Taking sniffs of every aisle he walked through, a total of forty-six, as well as the edges of the building, he easily found the scents from those who recently walked there. Some were recurring on certain aisles, and others shared the same light bodywash scents from the librarians. “Must have been reordering the shelves.” Each aisle he walked where he failed to find his attacker’s scent was welcomed. Even though he dreaded the thought of running into it again, he doubted this guy would reveal what he was in broad daylight. Let alone with witnesses.
When he reached the reception desk after walking the aisles one time each, Alex smiled a bit. Nothing. Just what he was hoping for. At least for now. With a mass market sized paperback in hand, he flipped it open to a random page and made his way to the counter from before.
While it was meant for checking out laptops, he hadn’t seen one person use it despite someone always being there. With both librarians on duty busy with check-outs, he quickly slipped down in front of the counter, bracing his back against the wood surface. The scents of warm computer exhaust and vanilla creamer he noticed instantly. As well as how those same scents weakened the further up from the ground his nose was.
For what turned out to be ten minutes, Alex sat crossed legged, waiting for the librarians to finish checking everyone out. The line would fill with someone new every so often, delaying his chance to test his idea. He had a feeling this would work, but until someone started using the desktop behind him, he kept his nose up.
When the last person began to check out, Alex heard footsteps behind him. Closing his eyes, with his hand under his chin, he listened to the footfalls. They were coming closer, muffled a bit by the counter, and stopped right behind him. Taking a sniff of the air, he couldn’t identify any new scents yet. Still, someone was there.
Opening his eyes, Alex continued to take breaths through his nose. As he did so, a shiver ran up his spine. Even though no one had asked him what he was doing yet, he began to feel like a stalker.
Slowly however, as he waited, his theory began to become sound. At first, all he could smell was the strongest scent. The perfume the librarian was wearing. Her face flashed into his head as he picked that scent up. He knew who was standing there; now the question was what he could gauge from any other scents.