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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2 years ago

Arresting, visual story with chilling detail. Excellent writing.

2 years 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)
2 years 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.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
2 years ago

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

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
Reply to  Susan Dawson
2 years ago

I wish.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

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

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
2 years 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)
2 years ago

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

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
2 years 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!

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

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

2 years 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)
2 years ago

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

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
1 year ago

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.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

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

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