The news about it flared like wildfire. People talked about it for weeks, first to see if the video was fake, then it was judged to be real. Everyone was talking about the pure ones, which were thought to be evil magic users. A man was handing a freshly completed potion to an old woman, when he heard this on his TV, he snorted.
“They're going to cost me my business,” the old woman stiffened when she heard this.
“What do you mean, Mr. Pax?” the old woman asked.
The man sighed, “Easrim is fine, Ms. Natille, and if the news keeps going on about how evil witches and wizards are they would not come to buy potions from me,” Easrim Pax explained to the old woman.
The older woman relaxed a little when she heard this but not completely “As long as you call me Luna. So don’t you fear the witches and wizards?” Luna Natille asked.
“Of course not, they may have different talents than me, but they're still human,” Easrim explained.
“I understand why the general public making such a scene. If a small portion of the population had a gift such as magic, then they will be feared, as they can do evil without anyone keeping them in check, no matter how wrong that mindset is.” Easrim continued.
Luna thought for a moment “And why do you think you will go out of business if your magical customers stop coming?” She finally asked.
“Most of my customers come in to buy my potions. Some come from all over the world judging by the way they dress. And since the only thing around for hundreds of mile is your mansion then why are there so many people coming to my store? Also, some people provide ingredients, so I can make some new potions.“
Luna stiffened again. “What type of ingredients do they give you?” She asked.
“Mythical creatures ingredients that I didn’t know exist,” Easrim replied.
“Basilisk eyes for anti-petrification, mermaid teeth for charming potions and Kraken blood for breathing underwater.”
Luna scowled, “do you think you should be using those ingredients?”
“Are these ingredients illegal, or is their use frowned upon?” Easrim asked.
“No, they are quite common, other than the basilisk eyes,” Luna explained
“Then I shouldn’t be testing ingredients from what was thought to be mythical creatures?” Easrim inquired.
Luna had no words to say. Easrim nodded, “I wouldn't have touched them if I wasn’t told what they were, and if they didn’t want a potion from these ingredients.”
Luna was silent. Easrim understood, and then said, “Well, have a wonderful afternoon. I hope that potion works the way you want it too.”
Luna relaxed again. “Thank you.”
“Come see me again so I’m still in business,” Easrim said with a sly smile.
Luna smiled. “Alright.”
As Luna left the shop, Easrim turned off the tv and sighed.
“If this keeps up, I might really have to close down. Most of my regulars stopped coming.”
Easrim heads over to his computer and opened a search browser called Nicamos.
“Well when this finally passes over, I will be able to make different types of potions some even magical.” Easrim searches for mythical creatures.
“Most of the creatures should be accurate, I should take some of these with a grain of salt though.”
Easrim looked up and said out loud to no one in particular. “I didn’t hear the door open...well that is why I do have a bell.”
Easrim got up and went over to the counter. There, in the doorway, stood a hooded man.
“Sorry for the wait. Welcome to Easrim’s Potions of The Great Plains. How may I help you?”
The hooded figure spoke in a deep masculine voice, “I would like to have a potion of anti-petrification.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t have the ingredients for that,” Easrim replied.
The hooded man took out three different size bottles which Easrim recognized. They contained eyes of a basilisk, the venom of a gorgon, and Apache tears.
“Alright, as you are providing the ingredients, you receive a discount of twenty dollars, so the price of the potion, just so you're aware, is five dollars.”
“That is fine,” the man replied.
Easrim lit his small caldron, then put the gallon of venom in. While waiting for it to boil, Easrim starts grinding one of the eyes into a paste. After bringing it to a boil he added a cup of Apache tears, Easrim started to stir clockwise, then counterclockwise, making sure the tears kept moving. When the potion turned from dark green to black, Easrim added the basilisk eye paste and started to stir again. Then, something happened that Easrim wasn’t used to. The man spoke.
“You find yourself in a room alone, and you see two doors that lead to freedom. One door leads to darkness, while the other one has a blinding light in it. What do you do?” The hooded man asks.
“Usually people don’t speak to me while I am working,“ Easrim explained while stirring clockwise.
“So what would you do?” The man asked, yet again.
“If you want to ask me that, why not ask while waiting for the potion to boil?” Easrim asked while he stirred counterclockwise. “Unless you forgot.” Easrim didn’t know why he said that and cursed himself for being so rude. And to a client no less.
But to Easrims surprise, when the man spoke it wasn’t of annoyance, but with a tone of praise. Easrim could have sworn that the hooded man was smiling when he said, “true, true.” The hooded man then asked again, “what would you do?”
“Well,” Easrim thought about the question again while he stirred clockwise again.
“I would only go the path of darkness if I wanted to hide from something that is the path of the guilty,” Easrim began.
“So?” the hooded man asked.
“Also that path is completely unknown. You want a little bit of the unknown, but not completely.”
“So you would choose the door of light?” The hooded man asked.
“No. I can’t see what is ahead of me, so I would be blinded, such is the path of the blind.”
“What do you mean?” the hooded man asked.
“You are putting your absolute faith in something that you believe in, and only that thing, such as a higher being or money.”
“So you would stay in the room you found yourself in?” The hooded man questioned.
“No,” Easrim repeated stirring counterclockwise.
“That is the path of the fool.” Easrim started to explain.
“Why do you say that?” the hooded man asked.
“You know what is in that room, but you're stuck there without food or water you would just die waiting.”
“So what will you do then?” the hooded man asked again.
“Well,” said Easrim taking the now thick grey with a hint of red potion off the burner letting the potion cool.
“I would choose the third door” Easrim replied finally.
“You don’t see a third door.” the hooded man replied.
“Just because I don’t see a third door doesn’t mean it is not there.” Easrim explained.
Easrim swore the man smiled again when he said it.
“You find a door hidden between the two, and it is lit perfectly not too bright, not too dark,” the hooded man said.
“That is the path of the wise and might be the hardest path to traverse because you will see things you don’t wish to see.” Easrim finished while pouring the cooled potion into a container.
“Correct,” said the hooded man. Easrim put a stopper in the container.
“That will be five dollars please.”
The hooded man took out a large gold ingot.
“For the potion, and for answering correctly.” The hooded man said.
Easrim took the ingot, then handed the man the potion.
“Pour the potion over the person or item that is petrified and give them an antidote, just in case the venom lingers on their lips. Also, here is an antidote, because you paid far too much” Easrim grabbed his best antidote and handed it to the hooded man. The hooded man thanked Easrim and strangely didn’t head for the door, but for the mirror on the wall. The man didn’t have a reflection. Easrim thought it was strange for vampire wanted an anti-petrification potion when something stranger happened.
The hooded man vaulted through the mirror as though it was an open window. “Before I forget again. Welcome to the Order of the Bane of Mars.” and with that, the hooded man vanished. Easrim went to the mirror and saw his own reflection and touched the mirror. It was solid. There were no more customers that day. Nothing happened until the next morning.