Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a magic shop poorly informed about one of its pieces, begins after the photo.
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Humor
Barrymore finally found her in the display window as he passed the World of Wicca Curios shop.
He charged through the door weaving through ornate skulls and crystal balls and assorted dried weeds until he arrived at the desk. The sleepy-eyed clerk with piercings and tattoos looked at him with dull eyes. “Can I ‘elp you, sir?”
“Yes! You can help me.” Barrymore pointed at the stone, blue woman. “Where did you get that?”
“Can’t say, sir. It was ‘ere years before me.”
“Well, it was stolen from me! You must give it to me now, You have no idea how dangerous it is.”
“I’ll say. Cut meself while dusting it the other day.”
Barrymore pulled at what little hair he had left. “No! Not like that. Have you heard of the goddess Hecate?”
“Can’t say I do.”
“You should! Hecate is a goddess of magic among many other things. When the great Olympian Gods were weakening from lack of worshipers, most just faded away, but Hecate carried on. Where once she’d been beneficial she became a blight upon humanity. Only one thing could stop her, and that was a Cockatrice. The creature turned her to stone, stopping her rampage. But! So powerful is her magic, that if ever the Cockatrice were taken from her presence, she would be restored to her full powers.”
“No, not cool. That’s why that statue must always remain in the presence of the Cockatrice.”
“Cockatrice,” mumbled the clerk. “You mean the stuffed chicken?”
Barrymore felt his knees go weak. “Tell me you still have it.”
The clerk paused to update Facebook on his cell phone. “Nope. Sold it ’bout ‘alf an hour ago.”
Barrymore turned to look at the display window. The statue was gone. Storm clouds roiled outside. Lightning struck, and a burning car flew past the window.
He was too late. “Bugger it,” mumbled Barrymore.
“Anything else I can ‘elp you with, sir?” murmured the clerk, still staring at his phone.
The lights went out.
Barrymore scowled. “Yeah. Kiss your arse goodbye.”
Each week, Alastair Forbes presents an original photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. This week’s prompt, and the story responses of many other folks, may be found here: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/sunday-photo-fiction-may-11th-2014/