The energy surged through him. He could feel the tingle as it wound its way down his limbs, almost as though it worked a bizarre magic across his body. Even his mind felt sharper, a keen blade that had been honed to a vicious point upon a whetstone.

‘And trust me, there’s more where that came from!’ Laurence chuckled, watching the reaction from his old friend.

‘You can make more of this? This… potion?’ Phillip questioned, trying to hide his excitement. He turned the small cup over in his hand, peering inside at the small dash of liquid that still remained inside. Perhaps he should save that drop for later, it could prove useful.

‘Brew, not potion,’ Laurence corrected him, walking toward the back of the small cramped store, sifting through the crates stacked against its far wall. ‘And absolutely, I could make more of it than you could possibly dream of!’ Finding what he was looking for, Laurence dragged out a small wooden box, flicking the latch up and lifting back the lid to reveal the dark powder within.

He held the box up to Phillip, who gave it a curious sniff. The aromas were pungent, Phillip unable to work out whether he liked the odd smell or not.

‘Imagine! Workers fuelled by this power! Construction would be done in half the time, jobs that we believed would take centuries finished in mere months! Or better yet, armies supplied with it. Soldiers that need no sleep, fighting each with the strength of ten men!’ Laurence’s eyes glistened in the faint light, watching Phillip expectantly.

With a snap, Laurence clapped the box shut, Phillip flinching.

‘Of course,’ Laurence continued, ‘to make more, I need more supplies. More supplies means another voyage, and another voyage means…’ Laurence rubbed his fingers together, giving Phillip a raised eyebrow. Of course, it was little wonder to Phillip why he had been brought here.

‘Yes, yes. We will fund your next voyage. Just be sure to bring back more of this… what are you calling it?’ Phillip questioned, beginning to pull on his coat again, stepping toward the door of the dockside store.

‘I’m wanting to call it, ‘coffee’,’ Laurence replied, waving his hand through the air as though invoking magic through the name. Phillip chuckled to himself, shaking his head. This man had wondrous ideas, and the most peculiar names for things.

‘I’m even thinking of mixing it with heated milk next,’ Laurence added, replacing the box upon the shelf.

‘Now that’s madness, who would enjoy such a terrible concoction. Crushed bean and cow’s milk?’ Phillip clucked his tongue, opening the door and pacing from the store. The man had strange ideas, but he was confident enough in this new magical drink, and the grand potential it held.

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