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
hadn’t seen the display of her stockings. Frederick
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
lab. She did not expect him to move so
fast, hand clapping over her mouth. Frederick
“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.
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.