Written by Edenstudent
This work was last updated September 27, 2016
Six months ago
The alchemist quietly rushed around the room, collecting his books, scrolls, materials, and whatever equipment he could fit in his bag. There wasn't much room in the durable sack, but the man tried to organize the valuable space as he packed in it his most precious treasures.
There was a knock at the door. “Clives Smith, open the door,” a stern voice on the other side insisted.
The alchemist gave no reply, quickly drawing the small bolt on the door, stopping the speaker from easily entering. He resumed his packing.
The man pounded on the door, splintering the wood around the bolt. “Clives Smith, this is the military. You have been charged with conspiracy, black magic, and crimes against the king. Open this door!”
The alchemist continued in silence. Rather, he slid a plank into the groove of the doorposts, stopping the man from breaking into the house. He finished gathering the last of his books and secured the cover to his bag. He quickly tied it around himself so that it hung lightly over his shoulder. He then grabbed three rods and his candle stick, approaching the door a final time.
“Clives Smith, by order of the king himself, open this door!” the man outside bellowed, shouting to his men to ready the battering ram.
The alchemist quickly inserted the three rods through the door into the frame around it, one into each post. He lit the end of each rod, one by one, and they were instantly engulfed in flames. They responded immediately, expanding immensely, tightening and securing the door to the frame, stopping it from letting anything through. At least until the fire spread along the walls throughout the house, destroying what he couldn't bring with him.
The man continued to bang on the door, but to no avail. He shouted and bellowed for his men to ram it down, but they had no luck either. The alchemist kicked a humble carpet out of the way, revealing a small door in the floor. Quickly pulling up the door, leading to his now empty basement, he ran down the stairs, taking them two at a time. He opened a panel in the base of the wall, and crawled through the tunnel, glad that it had finally served a good purpose.
He reached the other end a short distance away, in the forest close to his house. Pushing against the snow, he forced open the door into the wood. As he emerged, he looked back at the building as the men continued to fruitlessly smash the door. He tried to turn, but found himself hesitating, saddened at the thought of finally leaving his home. Eventually, he found the strength to turn away. As the flames finally burst through the windows, he could hear the commander scream, “By order of the king himself, open this door!” one final time. With his sack hung over his shoulder, the alchemist began to make his way through the cold, dark night.
“Apologize to the king for me,” he whispered, leaving the slowly burning house behind.