Having stepped out from behind the cactus, the stranger presented them with a prickly conundrum. There he sat now, midst crucibles, retorts, bottles and tubes; here were covered utensils, heated over little lamps, there others stood open, so that he might watch the process of decomposition which the oxygen in the air calls forth in its contact with other gases.
He began speaking in soft tones with a distant look that itself spoke of things long past.
There she stood in the gradually deepening shadows,
suspended in twilight
she remained – a vision
growing out of purple mist –
feathered wings, unfurled dreams
rising whispers take flight
floating above water lilies
that drape the bosom of the lake –
then a whir of wings
echoes across the water
and she was gone.
Uncertain to what to say or do, they stood uneasily. The little kettle in the corner began to whistle. After that, they filed out of the room silently, each clasped a small bottle filled with tears, shadows and joys. What they should each do with their prize was up to them. There were no certainties, just opportunities, like a vision growing out of the purple mist.
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