Boil and Bubble

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The older one gets, the harder it is to make a living.

Submitted: July 22, 2015

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Submitted: July 22, 2015

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I'm getting too old for this job. The trouble is that it is the only job I have ever had. I know no other trade. I tried being a bar tender once, but that was an abject failure. I also tried being a carnival barker, but that ended in disaster for both myself and for the traveling circus. Like it or not, I have to carry on with what I know.

I wish I could retire like a normal person. Sadly, that'll never happen. Being a black marketeer, I never paid into Social Security. I don't have a company health or dental plan. I've never set aside money for my old age. I have only myself to blame, however, that is not a very comforting thought, especially not tonight as I shiver in the cold waters of a mountain stream, fighting off hypothermia in the pursuit of a newt.

I am the sole proprietor of PETA. No, not that PETA. I mean the Pennsylvania Elixir, Talisman and Aphrodisiacs shoppe. I am a wholesaler to witches' covens. The hags spend so much time with their caldrons that they can't get original ingredients themselves anymore, not in this day and age.

You need dragon's tongue? I've got that. You need unicorn horn? I've got that too, although the supply is strictly limited given that unicorns went extinct in the 13th century. Sometimes, I substitute mammoth tusk that I stole from a museum in Siberia. Dumb witches generally can't tell the difference.

Tonight, I am after eye of newt. Unfortunately, the local species only hunts by the light of the waxing gibbous moon and in the coldest mountain streams. Being a conscientious conservationist, I never take both eyes from any one newt. They are endangered enough as it is, and I don't want to leave one totally blind. That would be cruel. Anyway, I have an order for three eyes, so the race is on to fill my quota before I freeze to death (or get caught by the forestry authorities). In this state, you don't dare even to insult an endangered species. Just saying, "Your mama has feet like a duck." to a Pink-ringed Pennsylvania newt is a $1,000 fine and a week in the slammer.

All told, it took a week to get the three eyes, but that's par for the course. Then, it was on to the next item in the list. It called for six whiskers plucked from sleeping, black cats. Anyone can see the problem with that. You pluck a single whisker from a cat and it wakes up, generally in a bad mood, ready to do one harm with fang and claw. Ergo, one has to find six sleeping, black cats. That's easier said than done.

Fortunately, I know a crazy cat lady in the country. She has 200 - 300 of the felines lazying about the property. I bring a sack of fresh trout for the kitties and a fifth of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 for her. Once she gets good and lubricated from the whiskey, she gives me the run of the farm. The cats can't tell her what I'm up to, and I certainly don't mention it myself.

Working my way down the list, I find several items I already have in stock. Hair from the neck of a vampire bat? Check. Lint from the navel of a grizzly bear? Ditto. Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting? Well, maybe. Let me get back to you on those two.

The final item was the toughest of all. Isn't that always the way?

I needed to acquire 12 drops of menstrual blood from a 20 year old virgin princess. Sigh! The U.S. is a republic. We don't have princesses, well not royal princesses anyway (JAPs don't count). Maybe, I would have better luck in Canada. Maybe one would be visiting from Denmark or somewhere like that.

Fortune smiled on me for once. There was a big to do in Ottawa for some European muck-a-mucks. I put on my best white tie and tails. I pinned on a bunch of medals I found at a pawn shop. I had a star of the Order of Holy Crusaders of Cypress that I won in a poker game once upon a time. I bribed the doorman to add my name to the guest list. It cost me $600, but I could afford it. Witches pay good for quality supplies. No, they never did find a way to turn lead into gold, but one of then did find a way to turn aluminum into silver.

It seemed like my luck would hold. I spied a pretty, young, bejeweled honey wearing a tiara. Upon discrete inquiry, I was able to determine that she was indeed a princess, a very minor one on the pecking order, an easy mark I was led to believe, at least that's what the informant claimed. Anyway, I eased over and began making small talk, whereupon the gal took one look at me, exclaimed, "Eww, gross!" and called for security. Like I said I'm getting too old for this job.

Copyright © 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2020 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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