Conspiring Concoction

Leena Auckel posted under Flash Fiction on 2023-08-04

Hushed murmurs and whispers thrummed in the corridor facing the room of the Duke of Karia's son.  Lord Baris was pacing back and fro in the room while his wife, Lady Harinur was bent over her only son, Eyman. Two days ago he had fallen off his horse during a riding session and since then was unconscious. A physician and a sergeant surgeon were already tending to him while three more doctors were on their way. "He isn't getting well doctor. What should we do?" Lord Baris asked gravely. "I have been telling you to get the alchemist who lives down the lane. You keep evading the topic." interjected his wife "Yes Lady Harinur..but  I-I don't think she will come." "She is known to have cured serious illness where medical doctors have failed. I am sure she can cure Eyman!" "I don't think that is a good idea." "I want my son back! And I would do anything for it!" The next morning Lady Harinur entered the castle accompanied by a woman wearing a brown cotte dress and a white headdress. "Welcome Griselda, am glad you agreed to come to see Eyman. She led her to her son's room. Lord Baris was coming from the opposite side. The moment he spotted them, he stopped in his tracks, he looked at his wife and then at the  medicine woman. The latter bowed and greeted him,"merhaba efendim." Duke Baris forced a nod. "Lady Harinur meet me in my chamber immediately!" he lashed. "What did you do??? Why didn't you care to ask me before bringing that woman here!"Baris roared as soon as Lady Harinur crossed the threshold of his room. "What do you mean? Have you seen the state of our son? I brought her here to cure him!” “Her husband used to work here as a guard but he was accused of robbery. He was fired.” "What!" “I still remember her pleading eyes when she came to me to request my father to give her husband another chance for the sake of her little daughter. My father had her kicked out of the castle.” Lady Hiranur was crestfallen. “And now you brought that shaman home!! You realise she can be a threat to our dear son.!” “Oh my god! I just brought a potential enemy at home!” Lady Hiranur rushed to her son's room. Griselda was at the bedside. She slided a pillow from his side and placed it on his face and started pressing hard. "Eyman!" Hiranur  shrieked Griselda turned round nonchalantly,  “ Yes your grace!” The Duchess stared Eyman on his bed, there was no  pillow on his face. She gazed at his chest,the rhythmic movement of his ribcage calmed down her nerves. “Good lord my fear is taking a toll on my mind.” The recent revelation on Griselda unsettled her. “What we're you doing with the pillow?” She inquired. "I was propping him up. This will make him breather better. His brain needs oxygen so that he regains consciousness." Griselda watched the lady’s perplexed face smilingly, The next day Eyman had regained consciousness. The Duchess cried with joy. “Oh my Eyman has finally opened his eyes. Thank you so much Griselda!” “It's my pleasure your grace but am afraid he is still very weak at this stage. I will make him a concoction.” Lady Hiranur summoned her cook to lead Griselda to the kitchen. The medicine woman took a mortar and pestle and started crushing various ingredients and emptied  them in her blue bowl. “why are you using this.That's not royal utensil.” The cook pointed out. “Yes it's not , it my special bowl. Its made of lapis lazuli infuses magical properties in the concoctions I make.” She poured some water and gave it a good mix. Griselda sat on the bed and gave the brew a last mix before scooping it with a spoon. She put it near Eyman's mouth, who weakly swallowed it under the close scrutiny of Lady Harinur. *** "But our son opened his eyes! Maybe she has forgotten about the past." Lady Harinur explained in response to the gnawing doubts of Lord Baris concerning Griselda. “Are you keeping an eye on her?”he interogated . “I have often seen her with that blue bowl of hers deep in thought, looking upwards. And mind you I don't like that look. Always seems like she is plotting something.” “Oh come on! If she had something devious on her mind why would she even bring Eyman back to consciousness?” “I am telling you I don't trust her! Keep an eye on the lady.”                                                                         *** Should I do it today? Should I add it to his soup? It's full moon night.”ruminated Griselda “It was on a similar full moon night that my dear Paul ended his lie after being framed for robbery in this castle.” Days became weeks and gradually Eyman was getting better he could now sit up in his bed now. As he kept gaining strength, the doubt on Griselda's intentions weakened. She even brought her daughter Aysel to help her look after Eyman. Griselda would prepare his porridge along with herbal medicines and Aysel would feed him. She patted the flask she had hidden within the folds of her headdress. She uncorked it and was going to empty its contents when lady Harinur burst in the kitchen. “Griselda will you mind giving the concoction to Eyman without further ado? We have some visitors coming to see him today.” The alchemist closed the vial again and quickly shoved it in the pocket of her apron. “Be damned. Not today then. Not with so many people around.” she hissed two days later, opportunity knocked at the doors again “Come on Aysel” Griselda whispered. “This soup contains the potion. You have to be alone with him for this task. I will try to engage lady Harinur in conversation to keep the coast clear.” Aysel swayed her way to Eyman's bed. He was already awake. “Here Sir your soup is ready. Let me feed you.” As he gulped more spoonfuls of the soup, his gaze suddenly changed...he sat transfixed with dilated pupils. He froze momentarily and when he finally blinked, his features immediately softened.He gave Aysel a puppy dog eye and uttered "How come I never realised you are so beautiful?" Griselda stepped inside accompanied with Lady Harinur “Eyman dear, you look so much better today.” She exclaimed. “Yes mom all thanks to this beautiful lady. She has mended both my health and heart.” The Duchess was taken aback. “It was a broken heart of unrequited love which had caused my fall but with Aysel, now I feel complete again.” Hearing how a past heartbreak had nearly taken his life Eyman’s parents had no choice but to accept Aysel as their daughter-in-law. Aysel and Griselda hugged each other. "The love potion has shown its magic. Now he will be just a puppet in your hands. It won't be long till you kick Baris bastard and Hiranur off their thrones."Griselda declared. “So we finally concocted a sweet revenge!” Aysel added with a twinkle in her eye. “I love you Dad!” Glossary merhaba efendim – Hello Sir     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!