$100 Contest Entry by Dae
It was the smell, most probably, thought Jonathan. Nowhere, during his many journeys, had he found the same distinctive odour these streets have at night. Day after day, the same play is endlessly repeated: as the sky over the eastern horizon gradually turns blue, the early morning wind begins to blow and washes everything away towards the sea, cleaning the town before the sun rises.
But the smell always comes back. The first hints can be detected when the wind changes in the late afternoon: the trees stop rustling for a few hours before the sun sets down, and the howling noise of the wind is reduced to a whispering breeze. One after another, as if cautious and afraid, the peddlers begin pushing their carts through the town, seemingly appearing from nowhere. If you follow them, and let yourself be carried away by the flow of people, you will soon find that they all trace their path to the same place.
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