From his perch high up on the observation deck Zulu owned the pulse of the city. Squatting on the deck floor he sharpened his senses. Eagle-eyed, wolf-nosed, bat-eared, he narrowed his essence until the smell from the restaurant, the tom-tom drumbeat from the bar, the buzz of the voices around him, the whistle of the wind, fell by the wayside and he was alone.
He centered on her face. He tried to remember the shape of her eyes, the cut of her brow, the bow of her lips, the curve of her nose.
He focused on her scent. Not the modern day artificial floral-musk mix of perfume or soap, but something more preternatural, visceral.
It had worked once before, earlier in the year, before the snow. He had been atop 10 Dundas East overlooking Dundas Square when he was sure he'd found her, found Alma. The resemblance—the triangular face, the square jaw, the pointy nose, the round eyes—was uncanny. Only the hair differed from the picture in his mind's eye. Back when Alma had promised to be his wife her hair had been darker, wavier, softer. The time he'd found her in the city her hair was lighter, shorter, straight. Hair style aside it was Alma, of that he felt sure.
He’d scurried from his roost atop the glass and steel structure to the concrete square below and across the street. He'd sharpened his senses then too, concentrated on them, calling upon them to perform so he might find her and be with his beloved to no avail.
How long Zulu stood in the rough centre of the square tuning out everyone and everything around him calling out to Alma, his beloved Alma, with every fibre of his being he knew not, but at the end of it, as night came upon him, the familiar sense of loss washed over him and he knew once more she was gone.
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