A Hair Raising Moment (unedited)
Jonathan insisted she had to check the mirror again--after all, without her glasses on she might be mistaken. Madam Duvey stared--nose to nose with her ruddy reflection--she stretched out a strand of hair grown from somewhere in the middle of her swirled up-do. The strand was exactly like the rest of her hair, smooth and gray, only much coarser. A timely flash of lightning came whitely through the bathroom window when Madam Duvey held up the convicting proof in her fingertips.
“Damn! Looks like it didn’t take.” Jonathan admitted in his quiet, articulate way.
Madam Duvey turned around so fast that her skirts knocked down a toothbrush and a jar of bubble soap off the sink counter. Forgetting she was too wide to pass straight-on through the narrow bathroom door frame, her left shoulder hit the wooden panel on the frame sending vibrations through the small, cluttered shop. Luckily, Jonathan’s lab was all wood, an amateur Meddler can‘t afford the traditional glass wares that people have come to expect in a laboratory. And nothing was broken, save Madame Duvey’s high spirits.
“I’ve had enough of your shenanigans.” Madam Duvey screamed, ripping out the hair. From the moment Madame Duvey ushered into his shop, demonically decked out in a scarlet dress and a rooster feathered cap, Jonathan knew she was going to be explosive. Her unlovely face was redder than red wine as she came close to him. “You said one drop of that magic liquor would make me blonde again. Does this look blonde to you?” The firm, silver hair stood between her fingers like a fine needle.
Jonathan calmly rubbed his right thumb against his right index finger and it disappeared.
“Well, let me think. That same spell worked perfectly fine two days ago. I tested it on a stray black cat, which is now a stray golden cat. Perhaps, it only works on a Tuesday. Would you like to come back…”
It happened so fast Jonathan didn’t really notice her hand move. Only his cheek was suddenly burning and bright red.
“Absolutely. Not! You are the most unreliable, untalented, unremarkable alchemist in all of Cheap Street. I demand my money back at once or I will report you to the Suspect Business Bureau for false advertising.” Madam Duvey blasted.
“Of course,” Jonathan Myer answered. He was tall, slim, and not used to physical altercations--especially those involving women. His childish face frowned as he opened the safe behind his desk, he was terribly upset. Not because he had been assaulted or about the loss of money, though he needed the money badly. What bothered him more was how awful the spell turned out, after he’d had such promising test results!
Following Madame Duvey’s visit, The Magic Emporium closed for the day.
Jonathan Myer put a cooling salve on his blistered cheek. He laid down on his side, on the workbench that was also his bed. It had been a long day, even before the magnificent Madame Duvey experience.
His girlfriend for three years, Millie Manfy, had dumped him over tea. She cried. Said he was better off without her and that they would always be friends, but Jonathan had his doubts. Tom Mot, who was as good as a brother to him, was saying all along that he saw Millie holding hands with a young gentleman from Eaton Prior.
Jonathan squeezed his eyes shut. He could still see Millie’s dimpled smile and her soft, round figure. She had been so dear to him. Perhaps, if he had had the money to marry her things would have turned out differently.
A drum roll of thunder from the storm startled him. But slowly, sickly, thoughts of love foresworn swelled out of his broken heart. And he was again wondering in a trance. He wanted to know who was the mysterious man holding Millie‘s hand. And whether or not he was a skinny fellow. “Let him at least be short!” Jonathan lamented aloud.