This was written for 50 Word Thursday #24
Madame Hilda stepped off the bus and headed down the cobblestone pathway between Rue 21 and Bath and Body Works toward the darker shops that only locals knew. She knew every inch of Old Town, but could get lost going to the post office in New Town. That’s what the locals of Old Town called Newport.
Non-locals would not know what they were looking at in Old Town, but occasionally a tourist or curious child would end up down there. Everyone in Old Town was nice and would politely help anyone in need. Although that help was rarely accepted. It’s just that the people in Old Town looked very different than the people of New Town.
Madame Hilda stopped at Lizzie’s Custom Floral and ordered a nice table setting for her dinner party next week, then continued on down to Locust Drive where Mudwart’s Apothecary had served Old Town for more than five hundred years.
“Oh my goodness!” Madame Hilda stood in the middle of the road and blinked in disbelief. “Closed? It’s closed?”
“Morning, Hilda,” Frankie called from the ice cream parlor.
“Frankie, what happened? Where’s Mudwart go?”
Frankie stopped sweeping the sidewalk and smiled. “Florida. The old coot finally retired.”
“But…but,” Madame Hilda stammered. She pulled out her shopping list and frowned.
“You can try Harvey’s Half-Priced Hut,” Frankie said. “He said he bought all Mudwart’s old things.”
Madame Hilda sighed. “Thanks, Frankie,” she said, walking further into Old Town.
Harvey? Why would he trust Harvey with his customers? How could he just move to Florida? What is Old Town coming too?
She heard Harvey’s Half-Priced Hut more than a block away with its chattering teeth and fake farting noises blasted through outside speakers. Harvey always wanted to be a clown, but he never quite had the nerve to leave Old Town.
The inside was as gaudy as the outside with neon pink walls and bright purple floors. Color and lights everywhere. It was a disgrace, but Harvey was young and Madame Hilda understood wanting to cling onto what youth you could find here. Still, understanding doesn’t have to mean liking it–and she didn’t. She was about to leave when Harvey saw her.
“Hildy baby! What brings you in today?”
She took a deep breath and tried to bottle her anger. She hated his nicknames and way of speaking.
“Need some potions,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Oh, no problem. I bought old Muddy’s things when he left. Whatcha need?”
Madame Hilda looked at her list. “Let’s start with a beauty potion, please.”
“Sure thing, and remember everything here is half-priced.”
She watched as he shuffled around the shelves behind his counter muttering to himself. “Aphrodite’s tear, Medusa’s leg hair, Connery’s sweat, and three rat’s tails.”
What? Why on Earth was he putting those into a beauty potion? Everyone knows its only an apple, essence of mermaid, and three drops of moon glow. She was sure that was the recipe.
She looked at her list and said, “a large bottle of love potion, please.”
Again, he shuffled around and muttered to himself. “Child’s wail, nose of gnat, eye of bat, and four drops of yak.”
That was it. She knew that was not the recipe. All love potions include essence of mermaid, cry of siren, and six drops of lust. Harvey didn’t have a clue what he was doing.
She thought about how she could get out of this. She didn’t want his half-priced potions, but she didn’t want to make any trouble.
“Hey, Harvey,” she said, looking at her list. “I have a long list here. How much for all of Mudwart’s supplies?”
“Well,” she said, looking around the store. “It does take up a lot of your space doesn’t it? If I bought all of it, then you could take that money and fill the store with more stuff. Couldn’t you?”
He thought about that for a minute then shook his head. “It would that.”
They came to an agreement, and arranged for everything to be delivered later that day to her place on the beach.
“Finally,” she said, as the delivery boys left. “Now to get on to what I need for the dinner party.”
She busied herself in her workshop and only came out when she had all her potions. “Beauty potion for Freddy, love potion for Jason, healing potion for Pinhead, destruction potion for Cloverfield, and a little protection for me.”
She’s going to need a little protection for volunteering to host the Old Town Intergalactic Trans-dimensional Gala. The last time it was hosted on Earth, Riff-Raff had to kill the President of Transylvania because the local atmosphere made him a tad insane. The time before that, the host was used as a breading host for the guests. If she lived through this, she would never volunteer again. She was getting far too old. Maybe she’ll finally move to Florida.
This was written for M.M.H.B. Challenge. I took a little liberty with the requirements though 🙂
Matt hated brushing his teeth. Every night when he was told to go brush by his mother, he would stand by the sink, turn the water on, then move his toothbrush back and forth under the water while reading a book. His mother was on to his little trick, but as her mother always said, “You need to pick your battles” so she would only drop hints about needing to brush and what could happen if he didn’t start.
She told him of the winx that lives in the underworld’s depths that likes to climb through portals into our world. And that sometimes, just sometimes, cavities are not really cavities at all, but are portals created by lazy children.
He never listened. Why would he listen? All young teenagers know everything already, don’t they?
One day while eating his favorite candy, he felt a twinge in his mouth. Not a pain, just a twinge. It couldn’t be a cavity. Even if it was, so what? He could live with a cavity. The next day the twinge grew into a pain. Now he was in a bind. Should he tell his mother about his toothache? That would be tantamount to telling her that she was right the whole time. And, if she was right about that, then what else was she right about? No, it was best just left ignored.
For three weeks he tried to ignore it. Three long, painful weeks. Then one day it stopped. It was a miracle! He could eat again! Although now it felt like there was something moving around in his mouth, even when it was empty! Convinced, it was just his imagination, Matt ignored it. The little feeling grew larger…as did the thing in his mouth. Late one evening, in the bathroom, he opened his mouth and looked in the mirror.
The Winx was looking back at him.
She was right!
There’s a code that you never break. What goes in is never spoken of. To anyone. If you break that code, you might be put in next.
Charles knew the code. He lived by the code. He loved the code. He also loved the transitory nature of the job that the code belonged to. It was not unusual to be in a town just long enough to see the job through to its completion, then disappear. Charles counted on the code as he crossed the country for the eighth time since turning sixteen.
No one outside of the profession knew about the code. That’s they way they wanted it. That’s the way they like it. Anyone who asks too much about the code, ends up learning it the hard way.
No, never ask about the concrete code. Never stop and think too hard about what may be hidden in the pillars of the highway you are driving under. Never think too hard about all those who are never reported missing. Never think too hard about the men who come to town for a week or two, then move on their way. You never want to learn the code the hard way. I should know.