SMOKE poured from her mouth, delicately curling in the wind. It was grayish-white and graceful.

She is 15, and she likes that she isn't hungry while she's smoking the stuff. It gave her a little rush, and it was legal. It was perfect. Tobacco was perfect.


Moving forward about five years, she has reached her ultimate height of five-foot-four, about fifty pounds more than she was before, doing her job as a waitress for a night club. A good deal of her paycheck is eaten up by medical bills.

Her son is tiny, and wheezing. He will need an inhaler as soon as his tiny fingers can work the dispenser.


Another five years, he is seven. She wonders why he is so weak and scrawny and small compared to the other children, and puffs thoughtfully on her cigarette. Outside, mere feet away from the door to his home, he inhales his medicine.


Another leap through time and the boy is old enough to understand all that his mother's little habit has cost him. She spent more on Marlboro and Camels and good ol' Pall Malls than she ever would on his books or diapers combined, and he resents that. But he also loves his mother, for she has not cost him everything and instead, he thinks, gave everything she could to him.

She really did.


A good decade later he learns that hard way that the 'sidestream smoke' he's been sucking in from almost his moment of conception was, for some impossible reason, just as toxic than if he'd been smoking himself. He hacks up blood from his dying lung and he'll die not being able to do what most humans take for granted: live and breathe.

So he takes from his drawer what was meant for burglars and people trying to hurt him, and sprays his mother's brain onto the yellowed white of her shower wall. She slumps, blood snaking down the drain.

He thought he would be satisfied with that, but still he finds himself pulling her into a sitting position and placing a cigarette between her relaxed jaws. That was better.

"Coffin nails, indeed."

Calmly, but with a small cough, he puts the muzzle to his own temple and slowly squeezes the trigger.

I know, I just threw all that at you. But my fingers were possessed. I had to write it down.

Did this story happen? No.

Could it? YES.

Of all the people out there that smoke (and I know some of you do) how many know the harm it does to you and anyone you could possibly care about that will inevitably get exposed?

I hate it when people smoke. Stop trying to be chimneys, people.