“You see, this snake oil, which I previously referred to as a magical concoction, is very far from a poison. In fact, it has no lasting impact on the body itself, only the mind. Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you had the ability to alter the consciousness of another person ever so slightly,” resumed Hal after a momentary pause. “The ability to alter human consciousness does not come without great sacrifice. The Creme de Culebra, literally cream of snake, is a special oil that must be applied to your skin twice daily. Once a fortnight has passed, you will become free of all bodily affliction and set out on a path of ultimate salvation.”
Let it be known that each of us had a handful of lingering illnesses we carried since childhood, from surgical scars, to healed over bone fractures. The prospect of reaching some serene state of mind, aside from being self-serving, appealed to each of us differently. I was sure, at this point, that this was all a complete hoax, or I was coming to one of those moments in my life where I would look back on in the future and long for visions of walking down the untravelled path.
“Should you choose to be the recipient of this ancient knowledge, you must make a specific sacrifice,” continued Hal, almost as if in a trance. “The privilege of serenity will be yours, but along with it, great responsibility. In addition to being granted admission for life to this proverbial House of the Holy, there is one rule you must never break.”
To be continued…