© mary lou deridder 2020
David Munro wanted a refund. He’d paid for the “Strong and Successful” elixir to help him get the guts to ask Sanford for a raise but that was not what he got. He knew that right away when he found himself browsing in the Valentine Card and Gift Boutique. He gazed helplessly at the rows of shelves piled with pink lacy things, mugs, stationary, wedding albums… Oh God.
Love Potion. Stupid Markum’s Magic Emporium; they gave me the wrong order!
A sick feeling bubbled up in his stomach as he pondered the implications. Exactly how was this going to work? Would he find himself falling hopelessly in love with the next female he laid eyes on?
His gaze swung towards the cashier at the front of the store and immediately regretted his action. The grey hair pulled back into a severe bun and skin like a saggy prune told him she was 65 if she was a day. Her thin, unsmiling lips meant she likely had no sense of humour, either.
He checked himself–did he feel the slightest bit of attraction? No… If anything, she repulsed him. That was good, then.
Maybe he had to look the prospective love-interest in the eyes to activate the potion’s powers, in which case he would have to avoid looking at her. Or maybe it worked by attracting a woman to him instead. Did he look any different? Was he somehow a handsome hunk instead of the mousy-looking nobody he’d always been? There had to be a mirror in this chick-den somewhere. He scanned the room quickly.
Yes, propped on the wall he found a particularly revolting pink cherub encrusted specimen. It would do. Cautiously, trying not to be noticed, he leaned into it.
Disappointment washed over him; he looked the same. If anything he looked even more nondescript: his muddy brown hair looked duller, the colour of his eyes defied definition, and his chin looked even softer and weaker. He would never stand out in a crowd. Depressed, he turned away, rubbing his upper arms. Was it his imagination or did he feel… Was it possible? Were there…
Muscles? He had muscles?
Yep, no doubt about it; feeling all over his arms and chest he could feel the distinct hard lines of a well-sculpted body. His face may look like a wimp but he was ripped! Maybe the potion had not yet had a chance to affect his face. Perhaps he would turn into an Adonis after all. But he wasn’t looking for a woman. Women were trouble, nothing but trouble, getting a guy all stirred up and then laughing at him… Feelings of hurt and anger churned in his guts. He clenched his fists. Stupid Magi!
Oh no, now the clerk was looking at him! Her curiosity was planting frown lines around her eyes and mouth, making her look even uglier. He hoped she wouldn’t come over to him, hoped this wasn’t the potion drawing her to him like a fly to a picnic. Hastily he turned to the shelves around him, pretending to be fascinated by the trinkets they held. Hmm, that was rather an interesting letter opener…
Idiot Magi–how could they make such a mistake? He fumbled in his pants pocket, retrieving the empty vial. It seemed to be labelled correctly–“Strong and Successful–“ here he saw there was a long ink smear. Fury rose in his gorge.
I ought to sue them. But then, they probably have a stable full of law advocates surrounding them. The thought made him even angrier.
I don’t bloody want to fall in love! I could kill them for this cock-up.
Suddenly he remembered the old lady and whirled to confront her. No doubt she was judging him, maybe even about to call Security on him. He couldn’t let that happen.
His hand closed around the handle of the letter opener. He’d fix her wagon–teach her not to meddle.
Magi Markum, sole owner and proprietor of Markum’s Magic Emporium, stretched and massaged the small of his back. It had been a long day but he finally completed the last tick on his inventory list.
“Everything pretty much accounted for,” he told his assistant.
“Except, we’re short one vial of ‘Strong and Successful Serial Killer’. Hmm, I wonder how that happened.”
“Wasn’t me,” said the assistant.