You have read one too many novels, Alfred

We are on the cusp of greatness, I tell you that, we are so close to unravelling something that yet to be seen.
I am a botanist, dealing with rare herbs, plants and all forms of flora.
I managed to recover more than three hundred species during my decades of work, and just as many if not new species have been credited to my institutes and my name.
But this time…
This time we have found the holy grail of all flowers…
If the accounts about it are real, and there have been many, and if the petals we have managed to gather from a tribe are from that flower…
We could potentially find the flower of youth.
It is written in fables and fairy tales, a flower that can rejuvenate one’s youth.
The petals were used as an all-cure by the tribe.
Poisoning, infection (early), cuts, headaches, toothaches, anything, the petals would be grinded and mixed with water.
And it worked.
I saw it with my own eyes, and so did my assistant.
I was getting old, had to bring a youngling with me.
Alfred, poor fella, I think I gave him a proper burden, making him learn so much, deduce even more…
But I am preparing him…
To take my seat at the institute.
After this discovery, it is time to retire…
And we trekked across treacherous lands, through so dense forests, that light barely shone through the crowns, making it a kingdom of mushrooms…
After what felt like ages, we found it…
A patch of flowers, hidden in an underground cave, that shows signs of volcanic history, I am no geologist, but the high quantity of volcanic soil (easily identified), shows me such.
And in this cave, the patch of amethyst flowers bloomed eerily, underneath the light that was coming through a fissure.
The flowers were the size of a toddler, the petals much bigger, and lively than the dried ones we have seen and used.
Their fragrance carried something alike to fresh dew, vanilla and cinnamon.
“This is it…”
I murmured, taking out my notebook, starting to sketch the flower.
Alfred, little fella, was speechless.
Then after taking off a petal from a flower, he chewed on it, starting to laugh hysterically.
“What now lad? Your wrist pain is gone?”
I chuckled.
“Yes! Yes ! And more!
Professor! This is the real deal! The Real deal!”
He laughed.
I chuckled.
This was his first big discovery, and what a discovery it is.
Quite the normal reaction.
I remember that I drank myself under the table after going back home after my first.
Then he quieted down.
And out he took the gun we brought just in case my conversational skills got rusty.
“Alfred, what are you doing?”
I asked.
“Sorry, professor, but this is my chance to be someone…
I can’t let you take all the glory.”
He said.
“It’s fifty-fifty, young one.
I did the research, you helped me.”
I chuckled.
“Not enough…
You had a lifetime of fame…
It’s my turn.”
He said.
I shrugged.
“You have read one too many novels, Alfred, even if it was me who prompted you to do so…
Never would have thought you would say something so cliché…”
I laughed.
He frowned.
“I will say the natives killed you, or that a disease took you.
Nobody will care, when I bring back flowers that can almost revive the dead!”
He said, starting to laugh again.
“Too much talking, young one.
Also, that gun was prepared by me.
Shoot it.”
I said, standing up.
He pulled the trigger and nothing happened.
He pulled it again, and again, but it just clicked.
“Now, we are in the real world.
It’s not my first rodeo with these tribes, I was certain I can talk with them.
The gun was brought for you, lest you are too afraid.
The guides are waiting for us, and know of my relationship with the natives…
Let’s go.”
I said, after passing Alfred, and carefully harvesting a couple of flowers, with soil as well.
“You…you aren’t mad?”
Alfred asked.
“No, but you are fired after this.
I won’t take your credit for this journey, but there will be no next one for you.
Nor for me, it’s retirement.
A pity, to be fair, I wanted to propose that you take my seat at the board of botanic department.”
I shook my head.
“How…how can you be so nonplussed ?”
He asked, following me like a robot.
“This is the real world, not a novel.
You aren’t the first one trying to backstab me.”
I laughed.
We left, and after 2 years of being swamped with different cooperation deals with researches from big pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, I finally retired…a prize or two richer…and a tad bit younger…

Published by omnithenerva

Wannabe fiction writer. In love with mythology, and fantasy themes.

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