A new lease on life
Mr. Gaston had built a solid reputation for himself as the go-to guy. No matter the problem, he would sort it out for you. For a price, of course. A guy’s got to live, right?
The man lying on the bed, unconscious for now, had come to him with a life-and-death problem. Actually, a death-and-life one, as his immediate concern was death. The doctor had given him no more than six weeks to live.
Mr. Gaston, unfortunately, had no miracle cure for his disease, but… he had a proposition, spelt out in a low conspiratorial voice… very difficult procedure, expensive ingredients needed… and, to be frank, a certain loss of function, nothing to worry about, he’d still be able to work and go home to his wife each night. An awful lot of money, too, but the soon-to-be-widow insisted they sell the house and rent a room. What more did they need, really?
Mr.Gaston set to work at once- time was of the essence. They could not wait for the man, Henry, to die on his own. Real death not even Mr. Gaston’s knowledge could beat. He had to undergo a fake death, his body stiff and cold for a minimum of 24 hours.
‘Would that kill the disease?’ a hopeful Henry asked.
Not exactly. It was sort of making Death forget about him. When the clock in Death eternal marble hall resets for a new day, Henry would no longer be tallied among the living. Case closed. The only thing was making sure he took Mr. Gaston’s potion every morning, so Death would not detect the anomaly.
Henry’s brow began to twitch and he looked up at Mr. Gaston with warm amber eyes, the change in color an unavoidable side-effect of the process. There were other changes as well, like the stiff walk and the profound lack of interest in conversation, but the woman was grateful he’d been revived. Only his dreams were agitated, as if some primal instincts were stirring in him.
He came to work for Mr. Gaston who happened to be in need of a bricklayer like Henry. No one else would have him anyway as he looked a bit weird. It was a good arrangement actually, as he needn’t worry about paying for Mr. Gaston’s potent medicine that kept him alive. The work he put in everyday would be enough.
The good doctor Claude was pleased to see his former patient doing so well and congratulated Mr. Gaston on the progress of his new house.
‘I’ll be needing a plumber soon’, he mentioned casually.
‘No worries,’ the doctor replied, ‘I have an excellent plumber due for his annual check-up next week and I have a feeling he’ll be getting very bad news’.
Story written for @mariannewest's freewrite challenge. Today's prompt was 'warm amber eyes'.
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