I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with this, or even why I'm posting it. I guess I'm having an 'emo' period.
"Come on, one more drop, don't turn blue, don't turn -YES!"
The eagle pumps his fist in triumph, then carefully lifts the bubbling beaker from the Bunsen burner and sets it on the workbench to cool. Eric steps back and surveys his domain in a moment of smug self-satisfaction, his 'potion room' carved from the living rock of the mountain he calls home, the dark stone swallowing the glow of the LED fixtures. Most of the usable light comes from the glowing spiderweb of cracks from the 'safety wall,' the loose-stacked boulders providing an easy 'pressure valve' in case something blows up ... again. He turns around slowly, admiring the decor, most of the 'mad scientist' gear is just for show, but when clients come to visit they expect a certain ambiance; Jacob's ladders, oversized knife switches, even a metal 'slab' hanging from thick chains rising into the inky darkness, all just pretty 'props.' Real alchemy is pretty boring, more like a subset of chemistry, with a blend of Quantum mechanics, Chaos theory, and n-dimensional mathematics thrown in. "Clarke was almost right," he muses aloud, "he should hand said 'Any sufficiently CONFUSING science is indistinguishable from the smell of burning feather- oh crap!"
The bird curls his wing around, pummeling the flames out with both hands. Turning around carefully and extinguishing the forgotten Bunsen burner, he mutters, "Sheiss, those were flight feathers too, one more month of fighting a left tilt." Sighing, he picks up the cooled beaker and pours the rose-colored liquid into a stoppered flask, then scribbles in the lab logbook, [Sample #183426, Formula #1324-C, expected result: hair growth on amphibians.] Glancing around to be sure no other fires are raging, he staggers out the 'secret exit,' throwing the giant knife switch that turns off the room lights and electric props as he passes.
Eric winces as he steps through to the 'prep room,' as the lighting and white-painted walls illuminate the area to 'bright locker room.' he slips off his splash goggles and drops the stained lab coat on the tile floor, the formerly white garment, after years of service, now looks like a cross between a bad tye-dye job and an explosion in an Easter egg factory. Showering quickly, he dresses up in his 'deal making' suit, black slacks, white shirt, power tie, pristine lab coat. "Himmel, I look like a Kage wannabe," he mutters as he steps to the balcony and launches himself into the cold mountain air.
Gliding through the cloud layer, Eric thinks back over the day's meetings. Were any of them worth the effort of 'face time' after all? Distributors asking for 'special discounts,' suppliers trying to weasel out of contracts and raise prices, customers wanting to see the 'hot new item' but not ready to buy it; no, none of that was worth the trouble to straighten a tie, well, except for the visits with friends, but then they don't care about suits or ties. Ah well, none of that matters now, the time for whoring out one's talents for money is past and now it's fun time.
The eagle circles the clearing once before landing, holding his sketchbook tight so he doesn't accidentally drop it in the damp evening grass. This is a night when Babette hosts an art jam, and the excitement in the group is palpable. He finds a spot by a three-armed turtle friend and after some small talk and a joke the bird doesn't quite understand but chuckles at anyway, they settle down and await the Hostess.
Eric tries to stay active during the art jam, but finds himself 'not-staring' at Babette for most of the time. The fuchsia jackrabbit is just so fascinating; she inspires and intimidates him with her drawing style, she's witty and charming, adorable ans so full of energy. Sometimes he thinks of her as the kid sister he never had, and other times his thoughts drift to things one shouldn't do with a sibling. Part of him knows it's a hopeless crush, and part of him is terrified of revealing his true feelings to her, afraid she would cast him out if he got too close, so he simply admirers her from afar and tries to concentrate on his artwork.
Evening fades into dusk as Eric returns to his roost, and over a dinner for one he checks his messages. There's a call from one of his 'other' friends, the ones he doesn't talk about much, asking him to come over. He briefly wonders if he's running with the wrong crowd, but they're his best customers, so it's hard to say no. Besides, as Billy Joel once sang, '...they're sharing a drink they call Loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone." So after dinner, and with a full selection of the 'body shaping' line of potions, he leaps from his balcony and flies ... into the light of the dark black night.
o/~ And, in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make o/~