4fe 30 – Research
Alexander frowned while looking at the result of his research. So many sheets of paper were covering the desk of his temporary house that he didn’t know where to put down his coffee. He had placed them in a way he could see them all, at least the best he could, and kept his mug in his hands. The lamp’s holder was barely visible.
Yet all of this were merely copies of what he had noted in his journal. To make sure he had missed no detail, he had rewritten everything himself, by hand. He had been done for a few minutes now, and stared at them all and he could still find no certain proof. Life’s brother certainly was a mystery. His journal, which he had read over a hundred times by now, was laying under a pile of sheets. He sighed, massaging his forehead.
He knew for sure that this man was an alchemist. He had heard a lot about it in the past, back when he didn’t pay any attention to anything. Yet no matter where he dug, there was no proof.
He had gone everywhere he had been. He didn’t seem to have any sort of lab in their winter manor. He had found a torture chamber, but nothing interesting. Same for the mansion. Where could he be keeping his potions? The only clue he had that proved he hadn’t imagined all of this was a news article about his death. He had been found dead with a test tube containing poison in his hand. Traces of the same poison had been found in his body, and it was said to have killed him.
They had found him in the middle of his summer room, which made absolutely no sense considering there weren’t any other substances around. If he had a test tube in his hands, that meant he was either testing theories and mixing things, or he tried out a potion he had already done.
A potion he had already done… Why would he drink poison? For a moment, Alexander had suspected someone might have changed some of the things he had. What is two liquids looked exactly the same and one was a poison and the other, let’s say, something that heals injuries. Neither of them smelled anything, and someone changed the labels. He would then mistake the second for the former, thus killing himself in the process.
It was the gentleman’s theory, but so far he had no luck in testing it out. Then something caught his attention, something he had never noticed before. He dug in his pile of papers and grabbed the journal. On the back of it was a thin, clean cut that ran across it. The journal had been so old and scratched that Alexander hadn’t seen that before. He ran a finger on it and realized it was a pocket. In it was a small paper, thoroughly folded and yellow, showing that it was old.
Alexander felt a shiver of excitement at this new discovery. He carefully opened it up and read it. On it was the strangest excerpt of what looked like a letter. The date was smudged and impossible to read.
Today is such a cold, lonely day. Everything I have tried has failed miserably. Father does not look at me anymore, busy with his new favourite. I hate it. Just because of how he looks, I go forgotten, as if thrown into the abyss. I wonder if he even remembers he ever had two sons.
Mother died when giving birth. I have been having a harsh time ever since. As stupid as it sounds, I miss her. You probably think I am sounding like a hypocrite, do you not? While she was alive, I could not stand to look at her, yet now I feel empty without her. She gave birth to a devil, and it had eaten her from the insides. Yet my newborn brother looks at me with eyes full of hope and love. I fear of taking him in my arms, in fear of crushing his neck. He has taken everything from me, yet he does not know about it.
Father left earlier, just like every week. If I ever fail, then this letter would prove that I am nothing but a murderer. I would send it to you, but just in case, I’ll keep it safe. Hidden. Nobody needs to know what I am about to do. I want to crush my father. I want to make him miserable, ruin his life. What kind of son wishes such? Mother would be quite ashamed. But mother is not around any longer to stop me.
I have already tested a few things on him. The results were not what I expected. He cried with every sting. What an annoying being. He makes me sick. Just looking at him makes me want to crush his head into my hands. But I do not. My plan is better. I wonder if that man will ever realize I’ve done anything before it is too late.
My experiments might not be working right now, but they will. This kid will be cursed. I have cursed him the moment I have set my eyes on him. Everyone shall look upon him and see hope, until they realize how rotten he really is. He will not even see it coming himself.
Last time I noticed something odd. I found feathers. Strange, small, ugly feathers. They were coming out of his flesh, as if wings had try to grow without success. I have never seen a side effect like this. It is disgusting. I ripped them off, but every time I looked, new ones had grown. I wonder what it means. I’ll have to look into it.
As for you, my friend, I have done like you suggested. I am very saddened to hear about your loss. Do you think ghosts can read letters? I hope not. I’ll keep it hidden in the place only you know of, just in case. If anything were to go wrong, I’ll burn the house.
Alexander stared at the paper for a long moment. This letter wasn’t addressed to anyone. How odd.
He thought for a moment about the content of what he had just read. If he was right, then the young boy that was described in the letter was Life. But what was that about feathers? None of this made much sense, even if it had been coded, which didn’t sound like it. What was the ‘place only you know of’? And what about burning the house?
He rubbed his forehead, feeling like the clue he had found gave him more questions than answers. He didn’t know Life’s mother had died while giving birth. It’s true he had never seen her during all his visits, nor did he hear her name a single time. And now that he thought about it, he had never seen any picture of her either.
A knock on the door.
-Yes, what is it?
-Sir, there is a letter for you. From the Queen.
-Please come in.