Sleep's Secret Scent

Stein Willard © 2014



The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any living persons. But if it does it is entirely coincidental. Some of the places mentioned are either fictitious and or adapted to suit the plot of the story.

Archiving : This work is copy written and should not be posted anywhere else with the writer's expressed permission.

Special mention to my beta, Rose.

Feedback: Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop a line or two at or sent me a friend request on Facebook .


I once had the fortune or misfortune; it depends on how you look at it, of dating a woman who loved to sleep. At first it bothered me that we couldn't always go out and do things together, because her favourite pastime was sleeping. Until one day, I had to spend about two weeks away from home on business. That was when I realized that I simply adored her ‘hobby'. She always smelled of sleep. It took me months to find the words to describe that particular smell.

LOL. Crazy, I know. But just know I've never claimed to be completely sane either.

This story is dedicated to her.


I don't envy the guys at work.

How could I?

Why, after a hectic day at work, would I want to surround myself with even more people, sitting in bar, drinking pitchers after pitchers of beer and have my olfactory senses assaulted by acrid cigarette smoke and sweat?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a loner. Not with the kind of work I do. I worked as a janitor on the twelfth floor of the Wells & Gold building. It wasn't one of the biggest buildings in the city, but it was big enough to employ a large team of janitors. We were a family. We cooked together on the small two plate stove in our small staff kitchen during breaks. We had family picnics together on weekends and we attended family funeral and christenings together. We were a team. Like I said, we were a family.

The only time I broke away from my family was when they all filed out the building after a shift and made a beeline for the bar across the street, hoping to spend a few moment of irresponsible fun away from their demanding family lives. I've accompanied them twice before, but on both those times, I found the experience utterly unpleasant. Sitting at a stained bar, drinking beer and having to queue up for the bathroom was not what I would call having a nice time. I wanted away from there.

I wanted to go home.

Enduring their endless teasing about being whipped and chained to the ‘Missus', I just shrugged off their ignorance. Yes, they were oblivious as to why I would rather rush home immediately after a shift.

There was so much more waiting for me at home.

She was there.

And she was asleep.

Tonight, like every other night, I let myself into our apartment, shrugging off the day's load with my uniform jacket and store it away in the closet next to the door. I tiptoed down the hallway, my face already breaking into a smile as I made my way to our bedroom. I've done the ritual so many times before that I don't even have to switch on the light to find my way around the room.

I take a quick shower, brushed my teeth and made sure that she's set her alarm for her early class tomorrow. I work, amongst other needs, so she could realize her dream of becoming a lawyer. I know she's a perfectionist and wanted to be the best at whatever she set her mind on. Working as a waitress and studying compromised her abilities and it took me months to convince her to leave her job and allow me to take care of her for now. Reluctantly, she agreed, but made me promise that once she started practicing, it would be her turn to take care of me and I could write that bestseller I've been dreaming about. Thus, my job of mopping floors and emptying dustbins was a labor of love.

I smile when I noticed that she'd turned over my side of the bed. It was a welcoming sight and it always made my heart melt with love for her. I slip in next to her and plastered myself against her back.

She stirs and I inhale deeply as the bedding shifted and my nostrils filled with the warm scent of home.

I hold my breath as I wait for my brain to recognize and identify the smell. The words spewed forth naturally.

Warm. Clean. Languid. Happy. Safe. Home.

Content, that it was still the same after all these years; I press a kiss behind her ear and join her in sleep.





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