Welcome my sister Robin Smith!
Harper Hicks is a bonafide witch, who has brewed up a bonafide love potion for sale to the normal and not so normal customers at her bookstore. After all, who doesn’t want a little extra heat around Valentine’s Day? And this one is guaranteed to make fantasies come true. What could possibly go wrong?
Robin @ Blushing Books- http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_list&m=81
“You look weird,” Damien remarked now, frowning at her.
“I missed you, too,” Harper replied, trying on a smile for size. It almost fit. “And I missed all of you! Hi, guys! Hello, Mrs. Emerson! Aunt Agatha! So good to see you!”
The loose collection of people on the coffee side of the store hailed her in waves. The two or three other customers browsing the shelves seemed startled by this unexpected familiarity, but smiled as people will when they perceive themselves caught up as part of a group. Harper tossed out hellos as she shrugged and stomped free of her outer winter layer and threw everything into the Tea Room, which was really just a wide space between the stairs up to her apartment and the bathroom, a space just big enough for the little table and two chairs where she did card readings on request. There was a cupboard under the stairs where she could have hung up her coat and let her boots dry, but Damien had turned it into The Cupboard Under the Stairs—a big hit with kids and parents—and it wouldn’t do to have snow melting all over little Harry’s miserable bed.
“I have the most exciting news,” Harper bubbled, hopping up on the counter beside the cash register.
Damien eyed her bare feet with a distinct lack of excitement. “Do tell.”
“Not yet. Wow, it’s almost seven! Why are we still open?”
“Hint, hint, folks,” Damien remarked, and customers obediently began to make their way either toward the counter or the door.
Although Hedgewick’s was ostensibly a book store, there were only a few hundred titles, all along the central theme of hedgewitchery and almost evenly split between reference books, popular neo-paganism titles, and children’s books. Harper kept a catalogue of the ‘specialty’ stock, but few customers knew to ask for it and that was how she liked it. Harper didn’t mind having normals in the shop—wiccans with their candles and crystals paid the lease, after all—but there were limits to how far she’d go to humor them. Real magic was best left to real witches, and it was just as simple as that. There was only one spellbook in the store and that would be the one Harper kept it in a cabinet, behind safety glass, under lock and key but open so that the first marvelous page could be clearly read by those able to decipher the faded, spidery scrawl:
“This being Veritie Hedgewick’s own Book, a Grand Book of Spylls, containing the Antient and Moderyn Practice of the Art & fhewing the wondrous Effects that may be performed by a Knowledge of the Natural and Celestial properties of Herbs, Metals, and Stones. Also containing Alchymy. Also those Chants, Charms, and Constellatory practices by which might be brought out magical Power inherent in the Soul through a great variety of rare Experiment. Also a number of Treatises on the Nature of the Elements, Stars, Planets, Suns, and Omens and Signs of manie forts. Also in which the fecret mysteries are explained regarding Spirits and Figures, either good or evil, with manie names being writ for purposes of conjuration. Also recipes for Potions, Pottage, and Poultices as well as manie Brews, Salves, and foothing Balms. Also containing a collection by Goody Veritie of most Excellent Cookerye by virtue of the fact that this booke came bound with fo manie everlasting pages.”
There were two hundred and sixteen separate spells bound up in those ‘manie everlasting pages’ and every one of them, the real deal. Of course, most of them were of questionable merit in this day and age. Not a lot of people looking to cure melancholy hens or bring forth a bounteous reap of barley in ye fields anymore. But there were still one or two little gems hidden among all the folksy anachronisms and Harper had not only found such a gem, but had finally put a prize-winning polish on it and she could hardly wait to tell someone.