Dust

  • Adam

    Adam, our suicidally romantic scoundrel. His scent is a palette of somber colors, melancholy memories, and lupine, savage beauty: black leather, pale sandalwood, ambergris accord, and the memory of a long-lost Victorian fougère. His internal life seems to be reflected in his lair, so his perfume also possesses the scent of the wood of his guitars, the rosin from his violin bow, the musty wool of neglected Oriental carpets, the plastic, metal, and magnetic tape of his reel-to-reel, the dust that permeates everything.

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  • Animal Allegory

    Cornelis Saftleven

    Dust, dry incense, parchment, and tobacco leaf.

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  • Hoggle

    “I ain’t never been no one’s friend before.”

    Fermented pumpkin, brown leather, dust, tobacco leaf, and dark woods.

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  • The Harlot’s House

    We caught the tread of dancing feet,
    We loitered down the moonlit street,
    And stopped beneath the harlot’s house.

    Inside, above the din and fray,
    We heard the loud musicians play
    The “Treues Liebes Herz” of Strauss.

    Like strange mechanical grotesques,
    Making fantastic arabesques,
    The shadows raced across the blind.

    We watched the ghostly dancers spin
    To sound of horn and violin,
    Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

    Like wire-pulled automatons,
    Slim silhouetted skeletons
    Went sidling through the slow quadrille.

    The took each other by the hand,
    And danced a stately saraband;
    Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

    Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
    A phantom lover to her breast,
    Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

    Sometimes a horrible marionette
    Came out, and smoked its cigarette
    Upon the steps like a live thing.

    Then, turning to my love, I said,
    “The dead are dancing with the dead,
    The dust is whirling with the dust.”

    But she–she heard the violin,
    And left my side, and entered in:
    Love passed into the house of lust.

    Then suddenly the tune went false,
    The dancers wearied of the waltz,
    The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

    And down the long and silent street,
    The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
    Crept like a frightened girl.

    The dead are dancing with the dead, the dust is whirling with the dust: angel’s trumpet, violet, white sandalwood, oude, copaiba balsam, angelica, white tea, olibanum, and oakmoss.

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  • The Marquis De Carabas

    He wore a huge dandyish black coat that was not quite a frock coat nor exactly a trench coat, and high black boots, and, beneath his coat, raggedy clothes. His eyes burned white in an extremely dark face. And he grinned whie teeth, momentarily, as if at a private joke of his own, and bowed to Richard, and said, “De Carabas, at your service, and you are…?”

    A splash of bay rum, leather, dusty black wool, massoia bark, and opium residue.

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  • The Norns’ Farmhouse

    The farmhouse was dark and shut up. The meadows were overgrown and seemed abandoned. The farm roof was crumbling at the back; it was covered in black plastic sheeting. They jolted over a ridge and Shadow saw it there.

    It was silver-gray and it was higher than the farm-house. It was the most beautiful tree Shadow had ever seen: spectral and yet utterly real and almost perfectly symmetrical. It also looked instantly familiar: he wondered if he had dreamed it, then he realized that no, he had seen it before, or a representation of it man, many times. It was Wednesday’s silver tie pin.

    The VW bus jolted and bumped across the meadow, and it came to a stop about twenty feet from the trunk of the tree.

    There were three women standing by the tree. At first glance Shadow thought they were the Zorya, but no, they were three women he did not know. They looked tired and bored, as if they had been standing there a long time. Each of them held a wooden ladder. The biggest also carried a brown sack. They looked like a set of Russian dolls: a tall one – she was Shadow’s height, or even taller – a middle-sized one, and a woman so short and hunched that at first glance Shadow wrongly supposed her to be a child. They looked so much alike that Shadow was certain the women must be sisters.

    The smallest of the women dropped to a curtsey when the bus drew up. The other two just stared. They were sharing a cigarette, and they smoked it down to the filter before one of them stubbed it out against a root.

    Dusty, ancient wood, horehound, and sage, with viper’s bugloss, mugwort, chamomile, nettle, apple blossom, chervil, and ashes.

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  • The Owens’ Tomb

    “I’ll do no such thing, with Owens and me having a lovely little tomb over by the daffodil patch. Plenty of room in there for a little one.”

    Marble and dust surrounded by burdock, knotweed, dandelions, daffodils, and long-dead calla lilies.

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  • The Parliament of Monsters

    You pass through the golden mouth, and find yourself inside a narrow, cramped corridor. Large wooden paintings of skeletal hands crook their bony fingers, leading you forwards. At the first turn, you hear a bizarre jumble of sounds: the high-pitched sound of gears grinding, metal on metal, the sound of sultry, low-pitched laughter, a clattering, wings flapping, soft hissing. Suddenly, a sharp howl pierces the darkness. As you make your way around the corner you are momentarily blinded as floodlights flicker to life, and thirteen gold-gilded stages are illuminated, bathed from beneath in sinister, caramel-colored light.

    Dust, incense, wet tobacco, singed straw, and a curl of opium smoke.

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  • The Urchins

    You hear a tittering of laughter: high-pitched and discordant, like bent, cracked silver bells clattering onto sheets of rusted metal. In the gloom of a dilapidated tent, the glow of small red eyes reflects on shining steel blades.

    Dust and dead, dry flowers, ice-cold skin, the swish of a metal blade, and a memory of honey.

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  • Tristran

    Tristran put down his wooden cup of tea, and stood up, offended.

    “What,” he asked, in what he was certain were lofty and scornful tones, “would possibly make you imagine that my lady-love would have sent me on some foolish errand?”

    The little man stared up at him with eyes like beads of jet. “Because that’s the only reason a lad like you would be stupid enough to cross the border into Faerie. The only ones who ever come here from your lands are the minstrels, and the lovers, and the mad. And you don’t look like much of a minstrel, and you’re – pardon me saying so, lad, but it’s true – ordinary as cheese-crumbs. So it’s love, if you ask me.”

    “Because,” announces Tristran, “every lover is in his heart a madman, and in his head a minstrel.”

    Dust on your trousers, mud on your boots, and stars in your eyes: redwood, tonka bean, white sandalwood, lemon peel, patchouli, rosewood, coriander, and crushed mint.

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