Entitled

Woman, Model, Casual, Short Hair, Sneakers, Hoodie

The company executives were in the middle of reviewing the quarterly report when a young woman in jeans and a hoodie walked into the conference room unannounced.

“Who do you think you are?” the CEO exploded, “You can’t saunter in here.”  

She tossed papers onto the desk.  “I’m the new owner.”


Padre

The Search

Gorge, River, Mountain, Jaen, Andalusia, Spain

“I’m pretty sure we came this way,” Wendi said.

“Pretty sure?” the deputy asked.

“It was dark, but I do remember a wood walkway and the sound of water.”

“Even in the dark you should know if you were on this side of the river or not. Was the water on your right or left?”

“It was – um – I’m not sure,” Wendi said.

“So you can’t say if we are going in the right direction, even if you at this spot last night?”

“No. Sorry,” she said trying to sound coy.

“You are telling me that you left your friend injured out here, and you don’t know where you left her.”

“She wasn’t exactly injured, just kinda passed out. That’s when her phone fell in the water, or I’d just ring her.”

“So you left her passed out in the river?” he asked in a shocked tone.

“No. She was on the edge. Only the phone was in the water.”

I hate sorority girls, the deputy mused. “So she was passed out on the river bank, and you left her.”

“Well I had to pee. Besides she was passed out in a good way. It was wine, not drugs our anything.”

“Wine?”

“Yes, and I might of had a little bit too,” she said with a childish lisp. “And when I finished peeing – I couldn’t find her, so I called you.”

“So you were drunk?”

“No just a bit ditsy, I mean tipsy.”

That about explains everything, he thought.


Padre

What About Love?

Love, Potion, Bottle, Cork, Liquid

The apprentice, Lilibet was grinding dried sorrel with the adept, Sandra.

“Sandra, why do we make a cordial that is mainly used for fighting? Shouldn’t we make something nice like a love potion instead?”

“To start with it’s not practical,” Sandra said.

“Why not?”

“Okay, let’s examine it. A woman sees a desirable partner and decides to slip them a love potion. The object of her affection falls head over heels for her and is devoted to her until the potion wears off. To avoid this she has to ply her beloved with the potion on a regular basis, this is not only expensive, but a kind of deceit as her lover is in reality involuntarily bound to her through the potion.”

“But what if they happen to actually fall in love with her in the mean time?” Lilibet asked.

“How will she ever know?” Sandra replied. “Is it worth the risk to not give a dose?”

“Hmm.”

“Besides, it wouldn’t be practical for us either. Think about how much product we would have to produce just to keep up with the daily or weekly demand. Out forest couldn’t provide the needed resources, nor we the work force without outsourcing our techniques, and losing our monopoly.”

“Yes, but even if one couple . . .”

“Don’t go there. So lets flip this. A man sees a hot young thing, and slips her the potion. She in over the moon in love with him, against her own control mind, and they marry and have a family. Ten years on, the man sees her with her ‘mom’ body, and he constant tiredness owing to family life. Will he be tempted to buy more potion, if he was shallow enough to have used it to ‘catch’ her in the first place? I think not. Before you know it, he has fallen out of lust with her, she has stopped magically loving him, there is a broken family, distressed children, and to top it all off – we have lost a regular customer.”

“Wow, I hadn’t thought of that,” Lilibet said reflectively. “You are really wise.”

“No, just experienced. We tried that line about twenty years ago and it was a disaster.”


Padre

Thanks to my wife for suggesting this story line.

Prime

Drank, Magic, Alchemy, Bottle, Piston, Larp, Witchcraft

There were innumerable potions and elixirs available in the Kingdom. Two guilds in particular, the Fluid Alchemists, and the High Herbalists nearly cornered the trade. There were mixtures that instilled the user with strength, others with dexterity, and yet others that gave momentary abilities such as Dragon’s-breath.

One small cottage industry on the edge of Northwest Woodlands, however, produced the most widely sought after “cordial” of the lot. It was brewed by a pair of Cunning Women, and their apprentices, from ingredients found in the meadows and forests of that region. Prime Cordial, as it was called, would transform the user to their “prime” form.

For an ageing warrior, it might restore the strength, and vigour of twenty years hence, yet it would not erase the skill or knowledge that years had bestowed on them. For a fledgling fighter it might give them brawn and skill they might not achieve for ten years to come. Thieves might find their maximum dexterity and mages recall spells long lost to their memories. The effects however were short-lived lasting but an hour.

The brief enhancement was further complicated by some drawbacks. Chief among these was that the cordial could only be used once in a moon-cycle or the user might face a type of poisoning which would permanently rob them of skills. Other concerns were more practical, such as a young warrior becoming to bulked to fit their armour, or and we need not address the one-mindedness experienced by some Bards and Rogues, which diverted them from the other tasks at hand.

Many sought the secrets of this marvellous mixture, but it was guarded jealously by the “Sisterhood,” that produced it. Numerous safeguards were put into place, such as no two junior apprentices knowing the ingredients or procedures involved in its production. Adepts were limited to three at a time, and each of these still lacked certain aspects. Only the two Mistresses held all of the knowledge and skill required, and this was only passed on to one senior adept each.


Padre

Paths of Misfortune

Mountains, Lake, Lagoon, Glacier

The direction of travel was a matter of dispute.  Wentworth was sure that their destination was right over the eastern ridge.  Haymann on the other hand said that it lay to the north.  The bickering ended up being so intense that they went their own ways and Wentworth wandered widdershins and found himself in the Valley of the Trolls.  Haymann fared little better as he became lost in the glaciers of the north and froze.


Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #245 – Widdershins in 75 words

FOWC

Wood Hood

The forest ain’t what it used to be. First it was the logging, then the influx of non-native trees. More recently, these newcomers have become a real problem for the more established members of the community. In fact, some of the younger of these have started to cluster together and seem intent on making the natives feel intimidated. You know, they don’t even call it the forest any more. They have started saying things like, “Welcome to the Wood.”


Padre

At Home

Arid, Cactus, Cloud Formation

Worn and weary, Taylor looked out at the vast expanse before him. It had been three days since had left that cavalry outpost. New Prospect was more than a week behind him, and now the hills and badlands were visible before him. It’s good to be home, he mused as a warm sense of belonging swept over him.


Padre

Self-Assured

King, Monarch, Crown, Real, Monarchy

“How dare you?  I cannot believe your temerity!” the Viceroy bellowed.

“Temerity?  It is just the self-assurance that I am right,” Felix retorted.

“Right?  I am the one that determines what is right.  How dare you question my decision.”

“I have not only questioned it, but proven it based on a faulty premise,” Felix said confidently.

It was with that self-same confidence that he went to the headsman’s block.


Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #243 – Temerity in 69 words

The Navigator

Arizona, Hiking, Desert, Scenic, Dry, Outdoors, Scenery

“The map says the stream is right over this next hill,” Charlie announced.

“Shouldn’t we hear it by now?” Tammie replied.

“I’m sure we will soon,” Charlie assured her.

They then crested the hill and looked at the rocky stream bed.

“Still not hearing it,” she said scornfully.

“Look, there is still water there though, lets fill the canteens and then follow the channel to the river. I’m certain there will be plenty of water there.”

Tam knelt beside one of the shallow pools and filled her canteen and a plastic bottle. “This is the last time I am going to let you guide us,” she said coldly.

“I found us water, didn’t I?” he replied.

“Humph,” she muttered, and soon they were making their way down the creek bed to whatever lay ahead, leaving the flowing stream which was just over the NEXT hill behind them.


Padre

Year Past


Bradley Pelish at Unsplash

Danno stood on the boundary and tried to make out what lay ahead. All he could make out was more haze and confusion. He had been in a similar place before; a year ago in fact. He looked behind him, and then forward again. Surely, 2022 couldn’t be any worse than 2021. Then again, he thought that the year before as well. He looked back again and took it all in. “Into the mist,” he said aloud and stepped into ’22.


Padre