In medias res.
These were the words that entered Tilo’s mind upon collapse, though he could only guess why they would be his final thought.
“In medias res. Latin, one of the ancient languages. Can anyone provide me with the definition of this turn of phrase?”
The question articulated by Professor Krylin many years ago rang through Tilo’s head, pulling him deeper into the dark of unconsciousness.
“The… middle…” Tilo muttered absently, finally closing his eyes.
Whether it was through coincidence, or fate’s hand, it was right here, right now, that Tilo found himself on the floor of his manor’s work room, fighting for consciousness.
The story went something like this:
Tilo, having been experimenting with various carpets with magical properties applied, discovered that something akin to an allergic reaction occurred upon the accidental digestion of the carpets’ fibers. This resulted in his current state, his throat unwilling to let oxygen enter his lungs.
To be fair to Tilo, the fibers themselves had found their way into his mouth without permission. It didn’t help that the carpets shed much like a dog before summer, turning the air into a minefield of floating threads. Thus, he lay on the floor, suffocating on his own closing throat, the memories of his twenty-eight years of life rushing through his head.
It was a very thankful thing that Tilo wasn’t a hermit of any variation. In fact, it was his plans to travel to Furvoe, an island just off the coast of the Kingdom of Mirell (the kingdom in which Tilo resided), that resulted in the end of his predicament. A very familiar resident from this aforementioned island had a package to deliver around this hour and had happily welcomed himself in after discovering the entry door was unlocked. The carefree deliverer had wandered around Tilo’s home unbothered and uninvited until he encountered Tilo, lying uncouthly on the floor of his study.
Much to Tilo’s fortune, this visitor was familiar with the dangers of working with magically predisposed carpets and knew exactly how to counteract the issue. (Having many children in the presence of such carpets leads to many accidents).
Tilo awoke to the imagined face of their professor of the ancient sciences and the real face of his savior blending together with Tilo’s confusion. By the time he could make sense of his surroundings, the world had stopped spinning and his professor’s face had long since disappeared.
“You’re okay? Can I give you the package, then?” There was excitement in the package’s deliverer as he spoke, stuffing a box in Tilo’s direction. Tilo’s rescue had happened so suddenly and without an ounce of fanfare nor care that Tilo had to stop to consider whether or not he had passed out at all. The deliverer’s eyes widened suddenly. “I’ll be back. I forgot something. Sorry about that.”
“Nemo, I wouldn’t-”
Before Tilo could provide a warning, the young man known as Nemo had vanished from view and into the atrium using the nearest door.
“That’s the wrong door,” Tilo sighed.
In the corner, a rustle. Tilo turned, eyeing down the carpet that had been the object of all his troubles for the past week.
“Stay. I don’t want to hear anything from you for the rest of the day.”
The carpet, being inanimate, didn’t move.
Tilo pulled himself to his feet, resting his hand on the package box for support.
The door was still ajar where the resident had left, the heat of the atrium garden leaking in. Just beyond, a glimpse of leaves could be seen. Tilo took it upon himself to leave in search of Nemo; his garden was not a place for the faint of heart. To be more specific, it was home to more than two hundred different, rare species of plants, many of which were dangerous through physical contact.
“Perhaps I should have put up a sign.” Tilo stared at the handle for a brief second before pulling it, widening the door enough to enter. “Or maybe I should just lock my doors.”