Death of an Alchemist

Avatar Author: Garsecg A very strange man whose strangeness is only partially due to Asperger's Syndrome. He is an English major and now a grad student, in case you couldn't tell, fighting a constant struggle to set aside some little time for ... Read Bio

And then the color of the the old man’s aura changed from white to yellow and then to red. He screamed a scream of pain and ecstasy and the girl, knowing fear for the first time, looked away. When the light died down there was only a puddle of a clear liquid.

The girl opened the door and came to her siblings. “Did you do it, Nology?” said Auric. “Did you distill his memory?”

“Yes. But I fear he did not survive the process.”

“So he’s dead?”

“Perhaps. Or perhaps he has passed on to the next stage of the Great Work. We will all know eventually.”

“How can you be so cold like that!” said Perma. “Our brother died in there.”

“We can mourn Spherule later,” said Strialis. “The King’s men are coming soon. I must remember the machine.” She was by far the least intelligent of the survivors of the house of Hermes, but her gift was memory. She had a perfect memory of everything she had ever seen. They would have to destroy the machine, but when this was over they would build it again… she hoped.

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Comments (8 so far!)

  1. Avatar Garsecg

    I still had a couple of ideas I couldn’t quite fit in there. Oh well.

  2. Avatar Jessica Cahill

    I’m digging this. The only thing I’d mention is the line:
    “A man died in there.”
    There’s nothing really wrong with it, however, I think there’d be more bite to the remark if Perma said, “our brother”, to make it more personal.

  3. Avatar Garsecg

    I had the impression that Spherule wasn’t related to them, from the original story or at least not one of the siblings, since he was so much older. But you’re right, that would be better. Probably the House of Hermes’ patriarchs were very long lived and it was a very large family once.

    And not to be all MySpace-y, but thanks for adding me!

  4. Avatar Jessica Cahill

    Some of the names are prolly too vague to give away the scheme I was using, so I’ll just tell you…they are all named after “ages”. The oldest being Spherule, or Stone (He’s the Paleolithic), then Lithic (Neolithic), Lurgy (I admit this one’s a stretch, since it’s Metalurgy, or Bronze Age), Ferrum (Iron), Auric (Golden), Perma (Ice), Strailis (Industrialis) and Nology (Technology).

    I probably could have done better giving the impression that they are all related…I’ll go back and take a look.

    And, you’re most welcome.

  5. Avatar Garsecg

    I did get that there was a metallic theme to some of the names, that was why I brought in the alchemical stuff.

  6. Avatar Jessica Cahill

    I very much like the structure you’ve given the characters. My ideas where much more nebulous, which is probably why they didn’t come across as well. ^^

  7. Avatar Jessica Cahill

    *were much more nebulous

    Bah

  8. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Quite dramatic, and I liked the fleshing out of character and relationship. Also neat to see the two of you working together.

Inspired by

The entire room was filled with an enormous machine, made up of bronze gears and tubes engraved with ancient symbols. No one fully knew what ...

The Great Work by Garsecg

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