Once I had recovered I set about my duties again with a far greater will than ever before. I had crossed a line that I never knew existed and I felt alive in a way I had never expected to. Luke had kept the farm in perfect order and the Imam maintained full support. However, I wanted to create a dish that would push farther than I ever had before and I knew what it would be. I slaughtered two of the chickens that were fed on nothing but limes and picked some Ancient Tomatoes. Roasting the chickens I made a diluted tomato sauce with garlic that had been soaked in fossil water the previous night. I then took mild and medium spices and added them and the chicken to the sauce. I had no idea what was going to happen when the Imam and his guests ate the concoction, but part of me didn’t care. It was the first meal that I made for him with more than one ingredient. The dilution of the sauce made me confident that the diners wouldn’t be under its influence for too long and that the fossil soaked garlic would act in a similar,gentle manner. I hoped that the meteoriteand fossiladditives would open the diners’ minds while they enjoyed the chicken and spice, but as I said, I was beyond concern by that point. I was going to create masterworks of culinary pleasure and complexity and nothing was going to stop me.
Now, when I look back on that nightI feel regret, but at the time I was more concerned about Luke and getting out of the Imam’s palace alive. It looked as if they were enjoying themselves, except, after a minute or so their breathing staggered and they started to chock. They flailed and their faces turned purple, and then they collapsed into their meals. The attendants rushed tohelp the Imam and his guests’ and I ran. I knew that I would be butchered on sight. The palace staff wouldn’t even wait for a trial or a hearing, they would just cut me, and brother, into pieces. Luke had been sleeping when I came storming into the shacklike a madman,my heart blackened with fear.
We threw the serums, the meteoriteand fossil dust and a handful of oranges and tomatoes into a satchel, then grabbed some blankets -whatever was in arms reach, then we ran for the mountains. We ran all night until dawn, climbing over boulders and up into the snowline. Come dawn we were cold, tried and hungry. Luke and I huddled in hovel created by stacking rocks and draping our blankets overhead.Shivering with an uncontrollable violence,it was too familiar. I half expected to be picked up by a cadre but the sun soon rose and brought us back to life. There was nothing but sand and rocks in all directions as far as we could see. It was an awful feeling to have put Luke in that position.I swore to myself then that I would never jeopardise our lives again. We had everything we could have wanted and I destroyed it. Not to mention killing several people.
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey