My Mother’s Favorite Kid Was a Pack of Winstons

My mother smoked every day of my life with her, inside and outside her womb. My senses remember:

When I was a baby,
I saw my mother’s face through a haze of cigarette smoke.

When I was a toddler,
I heard the click of a lighter more often than I heard the turning pages of a bedtime story.

When I was a kid,
I accidentally tasted my mother’s favorite brand when I drank the dregs out of a half-empty soda can that had been used as an ashtray.

When I was a teenager,
I became self-conscious and mortified when I discovered I smelled like the inside of my mother’s car.

As an adult,
I realized after she died that her hands touched thousands of cigarettes, but they rarely touched me.

Image provided by the author

Sheri White

Sheri White’s stories have been published in many anthologies and zines, including an essay in the Notable Works for the HWA Mental Health Initiative, an essay in JAKE Magazine, Halldark Holidays (edited by Gabino Iglesias), and The Horror Writers Association’s Don’t Turn Out the Lights (edited by Jonathan Maberry). Recent publications include Crab Apple Literary, Litmora, voidspace zine, and Broken Antler Magazine. 

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