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“Burnt Bodies” — A Flash Fiction by Zoe

The smell of bodies getting burnt in that chaotic fire never left his memory and nostrils. It was in 1980, during the bomb blast at the Gutenberg building in Germany.

Everything seemed to have happened in a flash; the very bright orange flames that seemed to engulf everything at once, the heart-wrenching screams of children and women that suddenly became louder than the disco song he was dancing to.

He didn’t hear the deafening sound of the bomb as it hit the building they were in, the impact probably hit him faster than others. However, he could still remember vividly, how the hall erupted in flames before his confused eyes.

He was a clown all right, but he sure didn’t look like one when he was being dragged out from the building, burnt, broken and battered by bricks. Yet he survived, or he probably didn’t, for he was plagued with the smell of burnt bodies that never left him.

It’s been fifteen years after the incident which left him, luckily unscarred, except for the inconspicuous strong cologne he uses in hope the smell would leave his nostrils.

It’s the twentieth of June, he was at another party proudly representing his company as the perfect clown.
He felt the nostalgic impact of the orange flames before he saw it; he heard the all-too-familiar screams before they came. Then the smell of burning flesh came, towering down on him like a dying soul. Somewhere amidst the chaos, he heard Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me playing softly.

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