The box arrived in the post. It had been packed well by the agent, no sign of damage. The moment he was alone Charles cut the string, unwrapped the brown paper and carefully lifted out the glass jar. He held it up to the light. The amber liquid within glowed, swirled and pulsated.
Following the instructions on the hand written label pasted to the jar, Charles lit a candle and melted the seal. He eased the stopper gently off, there was a hissing sound as wisps of vapour began to escape. With the jar open Charles could smell the sour odour of the elixir. In one gulp it was swallowed. His throat burnt, he bent double as the cramp took hold of his stomach. It felt as if the elixir was boiling within him. He was not worried, the instructions warned this would happen. For one terrible moment he thought he might vomit and all would be wasted. His guts calmed. Now dozens of hammers hitting his skull, up and down from the nape of his neck to the bridge of his nose. Then the thunder began inside his head, building from his temple inwards to the very core of his mind. With one final convulsion of every limb he collapsed to the floor. It was done.
Charles stretched out on the Persian rug and flicked his bushy ginger tail.