Alchemy. ” A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.”
The strangest thing. I have a staggering memory for detail, but the face of the alchemist eludes me. No matter how many times I picture him, his facial features change, so that I never have a pure memory of his face.
But I always have a sharp and clear memory of the alchemy we have between us. I cannot say I have ever come across sensations I have around him. he was always enveloped in mystery. Known as the stranger who would visit, influence those around him and leave, and in his wake a strange and new perception would remain upon the lives and lips of those he would come into contact with. His figure and story was well-known throughout the French history of the late 1700’s to the present day, and I had not counted on meeting him myself until it happened.
he stood in the room. An isolated figure, clothed from head to toe in black. A large hooded cloak consumed him, and only the glint of gold from the mask he wore, gave away his identity. He stood still, the only thing barring us from each other, were the table and chairs of the meeting room. The air was dank and moist from the leaking underground pipework which nestled above us, and still he did not move.
I am unsure as to exactly how much time passed while we stood there, my eyes sought out his under the carefully moulded gold mask that he wore to cover his face and obscure his identity. (Though a pointless act in my book.) But once found, I locked onto my target and could have sworn I saw the echo of a smile enter them as I did so, albeit fleetingly.
That was the first time I met The Alchemist.
The second time we crossed paths was during my walk back during a cold and snowy winters night. I saw him, standing under a street lamp from across me. He just stood there, silently as before. Simply observing me as I hurriedly made my way across the streets to my home. Then disappearing once more, within the blink of an eye.
“Third times a charm…”
And indeed it was. For the third time our paths crossed, I experienced my own alchemy.
I awoke to find him standing on my doorway, watching me in my fragile state of sleep. My first course of action was to attack. Like a wounded animal I leapt at him, but within a glimmer of a second he had moved. and I landed on my hands and feet in stance.
“Stop. I mean you no harm.” – I was shocked initially by his voice, for no-one recalls ever hearing the Alchemist speak. It was warm and sweet, like liquid honey it washed over me and i felt myself shudder in response. I regained my composure and stood upright to face him. I could see myself in his eyes, I could SEE myself in his eyes. I had not remembered what I looked like for many centuries, …(and yes you do forget.)
What I saw shocked me. Not the retention of youth, nor my skin in its deathly pale hue, but my own eyes, for I saw myself, the true me. The whole me. And just as I lost myself within my own truths, he faltered, just slightly. The average human would not be able to see such slight movement, or fall of breath. But I am not average nor human, and yet I saw my humanity staring right back at me. Locked in this hypnotic tone, I became aware of a tremor that began to grow all through out me, but seemed to resonate with him too.
He seemed momentarily stunned, and then the moment broke.
“Why are you following me!” I demanded. “I do not know, other than you intrigue me.” His answer was simple and to the point. I scoffed at him, “So every person who intrigues you, you follow to bed?”, he lifted his head slightly but not his gaze. “Not always.” He smiled. “Who are you?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “A friend, to be…” He replied simply, and began to remove the thin gold cord that tied the mask around his face.
I suppose like many before me, I had anticipated “something?”…(although what, I do not know), but stood there before me, was an ordinary man. One who would pass for any of the business men who would fill our streets each morning on their way to work.
“Do not be too disappointed…” he said as he placed the mask on my writing bureau with a mischievous smile, that sat in the corner of his mouth. I found myself strangely flurried and replied”I’m not!”, (This of course, was a vacuous lie on my part.) He then removed the heavy hooded cloak he wore and placed it upon my bed, before seating himself in front of the bureau. Who was this man?, who did he think he was?, Why would he think it acceptable to come to my room at night, whilst I sleep. Then decide to make himself at home? His gall both impressed and vexed me in equal measure.
I decided then and there that I may as well jump aboard this merry ride and find out where exactly it led to. I sat myself down on the end of my bed, my night-dress hanging loosely off one shoulder. My hair, plaited messily hung upon the other shoulder. It was a cold night, and i could feel the bud’s upon my breast peak in response. I lifted up a large wool shawl I had laid across my bed, and wrapped it around me like a cocoon.
“Why are you here?” I demanded to know. “Because of alchemy.” I shook my head in disbelief, was I to sit here and listen to riddles for the rest of the night?. He could tell I was becoming agitated, and he adjusted himself in the chair and spoke. “Let me introduce myself to you, you may call me Isiah.” I am sure you have many questions, as do I. But now is not the time for such niceties.” I was not exactly sure what I thought of this strange man who sat opposite me in my own dwelling. Isiah stood back up and looked squarely into my eyes once more before speaking, and I noted how clear and crystal they were, like two amber flecked pools of liquid green (Not un-similar to a cats.)
” There is something coming for you. For us all, but you have a large role to play within it..” I furrowed my brow in confusion and looked down at my lap, before looking up again to speak.
But, he was gone.
Much time passed before I would see Isiah again, but indeed I did. And with each meeting came further riddles, until the day I found my answers. But that my friends, will be explained in time.