Recently I found upon my doorstep a curious envelope sealed with the finest, sparkliest wax. Inlaid in the wax was the familiar mark of a bee.
I opened it and within was a letter issuing a curious summons to a set of geographical coordinates and a plane ticket to a small island off the Pacific coast which shall not be named for reasons that may soon become apparent.
To render a long story brief: I took the flight, arrived at the coordinates by means of a small boat manned by a one-eyed woman with a cascade of silver hair. I was transported to an apparently uninhabited beach where I found myself blindfolded by an unseen assailant who operated with startling alacrity!
I do not know how long we walked, but it seemed to be hours. Curious, for such a small island.
Eventually I felt the presence of walls and it became apparent from the character of the air that we were underground. We walked deep into the belly of the Earth through stone halls that echoed and smelled of salt air, fir trees, and burnished metal. Occasionally there would be a crash and a stronger odor would waft through the air while someone yelled something to the effect of ‘Oooohhhfuckohfuckohhhhfuck’.
Eventually, after a maze of rooms, I found my blindfold being removed! Before me sat Andrea of Sucreabeille upon a mosaic throne constructed from the shattered remains of inferior rollerballs. She wore a crown of woven laurels and was sipping something from a coconut shell with a little umbrella in it by means of a crazy straw.
“Ah, I see you’ve arrived,” she said, leaning forward, “I wasn’t sure.”
I merely shrugged and adjusted my dapper tophat, “You know I am not one to resist the summons of adventure.”
Andrea leaned back and took a long sip of whatever was in the coconut, “Obviously. That’s why you’re here. Honest reviews are one thing - but really, comparing it to a baby diaper!? You like to dance on the edge.”
I nodded. Ernest Hemingway has nothing on me.
“I have… an idea,” Andrea said, tapping her fingers as she smiled crookedly, “A challenge! Review for me five scents, purposefully foul… and should you entertain me, make me laugh, well - then I might be persuaded to let you sample… from our private collection.”
Here she clapped her hands and four women emerged from behind curtains artfully draped around the room. Each of them held a tray with two vials - apart from one which held two candles. Andrea cleared her throat and I glanced back at her. In her hands she had somehow procured, from seemingly nowhere, two vials of her own.
“‘Roast’ the worst scents our imaginations can concoct, and we shall permit you to ‘toast’ their divine smelling counterparts.”
8.26.19: a full announcement
8.28.19 - 9.1.19: five pairs of ‘roasts’ and ‘toasts’ with scents to accompany.