I recall meeting her like one would a fever dream. I wake up restrained, staring at a ceiling obscured by fumes smelling of mold mixed with chloride. As I turned my head, I saw the massive shape of the old crone with her hunched back turned toward me, vocalizing alien mutterings that horrified me to my core. Boney fingers held a ladle with which she was stirring through a turquoise liquid before reaching for a syringe on the work table. After sticking the needle in her brew, she pulled the plunger. As she filled the vial, I tried to break my restraints. But the horrendous creature walked up to me, muttering some incantations while taunting me with the syringe. Her face was obscured by the gloom, apart from one eye glowing like a waking flame. Still muttering, she wrapped her clammy fingers around my arm and jabbed the needle in my veins. On that day, she turned me into a traveler.