Congratulations to the weekend winners!
And on to this week's word;
: 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
: a power or process of transforming something common into something special
Jackson had spent fifty years in the one room shack at the base of the mountain. He'd married, once. It hadn't gone well. He found he preferred being alone to arguing over every detail of life.
But there had been loneliness. Until he found Ayrydd.
He was going to see her today for the last time. He owed her that.
The pain running up and down his arm was getting worse. His number was up, no sense in fighting it. He just hoped he had enough strength left to hike up the foothills to her lair.
Jackson had no regrets, he was somewhere in his eighties. He could still get around, until just lately. Yep, a good time to die.
As he labored up the mountain, he pondered what alchemy made the air suddenly unbreathable. His wheezing had alerted Ayrydd to his arrival. She waited outside her lair, sparkling green eyes reflecting her knowledge of the reason for his visit.
He accompanied her inside. They sat together the rest of the day in silent communion. As the pain spread into his chest and his breath stuttered, he whispered a barely audible goodbye.
Ayrydd sat motionless for several hours, grieving silently for her latest loss. She pushed her snout into Jackson's still face, though she knew there was no life left. Then, with utmost tenderness, she cradled his body in her forelimbs. She carried him along a narrow passage to a small cavern deep within the rock.
In the center was the bier she'd built for him only days before. She laid him gently on the bed of dried branches.
Ayrydd gazed at his lifeless form a few moments longer before emitting a puff of flame. The fire's glow danced along her golden scales as she bid her friend a final farewell.