Potions by Len Kuntz

We shared a biblical kiss beneath a pomegranate tree that dripped pale, limp fruit. It felt like a kiss but I wasn’t certain. Next we hugged hard.

She said, “I would return to nothing without you.” Then she asked if I was scared.

I held her hands as if they were crystal cards. Her jagged fingernails had been chewed to nubs and they scratched my skin.

This was something we had to do, something we had always wanted for ourselves, and now that the opportunity had arrived as surprising as a rainbow during a downpour one of us was having second thoughts and it wasn’t me.

“Tell me a story first,” she said, “then we’ll do it.”

I told her about a blind magician who made lovely potions that could transform hearts. He changed warring nations into lovers bent on fine freedom for every people. The magician had a nasty facial scar but he was kind, laughed a lot, and said, “That’s a good one!” anytime someone told a joke.

This made her chuckle.

I said the magician had a pet chinchilla he’d named Abracadabra. If the dog lapped up the potion, it grew wings and flew around rescuing endangered species.

When I handed her the vial, I was surprised she took a long pull without hesitating. I did the same.

I made a large smile and told my sister the truth. “It’s supposed to work fast. In a few minutes, he won’t be able to hurt us anymore.”


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Filed under Len Kuntz

22 responses to “Potions by Len Kuntz

  1. Just a hint of the real story behind this tragedy, but we can guess at the impetus. Nice work, once again and as always, Len.

  2. The kiss in the beginning threw me off, but wow- what an ending. Very lush language throughout and then ending in tragedy. Well done.

  3. I loved the fun story within a reverent story within a terrible story. Well done, keeping our heads up even as our hearts break!

  4. I love how your turn our heads 360 like the girl in the Exorcist, Len!! You really work that snap well! Another great one!!!

  5. Just magical, in every sense of the word.

  6. len kuntz

    thank you all so much!

  7. Michelle

    I love the opening sentence especially, Len. This is terrific in so many ways, and that opening drew me in: “biblical kiss beneath a pomegranate tree…”

  8. John Riley

    Great ending. Love the “biblical kiss” and the layering of stories.

  9. A beautiful opening , and an ending that knocked me off my feet. Great one to end on.

  10. Tom Allman

    Wow. I’ve read this four times already, and I’m still finding new layers. Stories like this are why I have enjoyed the last year so much. Thank You for sharing.

  11. terrifyingly masterful, with images that i won’t forget. for me, adam and eve came up. the magician is a keeper. great piece.

  12. grand whimsy here len, simply grand.

  13. Alexandra Pereira

    Ya, Wow! What more can I say… Powerful story, powerful writing. Nicely done, Len! :-)

  14. I had to read this twice before ‘getting it’, and even then love the ambiguity of the ending. A heart-breaking twist — I bow to you, master! Peace…

  15. wow. had to read this twice, too – so many layers, so good!

  16. Must be tuned into your psyche now Len, I got it the first reading. No one does dark tragedy quite the way you do, but with such a light and reasoned touch. Yes, we are sucked in from the beginning …

  17. Kelly

    that was sublime – in that old-fashioned sense of equal parts beauty and horror. thanks for this, for its humane sensibility

  18. the piece itself a potion, a mingling of contrasting elements which together bring an affect far greater than their single threads…rich, powerful and resonant. Now that’s a threesome worth aspiring towards. Have enjoyed reading your work here Len…and thanks for the reads too.

  19. Thanks for all you have given me, and for all I continue to get from your writing and your words and your support.

  20. Pingback: Week #52 – Threesome | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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