“Where is it?” Calypso tore through the parchment packets that littered her lingerie drawer looking for the blue one with the sharpie label. “Come on, come on!” Her breath came in pants as the consequences of the missing ingredient took form in her imagination.
“He’ll look right through me…” She tossed out packets of wolfsbane, powdered newt tail, pompeii rain, and all her underwear then moved to the next drawer.
“Once he sees Helena, it’ll be all over…no second chances. Dammit! Where is it!” Socks and pantyhose flew over her shoulder as she scoured for her lost packet of ringevelt.
She sat back on her heels and fought the urge to cry. No ringevelt meant no love potion. No love potion meant no Carson Honeycutt. Carson hadn’t paid her a lick of attention until she’d begun dabbing a bit of the special brew behind her ears each day. But her supply had run out and the dance was to start in less than an hour. The tragedy of love lost loomed like the bow of the Titanic moments before its collision with the iceberg. Like Rose, she could feel her Jack slipping through her fingers. It was too much for a young mage in love to bear.
With a snap of her fingers, she jumped to her feet and scrambled down the stairs. Maybe Solange had some ringevelt.
“Solange! Solange!” She called to her mother who eschewed possessive descriptors such as Mother and Daughter.
“Woo!” Solange called back in response. “Whatcha need Callie darlin’?”
Calypso skidded to a halt in front of Solange and carefully considered her words. “Um, well I was making this potion and it calls for this really odd ingredient and I was, like, wondering if you might, like, have some?” She twisted a ringlet of her hair as she spoke, hoped Solange wouldn’t press for details.
Solange gave her a sly smile. “What do you need?”
“It’s something called…I dunno…ingervale or unkersnell?”
Calypso slapped her hand to her forehead. “Yes! That’s the name.” She bobbled her head to drive home her mental lapse, because of course she had no idea what ringevelt was nor had she ever used any before…that she could remember.
Solange rose from the sofa and slid her arm around Calypso’s shoulders. “I believe I do have a bit. Come on and we’ll get it together.”
In their modern kitchen with its shining stainless steel appliances and countertops, Solange searched through a cabinet, muttering as she did. Calypso held her breath, crossed her fingers, her toes and her eyes.
“A-ha! Here we are!” Solange pulled out a small plastic baggie containing a grainy brown substance. “It’s not much but–”
Calypso grabbed it and ran, shouting her profuse thank-you’s over her shoulder as she did.
In her room, she carefully threw a pinch of the ringevelt into the fine white powder her mother called “essence of Demeter” then added a few drops of water to make a paste. This she dabbed behind each ear.
After slipping into her dress and heels, touching up her makeup one last time, she declared herself ready. In the mirror she blew herself a kiss and winked. “Sorry Helena. Better luck next time.”
Three hours later, she drifted home in a woozy, love-induced stupor. Solange met her at the door. “Have fun at the dance?”
“Oh yes. It was…heavenly. Carson was heavenly.” She closed her eyes and released a long sigh as she waltzed to her bedroom.
Solange returned to the kitchen, a knowing smile blooming on her face. In a small blue parchment packet she mixed one tablespoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of sugar. She shook the packet to blend the ingredients, affixed a label and with her sharpie wrote “ringevelt”. Admiring her handiwork, she murmured, “Self-confidence is the greatest love potion of all.”