“Love in a Bottle” by Tish MacWebber |Short Story Winner

The dress was pretty, but not her style. She preferred comfort over fashion. Her hair was still damp. He had left her companions to assist with her preparations. They fussed over her hair, applied layers of makeup, and talked to her of the things which women talk about. Tips on how to make a man happy, and how to properly run a household. She would become the lady of the castle after the ceremony.

Tishlee barely paid attention. She longed to escape.

When her ladies in waiting completed their masterpiece, they made her stand and turn for them. “Beautiful!” They both agreed.

When she looked in the mirror, she saw through the reflection to the sorrow in her soul. She half-heartedly smiled and asked if she could wait in the garden. She wanted to clear her mind, she told them.

Alone in the garden, she hurried to the roses. She had secretly hidden a vial under a rock. Time was running out, and Tishlee was desperate to avoid the ceremony.

When he found her on the grass, he quickly removed the stopper of the bottle he was saving for her. It was marked with one word, LOVE. It would cure the lady of her lack of affection, thus ensuring her devotion to him.

As he poured the potion between her parted lips, he failed to notice a single tear fall from her eye. The love in the bottle would not suffice; it was no substitute for the real thing.


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Words © 2019 Tish MacWebber. Image © 2019 Kit Sora.

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