Hal paused momentarily, to take one final drag from his self-rolled tobacco cigarette, as if to emphasize the final inhale for the moment. He then proceeded to lick his thumb and forefinger and meticulously extinguish the glowing ember between them. He did this so nonchalantly, not to draw any unwanted attention to himself, and then rolled up the remnants of paper and tobacco and tossed it into his mouth and swallowed it down with a swig of water, taken from a container notched in his hip.
Imelda couldn’t contain her curiosity any longer, it came flowing out like a cork flying violently from a bottled of compressed, fermented, fizzy, French grapes. “What is the one rule, and the penalty for breaking the rule?”
Hal glanced the look of a dull pen knife aimed directly at Imelda’s heart and answered, “The rule of the snake oil is an idea almost as old as mankind itself. Once you have realized its power, you must, at all costs remain true to yourself. The abilities you will gain must be used solely for the betterment of your fellow people. You may not use the mind altering abilities of this precious oil to reach self-fulfillment. You must act only for the collective good and humbly seek the admiration and respect of all people you connect with. If you can follow this simple rule, and practice random acts of kindness, all the power and knowledge will remain yours.”
All of us were wondering the same thing, but I finally clamored, “What can the penalty be for breaking such a golden rule?”
To be continued…