Every night at dusk she died. It was her curse. Every night he worked diligently over her, capturing her death poses into a plaster mold that hardened around her as she died. Capturing the moment of her death over and over again has his curse.
The process was tedious for both of them but it was something they had to do every day without fail. They started a few hours before sundown, to account for his arthritic hands and old age. He would lay the plaster strips at her feet and she would try dutifully not to move during her death throws so as not to ruin the mold hardening at her feet. He would work tirelessly placing the plaster heavy strips upon her body, trying to lovingly capture the moment of her death as best he could.
He would watch her take her last breath precisely at dusk, encasing her face at the last exhale. He’d patiently watch over her body as the mold hardened, and then, a few minutes before dawn, he worked feverishly to remove it in one piece. He watched in anticipation as a strange alchemy overtook her and breath once again entered her body. Once she returned to the land of the living, he trudged to his room and slept. He’d wake up wary to see her as beautiful and young as the day she’d been cursed. They’d have a late lunch and talk and his worries would melt away. Then he’d scurry to his studio to prepare the night’s plaster with his assistant. She’d arrive shortly and they’d start the process again. One night things were different
“Your assistant should help you with this Antonio,” she’d say warily.
“He would never understand what it is we are doing here.” he shook his head.
“He understands more than you think. We need him to carry on your work.”
“This won’t stop will it?” He blinked.
“It can’t.” She shook, admitting a truth he’d denied for years.
I wracked my brain for this week's Trifecta challenge. When they don't come easy to me, I just skip the challenges, which is not the point, I know. Several ideas came to me and I dismissed them as being too plain, but this one came to me as I was falling asleep and I found the whole idea intriguing, so there you go. This week's challenge was Alchemy:
: a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life
: a power or process of transforming something common into something special