Featured Review on this writing by Sue Harris

The Potion Maker

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

Submitted: November 01, 2018

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Submitted: November 01, 2018

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The Potion Maker

I can sense her approach way before I see her. It is not common for people to seek me out, and when they do it is almost always because they want something. She’ll be here soon; the wildlife scatters, the birds stop singing. They are used to me but understandably are wary of strangers.

She is young, at most in her early twenties. She does not even have to open her mouth for me to know what she is after. I can tell by the look of desperate longing in her face.

She catches sight of me and pauses, takes a moment to compose herself before hesitantly approaching once more. I am neither friendly or hostile; I learned a long time ago to remain impartial concerning those that seek me out.

Hi,” she says, then goes on to say, “Are you the potion maker?”

That I am,” I reply.

Would you make me a potion, a love potion. He sees me and is attracted towards me but...”

Go on,” I say, although I’ve heard the same thing many times before, both from women and from men.

He seems to be reluctant to commit.” There, that word, that’s what they all want. Not a love potion but something that will bind someone to them forever. Something that will ensure a ‘happily ever after.’

Do you not think that it might be better to let things take their natural course rather than try to influence them?”

The question seems to take her aback. Am I trying to turn her away? Am I ashamed of what is my life, for I am reliant on the potions that I make for my living.

You don’t understand. I love him in a way that I would never want to let him go. I know he feels the same way; I can see it, feel it. I’m certain that we belong together.”

Consider this,” I say. “What if your feelings towards him change? Should you use this potion,” I hold out a small bottle towards her, “his feelings won’t change towards you. He will see you as his life-long partner and will never let you go.”

Never?” she asks, and I can see the twinkle of desire in her eye.

Never!” I answer. “Regardless of the consequences, he will feel that you will always belong with him. Even if you come to hate him, even if you should fall in love with someone else, he won’t release you.”

How much?” She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a wad of notes.

I whisper my price into her ear and see the surprise flicker across her face. She was expecting my price to be so much higher. She counts out some notes and adds an extra one which I decline. Should things go wrong I do not want to carry any additional guilt.

Are you certain? After all that I’ve said?”

She nods her head and reaches her hand out for the small vial. She’s said all she wants to say, does not want to spend a moment longer listening to my doubts. Reluctantly, I hand the vial to her; she has paid for it, it belongs to her.

I watch her leave far quicker than she approached with a large degree of sadness. I can offer the ‘ever after’ but so often it does not include ‘happy’.


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