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The following piece is my response to the Creative Nudge I posted on Saturday - taking the sense of smell and making it central to a short piece. I used the characters in my current WIP and wrote a totally new scene for them, that I might just include somewhere in the book (or unwritten sequel).
“How does the world smell to you Levi?”
Levi looked up at Alina from his bowl of Keava’s stew, and just stared, confused, with out a clue how to respond to this strange question.
Seeing his confusion Alina tried again, “I mean, I know you are a Wolf, and that Wolves are very scent orientated, and I’ve noticed that even when you are shape-shifted into human form you tend to sniff at things. For instance, you just took a deep whiff of that stew you’re holding, and while I do that too because Keava’s stew is fantastic, I’m just wondering what the world smells like to you.
“Like … the world?” Levi wasn’t trying to make a joke, he still was completely lost, and unsure of what Alina was trying to get out of him. She asked the strangest questions sometimes, and right now he’d rather just go back to his bowl of stew.
“Well, yeah, of course, but what does that smell like? Does it smell different when you are a Wolf versus when you are in human form?”
“Really? I’ve always wondered about that, what stays the same when you shape change that is.” Alina wanted to figure out her friend, well, honestly, she wanted to figure out everything, but right now she was focused on this strange, black haired Wolf that fate had thrown her together with.
Levi sighed and put down his stew. “My abilities mostly stay the same, except I’m not as strong as a human. I can still see everything through scent, hear better than you can although not quite as good as I can as a wolf, and use my mental abilities of course.”
Alina rolled her eyes. “I knew you could use your telekinesis and telepathy, and those make sense to me, it’s just seems strange that your physical abilities change so little.”
“Well think of it this way, I’m in charge of the shape change, it’s not like I’m casting some spell that does the work for me. I mean yeah, there is a spell involved, but I still have to put the intent into forming the shape. So what can stay the same, and that gives me an advantage, does.”
“Ah, that makes sense.” Alina looked thoughtful, “Do you think you could ever teach someone else to shape-shift?”
Levi just shook his head.
“I’m not that good of a teacher!”
Alina laughed, thinking he was wrong about that, but letting it rest for now, she still wanted an answer to her earlier question. “So what does the world smell like to you?”
“You aren’t going to give that up are you?”
“It smells… like information. I can tell that you and Keava were collecting herbs earlier because your clothes still smell like rue and lavender, and I could tell you what spices Keava used in the stew, and that there was a herd of deer through this clearing earlier. The fire smells like a bouquet of the different woods we used in building it, I can smell the different flowers growing around us, and a whole bunch more.” Levi ended awkwardly, not sure if this is what she wanted to hear, but then, looking back up at her and seeing the wonder on her face, deciding that it was.