He plunged another lab dropper into the test tube, withdrawing just enough with a practiced flick of the rubber node. The liquid within flexed green and blue under the swaying light of the ceiling lamp – just as he had planned by sealing the doors but leaving the windows open.
The plants all around – clinging to the walls, curling around furniture, and transforming old piles of equipment into small shrubs waved in the storm gale, as though applauding his new discovery.
Now that he had perfected the technique, who knew what could happen. He trembled, his red moustache quivering like an apoplectic caterpillar.
Time for test two.
He dripped half of the liquid onto his arm, and the rest into his open mouth, and waited for the familiar sensation. It did not take long to occur.
Long swathes of heat radiated from his stomach, rising to his chest and down his legs, consuming him in a paroxysm of almost painful power. The instant some of the “plant mercury” reached his skull, he saw it again – vibrant auras dancing along the outlines of every leaf, root and stalk, as though each were slowly burning with incandescent life. Red, blue, green and yellow light rippled in never-ending streams from earth to leaf, so beautiful that he had to reach out to touch it –
As quickly as the vision came, it left. To Andrew, it was as though the plug had been yanked out, and what used to be in brilliant Blu-ray abruptly faded into sepia.
He cursed. It had lasted even shorter this time!
Trembling from anger, and something more, he groped for the pipette and the sealed flask, his finger already poised on the node, his mind on nothing but the all-consuming sensation that had escaped him.
“This time will be different,” he told himself.
The spot on his arm radiated more purple veins, making aiming easy.