Foul-Blossom

By @theotheghostkid
Foul-Blossom

A story within a story, the tale of an elderly man's contact with a deadly poison. (My entry for the End of Summer writing contest! good luck everyone who entered!

Chapter 1

“… And as soon as I took a sip of it, I immediately knew it was poison.” The elderly man said, relaxing back on the reclined, plush chair he sat in. His brow furled, leaning close to the small group of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who circled around him in wonder and awe.

The youngest, Enu, sat the closest. His dark hair curled around a small, round face, which conveyed the dreamiest awe of the children. “Then what happened, Papi?”

Papi, the nickname of the elderly man, chuckled to himself. “Well, I lived, didn’t I?” he said with a jolly laugh. The children all exchanged glances, and Enu cocked his head. “The poison I knew, too well… deadly foul-blossom. It melts your flesh, it smells like almonds…It’s said to be able to turn your insides-out!”

The children yelped, gathering closer to each other, at the thought of their insides turning outside. How could someone survive the deadly foul-blossom, the beautiful red flower with purple leaves, a foul-smelling flower that is toxic, even to the touch? The elderly man must have been something.

“How did you survive?” Enu asked. He did not get closer to the other children, he even moved a bit closer to his Papi, the elderly man with gray hair and burly eyebrows.

“Well…” He sat back in his chair again, reminiscing on the day it had happened. He was lucky, indeed, to survive the deadly foul-blossom. It wasn’t often that man would survive it. “…I had a friend when I was younger, who was much more magic than human. She knew the ways of the dead…”He lowered his voice, a dark shadow crossing over his face. “…a necromancer.”

Gasps. A necromancer hadn’t been heard of in years, long before even the oldest of the children was born! One who knew the ways of the dead, a sacred ability that only surfaced in people who were blessed by the gods.

“She was my closest friend, next to your Mami. She understood the ways of death and life, as the magic laid right at her fingertips. And… Well, if it weren’t for her, I would not be sitting here today, before you.”

“How’d she heal you?” One of the oldest children asked, who was holding onto her younger brother for dear life.

“She knew an antidote. Of course, it wasn’t the perfect antidote, because one has yet to be made for the deadly foul-blossom, but it was able to wash the deadly toxins out of me before it could take me!”

A chorus of excited oohs reverberated from the small crowd. They were much more relaxed—after all, the story had a good end! Their Papi was still there, with them.

Enu still sat at the front, his eyes sparkling. The idea of a necromancer, deadly poison, an antidote… “What was your friend like?”

“My friend?” The elderly man wasn’t expecting a question that was about his friend. His dear, dear friend… “Well, she was talented, and amazing, and… She was just like you, little Enu.”

Just like you, little Enu.

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