SMELL OF TIME by Ahmed A. KhanOctober 14, 2012 at 7:55 am | Posted in childhood, grandparents, Kindle, Short Stories, Teen, Writing, Reading, YA, Young Adult | Leave a comment
An excerpt from “SMELL OF TIME” by Ahmed A. Khan. A story from Canada about India.
Summer nights in our house were extra special. Some of us – particularly my grandmother and myself – would sleep in the open, on wooden cots covered with crisp, clean sheets. It was extremely pleasant lying there in the coolness of the night, staring up at the star-studded sky and listening to the snores of the rest of the sleepers and the chirrupings of crickets, grasshoppers and other insects, while the fragrance of spring flowers filled my nostrils.
During holidays, my afternoons were usually spent in grandfather’s room. I would lie beside him on his bed and he would tell me stories of prophets, martyrs and great thinkers of the world – and I would lie there assimilating it all, occasionally asking him a question, otherwise remaining silent.
After the story session, he would usually go to sleep and I would get up from his bed and go around prowling in his room, searching for any books he might have brought from the State Central Library. I would find the books and start reading them at once, sitting in his armchair. These books were usually quite old ones, their bindings torn, their pages termite eaten, and a strange sort of smell rising up from them – a mysterious, magical smell. Have you ever noticed what books, particularly old books, smell of? They smell of sunny and cloudy days and dark and moonlit nights. They smell of battlefields and gardens, of open skies and dusty attics, of deserts and mountains, of destinies and purpose. They smell of time.
Read “Smell of Time” in SUDDENLY LOST IN WORDS Volume 1.
Ahmed A. Khan is a Canadian writer. His works have appeared in several venues, including Interzone, Strange Horizons, Boston Literary Magazine, Queen’s Quarterly (Australia), and Anotherealm. He has also co-edited the anthology A Mosque Among the Stars.