The Alchemy Bar

The Alchemy Bar

   James sat alone at a corner table in the ‘Alchemy’ bar. The place was a little off the beaten track but to him that meant there would be less fools hanging around. He ordered a snack and steadily set about getting very drunk. It had been a hell of a week.

   On Monday he had taken the physics class for an absent teacher, but he had no idea what he was doing and the class picked up on it and played him like an old violin. Wednesday brought a fall in dirt when he tripped and slipped on a clod of earth in the school grounds, he was given a round of applause by the rugby team. Torvill and Dean eat your hearts out!

   Today some jocker had left him with some kind of riddle about gold and silver. He hated riddles and the kids at school knew it, but as much as he hated them he felt compelled to solve them. Almost a case of riddle OCD. Sometimes he would find them slipped in between  his papers for marking or they would be slid under the windscreen wiper on his car. It never failed to annoy him, he was drinking to forget the latest one, it was beginning to work too.

   Now he was just trying to unwind and put the week behind him. Then someone slid onto the seat next to him. “Solve the riddle, I’ll make you rich.”

   “Sorry… Who are you?” James slurred.

   “Never mind that, have you solved the riddle? You’re in the Alchemy bar now, look at your buttons.” The stranger said.

   James looked down at the metal buttons on his jacket, they were glowing gold. “Wow.” Was the best reaction he could manage.

   “There’s much more where that came from, if you solve the riddle.” The stranger tipped his hat and was gone. The buttons on James’s jacket dulled to metal again. He felt instantly sober and was trying to desperately recall the riddle. He dug through the contents of his pocket, but couldn’t find the piece of paper it was written on. If only he could remember it. Silver, gold, jewels and purses was about all he could remember. Every time he felt he was getting close his mind just couldn’t grasp it.

   “The perfect end to the perfect week!” He muttered to himself sarcastically as he took another swig of whisky.

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Thanks to The Sunday Whirl for the inspiration for this short story. To check out this weeks words just click the link.

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