calliope, calliope 2016

Greed

photo credits here, edited.

Submitted by Trinity

“Yes, yes… There isn’t anything I can’t… Truly… “ The Shaman sighed…

If only they understood the power The Shaman held… They were always underestimating her… She sighed. “I should ease my prices,” she muttered to herself. The Shaman was beginning to tire of the ice cold accusations that she was a fraud, the angry outcries for more, more and more… There was a price, always a price and even then a thousand desperate souls would still sacrifice all they could. The Shaman’s potions never failed her, but her customers always did. Outcry upon plea upon threats the Shaman endured but still she denied them. Magic is dangerous, its effect wears out slowly like dried paint peeling away, and even she couldn’t prevent that. But still, whenever the Shaman went to work the next day, a glimmer of hope flickered inside her. Another customer, another day.

The Shaman was ever so amused whenever a skeptic came along with their books and their knowledge; how boring! But at the end of the day they all believed. She did that, she made them believe. You have no idea how much power that gave her.

She was a new one, as they all were, just her second session with the Shaman, blonde, beautiful, and stupid. Narcissa, a fashion model with a very fitting name and more vanity than that of the entire world put together. How much trouble that girl had cost her. “Queen of Beauty Pampered by Village Fool”, that’s what the headlines read, all thanks to some stupid bet she had made. The media was still having a field day over dear Ms Narcissa’s “promise” to entertain some foolish fantasy fed by a growing ego, a child dreaming of beauty and magic (not like she needed a potion to help her, the girl was 90% plastic). And the media, what a meddlesome bunch they were, smearing her reputation, those tabloids acting like this whole thing was a passing trend, that all that she did could be explained by a pack of cards and a hat trick.

“One more thing.” The proud princess’ sharp voice cut through the Shaman’s whirlwind of hate, pulling her back down to earth. Her hazel brown eyes normally glazed with lies and speckled with dishonesty were clear. Plain. She looked normal and not like a complete psycho (for the first time?), frank even (the last thing you would associate with a girl named Narcissa), perhaps about to apologise. The Shaman’s heart fluttered.

“As you know, I’m stuck to your phony beauty potion for a week, but let’s be honest. We both know you’re just a fraud. But… It is my last session with you here, so here’s a gift for you.” As the Shaman felt a worthless piece of paper pressed into her hand, Narcissa zipped up her Louis Vuitton wallet and drawled on, “You should probably get a real job soon. As much as I respect you for miraculously getting away with everything, I can’t help but think what would happen to your golden empire of miracle pills if I gave your house of cards a little push. How long did you think this could go on? No matter, I’ll keep my lips sealed, for as long as possible. You might think this is respect, but please don’t be mistaken. The only thing you deserve is my pity… “

I’ve overestimated myself.

She’s right. How long could this have lasted? It’s over.

No, just a little more.

Keeping her eyes locked onto Narcissa, the Shaman’s hand glided amongst the shelves and slipped in between jars, like a spider. The model was gazing into a spirit bowl, holding an unbreakable gaze with herself. The Shaman wondered how such a self-absorbed person had resisted asexual marriage as a drop of lipstain fell from her brush into the blessed water, swirling slowly until it came to rest at the bottom of the bowl in a puddle of blood red. “Free of charge; a return gift, if you might.” The Shaman swirled the hazel brown potion one last time, the strong smell of roasted nutmeg masking the deadly viper venom it held. If she closed her eyes, the Shaman could still see the scarlet hiding itself in the light brown. Handing it to a smirking Narcissa, she watched her flounce off with the bottle, but not before taking a big swig first.

Another day, another customer.

My elixirs never fail me.

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