2.3 Buying Time


Expanding the house took over a year. Two stories. Two bathrooms. A small garden patch outside. Finally a proper bedroom for Libra. Most importantly, an attic. In the attic I placed a table, and upon it, gathered the ingredients for the potion of youth.

The instructions in the journal were written using outdated systems. Parts of it were ambiguous, other parts obliterated entirely. Though I spent a portion of time every night experimenting and testing, the results evaded me. When the first batch of potion was made, it was crude and far from perfect. I gave a drop of it to a plant by the windowsill every day, but against my desperate wishes, it inevitably curled up and died when winter came. But I did not stop. The year after, I did the same thing. Then the next year, then the next.

In the midst of it all, my hair started to grey. It felt strange that it would autonomously do that when outwardly, I was resisting aging with every cell of my being.

Then finally, one year, the plant survived the winter, then spring, but I was too cautious to declare it a success. I continued to feed it the potion, every day checking it for signs of aging with my heart in my mouth, but when it survived through summer and into autumn I was finally sure. I carefully divided the mixture into two portions, my hands shaking the entire time. The first portion I drank. It burned like fire as it went down, and churned inside my stomach.

The second portion I carried to Yuki. “Here,” I said, handing her the cup. “Try it.”

As soon as she took the first sip she pulled a face. “Is this what you boys drink down at the pub?” she asked.

“No, this is actually traditional medicine imported from the east. It’s good for you,” I added at her disbelieving expression.

“If you say so,” she said after a while, and swallowed the rest of the drink in one go. “I don’t think I like it very much,” she said with a crooked smile, “but thanks anyway.”

I nodded awkwardly.

After she had walked away, I closed my eyes and tilted my head back. My eyelids were dotted with pinpricks of light. I shouldn’t have given her the potion without telling her what it was, without giving her a choice in the matter, but there was no way I could go on living after she was gone. Besides having to explain to her everything from the beginning, I was scared she would reject it.

I didn’t regret what I did. It bought me time.

But I knew, deep in my heart that time was surely, inevitably ticking away.


I wanted to say, really quickly: thank you for all the support you guys have been showing. All your responses and comments are invaluable to me. I couldn’t imagine a kinder community to belong to.

Also, apparently my description of the potion of youth and how it tastes matches that of whiskey. Leo… are you feeding the plant alcohol?!??!?

10 thoughts on “2.3 Buying Time

  1. Oh dear, this poor guy sounds like poor YOU in the lab >< I really can't blame him for downing that -whiskey- youth potion. I am also strangely attached to this plant, may it live long and prosper for enduring so xD
    Yuki's a dear/ I love how mellow she is. I am also rather torn with Leo giving her some without telling her what it was first, though I do get why and it's super nice you gave us that little insight into his inner workings! 😀 The pain and internal conflict is real! Also, I'm so happy Libra got a proper room? Like I know this aint the main focus but they've done so well for themselves since the humble beginnings in an outhouse shack and now their baby Libra has a room all to herself, to one day contain all her teen angst! XD Though I'm not sure Libra is one for teen angst but well~
    Oh! Any insight as to what you think goes into the potion? 😀 Or is it trade secrets?
    Anyhow, this was a delightful read once more :3
    Much love,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup, I feed lab plants the stuff I brew. No wonder they’re all dead. And yeah before this they had one giant room with a bathroom in the corner…
      Now the potion, that’s tricky. I think it must involve some kind of lobster enzyme. Just cuz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D: how immoral!! Also, didn’t know you had plants in the lab, good to know *nod nod nod * xD
        Yikes! Just a bathroom in the corner without walls or anything??
        Aaaah I see, of course, LOBSTERS. Can someone with shellfish allergies still have it? O.o ->these are clearly the real questions here <- (…)

        Liked by 3 people

  2. “But I knew, deep in my heart that time was surely, inevitably ticking away.”
    I wonder if Leo will become good mates with Grim? – ok, weird comment, I just think Leo and Grim might get along, I mean, if he does, we might get to see more of Leo – which is a good thing. 🙂 (hopeful look)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hahaha! I wonder if anyone tried feeding their plant whiskey. Y’know, the first alchemists of the world who made whiskey or whatever brew must’ve done the same! Ooof actually this is fast becoming dark. Let’s not go there. Ahh! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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