Brew a Potion Day

The Brew A Potion Day festivities were three days away. My sister’s reserves were exhausted without her realizing, and she did not replenish them. She looked for stock at every apothecary in the area, which, given a town of this size, was not many. She came to me in a panic to try a last resort: a FedEx’d shipment from

I searched the site. There were a few different varieties but I wasn’t sure if they were the product she wanted.

“The holiday is three days away, and I can’t believe we’re trying to get eye of newt.” She shook her head. “How’d we run out of eye of newt?”

“I’m not the one who uses it.”

Sis gave me a stare of disbelief.

“I think I found some,” I said. “I can get it FedEx’d and we can have it by tomorrow.”

“Make sure it’s North African. I don’t want that foul domestic stuff.”

I researched a couple of the vendors. “Alabaman...Alabaman...Here’s Floridian.”

“No. North African. This is the best brew of hemlock and wolfbane I’ve made yet. Only North African eye of newt is strong enough for the antidote.” She shot me a serious look. “We have toadstools, right?”

“Yes.” I cocked her a glare.

“And Argentinian wing of bat, right?”

“Yes, we have wing of bat. We didn’t run out of wing of bat. And yes, it’s Argentinian.”

Sis backed down.

“You’re not going to lose the death potion contest because some poor judge ends up stiff,” I reassured her. “We’ll have North African eye of newt. I just found it.”

Sis looked at my computer screen. “This says ‘Order now. Only two jars left.’ ”

“I am ordering now. Give me a chance.”

I clicked on the button to load the two remaining jars into my virtual shopping cart. I proceeded to the checkout and ordered. An error popped up.

“What’s that?” Sis asked.

“The order didn’t go through.” I read the message on the screen. “I looks like someone already ordered one of the two jars before my order was accepted.”

“Quick! Order the last one. Order it. Order it now!” Sis hopped up and down, pointing at the monitor.

“Don’t put so much pressure on me. I’ll screw up the order.” My fingers hovered above the keyboard. I took a deep breath. I loaded the one remaining jar into my virtual cart, proceeded to the checkout, and ordered. A tiny hourglass spun in the middle of my screen.

“What’s happening? What’s happening?” She jumped up and down again.

“I don’t know. How am I supposed to know any more than you do? We’re both looking at the same thing.”

“I knew it. I knew it. I’m going to get to the contest, and I won’t have an antidote. Just like Hildegard, who snuffed two jurors last year.”

The monitor flashed. A message popped up. “Your order was completed.”

“See,” I said, pointing at the screen. “You’ll get your North African eye of newt. It’ll be here tomorrow.”

Sis took a deep breath. So did I.

“You know,” I said, “you could have ordered this yourself. Why do I always do the techno stuff?”

“The same reason I do all the potion brewing. Experience.”

I thought of the death potion experiments I was secretly performing in the basement with arsenic and beetle leg. I thought of trying it out on Sis, just to show her up. But then I thought, no, once I give her the antidote, she’ll know I used up the last of her eye of newt.