It used to be your mountainous back looming over the stove, your impish wink, the cracked wooden spoon laden with rich brown stew seeking my mouth.

Then it was a clunk of the latch, the jangle of keys, your leather slippers shuffling and squeaking to find me in the darkness.

Then, the silent warmth of your hand as you guided me from space to space, up stairs and down, stopping me crashing into shapes with yelps I’ve long since forgotten.

Now there’s only one thing that tells me where I am.

Coffee, sawdust and smoke.

The sweet smell of you.

This story was shortlisted in the May 2023 monthly micro fiction competition.

About the author: Claire Travers Smith is a television Edit Producer writing voiceover scripts. Guilty of the blog “52 First Dates” and a novella written in one 27-hour sitting, “A Town Called Madness”, Claire is juggling a novel, something memoir-esque and short fiction. Claire lives in Brighton with a musician, a Maine Coon and MS.