Bottle Full of Wishes

      * * *
A bottle full of wishes, a bottle full of dreams
A simple potion’s never quite as simple as it seems
— Medowinese saying


Photo credit: Barefoot Liam

Akumi hobbled to the door, unlocking it with gnarled fingers.  She wasn’t actually an old woman, but that’s who people expected to buy potions from.  Besides, it was convenient that nobody recognized her true self outside the store.

The man glanced around before sneaking inside.   He skipped the pleasantries.  “Do you have more?”

“Ah, so the potion worked to your satisfaction?”  Akumi turned, hiding her grin.  A man that homely would need two potions to reach average-looking, even wearing such fine clothes.

“She’s meeting me at the square tonight.”

“What happy news, no?”

“I can’t go looking like this!”  He squeezed his silk cap between sweaty hands.

“Hmm.  And perhaps she will see you again after this.”

His eyes widened at the thought.

“I see your dilemma.”  Akumi nodded, squeezing her brows with concentration as though this problem had never occurred to her.  “Well, I do offer a discount on bulk purchases.  Shall we start with, say, one week’s worth?”

“Two weeks.”

“Very well.  Luckily I have some in stock.”

Within two weeks, the lady would begin losing interest.  Perhaps he’d increase his dosage.  Perhaps he’d catch another lady’s eye.

Either way, tonight, Akumi had a date at the square.

Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting, and to J. Hardy Carroll for providing the original photo prompt, below.  Click here to read the other stories written for this challenge.


Photo © J. Hardy Carroll

25 thoughts on “Bottle Full of Wishes

    • Thanks Bill, glad you liked the piv– er, twist. After doing so many flash fiction challenges with 100 or even 175 words, 200 seems like a luxury. I barely had to cut this one! But then, I’m sort of cheating by not including the saying at the top in the word count. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like her, she knows what she has to do to keep making money. This guy though, is it that he’s convinced he’s ugly and the potion actually works? Or more like the Emporers New Clothes, where it appears to him it works, but not to anyone else?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately for him, he really is a pretty homely guy. And the potion does work — it makes him a little more handsome, but only temporarily. But just imagine what that would be like, to go back to being his normal homely self again. Of course he wants to be better looking again, to keep the attention of this lovely lady! Poor guy, doesn’t realize he is being played for a fool… I’m sure there’s some woman out there who would accept him for what he really is. But on the other hand, can’t fault her for trying! Thanks for the cool comment, Mandi!

      Liked by 1 person

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