spirit_of_vitriol: (concentrating (glitterberries))
Saturday, 5th July 2014, 2:30 P.M. What luck! In the park & found a patch of good old T. radicans the groundskeepers had missed. Plan coming together brilliantly—just need to pop home for gardening gloves.

The apparatus Flavia had cobbled together—a length of tubing affixed to the teakettle, connected to a glass retort borrowed from Darrow High School some months ago, one end positioned over a water glass she was going to have to dispose of entirely when all was said and done—was hardly up to the standards she’d come to expect back home, when there was an entire laboratory at her disposal.

Still, needs must, and with the apartment to herself for only an hour or two—thank Providence for unexpected errands!—there was hardly any time to waste.

She stuffed the glossy leaves she’d collected into the retort, tamping them down every so often with a stick and only stopping once there was no more room to fit even the tiniest of them in. Stripping off her gloves, she turned the burner on beneath the kettle and hopped up onto the adjoining counter to wait.

She watched as the water heated, sending steam curling into the retort to wilt the ivy, gently coaxing it into releasing its precious, poisonous oils. Ever so slowly, the fire and steam did their work; the water glass collected the end result. “Distillation,” Flavia murmured, a pleased grin crossing her face as the lemon-yellow oil separated out from the distilled water.

Flavia rummaged through her bag, taking out the aftershave she’d bought just the other day. Based on rather brilliant investigative instincts (and a dig through the trash of the Quince household), she’d determined rotten old Edmund would be in the market for a new bottle of the stuff quite soon.

Using an eyedropper, she drew off as much urushiol as it could hold. Uncapping the bottle of Hatchet—what a name; what a stench—she squirted the entire pipette into the mixture. Moderation was key in many things, but revenge was hardly ever one of them.

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Flavia de Luce

May 2015

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