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The Herb Shop






The Herb Shop

I feel the cold sidewalk under my body. The wind is strong and it's not autumn yet. Soon, a group of young, beautiful girls head to the herb store’s door. Taking advantage of the fuss, I get inside with them. The shopkeeper stares at some point above my yellow eyes. With a half-smile glued on her creased face, she approaches the girls. But her thoughts wander. Fluttering butterflies recently left the cocoon. "Butterfly-girls" giggling, noisy. Have they ever thought they would get older some day? That they would get wrinkles on their faces? Wrinkles because of a sick child, an unrequited love, scarcity of income. Lady-girls who keep chasing magic potions to attract boyfriends. Oh, Butterfly-girls, such a shiny fleeting glow, enjoy the gift of ignorance that you are finite: simply fly! So, they do. They fly out with their packets of herbs and magic potions in their luxury designer handbags. How long will it take them to realize that the most potent magic, the one that always works, is love? Love that wants the best for the loved one. Even if the best means letting him go. This love cannot be attracted by spells. Because this love is a spell. Indissoluble magic when two bodies merge and are transported to a dimension beyond time and space. Beyond words. Beyond everything but feeling and sensation. The old lady knows this love. She gives me a sad look when she reads my mind. She, who knows how to mix spices to heal sadness in people’s heart, how wouldn't she know true love? Why does the thought of love make her vulnerable? She stares at me and gives me a crooked but sweet smile. The lady heads to the back of the store and I fear whether she will return with a broom to cast me out or if she is just going to leave me there in the corner, sheltered from the cold of the night. She returns carrying a soft blanket and a saucer. I am rewarded for my cleverness with warm milk. Milk flavoured with cinnamon. I rub myself on her legs, the lady surrenders, finally. She leans down, strokes my soft head and gives me a genuine smile.

Cristina Bresser de Campos


Cristina Bresser de Campos is Brazilian. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She graduated Universidade Federal do Parana with Graphic Design degree. She has two published books, both in Portuguese: Torre de Papel (Paper Tower) in 2015 - short stories anthology with other authors. “Quase tudo é risível” (Almost Everything is Laughable) a 155 pages novel in Nov 2016. She also studied Creative Writing at University of Edinburgh in 2016 and has some short stories published in English by Scottish, Irish and Indian literary magazines. http://www.cristinabresser.com.br
 
 

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