18

” I’d still like to take you up on your offer…I hesitated. “I apologize for my previously curt behavior, I was fairly worked up coming out of that first vision.”

“Think nothing of it, but help yourself if you so please.” he gestured to the vial, pushed back his chair and went to rifle through one of the two short, mahogany bookshelves.

I uncorked the vial, met by an oddly metallic scent, and tentatively put a few drops on my tongue. It was of a pleasant honeyed taste, but in swallowing it down immediately caused my stomach to wrench at the suddenly revolting taste lingering in my mouth; of which I then recognized as unmistakably reminiscent of blood. I allayed inquiring to be of no consequence, and quickly gulped down its contents. My vision blurred slightly as my stomach convulsed violently to empty itself of the menial remainder of its contents; of which, much to the rug’s relief was again a false threat. 

Originating in a dull stab at the base of my skull, a sensation as though ice were filling every individual vein spread throughout at a disconcertingly slow pace.
The man stood still casually paging through a few dusty books, again entirely unphased. Picking up another couple hefty tomes he produced a modestly sized dagger from the hollow space in an encyclopedia of herbal lore. I sat frozen, consciously focused on his limited movements to attempt distraction from the increasingly heavy feeling embracing my slowed heart and lungs. I was suddenly gripped by the regret of the foolishly implicit trust I had placed in this stranger. 

I sat wordless, anticipating either the feeling’s diminishment or final consequence. He returned to the table, placing the knife in the satchel with the scroll. 

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