A huge gate loomed in front of them. A demon like creature awaited them at the entrance. The very sight of this creature made the children wish they had never entered this land. But none of them wanted to be the one to chicken out. Ajay looked hopefully at Navneeta. But she was not going to play the fall girl. If Ajay was scared, let him say so. She looked away from him. Even Ramya’s and Vinod’s faces had turned pale. Only the gnomes looked completely unfazed. The demon pointed towards a chamber. The children looked hesitant.
Then Doc spoke up. “If thou seeketh to gain admittance to the land of odors, though hath to adhere to the protocol of the land. They require that thou shed all your garments and enter the land clean.”
“But we are not dirty,” Ramya protested.
“It is not about dirt, my dear. It is about the odor. The people of this land are indeed very sensitive to smells. They even talk to each other through smells. So unless we remove all unnecessary smells from our bodies, there may be serious miscommunications with the people of the land. “
Soon the children entered the bath chambers, cleaned themselves, put on the grey single piece garments each of them were given as per their size, deposited their own clothes with the demon guard and entered the land of odors.
The moment they stepped into the land, they were greeted by pin drop silence and complete darkness. They groped around and touched each other. Doc addressed them in a low voice. “The people of this land are without gift of sight of sound – so they deny the same to their visitors as well. But their strong sense of smell more than makes up for the other two missing senses. It is said they can even smell your thoughts. So be careful what you think here.”The idea of their thoughts being smelt scared the children. Soon they caught a whiff of a scent: a sweet gentle smell. Soon there was another smell that was also sweet and gentle but was different from the first. Soon the whole air was flooded with sweet welcoming smells. The children felt a general nice cosy feeling of being welcome.
Doc whispered to the children, “The people of the land have come. They are welcoming us. Please think some friendly thoughts to thank them for their welcome. They put up slightly stronger smells for your benefit. But they can smell even the slightest odors generated by your thoughts. “
Ramya looked puzzled. “Ah! That is indeed interesting. I have read that our body generates pheromones based on our emotions. Normally our sense of smell is not fine enough to sense all the finer body odors caused by these pheromones. But the people of this land seemed to have perfected this art. This is extremely fascinating.” All three of them let out a groan at once as Vinod seemed all set to launch into one of his long scientific lectures.
The children sensed that smell had changed. The air was filled with smell of pastries and other confectionaries. “They are inviting us to join them for a meal,” said Happy.
The children felt their way through what seemed like buildings and seated themselves on what seemed like chairs with tables in front of them. Within moments of being seated, plates had appeared on the tables like magic. They could feel something metallic like spoons. They picked the spoons up and moved it through some sticky and solid substances on the plates in front of them. The children felt unsure of eating something they could not see.Happy nudged them. “Quickly eat or they will take offence. Don’t worry – the food will not be poisoned. If they mean any ill to us, our friend Bracken will be able to warn us.”
When they overcame their diffidence and began to eat, they found the food was indeed delicious. Most of the food seemed to be bakery items with the sticky substance being some sort of marmalade made from exotic fruits they had never tasted before. The children were quietly enjoying their meal when the silence was interrupted by a short sound of wind being released from a pressurized balloon. They could smell a slight unpleasant smell which disappeared within moments. But it was followed by a sudden whiff of strong burning smell. The children found themselves suddenly filled with fear.
The Magical Cave I: A Cave in the Hills <<<< The Magical Cave V: Bracken << The Magical Cave VII: A Foul Turn of Events