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or161 150 150 John Sandbach

Virgo 11. The smell of ancient perfume as an Egyptian tomb is opened.

The breathing stops for a moment, for fear that with the next breath the perfume might have vanished, might have been only some hallucination born of anticipation and long digging and darkness. But when he continues to breathe he finds that the scent had both vanished and lingered, the way the faintest of winds does on a lake, just before the surface has grown too dark to observe.

A strangely fresh smell, like the scent of a body that has journeyed all night and has developed the faintest residue of perspiration mixed with morning fog. Like all of the greatest perfumes its fragrance unidentifiable, the only ingredient his nose able to detect with any certainty being starlight.

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