Prompt Day #127: The title of your work is “Flesh Butter”
The shop sat unassumingly amongst the bigger, flashier storefronts that lined the boardwalk. Its only patrons were young adults and teenagers who came in in groups laughing and making fun of her inventory. Most vacationing families passed it by without a second glance, mothers crinkling their noses in disdain at the idols and trinkets in the window. Their children were pulled along a little quicker as they stared, mouths ajar at what looked like a witch’s storefront. The name of the shop didn’t help. “Hocus Pocus Spells and Potions” was hand painted on a wooden sign hung precariously above the single swinging screen door. Wanda Boswell, the owner and proprietor of Hocus Pocus, read palms, told fortunes and sold various homemade potions to cure a variety of common ills or to aid in many a difficult situation. Although born and raised a gypsy, Wanda had no psychic powers and her predictions were no improvement over a magic eight ball or fortune cookie from the Chinese food kiosk three doors down. Her potions had a similar effect, often leaving the user disappointed and ten dollars poorer.
Wanda spent most days watching the sunbathers and surfers out the back door of the shop. She watched them washing off the sand under the free showers the city had placed along the wooden walkway leading back to the boardwalk. What these young people needed was a post beach detox Wanda the ever thinking entrepreneur decided and went to work developing just that. She developed an entire detoxification system which included a three step process. She installed a massage table, showers and purchased (rather than created) a number of water based lotions. She separated this new venture from the spells and potions shop and hung a new sign with the entrance facing the beach “Boswell’s Be-Well Post Beach Detox”. This business flourished but Wanda wasn’t happy. You can take the gypsy away from the spells and potions but you can’t take the spells and potions away from the gypsy. She missed Hocus Pocus, she felt most at home there, she knew she was just one great potion away from fame and fortune.
She began working late nights after full days of detox until finally, she had it. A potion to attract a mate. She had developed one for male and one for females. She gave out small samples to her wellness customers and in the evenings, she stood out front of Hocus Pocus offering the same. Soon, Hocus Pocus was a bustling shop full of teens and young beach-goers looking for love or more accurately; a casual pick up. For the first time in the history of the shop, Wanda had repeat customers. Everyone loved her attraction potions which she called “Flesh Butter”. The name, while more accurate than anyone who was slathering it on realized, brought nervous giggles from the teens and knowing smirks from the young adults.
Her fame and fortune lasted two months until an outbreak occurred. It seemed to be affecting only the women’s Flesh Butter Potion. The local health department investigated shortly after the outbreak was identified as MRSA and subsequently traced back to Wanda’s shop. She was asked to show them her preparation area which she did obediently. She was confused and brokenhearted when the shop was shut down permanently, but it wasn’t until the death threats started that she actually admitted defeat and left town. She was well on her way north when the newspaper article was published revealing the secret behind Flesh Butter, the attractant potion.
Ms. Boswell, the owner and proprietor of Hocus Pocus Spells and Potions and the newer Bowell’s Be-Well Post Beach Detox, had recently begun selling a product she called Flesh Butter which she purported would attract members of the opposite sex. Two months after sales of the product skyrocketed, an MRSA outbreak occurred which was traced back to Mrs. Boswell’s shop. Upon further questioning and inspection of the shop, it appears that when customers came into the detox shop after a long day on the beach, the first step of the “detox” was to scrape them down with what appears to be a bench scraper. This, she told them was a way of removing the outer layer of dead skin, sweat, sunblock, salt, sand and whatever else might be “clogging their skin’s ability to breathe”. After this, they were sent to the shower. The thick, greasy scrapings of skin were collected into large buckets that at the end of the day were then blended, fragrance added and packaged into what was then sold as Flesh Butter…..