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September 2023

An Account of Six Poisonings was published online in The Chamber Magazine on 3rd September.


An Account of Six Poisonings


"My sign was the pestle and mortar. My knowledge was roots and seeds, vines and leaves, bulbs and berries. I was a grinder, a blender, a crusher, a mulcher; I was a master of tubers. I mixed the tinctures and measured the powders that might cure or kill. (A single grain may be the difference between health and death.) Mine was a calling. A position of trust. I was the court’s poisoner.

No more. My poisons are at hand but they are seldom employed. What I was, I was. What I am, I am. I snore in warm corners. I slumber in a feather bed. I shuffle between here and there. If someone speaks, I cock my ear and pretend to deafness. If someone points, I squint and shake my head. My sign is a bent back, an elder stick, an idiot grin. Why do I play the ancient pantaloon? Why do you think? A poisoner has many enemies.

Ladies. Gentlemen. You have asked me for an account of the six poisonings. I will tell you the story but you must know that it is a dangerous tale which never can be spoken of or shared. Have you taken my meaning? Then I will proceed ..."

♦ Read the whole story: The Chamber Magazine