contained itself to the attic. Pretty much everything in the attic was burned. I remember all of our Christmas decorations all melted together.

That night is one of my earliest, and most horrible memories. What I remember most is the smell of the smoke. The smoke from a burning house smells different than cigarette smoke, or even campfire smoke. It has it's own smell, and whenever I smell it, it terrifies me.

So, I stood on our porch last night, watching the smoke rising into the clear sky, and watching the orange flickering. I had this weird, panic reaction. I cried, I started shaking. I watched until they put it out, then went back to bed. But our whole place smelled like house fire smoke, and I had weird dreams.

I dreamed of pictures to take, and woke up this morning with snapshots in my head.

4 responses

  • Matthew Woskey

    Matthew Woskey said (31 Jan 2008):

    I like this one.

  • Andy

    Andy (Deleted) said (1 Feb 2008):

    crazy how different smells bring you right back to that certain place and time. That happens to me all the time. Great pic.

  • Gary Fudge

    Gary Fudge (Deleted) gave props (1 Feb 2008):

    You have lovely smokey eyes which photograph beautifully. Didn't need the other smoke. Not cool!

  • Robert Walker

    Robert Walker gave props (31 Jul 2012):

    I can't take my eyes off this shot!

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