The Apothecary

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is kind of like an infusion between Hour by Carol Ann Duffy, but mostly the Laboratory by Robert Browning. Hehe,a mixture of contemporary poetry and olden day as well, with the ageless themes of love, revenge, hatred and romance. Enjoy :)

Submitted: December 08, 2013

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Submitted: December 08, 2013

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The Apothecary

 

Fear had ignited in her pounding heart, yet her exterior remained stable. Her eyes flickered with retribution, widening at the sight of the apothecary, as if she were a wolf relentlessly hunting—blood thirsty and ready to pounce. They were her prey. She wanted to tear their flesh apart, and gnaw and it; go all animal style. She wanted to pierce their skin off and wear it; it wasn’t barbaric as everyone she told made it out to be; people deprived animals of their skin all the time!

 

She looked around to see if anyone was watching her; it was necessary—people were nosy; there were all sorts lurking around the place like litter on the ground. There were the bored and useless housewife’s who had been rendered so inferior by their masters, that the only thing they had power over was gossip; there were the king’s snitches; the patrol officers and just the odd person who would see something that they weren’t supposed too, on their way home from the market.

 

 She had stood there for minutes undecided. She knew what would happen if she was caught; death. She was effectively putting the noose around her own neck—it was just that she wanted the rope firmly robbing against their necks too!

 

Sighing, she slowly pushed her hand against the rough door, which peaked open.

 

The apothecary wasn’t remotely impressive or the least bit welcoming; well at the first glimpse of it. It was a small stuffy shop; by shop, it was merely poorly constructed slabs of wood bonded together. Dust had speckled the air and dusk had immortally fallen. The room was dressed in a metallic stench of blood, and in every corner, spider webs lurked, as if they were eyes, doomed to witness the horrors of apothecary. Through a slit in the wooden door, the slightest pinch of life and light, snuck in. Still, that light was extinguished by the vast darkness in the room.

 

Crammed in the shop were unstable wooden tables that wobbled at the slightest touch; scratch touch—it wobbled at the slightest hint of breeze as if there were an earthquake! The larger of the tables were crowded with several glass bottles filled with aqua blue and smoky lilac liquids—probably poison. The smaller ones masked with a white powder and topped with pestles and mortars.

 

This was a place where evil dwelled, and was rendered to serve, but still, Liz could feel her palms sweat, and her heart pound like a drum. She was excited. Excited and curious.

 

“I am… here for poison. My name is Liz and well…” she had stopped in her tracks. The words had deserted her, as well as the pleasure she had taken in being in the apothecary. The smell, that she had thought was somewhat fresh and exhilarating, was now nauseating and disgusting. She had to get out! She did not belong there; and trying to convince herself was somewhat useless! She couldn’t carry it out. Maybe they were right? She was weak and pathetic… and that was all she would ever be? Their words echoed in her head like a song; that kind of song, so irritating and agonising, because you don’t know the name, and can’t get it out of your head. She wanted to bang her head somewhere; that would relieve her. The blood rushing out of her head would surely be enough for things to slow down! Definitely. She needed to find somewhere worth to hit her head on though. Maybe his temple, so he could watch it all explode!

 

She had begun to scratch her arm. It suddenly felt itchy, and craved her rough nails to rip through it. It had felt like a scab; like there was a scab on her arm. It lay there unnoticed, and when she finally did notice, she could not otherwise. It was there. Agonisingly there! It disgusted her; seemed like a cancer tumour. That drive to get rid of it had struck her. She persistently began to scratch, and slowly, the dry skin tarnished, till the wound lay bare. Something fleshy and pink had surfaced. By then, it was out of her control; she couldn’t stop hacking away at her arm. It was almost an addiction. A limey, slimy green liquid, as thick as custard revealed. It had frightened the life out of her, but even more so, that she couldn’t stop. She couldn’t stop hurting herself.

 

The scab was her. She had been so sweet beforehand, but it had irritated her. She loathed how sweet and innocent she was when inside she was dying. Inside she was in pain; she was in pain because of him. No one bloody knew what it was like to be left destitute, and to have the other half of you dragged away! It was lonely and cold, and it was like a scar that could never be healed; could never be treated without that one vital ingredient. Life; it was so unforgiving, and death was so much more pleasant, but it wouldn’t come to her, as quick as she wanted it too. 

 

It was too late to fight back. She could no longer her herself back. Now all that was left was a stone hard killing machine. The old her was killed. She had been swallowed by the depths of the treacherous ocean and rendered to dwell in its bed of anger and hate. There was no way breaking free. Its tentacles had wrapped by its suffocating silk. She had tried at first, but gave up. They had wrapped her mouth, so she couldn’t scream. She couldn’t move, or breath. But there was no point… not anymore.

 

She loved him so much. He was that one star in the sky, which never failed illuminating the darkness. Day light. He was her day light, and with him, nothing dark could ever break through. He was her drug. She flourished in his mere existence; she craved him and needed him. How was she supposed to know that he could easily live without her, and that his light, had a switch? She would have rather suffered being blinded by his light, because now, she was prolonged into an insufferable darkness that blinded her never the less. The light was all she had. His love was a salvation. He had pulled her out of the grips of chaos, and life was a dream, that was endless, with his touch. Then he let go. He let go, and the dream abruptly crashed, and she woke up. She woke up to find that she has merely been hallucinating, and that she had not averted trouble; rather more crashed into it.

 

He had broken her heart. Smashed it in the ground and it had shattered into a billion pieces. How could she mend now? He had told her that she wouldn’t have to face anything alone, but she was alone when he wasn’t there… He had held her heart in his mouth and played with it. He didn’t even have enough decency to hold her heart in his hands!  He called her precious and told her she meant a lot, but they were just words. Lies that he spat out, like spiders do spider webs. He broke her heart, so it was only fitting that she broke his. He cheated with that toe rag; she walked into their lives, so he walked out of it with her. She had wanted him to suffer. She wanted to break his heart and be the manipulator and exploiter. She wanted to be the one who was heartless and soulless. She wanted to be the cold and cruel one.  Only she couldn’t detach herself from her love for him. She couldn’t utterly plunge herself into hatred for him, because she loved him too much. Even though he had broken her heart, her still, like a puppet master, held her strings.

 

Thinking back, it seemed so clichéd to even love him and care so much; you always got told the aged old legends of Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. They always said that the man would be dressed in his armour waving to his maiden who was looking down at him from the window. Of course she had been told otherwise too, but she regarded other’s views as just bitter and cynical. Mother had told her that love wasn’t what she had thought it was; that it was just two people bound to each other in their southern regions; just two people who had to count their losses, and settle down and hold on to something. The lady had to find a man who would look after her; one preferably who was wealthy and too ugly too find anyone better. The man had to find someone who he could ‘buy,’ someone who would have his kids and who was devoted to: cleaning; cooking; childcare and him. That was all. Her mother had said that love ceased to be before it existed, but she had been a fool and refused to believe it. 

 

Why, did she let herself believe that she could be Cinderella or Juliet or one of those princess, showered with romance and love?

 

 “Erm hello?” she had uttered into the darkness. It was silent; she was in an unknown land that was shaded with uncertainty and mystery—silence was never good then. For all she knew it could be no man’s land, and troops would guns would spring out of nowhere; then again—she was already dead anyway—he had made sure of that!

 

She had been certain that she had seen a figure move in the darkness, but now couldn’t think if it was an illusion, or if she had made it up.

 

He had just stood their motionless. He hadn’t bothered even merely glancing at her. After all, he had seen her before, or rather more ‘it,’; that poisonous lust for revenge. They came seeking for poison, thinking that it would end their troubles. Little did they know, they were the poison. No doubt that she was one of those wealthy foolish people, who indulged in ‘rich’ love that ended too quickly. It was all the worth. Everything had to be expensive, perfect, lavished and coated in gold. It disgusted him, how they could be so greedy, and absent minded. When it was there, it was just like loose cash, but now it was gone; and they couldn’t have it, that is when they wanted it, and that is when they resulted to dirty tactics.

 

These petty problems that followed those foolish young women infuriated the old man; especially as they wouldn’t let their trampled hearts rest, but insisted in resurrecting their pain. Why do that to yourself, when you could just as easy let go of all the pain? These monsters mercilessly lashed out revenge, corrupting not only them, but everyone around them. It was like a fire. Intentionally lit; it was supposed to be small. It was just supposed to burn the memory, and to make things a bit easier. Only the person watched the fire burn; its smoke enchanted them; put them in a trance. The oxygen was their problem, fuel, revenge, and heat, their wickedness. As the fire grew, the oxygen, fuel and heat increased. Now it wasn’t just a small fire, but a massive one, that was burning and blazing. Now it wasn’t just her, or her lover, but innocent bystanders were in trouble too.

 

And he enabled them to do so. It was a job; it paid for his living, and unfortunately life was by any means.

 

“Yes hello my dear,” he finally echoed, prolonging each syllable. He had turned his head to her to observe her voice. On her head lay shiny, long and thick strands of copper wire, that tumbled down her shoulders. At both sides of her nose, were topazes; the glistened and sparkled so innocently. Looking into her innocence, the old man stroked his ageing grey beard, and wandered to what extent, her soft features were deceiving. 

 

The old man sluggishly moved to lift up the wooden window, and a beam of light had eradicated the darkness in the room. The room looked beautiful although there was still that spooky sense. The contents in the glass jars clinked together, as the old man rested his hand on one of the tables. The sound, so abrupt, had startled her. It had broken the silence, that had so suffocatingly filled the room.  She had slowly removed her hands away from her eyes. She had thought that like lasers, the light would scorch her eyes, but to her surprise and comfort, it had given her this strange and comfortable sense of belonging and ease.

 

Suddenly, her mouth was relieved from the glue that bonded it together. It opened; and with ease. The words had found her again. They weren’t hiding no more. She had opened her mouth and began to sing. She told him all; why she was there, and why she needed the revenge. He had broken her heart, and she had tried to cope. It was her. Her name was Ethel, and she was younger and prettier than Liz. Liz hadn’t thought much, when she employed Ethel to work for her. She let her help herself to whatever she wanted. Food, clothes. Only she stepped a line to far, and indulged in her husband. She had took him to? That was outrageous! It wasn’t clear to her at first, but soon enough, their secret became agonising clear, and she shouldn’t stop it from unfolding.

 

That might burden had relieved Liz, although she was still lined with a bit of rage. Liz hadn’t thought that she could, but she was able to sigh at beauty once again, even though reality was, she was in hell itself. She was where evil was created and flourished.

 

“Voila!” He had finally said, trying to make the wrinkles on his face merge into a smile.

 

Taking the bottle of poison, she marvelled at the clear liquids beauty. The potential of what it could do… It was her road to salvation! It had seemed greatly overwhelming… Suddenly, she could feel a twist in guts. No— it wasn’t guilt. Liz had convincing herself that.

 

All that was left to do was medicate her rival, and then… slowly watch her gasp for air, and try to grasp, desperately, but failing. After all, it was only karma and giving someone a kick into the right direction. She deserved that and more… 

 

Gently, she placed the poison in her brown sac, before placing the five gold coins in the old man’s wrinkly hands. Turning away from him, she had pushed open the door and left. No; good—there was no one there!

 

She would get him back for the abandoning her for the last ten years!

 


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