It was a smell, she told me. She'd been standing in the shop, just waiting around because the afternoon had been slow, when a smell she had smelled at the time of the accident slid into the space -- whether in through the vents or the lungs of the change-rooms -- such a physical, palpable smell, as if thick with scurf from the tyres, the brakes, the airbags expanding, or even the rent in the dashboard as the hot metal dark had belched from the body of the car. She could no longer stand or sit or talk or think. The boss sent her home for three days, with no pay of course.
That was only last week.