An unannounced visitor knocked on the alchemist’s door. Once, twice, a third time, impatiently. The alchemist makes his way to the door. He has taken far too much of his latest elixir.
“I’m coming… though whoever you are better have an extremely good reason for disturbing me while I’m working.”
Well, working wasn’t exactly what he was doing. He had been trying, once again, to make an immortality elixir. The plauge was killing people left and right. By the time anyone could get close to solving how to stop the plague, they died of it. So here he was, trying to cheat death and failing.
The knocks sounded again causing his irritants to raise even higher. His shin slammed into a bench that he had forgotten about, the pain causing curses that would make his mother turn in her grave.
“Dagflabbit. I said I was coming!”
Finally he made it to his heavy wooden door and flung it open.
“Now what do you w----.”
A strange man stood before him wearing a brown cap, brown button up shirt, brown shorts, and even brown shoes. In his had was some sort of flat surface where a price of parchment lay, from what the Alchemist could see.
“Sorry to disturb you, my good sir!”
The man was annoyingly chipper.
“If you were sorry enough then you wouldn’t have done so in the first place.”
The man chuckled.
“I suppose you are right. Are you Archibald Greyson?”
“Depends who’s asking.”
That caused the man to chuckle again.
“Can’t say I haven’t heard that before. Considering the specifications 9n this delivery I would say that is exactly who you are.”
The brown dressed man’s jovility was getting on the Alchemist’s nerves.
“What do you want?”
“I have packages for you that require your signature. So if you could just sign here…”
He held out the board that had parchment on it and some weird, pointy thing. He held the pointy thing up and looked at the man.
“What is this?”
“That is a pen, my good sir. It’s what you use to sign that paper I gave you.”
The Alchemist glanced over where his quill, ink, and parchment laid on his desk.
“I do not know what sorcery this is but I do not believe I want any part of it.”
He tried handing back the ‘pen’ and parchment.
“Oh, I’m sorry but I can’t take anything back. I need you to sign this paper so I can unload my truck. My instructions were very clear.”
“Your what now”?
The Alchemist could feel his head buzzing from his latest elixir. Maybe he added too much scorpion’s venom in this one and he was hallucinating.
The brown dressed man sighed, his jovial mood dipping just a little.
“Look, this is my last delivery of the day so if you could just…”
He reached over and went to show the Alchemist how to use the pen. The Alchemist moved his hand away angrily.
“I am not some elderly man who has lost his wits!”
“I apologize, my good sir. You just seemed confused.”
The glare that the Alchemist sent the man could have burned him had the Alchemist had any magic. Hastily he scrawled an X where the man had shown him. He shoved it back to the man, the edge of the board pushing into his chest.
“There. Now go about your day and leave me alone. I have work to do.”
“As you wish, my good sir.”
Without missing a step the brown dressed man moved back from the Alchemist’s door and disappeared into the darkness beyond. He blinked as he looked beyond his door, usually seeing the castle a mere 50 feet from it. A blessing and a curse to work for the King. The Alchemist sighed and went to close his door, chalking up the fact he couldn’t see the castle to the mishap of yet another wrong elixir.
“Hey! Don’t close the door!”
The voice of the brown dressed man floated back to him. He turned in time to see a stack of parcels being rolled towards him.
“What is this???”
“The packages I am to deliver to you. Do you want them out here or inside?”
The Alchemist simply stood aside in answer.
It didn’t take long for the brown dressed man to unload the parcels and make his way back to the door.
“Well, that’s all. I hope you have a wonderful night.”
He turned around and disappeared out the door and into the strange darkness beyond. The Alchemist walked over and stared at the darkness for a few beats before moving to close the door.
“You look like a turd!”
Having just flung his insult into the nothingness he shut his door and moved back over to his newly delivered parcels. He used a letter opener from his desk to slice into the parcels, all the while wondering where they had come from. Once the top was cut off he gazed down in even more confusion at the sight of a goblet, many bottles of liquid. Some of the liquid even looked like water.
“What in the wonderful land of Hades are these…?”
A paper laid folded on top of the contents. He picked it up and squinted to read the writing. It was his own.
I hope this finds you in time. We have succeeded. More than just helping ourselves live longer in order to figure out this elixir.
I have traveled the world over to find what we need to save our people. In here lies many things of myth that claim to give eternal life. The Holy Grail. Water from the Fountain of Youth. Use them well.
P.S. He does look like a turd.
Relief and amazement filled the body of the Alchemist as he held the letter in his hand. Just when he had been about to give up he had found himself an answer…
With renewed determination he picked up the Grail and the Water and headed back to his table to get back to work. His people needed saved.