Scentsation

Author : Michelle Pitman

Candice didn’t quite know where to put the thing in her hand.

It was small and light, delicate beyond belief and it sat in her hand quietly still and inscrutable. She didn’t really want to put it down because it was so cute and pretty.

After some deliberation, she decided that it was probably best to put it on the mantel over the firescreen in the corner. From there she would be able to see it from nearly every angle in the room, watch it and amuse her self in the watching it.

It didn’t have a name…yet. It was still in beta testing. She was on the TechWatch Committee listings for these sorts of things anyway so she often had new things come to her out of the blue. This thing had arrived quite unexpectedly in her mail box that morning –zapped into her mail console just like that – whilst she had been concentrating on synthesising some pure Papuan New Guinean coffee beans. It had given her quite a start.

She had known for sometime that this thing was in development but hadn’t expected that she would be privileged enough to actually own one for a month or two during the beta testing period.

She eyed the tiny contraption on the mantel curiously. As she stared, she breathed lightly onto the object and imagined a scene in her mind from her past. The accompanying notes had explained that this was important. Nothing happened for a moment and she was almost disappointed when all of a sudden she felt shivering waves of memory sweep over her.

The smell! Was it the sweet smell of coffee perhaps? No – that was the beans in her kitchen!

A rush of emotion zapped through her. She remembered sitting on the lawn, as a young woman; sitting back and breathing in the heady cologne of him beside her. She had loved him so much, but he was distant, rational and ever so un-romantic. But, she had loved him all the same.

It was his cologne! She could smell it as clearly as on that day! But there was more! She could smell the background scents of new mown grass, of sweaty teenagers playing ball on the holo-court near where they sat. She could smell the subtle distant synth-blended perfumes of other girls who sat in small cliques around them. And him! She could smell him. The memories and emotions ripped through her like lightening rods. She had virtually forgotten this scene from her past until now. The shock of it made her gasp out aloud.

“Holy Shit!” she whispered. “It works!”

She quickly went to the low table in front of the fire-screen and grabbed a tap-pad, itching to make some notes before the moment passed.

‘First test for object number ZXY-4653: Made an eye-level trigger stare on object for approx. 30 seconds. Subject breathed over object as explained in user notes. Experienced strong olfactory sensation and subsequent emotional memory recall. Subject is astonished at clarity of recall due to very accurate scent reconstruction.’

She smiled. This was going to be a whole lot of fun. The little pretty object just sat inscrutably on her mantel oblivious to its potential

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