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It was one of those mornings. The world was frozen at a standstill, where even the air itself didn’t dare to move. Not a single bird or forest critter stirred, and a thick fog rolled over on the land in its slumber. Total stillness.
I kept for myself a routine of early to bed and early to rise back in those days, traveling from village to village and selling my merchandise. Quiet mornings like these, alone and between destinations, always allowed my thoughts to be clear. I didn’t like it. The more I could hear them, the more my convictions rose to the forefront, but I couldn’t stop selling my fake potions and remedies. As I walked, I used my footsteps to stamp out the thoughts in my head.
This particular morning felt differently than the rest, or maybe it just feels that way now. Either way, I’ll never forget it.
Stomping down a path, my satchel ringing out the muffled sounds of clinking potion bottles, I came upon a sign. Two arrows told me I could go back, or I could continue onward down a damp path obscured by fog. But there were no signs for a town’s name or a king, not even a kingdom. It was all quite odd, but the last town had run me out, so I pressed forward into what can only be described as an oblivion.
Just beyond the arrows, a stirring in the woods caught my attention, but I saw nothing. When I turned my head to watch my steps, a child in a white dress stood right in front of me. I searched for a parent but found none.
“I want a potion.”
“Do you have money?”
“I want a potion now.”
“No money, no potion, girl.”
Her voice changed to a deep growl and her eyes became black as coal.
“Give me a potion now!”
I threw my satchel to the ground and unbuckled it.
“Here! Here, take any of them!”
She sniffed at them and spoke with that same inhuman voice.
“Would you cheat me?”
She leaned in, inches from my face.
“You leave this place, forever cursed.”
And she vanished in a puff of fog.
The curse was that my potions began to work, and I became sought after by all. I had ignored my silent thoughts, and now, I am not allowed to find them.
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