Unknown Reagent

by DitzyDoll

Tags: #fantasy #first_person #microfiction #solo

You find a mysterious flower out in the woods, and it’s your job to figure out what it is, and what it can do.

Alchemy had always been one of the most exciting professions, even if your mentor didn't think so. You, before anyone else, were on the forefront of medical advancement, one of the first people to discover new species, and your job was essencially to throw things at the wall to see what sticks. 
Today, you were chasing the rumor being passed around the small town you lived in about a mysterious flower found in the heart of the forest. 
When you found it, your first thought was that the rumor was far more exciting than the flower itself. It was beautiful, just as many flowers are, but it wasn't anything too far out of the ordinary: a white pedal flower with a leafless snow colored stem. It looked like a variant of the standard deep forest flower, probably with albinism. It might've been just a variant of a known flower, but even so, it would be best to bring it in for research purposes. 
You got close enough to softly tug it out of the ground with its roots attached when the scent hit your nose. You stopped for a moment to take another sniff. The smell was weird, mainly because there wasn't one, it was as if you were hearing or feeling the scent rather than smelling it. It was odd, but then again that just gave you more reason to study it.
The walk out of the forest was a bit long, but it was made longer by sightseeing whenever you got the chance. The forest seemed a bit more vibrant today, the colors were sharper, the air felt sharp. You took another huff of the flower. It was like feeling a song pass through you.
The longer you walked, the more your legs seemed to buckle and misstep, almost making you trip over your own feet multiple times. Finally, you decided to take a break, sit down, and enjoy some of your rations.
For about the next half hour you sat under the shade of a large tree, the pale flower replanted in the ground before you as you took your time to enjoy your meal. Every few minutes, you'd learn forward and take another sniff of the flower, trying to place the 'scent' it was giving off, but you could never fully understand it. Still, despite not even having a scent, it was smelling better and better every time. You didn't take the time to try and wrap your mind around the concept.
You took off again, walking through the forest feeling more fatigued than before. You took in more of the flower's scent, and it seemed to help; you were still exhausted, but it was replacing the soreness of your muscles with a sort of warmth, and any headache you might've had was just fuzz now. It was helping, but not enough, you needed to take another break.
You inhaled the scent of the flower again, twice this time, then another time. You set it back down, too tired to fully plant it again before you fell onto your side. It was close, so close your face, to your nose. You could 'smell' it fine from where you were now, but even so you strained your neck to get even closer. You took another sniff, then another, and another. It was one of the most incredible things you've ever smelled, and although you couldn't describe it, it felt like heaven.
You didn't know how much time had passed before you slipped into sleep, but you were just awake enough to lean into the flower to take in even more. 
The impromptu nap that you'd taken had helped at least enough to ease the strain on your body, and taking in more of the flower helped even more. Your mind was still addled with fatigue, but the flower helped to ease it more and more with each huff, and eventually you reached the point where the flower was always touching your nose, never leaving. You didn't know whether or not you could take it away, but you knew you didn't want to. It made you feel warm, it made you feel good in ways you couldn't describe. You wanted more of it, you needed more of it.
You were just barely able to register the stares of some of the villages as you walked back into town with your nose still burried in the flower. You didn't care. The second you were back in the safety of your lab, the flower had been planted in the nearest soil-filled pot while whatever else had been in there had been thrown out. The next thing you knew, you'd pulled up a seat that sat right next to the newely planted beauty, and your nose was right back to sniffing away, taking in long breaths full of its incredible mind numbing scent. It was warm, so warm in fact that your clothes were not only unnecessary, but irritating. They were quickly thrown to the floor, and upon going back to the plant, your hands threw themselves onto your body, roaming around and massaging yourself as your ability to understand what was happening was shrinking further and further. At that moment, the flower was the only thing that existed, it was the only thing you cared to think about, and until you passed out again, you were content to occupy your mind with the only thing that you needed to think about, and the moment you woke up, your mind was fully occupied once again.

Alchemy had always been one of the most exciting professions, even if your mentor didn't think so. You, before anybody else, got to experience one of the most delightful flowers you'd ever found, and soon, you'd make sure that there were enough flowers for everyone to experience the delight as well. 


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