Last night I got one of those memory flashes where a tiny fragment of a story popped into my head and started nagging me. It's from a book that I know I read when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure I read it more than once, because for such a tiny, weird story fragment it seems really familiar to me. I can't for the life of me remember what the book was, though, or how the rest of the story went.
The setting was maybe 50 years ago, no more than 75. Someone was sent out to the store to buy some kind of air freshener thing-- it came in a can, with a wick, and you'd expect it to smell like lavender or rose or pine. There was only one left, though, and it was old and rusty and looked a little weird. They bought it, took it home, and found that it didn't have a wick and anyway it was some weird scent, like broccoli or grass or something else green (the green is important here for some reason; I keep losing the snippet of story, but as soon as I remember green it starts coming back again).
It must have been a fantasy book of some kind, because this can was the Significant Fantasy Turning Point -- you know, the thing that Jane Ordinary has to discover in order for Surreal And Supernatural Things to start happening to her. Something was hiding in the can, possibly the Charming Fantasy Companion? I think there was one of those, but I can't remember what it was. I have a clearer sense of the color of the pages and the typeface of the words than I do of the plot or the characters.
These things drive me nuts. Just ask Jacob; I was following him around the house last night adding little details as they came into my head: "...a wick, no, no wick, the wick didn't work, it was green, it wasn't supposed to be green!" while he patiently shook his head and told me that he didn't think he'd ever read any books like that. Please please please tell me somebody else has.Posted by dianna at June 24, 2005 10:15 AM