The beaker stops bubbling as I scoop out the bullets. I open one up (not over my book) just to check the conversion has gone perfect. It’s worked a charm but, still, I’m running low on dried daffodil. Next time I move, I’ll go somewhere with more plant life. The Mohave desert is not the best place to find fresh stuff. There was so much of a demand too. Fights kick off so quickly and, well, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of gore.
I am thinking about dipping into the shop-bought stuff (it always turned the solution blue but it would do in an emergency) when the shop door opens.
“Hello!” I call through the open door into the shop, “I’m not ignoring you! I’ll be with you in a minute!”
The little boy that waits at the counter is little taller than the counter itself. He’s not my usual clientele but nothing’s stopping me from serving him.
“Mommy says that you should be locked up.” He tells me, saying plainly with his tone that he disagreed.
“Why’s that?” I ask, resisting the urge to smile.
“You sell death.” He looks around my shelves, “I don’t see any death.”
“That’s because it’s all in boxes.” I indicate the packets on my shelves, “This one,” I take down a box as big as my palm, “holds about thirty deaths.”
The little boy really looks puzzled now and reaches out for the box. Right on cue, a woman with tightly braided hair swoops through the door, “What in good heaven’s name do you think you’re doing in this death shop?” She looks up and glowers at me, “What do you think you’re doing, letting a child into this dreadful place?”
“He wanted to see the death.” I’m gripped by a ridiculous, reckless urge and pull out a pistol from under the counter. I’ll have to move on soon so why not? The mother screams and clutches her child like a toddler claiming a favourite toy. I casually aim at her head, pull the trigger and stop resisting the urge to laugh when the water bullet hits her face.
The mother is utterly baffled and soaking. The boy, however, is delighted and begs his mother for ‘some death’ but his mother pulls him out, going right through the invisible Lethe field on the door. She stood outside for a moment, staring at herself and likely wondering how she could have got soaked outside a gun shop.
It was a shame she wouldn’t remember our encounter, really. The boy would be the talk of the playground with a story of a witch who sold water bullets. Still, I need to think about moving. I’ve sold enough to save a few lives and cause a few laughs, at least. I can go happy.