by Robert Anthony Smith
I sat on my work stool, making another meaningless potion. A small flame burned beneath a vial of orange liquid, throwing shadows over the rows of jars lining my table.
The potion began boiling and turned a honeycomb yellow. I topped the vial with a wooden cork and dunked it in an ice bath. Once it cooled, I tossed the vial to Urthel.
"You know, when I became a potion maker, I never dreamt I'd be making Palatable Potions for men like you to stomach their mother-in-law's food, or Thinning Tonics to help women lose weight."
Urthel laughed. "What did you expect to be doing?"
"Something meaningful," I said. "My father, a potion maker, his father, a potion maker, and his father, an insurance salesman, all preached the same motto. If you work long and hard enough, you'll get a special customer. Although, my great-grandfather may have been talking about something different."
"That's kids' stuff."
The bell rang above my shop's entrance. A striking blonde woman in a cloak that twinkled like a lakebed at sunset walked in. Magic oozed from the tip of her nose to the bottoms of her toes, and I knew at once, this was the powerful wizard my elders had foretold.
She walked toward us, stopping to graze her fingers along the glass cauldrons of my best selling potions. There was, of course, Green Goo which helped people go, and Sanguine Sludge, which ceased their going.
When she reached us, Urthel's jaw needed to be collected from the carpets before I ushered him out of the shop.
"My lady," I said.
"My good sir, I understand you craft potions."