She hated the smell of cigarettes. There was no bright memory, no reclusive, subtle silver lining to be salvaged from the smell of cigarettes. Cigarettes were what her boyfriend always smelled like. Always does smell like. He started smoking a lot of weed and then stopped caring about school or anything really and then his parents divorced and he started smoking cigarettes and now he always smells like cigarettes.
A track star, he, running along the brown-orange and the green-white in shiny blue windswept shorts and great white sneakers with intricate designs. He’s bronzed and heaving, a furnace of movement, perfectly suffering in the golden sun, an immaculately sculpted seventeen-year-old machine of tremendous output. Cheered on by girls in the bleachers, all hair-obscured foreheads and colored tights enamored with his athleticism, his deliberately-cut blonde hair, his gigantic blue eyes, this boy bouncing rapidly along the track, a dorky Adonis, a goofball Aryan blur. When they say his name he smiles, straight teeth, glowing droopy cartoon eyes, mind in the world with the girls and with God shining benevolently above him, happy for all he’s done and all he will do, a future happy family man, this well-liked boy, not too serious, wearer of funny t-shirts from funny movies and avid listener of high-energy rock music, friend to surfer dude and hipster creep alike, safe in His warmth, powerful in His consciousness.
It was hard to tell how big she got when it happened, but judging by the height of the bramble tunnel all around her, she got pretty big.
The sun was weak where it filtered overhead, through the low mist of the morning, making the light grey. Cool and damp against her skin, against her body.
Irene inhaled sharply, deeply, suddenly. Her heart shuddered inside of her, pounding. She fought for her breath, the cold air painful and hollow against her throat. She felt like she had not as much awoken as risen from the dead.
The ground was cold and hard under her face and hands and hips and legs. It pressed into her, the moss seeping water where her body weight pressed it like a sponge.
She was naked, she was wet, she was hyperventilating.