Here is a sneek peek at something new I am working on. So far the working title for this is ISIS’ SAVIOR. This is the second draft, I have posted a rougher version of this before so you may have seen it once but remember, it will go through a few revisions before publication. As Always, Happy Reading and feel free to leave feedback!
Sunlight filtered through the stained glass image of Isis in the window causing a colorful rainbow to splay across the vapors rising from an iron cauldron. The deep look of love in the kohl lined eyes of Isis caused the yellows and oranges in the window to provide a warm glow in the dimly lit room. In the shadow of the stained glass goddess stood a fiery haired woman examining the amber colored contents of the cauldron. The rising condensation from the cauldron clung to the ornate red and gold, star shaped pendant at her neck. As she muttered to herself tiny, fiery curls bobbed in the breeze created by the boiling liquid.
A knock on the doorframe caused the flame haired woman to jump as she looked up revealing vivid violet eyes.
“Sorry to disturb you Miss Iseult, but your grandfather wants to see you.”
Iseult smiled brightly and warmly replied, “No problems Penny. I was just working on an experiment. Why don’t you come on in while I take this off the fire?”
Penny shook her head and replied, “No thanks Miss Iseult. I try to stay out of yours and your grandfather’s labs when elixirs are being brewed. Isis only knows what will happen when elixirs are mixed,” Penny finished warily.
Iseult chuckled lightly before replying, “Technically it’s not experimental. This elixir hasn’t been attempted in a hundred and twenty years, it’s only out of practice.”
Penny rolled her eyes and exclaimed, “If it’s that old, Isis knows it’s experimental. Why has no one brewed it?”
Iseult shifted her feet before answering, “Because the last time it was attempted the brewer couldn’t handle the results.” Iseult finished with her violet eyes staring intently at the amber elixir before her.
Penny let out a breath before asking, “Who and Why?”
Without looking up Iseult answered, “I am attempting the Elixir of Youth. References say it allows a person to see through the eyes of a future descendant. If brewed incorrectly it becomes a slow acting poison that drives the drinker insane.
“The Elixir doesn’t always show you something positive either. If a person can’t handle what they see the consequences can be catastrophic. Such was the case with Jacinda Feldson.
“She never told anyone what she saw, but in the end she committed a horrific string of grisly murders across London,” Iseult explained.
Penny looked quizzical for a moment before saying, “I don’t remember that one in history class.”
Iseult raised an eyebrow and stated, “Jack the Ripper.”
Penny’s dark eyebrows rose to meet her hairline before dryly commenting, “You alchemists get all the good bits of history. Isis knows all we were ever taught were dry, boring facts that I still haven’t used.
“Why would you brew that and is it safe for you to stamp out the fire? I don’t want any noxious fumes in this lab.”
Iseult quirked her thin lips and nodded as she answered, “Simply to see if I can. As it stands I’m at the cooling point now. According to the research I should be able to let it stabilize in the cauldron for twenty hours before the next step.” As she finished Iseult slowly reached down to extinguish her fire. Quickly walking over to the counter Iseult picked up a heavy iron lid and covered her elixir so she could see what her grandfather wanted.
Iseult and Penny made their way from the third story of the old house to the ground floor and out to the greenhouse. Neither noticed the glowing eyes of Isis follow them out the door.
It took the pair ten minutes to reach the greenhouse and when they did Penny bid Iseult a fair day. Iseult smiled at Penny before turning and opening the door to the glass encased room.
Iseult took in a deep breath as she strode past shrubs and vines that gave the air an almost sweet quality. The air in the greenhouse was enough to give Iseult a lightheaded feeling – the amount of fresh oxygen in this room was staggering. Iseult smiled at the purity and diversity of life in this greenhouse.
Purity was the first tenet of Alchemy that the Goddess Isis set forth. Purity was followed by life. Life begat matter and matter begat life. In this way the circle continued. Iseult carefully made her way around the mosaic stepping stones until she could see her grandfather’s white hair at the bistro table. This had always been a special place for the two of them. Ever since Iseult was little they had come here for peace and celebration. When life became too complicated this was their sanctuary.
As Iseult moved closer to the little table she noticed that there was another person present. From this vantage point Iseult could tell that it was a man with hair that seemed to match hers. The closer she got, the more Iseult could pick out features of the man, such as his broad shoulders and deep baritone. Iseult also noted that he was dressed in a vibrant blue top that matched his black slacks. Slacks that were barely visible from underneath the table.
When she was barely a foot away from the table Iseult asked, “You wanted to see me, Grandfather?” Iseult’s melodic voice caused the seated man to jump.
The wrinkles in the old man’s face broke out into a wide grin and his vivid blue eyes sparkled like the sun. “Yes, my child, I did. It seems that your mother has been up to her usual nasty games again,” Grandfather finished sagely. All the while the broad smile never left his face.
Iseult groaned as she walked around and plopped down into the other chair. “Now what has Gwendolyn done?”
The red haired man chuckled at the amount of sarcasm in Iseult’s voice. Grandfather just rolled his twinkling blue eyes as he responded, “She contacted your father. He is the man sitting across from you.
“Brady Dara meet your daughter, Iseult. Iseult this is your father, Brady Dara, jeweler to the crown,” Grandfather finished whimsically.
At the mention of father, Iseult’s dark violet eyes widened to cover the top half of her face. “Really,” Iseult softly exclaimed.
“Have I ever lied to you before child,” Grandfather as wryly.
Iseult shook her head as Brady smiled at her. After letting the news sink in for a moment Brady explained, “She never told me about you, but with that hair it’s plain as day that you are mine. I realize that you are old enough not to need me, but if you and your grandfather allow, I would like to be a part of your life,” he finished calmly.
“Just her hair? Isis! You ought to see the colors she tends to wear,” Grandfather interjected causing Brady and Iseult to chuckle lightly. It was true that Iseult tended to wear the deepest tones she could find. For instance today she was wearing an emerald green blouse and a pair of blue jeans.
Worry flashed through Iseult’s purple eyes as she glanced at her grandfather who merely nodded at her. Calmly Iseult asked, “My studies don’t concern you?”
Brady looked at his newly discovered daughter and explained, “When your mother and I were together she introduced me to your Grandfather and his beliefs. While I don’t pretend to understand those beliefs and practices I do find them fascinating. Just don’t go blowing anything up on me,” Brady finished wryly.
With an indignant look on her pretty face Iseult insisted, “I haven’t blown anything up in ages.” Hearty laughter followed this statement.
As the trio settled down Penny brought them soup and sandwiches for lunch. “Thank you Penny,” Iseult intoned politely as Penny walked away silently.
Brady looked curiously at Iseult as he asked, “Why do you call your mother by her given name?”
Sadness haunted Iseults violet eyes as she explained, “Isis knows that you have asked the most difficult question first but, Gwendolyn absolutely hates me. The minute she had me, Gwendolyn abandoned me. She left me in the hospital where Grandfather found me.
“The last time I saw her I was five and Gwendolyn fussed about how I was nothing and she never wanted to see me again. Three days after that Grandfather received court papers telling him that Gwendolyn signed off all parental rights to me. Those papers also granted him full legal custody.
“Isis teaches us that a mother isn’t supposed to be cold, callous, and spiteful. The title of mother should be honored and respected. One thing I don’t have for that woman is respect so why should I call her by a title that, by rights, should be respected,” Iseult finished woefully.
Brady nodded his head in understanding as they continued with their lunch.