Doctor Faustus Chapter IV: Call the devil, the devil speaks

The two tattered souls began to follow the young doctor, who met up with the young Mathilde at the exit. The good doctor watched and listened attentively as he kept up with the pace of his youthful self.

The young doctor seemed much less self-assured and cocky than before. They conversed about the interests of their research, though the young man couldn’t seem to keep a firm stance or gesticulate normally or look her in the eyes for longer than a millisecond. The good doctor touched his face in embarrassment a few times as he watched.

The conversation on research came to a natural end followed by a short silence.

“So, what’s your passion behind this?” the young doctor asked.

“Well, I tried many things. I have drawn and danced like girls do and I found it empty by itself,” Mathilde said. “The thing that inspires me the most is knowledge,” she said with a faint smile and a keen look at the doctor. She quickly turned away when she saw he was not attentive and in his own thoughts.

The young doctor breathed in the cool air of the surrounding forest. He took a few seconds to speak.

“I am going to dance shortly, to learn the proper ways of the ballroom.” The young doctor kept the stronger words for himself.

He too had a thirst for knowledge beyond description. Everything new that he learned in the lab seemed to change everything and shake his very world every time.

They arrived at the point of entry to the forest where their study building was located.

“Well, I had better be off to my chambers now,” she said.

The young doctor mustered a weak send-off: “Okay, bye.” He looked away and walked, thoughts pervading his mind.

The good doctor watched and felt similarly. Seeing this clouded his mind with thoughts so that he had no clarity. Mephistopheles broke the silence.

“Shall we follow her to her humble chambers?”

The doctor felt unsure at the idea of following her upon understanding it. Once he remembered he had just made a deal with the devil, it did not seem like very much anymore.

“Yes, we shall,” the doctor said as he felt his curiosity get the better of him.

The two followed Mathilde inside her car.

The three arrived at Mathilde’s student home. She lived with a few roommates, two of which she greeted before walking past them and the anteroom, going directly into her chambers as the two followed.

She left her things on her floor, and immediately began studying her botanical almanac. Her decor was simple and eclectic, typical of a girl her age. She sat and studied while the two curious watchers observed her roommates elsewhere, to no surprise at all.

“Hmph. This household seems exceedingly boring,” Mephistopheles said.

The good doctor investigated Mathilde’s bedroom, seeing things he could recognize. He had seen all her diagrams as they showed each other their work sometimes. He saw her pin the thorny rose she drew today directly in the center of her bulletin board. He looked everywhere and anywhere.

“I think it is time we moved to another time or place, friend,” Mephistopheles said as Mathilde switched off her desk lamp.

The doctor wanted to protest, but there was not much else to be seen here, it all seemed like the makings of a normal girl in college.

They started walking out of the room, until the doctor noticed something strange in the girls notebook. There was a formula there that he recognized.

“Wait,” he said.

The young woman shut off all the lights in her room in one fell swoop of her hand. She began lighting candles.

The doctor put his hands on his head. He could not believe the synchronicity of what was happening.

Mathilde looked at her notes, drew a cauldron from below her closet, read out a list of ingredients: “100 grams of stallion hair, one liter of salt water, a gallon of goat milk…” The good doctor watched from behind her in awe.

The good doctor felt a new presence behind him.

“If you wanted to see me, youthful scholar, you only needed to mention it.”

The voice behind him was of Mephistopheles. He looked to his right and saw the first Mephistopheles he had met that day breaking into maniacal laughter.

The devilish cackling was kept in check so he could add the finishing touch on his chef d’oeuvre: “Ah, the master has finally shown his hand!”

“What is it you wish from me, young woman?” this newly appeared Mephistopheles asked the woman.

“My name is Dr. Mathilde Braun. I seek to surpass the limits of human knowledge and claim all life as mine to observe and control.”






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *