Tincture

Gloria told him that application of the tincture would likely result in what she called a temporary and harmless darkening of the soul.

He looked at her quizzically, “erm… yeah, not sure about that?”

“Oh shut up and get it on you. Like I said, it’s temporary.”

“You also said harmless – what happened to harmless?”

“It might … just a little …”

“What? Just a little what?”

She shot Derek a stern look, and started to rub it in vigorously, before he could say anything else. Gloria had soft warm hands, and he felt the heat penetrate into the back of his neck as he closed his eyes and tried to relax. The tincture looked like it had a dangerous attitude, like thick sticky engine oil, but smelled much softer – innocent, almost. He felt odd for thinking like that, but then all of a sudden Gloria’s hands felt really good as his shoulders dropped and he felt himself sink into darkness as all the tension slipped away, his mouth curving into a contented smile.

Derek woke up three days later, in a hedge at the back of Swindon Railway Station car park, covered in blood, with a pounding headache. A cursory onceover showed that the blood wasn’t his – at least not all of it…

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