Alchemy

ALCHEMY (noun)
1: a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
2: a power or process of transforming something common into something special
3: an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting



The summer sun served as the bane of Caroline’s existence.  Her porcelain skin was not made for this kind of exposure, and after two minutes of midday sun it was as if it had kissed her face while wearing a most garish shade of red. She gathered up her skirts and walked quickly and unladylike to the shade of the Westin’s country home, hoping that Frederick hadn’t seen the display of her stockings.


He hadn’t, she knew for a fact, because she could see him through the small dusty window into the cellar.  She felt impolite, peeking in on him.  She felt common, but seeing him in a white overcoat and glasses while mixing herbs over a small flame roused her curiosity immensely.  She wondered what her father would say, as she leaned in for a closer look.  

She did not expect the window to be unlatched, or that she would fall down the rabbit hole into Frederick’s lab.  She did not expect him to move so fast, hand clapping over her mouth.

“You have discovered me,” he said, woefully.

“You weren’t well concealed,” she returned, and instantly wished she knew better how to bite her tongue.

“Alas,” he mourned.  “You were to be my bride.  You know my secrets now, and instead I shall have to turn to alchemy.”

He reached for the glass bowl he was heating, mumbled something, and dumped the mixture in her lap.

Caroline had never been so grateful for the layers and layers of cloth, as she felt the heat of his concoction seep through her gown and petticoats.  She stood, brushing off the petals and plant bits.  She could not control her right hand any longer, and smiled internally as her slap resonated through the cellar.

“You are a fool, Frederick Westin.  I didn’t want to marry you anyway.”  She stormed past his gaping mouth, grateful for her father’s temper for the first time. 


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A little bit silly, but fun to write none the less.  I felt like I was way over my word count on this one, and happily discovered that for the first time, I was under.  It's nice not having to cut down on words!  Caroline is based loosely on my sister, which means if she had had a sandwich, this whole situation might have ended differently.  Maybe.

42 comments:

  1. As I read this, I was watching it play out in my mind like the perfect little comedy of errors that it is. From the sun burn, to the display of stockings and the tumbling through the window, the potion on the lap and then the slap, and the punch line at the end of her father's much appreciated temper, this was delightfully marvelous! Great piece of writing!!

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  2. Very much enjoyed your wonderful writing!

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  3. Loved the detailing here & a great ending:-)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you! She surprised me with that one

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this piece! I like the detail and the ending is great! Nicely written!

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  6. Tell it like it is, Caroline! Sometimes it is so freeing to kick a guy like Frederick to the curb.

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    1. Caroline (and my sister) absolutely would!

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  7. You are good at these!! It's always nice to find out you're under word count without having to trim away stuff you love, right? Great job!

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for hosting them, seriously. They make my life so much better.

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  8. Saved by petticoats--ha! (: I love it.

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  9. Hi Megan! Hopped over from Titus Tuesdays and wanted to say hi! My little Andrew was born just a year before your Anthony. Aren't you just LOVING being a momma to a boy? I do and would be SO happy if I only was a boy-mom forever! Anyway, your family is just beautiful. Saw your Dye run pics and makes me so excited to do the Color Run this summer with my girlfriends. Anyway, have a great Tuesday!

    (Current giveaway - Stella and Dot earrings!)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I may have stalked your blog ;) Being a momma to a boy is amazing and terrifying! (I hope I win the Stella & Dot!)

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  10. I enjoyed the story, and appreciated the rabbit's hole reference...highly engaging write. Enjoyed the bit about your sister, too. :)

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    1. Thank you Brenda! The wonderful thing about having so many literary masterpieces before us, is that we have a lot of references to choose from!

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  11. I really loved the intro to this story, great description!

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  12. Very nice. Love the image of her falling into the lab; love her concern about her nylons.

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  13. They kind of sound like they deserve each other, though! Funny scene.

    Bit of crit: You want the word "past" rather than "passed"

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    1. You know those words or phrases that you always screw up no matter what your brain tells you? Past and passed is mine. I'm always over thinking and messing them up! Thank you so much for pointing it out! I genuinely love literary criticism :)

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  14. I don't imagine that losing control of her hand was quite what Frederick had in mind. Your imagery is great, and like everyone else, I love the ending.

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  15. Awwww. A failed wizard! This was delightful and fun.

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  16. Nice job with the tone of the period - it was really believable, with all her concerns about appearing ladylike and feeling common. Fun to read!

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  17. Entertaining story, made me smile. I love how the layers of clothes saved her and how she could no longer control her hand. A story nicely told!

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  18. A temper can be a good thing. Lovely story.

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    1. It definitely can, but don't tell my sister that ;)

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