Fiction Friday

This was actually written for a fanfiction piece but later reworked for an original piece, Hallowed Ground.  Hallowed Ground was also last week’s excerpt but, between moving and traveling, I didn’t have a chance to locate another work.

I lifted my eyes, both men watching me with placid indifference as they patiently anticipated my rebuke. Instead, I reached for the non-descript bottle and surveyed it under the flickering candles. Even with the changing of the light, the green remained vibrant – a shimmering hue that I couldn’t quite describe. Brighter than summer grass, more muted than emeralds, darker than sea foam, and yet lighter than the soft flesh of a fresh, ripened lime; I had never encountered anything of such unusual color. It was Raemeus who chuckled first, a low, amused, half-drunken garble.

“Your curiosity will be the death of us all.”

Neither moved to dissuade my interest as I opened the bottle, and a wave of heady, licorice-scented air moved across my face. Taking the bottle from my hand, Donovan tipped the contents into a glass and then balanced a silver spoon across its rim. Raemeus passed a bowl of sugar cubes his direction and, taking one, Donovan positioned it on the spoon. From somewhere in his pocket Raemeus produced an amber colored bottle and, ignoring the skull and crossbones on its label, dribbled several droplets onto the sugar cube. He did the same with two more glasses and then lined them up together in the center of the table. With a match that I assumed I couldn’t see, Donovan’s hand moved across the glasses, lighting each one on fire in turn. I watched as the sugar cube melted, trickling down into the green liquid as the flames continued to burn. It only lasted a few seconds, but the blue-green flames mesmerized my already half-drunken mind. Raemeus poured a trickle of water over each glass, extinguishing the flame. The green liquid immediately obscured, transforming into a pearly, opaque white that reminded me of watered down milk.

Donovan pushed a glass my direction, his chin lifted in a smiling challenge. It was silly, really — he knew better than to think I would refuse.

“Absinthe.”

I nodded, never having heard of it, and lifted the glass to my nose. The smell was intoxicating — clove, amber, orange, licorice, all seemingly distinct scents rather than a blending of them. I puzzled as each breath brought in a new smell. I tipped the glass to my lips but Donovan’s hand reached out to touch mine, slowing my consumption.

“Careful, love. It’s not known as the green fairy for nothing.”

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