Suzanne worked her fingers to the bone cooking her “Compote Delirium,” a signature dish. The fruit simmered in the pot creating an incredible odor that filled the kitchen. The whole house seemed to lift from its moorings and rise into the sky on wings of that wonderful aroma. While engrossed in creating her compote, Suzanne attained a state of altered consciousness. This was the first step toward the Bliss she sought. She added cinnamon to the mix and felt her senses soar. She no longer worried about Franklin, her abusive husband. As his drinking increased the abuse became more intense. Suzanne had to apply heavy makeup to cover the blemishes and scars, evidence of her husband’s terrible blows. She felt like a prisoner, unable to leave the house for weeks at a time due to the violence she endured. Cooking was her only escape. Her husband enjoyed her cooking and swore it was all she was good for. He especially loved her compote. The “compote delirium” calmed the beast, made him docile and gentle; but it only lasted a short time until he had his nightly round of liquor. Suzanne added a few extra ingredients and removed the pot from the flame to cool.
Franklin was delighted to see his favorite compote. “I’ve treated you badly,” he confessed. “I swear I’ll change.” Of course these remarks were stated early in the evening before he was drunk and angry. The couple ate in silence. Suzanne smiled as her husband slowly changed under the influence of the compote. As he relished the fruit, he became sweet tempered. Suzanne knew it would not last, but another change was also taking place in Franklin. Suzanne was a bio-chemist before her marriage. She retained her skill and knowledge. She thought of herself as an Alchemist. She added the special ingredients to her compote that caused rapid aging, a mutant form of Progeria. Suzanne was protected by the antidote, but Franklin was turning into an eighty year old man, weak and crippled. Franklin was quiet, not realizing what was happening until Suzanne brought a mirror to the table and he saw himself. He was shaking. His limbs were brittle. His skin was like paper threaded with pockmarks and rips. Now, Suzanne was in her state of Bliss, happy in her marriage. Her husband was too feeble to ever hit her again. He was too weak to even take another drink. He was like a baby who needed to be cared for, but his mind was still alert. He knew exactly what was happening and why. Tears streamed down his wrinkled face. “There, there,” Suzanne patted his hand, “If your good I’ll keep feeding you. You just have to do exactly what I say.”