My candle held aloft, I stepped cautiously down the stone stairway, shivering, chilled to the bone. My fingers trailed the damp walls until I reached a dungeon-like door, adorned with an ouroboros crest, symbol of the alchemists; I was in the right place. Turning the handle, I pushed, heart pounding. 

The light glowed a misty, murky yellowish green. Pungent, sulphurous vapours rose from a cauldron where liquid effervesced with a burbling, bubbling boil.

I caught a glint of gold through the steam, and there he was, my new master, pushing up his spectacles as they slipped down his sharp nose.

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
6 months ago

Arresting, visual story with chilling detail. Excellent writing.

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
7 months ago

Love it! Reminds me of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I can just see Mickey Mouse in that tall blue hat covered with stars. Maybe there’s a new recurrung character here!

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister (@alan-kemister)
7 months ago

Great story. Unlike Fuji below I didn’t have to remember the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I spent fifty years as an alchemist, well nowadays they call us chemists but there’s not really much difference, at least for the traditional ones who toiled in labs. Anyway, I can remember being both the apprentice and the master.
Cheers.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kemister

And now you turn base metal into gold with your pen, Alan.

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister (@alan-kemister)
7 months ago
Reply to  Susan Dawson

I wish.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

The beginning sets the tone, the air of suspense. I liked this one Carrie.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
7 months ago

Loved all the description and tension throughout this story Carrie. That final paragraph certainly left me wanting more.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate (@thompson-emate)
7 months ago

I love this story. It’s brief and concise. Well done.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

I love the poetic language in this story, all the colorful adjectives and the alliterations. And, of course, the mysterious and intriguing atmosphere you bring us into. Well done, Carrie!

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills-2)
6 months ago

The trepidation the young apprentice feels as he/she is about to meet the new master, I felt all there. However, what I liked the most was the human, mundane touch about the magus wearing glasses, absolutely inspired!!

Santina Forlenza
Santina Forlenza (@santina-forlenza)
6 months ago

Hi Carrie, I enjoy the atmosphere in your story. And the touch of gold through the steam is just amazing.

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Juma
Juma (@juma)
6 months ago

Hello Carrie, we’ve all come to expect great things from you, and this story is right up there with your best! It’s so poetic, so descriptive, so atmospheric. Like someone else said, I love the human touch of the spectacles slipping down his nose. Congratulations!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
6 months ago

Congratulation Carrie, another brilliant write taking us back to the time of the Alchemist. Well done.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
6 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

That is such a loving and heartfelt thing to say Carrie. Just the thought that other writers have read and enjoyed your story, and also taken the time to say so, is reward enough in itself. Thank You.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Another brilliant story from you Carrie. Congratulations. Well-written.

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