Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 8) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #37..
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry Part 8) By Kirsten Nairn
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt and Kirsten’s contribution.
Joules took a deep breath before knocking. Number 13! She wasn’t superstitious, but this felt like she was tempting fate and would remind her every day of her miserable life; a failed relationship (it seemed Christopher preferred skinny blondes after all), no job (how was she to know the audition for Frida the musical was about Frida Kahlo and not Frida Lyngstad of Abba fame?), and now homeless.
A movement caught her eye. A black cat with emerald eyes was staring up at her. More sodding bad luck, she muttered, as she knocked at the door.
‘Joules. You’re here at last! I’m so excited. We’re going to be flat mates again! And you’ve met Lucifer already!’ Lucy rubbed the cat under the chin. He meowed loudly and walked past her, into the flat
‘Yes. He turned up last week and seems to have adopted me. Lucifer seemed the perfect name for him. I think he must be stray, but he’s so gorgeous I couldn’t leave him to roam the streets, alone and afraid.’
Joules wasn’t convinced about Lucifer’s inability to handle himself on the mean streets of Edinburgh’s Morningside.
‘I’ll make us some tea. I’ve created lots of new blends for you try. I’ve got St John’s Wort for depression, Valerian Root for insomnia, Chamomile for anxiety.’
Bloody hell, was this how Lucy saw her? Was she just another stray, like Lucifer?
‘I’m more of a Tetley girl remember? I brought my own in case you didn’t have any.’
Lucy picked the teabag up by the corner and dropped it, with distaste, into the mug.
‘Well perhaps I can do you a potion instead? You’ll need to become familiar with them if you’re to help me sell them. Actually, I’ve developed a special valentine’s potion with Cinnamon, Damiana and Goksuhura. We’ll be pushing this at the stall on Saturday. I can’t wait!’
Joules groaned inwardly. This was the price of a free room. ‘Lovely,’ she smiled.
Saturday came around soon enough and Joules found herself at ‘Au Natural’, the much-coveted annual Festival, manning the stall, alongside other new agers selling their wares. She hoped the pungent smell of patchouli from the neighbouring stall would put people off, but no! It seemed people were more in need of a little ‘help’ than she’d anticipated.
‘So, is this all it’s cracked up to be?’ a deep voice interrupted her thoughts.
She looked up, straight into clear emerald eyes resting under a mop of jet black hair. He was reading the ingredients on the Valentine’s packaging.
‘Yes. I believe so. I mean, I haven’t actually tried it, but I’m assured it does the trick.’
‘And what is that exactly? The trick?’
‘Well, it helps your, err, partner, to be a little more… enthusiastic.’
‘Ah right. And how does that work exactly? What do I do with it? Drink it? Rub it on? Is it for me or the lucky lady?’
‘Well, I’m not quite sure about the exact science behind it but I guess it acts in the same way as oysters, although with less gagging. Lucy there is the developer, so she can give you more detail if you like.
‘And what are her credentials then?’
Joules paused. ‘She’s a white witch if you must know. Don’t laugh. She’s no weirder than anyone else here. I mean, which muppet came up with the concept for this. Au Natural, a natural magnet for the world’s weirdos. I blame Harry Potter myself. I haven’t the heart to tell her it’s all codswallop.’
He raised his eyebrows, a smirk forming at the corner of his mouth. ‘Quite. Unusual branding though-No 13?’
‘Well, she says it’s something about dispelling superstitions.’
‘You haven’t actually told me if it’s for me to take or the lucky lady?’
‘I’ve no idea. Why don’t you buy two sachets- one for yourself and one for the lucky lady and see what happens?’
‘Yes, why not? Because I like pissing my hard-earned money away, but if it does the job, then it’s money well spent.’
Transaction completed, he held out his hand. ‘I’m Louie by the way, the muppet who came up with the concept for Au Natural. Nice meeting you.’
Her jaw dropped as she watched him disappear into the crowd.
Joules was exhausted when she returned to the flat. She pushed at the door and noticed the distinctive Valentine’s package trapped underneath it, with a note.
To Joules, the Dark Witch at number 13. Fancy giving it a try?
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