Lily sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the necklace in her hand. It had been a week since her grandmother’s funeral, and she had finally worked up the courage to sift through the boxes of family heirlooms that her grandmother had left behind. Inside one of the boxes, she had found a necklace that she had never seen before. It was a delicate silver chain with a small crystal pendant that seemed to glow in the sunlight. As she slipped it on, she couldn’t help but feel a sudden rush of euphoria, like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
Lily couldn’t explain the feeling. She had never really been a superstitious person, but she couldn’t shake the idea that there was something special about the necklace, something that she needed to understand. She had always felt a deep connection to her grandmother, who had been a notorious herbalist, rumored to create strange medicines that cured all ailments. The necklace must have been one of her experiments.
Determined to learn more, Lily spent the next few days pouring over her family history. She discovered that her grandmother had been a respected member of the community, known for her unconventional healing methods and the strange concoctions that she brewed up in her little cottage on the edge of town. As Lily read further, however, she came across stories of her grandmother’s darker side. Rumors of dangerous elixirs that caused hallucinations and delusions in its users. Stories of people who had gone mad after taking one of her potions. Lily shuddered at the thought.
Despite her fears, Lily couldn’t resist the pull of the necklace. She continued to wear it every day, relishing in the feeling of euphoria that washed over her every time she put it on. But as the days went on, she began to feel a growing sense of unease. There was something about the necklace that she couldn’t shake, something that made her wonder if her grandmother had been hiding a darker secret.
Lily knew that she needed to take the necklace to a professional to get it tested. She couldn’t risk wearing something that could be dangerous. But at the same time, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of guilt. The necklace had been her grandmother’s, and she couldn’t help but feel like she was betraying her memory by questioning its safety.
It wasn’t until Lily found herself staring at the necklace once again, her thumb tracing the smooth surface of the crystal, that she realized what she needed to do. She needed to know the truth, no matter what it was. And so, with a deep breath, she slipped the necklace back around her neck and headed out the door, determined to discover the secrets that her grandmother had been keeping all these years.
Lily made her way to the local university to find someone who could help her test the necklace. She knew that it was going to be a long shot, but she didn’t know who else to turn to.
As she approached the Chemistry building, she felt a sense of nervousness wash over her. What if they laughed at her for bringing in a necklace? What if they thought she was crazy for believing that it held some sort of special power? But Lily pushed those thoughts away and walked confidently through the double doors.
After asking around, she was pointed in the direction of Professor Evans, who was known for his work in organic chemistry. She found him in his lab, hunched over a table piled high with glass beakers and test tubes.
“Excuse me,” she said, her heart pounding in her chest. “I was wondering if you could help me test something.”
Professor Evans looked up at her, his eyes gleaming behind his thick glasses. “What do you need tested?” he asked.
“It’s a necklace,” Lily said, pulling the pendant out from under her shirt. “I think it might be laced with some sort of compound.”
Professor Evans took the pendant from her, holding it up to the light. “This is interesting,” he said, his brow furrowed. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
As he continued to examine the necklace, Lily began to feel a sense of relief wash over her. Maybe it wasn’t all in her head. Maybe her grandmother had been onto something after all.
But as Professor Evans turned back to her, a troubled look on his face, Lily began to feel her heart sink. “I’m sorry,” he said. “But this necklace is laced with a compound that is known for its hallucinogenic effects.”
Lily’s heart started pounding in her chest. Had her grandmother been giving people drugs without their knowledge? “What does that mean?” she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
“It means that whoever wears this necklace is likely to experience hallucinations, delusions, and altered perceptions.”
Lily’s head was spinning. How could this be? How could her grandmother have been giving people drugs? “Is it dangerous?” she asked.
“It’s hard to say,” Professor Evans said, his voice serious. “But I wouldn’t recommend wearing it any longer than you already have. This compound isn’t something to mess around with.”
As she left the Chemistry building, Lily felt an overwhelming sense of sadness wash over her. Her grandmother, who she had always thought of as a healer, had been hiding a darker side. A side that had caused pain and suffering to those around her.
Lily didn’t know what to do with the necklace. Should she throw it away, knowing what she knew now? Or should she keep it, as a reminder of the complexities of her grandmother’s life? She didn’t know the answer, but she knew that she would have to decide soon, before the weight of the necklace became too heavy to bear.
Lily returned home, feeling uneasy. She couldn’t believe what she had just learned about her grandmother and the necklace. She decided to take a long, hard look at the heirloom. The crystal shone brightly against her skin, but Lily couldn’t help but feel a bit sick at the thought of wearing it again.
She decided to bury the necklace deep in the bottom of her jewelry box, out of sight, out of mind. She didn’t want to think about the possible harm her grandmother had caused others.
But as the days went on, Lily started to feel the pull of the necklace again. Despite knowing what it contained, she still felt the euphoria when she placed it around her neck.
Her curiosity got the better of her. She knew she had to investigate this more, but in a different way. She started to research online about the compound that her grandmother had used. To her surprise, there was an abundance of information about it; this compound was extracted from a rare plant found in the Amazon rainforest and had been used by indigenous people for various reasons, including religious and medicinal purposes.
Lily dug through her grandmother’s notes and manuscripts and found the recipe that her grandmother had used to make the elixir. She decided to try it out herself and see if it had any effect.
She collected some of the herbs and mixed them in the exact proportions that were noted down. What came out was a thick green paste. Lily hesitated for a moment but then decided to taste it. The effect was instant – she felt a sweet sensation take over, and for a moment, her vision blurred. She felt as if she were being transported to a whole new dimension, and the feeling of euphoria that followed was indescribable.
It wasn’t until Lily had come down from the high that she started to feel a deep sense of guilt. Her grandmother had caused so much harm by distributing this elixir without people’s knowledge, and Lily had just done the same.
She decided there and then that she would never repeat the mistake again. She threw away the remaining elixir and buried the recipe in the bottom of the stack of her grandmother’s manuscripts.
It left a lot of questions unanswered, and Lily wondered what drove her grandmother to experiment with such dangerous compounds. But at the very least, Lily had made peace with the fact that she would not continue in her footsteps.
She lit a candle in memory of her grandmother and spent the rest of the evening reading one of her favorite books. Lily didn’t know what the future held, but she had found closure by making a conscious and informed decision.