The Devil’s Elixir – a modern retelling of the classic Tristan and Isolde

This is how the story of my Tristan and Isolde started, peeps! Meet the invincible fighter Tristan. What’s his secret?

 

Dr. Schweizer sits back in the comfort of his loge, sipping his brandy. Down in the arena, two men hang sweaty and heaving on each other. His bets are on the big one with tattoos and savage hair, but surprise! The blonde suddenly steps back, and he crashes a fist in his opponent’s face. The savage hits the ground, clouds of sand rising into the heated air. The audience surges, and Dr. Schweizer sits up straight. Is it him?

He snatches the magnifying glasses from his lady friend’s hand, and holds them up to enhance his own vision.

The young blonde stands over his sprawled opponent, muscle and old scars glistening in the limelight. His eyes are arctic blue. Chills crawl down Dr. Schweizer’s back. If this boy is Stahl Biotech’s Frankenstein, he’s definitely not what the doctor expected. He’s not some monster put together of dead body parts, but rather an Aryan warrior created in Hitler’s very labs decades ago. Speaking of . . . Dr. Schweizer drops back into his cushioned seat.

“Can’t be him. He’s too young.”

His lady friend takes the glasses from his hand, and places them before her eyes with a delicate move. “Beauty is only skin deep, Viktor. So is youth.”

Dr. Schweizer scoffs, measuring the scarred muscle pack up and down. “Beauty. You’d call this wretch beautiful?”

Lady Marie France Cassel lowers the glasses just under her eyes, long dark lashes obscuring the exact direction of her gaze. “I’d call him fascinating.” She pauses, looking hard at the young blonde. “His face. It’s the face of a prince, not that of a slave.”

“Pure Aryan features. The Fuehrer would’ve sacrificed an arm and a leg for a specimen like this.”

Lady Marie France holds the glasses before her eyes again. Dr. Schweizer looks from her to the young blond brute, whose foot is on his opponent’s neck. The crowd demands an execution. The young man’s thigh flexes, the savage’s neck snaps, and the crowd booms.

Energy surges through Dr. Schweizer’s veins as well, compelling him to stand. From up in his loge, he has a good view. His eyes rest on the blond man’s face – sculpted as if in ice, no trace of emotion. He stands by the dead body, naked to his waist, those arms capable of so much damage hanging motionless by his sides.

“If it is him,” Dr. Schweizer mutters, “he’ll take the rest of us down, too. We’re no match for The Dutchman, none of us is.”

Lady Marie France tilts her head to the side, inspecting the fighter with narrow eyes. “We’ll keep in the shadow for as long as we can. Trail him. Stalk him. Find his soft spot.”

“The Dutchman doesn’t have any soft spots. You know what he’s been through. The feeling mechanism shuts itself down completely in men like him, and all that remains is anger. It’s the only way they can live thug life at this level.”

Lady Marie France’s eyes stay fixed on the fighter. Dr. Schweizer knows – beyond the hooded gaze, she’s assessing their nemesis like a high-power computer.

“If he doesn’t have any weaknesses, as you say—” Her eyes move slowly from the fighter to Dr. Schweizer. His heart skips a beat at the touch of her deep brown gaze. “—We’ll make him one.”

Dr. Schweizer stops breathing. “What do you mean?”

“Your skills and mine combined, Viktor. Think of the possibilities.”

The doctor’s gaze falls to the amulet hanging from a golden chain around the woman’s neck, now resting just above the swell of her breasts.

“Is it in there? The essence?” There’s respect in his voice. He’s seen what the Imperial Chemist’s potions can do, and he’s developed an almost-fetish to see them at work.

Lady Marie France’s long-nailed fingers curl around the amulet that resembles a silver cross with a white gem at its core, right where the lines meet. Dr. Schweizer knows – once the subject’s blood is in it and mixes with the essence, the gem turns red, like a ruby. Or like scotch.

“It is, but we can’t do it here, Viktor,” the woman whispers, and looks down at the fighter again. “There’s no way we can reach him with so much of Stahl Biotech’s security around, and even if we could, he wouldn’t take it freely.” She pauses, narrows her eyes, licks her lips. “We need to trick him into it.”

Dr. Schweizer scoffs. “Trick The Dutchman?” He glances at the boy. “I hear he’s as smart as he is deadly. He’s not easy to trick.”

“He may be sharp and immune to emotion, but certainly not to ambition.” Lady Marie France’s lashes hood her gaze, and her smile turns cunning. “As a trained psychiatrist, you surely know—thugs reach success because they know exactly what they want. And they stop at nothing to get it.” She tilts her head to the side. “Now that I think about it . . .”

The doctor sits down slowly. “Yes?”

***

Enjoyed this? Plenty more where it came from : ) PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE CHAPTERS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE I’VE DECIDED ON THE NEW TITLE, The Devil’s Elixir. Therefore, you’ll find them under the title Tristan and Isolde Reloaded.

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

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