He lurked in the webs of darkness. He waits in his den, waiting for prey to reveal their presence. He is masterful in his toxic craft and is masterful in deceit. He is old and wise. He is the apothecary. Like the eight-eyed spider, the old man gazed out of the alleyway. His long fingers gently rested upon the web-like cracks on the broken walls of the dark alley. Only gossamers of light shone in the alley allowing the old apothecary to conceal his presence.
He watched a master talk to their servant. The servant opens his mouth. Awestruck, the color in the young noble’s face had vanished and was utterly devoid of color which soon turned into a deathly pale. The news he received must’ve been absolutely soul-shattering. The apothecary grinned terribly as if he were bearing his fangs. It was not the grin of a madman, but rather smiling at his ridiculous situation. His prey was by the name of Romeo, and it was prey like him that would easily fall for his trap. He and the count had carefully laid out an intricate plan like a spider weaving its web. The apothecary recalled the scheme that he and the young count had hatched.
The apothecary was in his house with his son that night. The two were living day by day, barely surviving off of what little scraps came by. Their cobweb-covered den was but a shoddy shack that was particularly poor in the way that incrementally increased their diverse dilemmas. Ergo, establishing renewed residence and scavenging for sustenance were the apothecary’s first priorities. All the old man had was his son and to him, his son was everything.
The apothecary looked towards his son, yellow and orange torchlight colors shined upon his son’s face like the golden shade of yolk. His outer shell was that of a cheerful, young boy, but the old apothecary knew that something was amiss.
“What troubles thee, hatchling?”, inquired the apothecary.
“Father, I am fill’d with pangs of hunger. Feed me lest I waste away” said his son.
“Patience, dear hatchling,” replied the old man. “Quaint soon shalt we has’t brimming stomachs. For now, catch but a wink and thou shalt feel renewed.”
The old man knew that statement was empty. With no money and no income, how could he possibly survive? It seemed that fate had deemed him unworthy to exist. If he could, the apothecary would turn his fate around at a moment’s notice.
“Fate, why have you forsaken me?”, said the old man under his breath
Speak of the devil and he doth come, it seemed that fate came knocking at his door.
“Who art thee? Wherefore has’t thou cometh hither?”, asked the apothecary.
“Tis a customer,” said the person at the door.
The old man was surprised to find at his door was a rich young noble glistening in green robes.
“I am Count Paris,” said the man. “Heareth mine proposition. Thou art poor and wear broken robes. I shalt pay thee a hefty wage if thou gives poison to a wench.”
“How much coin?”
“30 silver ducats.”
Normally he would turn down such clients. The apothecary despised killing and death but son needed it.
“What wench do thee speaketh of?”, asked the apothecary.
“Romeo of house Montague. That pretentious pignut roguishly robbed every entitlement yonder ye could imagine!”, the count spat those words like venom.x
“Thou wishes to kill Romeo.”
“Has’t ye lost thy ears? Of course!”, said Count Paris.
The apothecary had doubts. To kill a noble was like publicly announcing your execution date. For him, thought the apothecary, for your dear son. For his son, he was willing to kill anyone.
“Very well, I shalt give Romeo a dram of poison that wilt kill him,” said the apothecary.
“Hear, hear!”, the said grinning like a madman
“But wherefore wilt Romeo take my poison?”
“It is the will of Venus. If Venus wills it so, then Romeo will die for his toxic love,” said Count Paris. “He will die for a girl he foolishly believes is dead… or so he is told,”
“I have paid Romeo’s servant a hefty wage to lie about the death of his loved one. If he truly loves her then he will take his own life. If not, I will take it for him!”, Paris furiously spat with envy.
“What, ho apothecary!”, said Romeo, bringing the apothecary to the present.
The prey had fallen for this old spider’s trap