It was a cold day, with winter just setting in, and Nathan shivered as he rubbed his hands together quickly. He wished he could be back at the cabin with his mother, sipping soup, wrapped in a blanket in front of the fireplace. He smiled a bit at the warm thought, but then shook his head and focused on the rough path ahead of him. He knew he had to keep going.
His mother had fallen ill a few days ago, but had insisted it wasn’t so bad and that she’d be fine in no time. It wasn’t until yesterday evening when she’d collapsed while making dinner that Nathan had finally forced her into bed and ignored her insistence that she was fine. He’d gone straight to the kitchen, finishing the dinner his mother had tried to make, and going to the medicine cabinet to find the potion his mother usually gave him when he was sick. However, he found the cabinet to be nearly empty, only a few glass vials left, and none of them were the one he needed. He’d slammed the small wooden door closed in frustration, before calming himself and bringing the food to his mother along with a glass of water. It would be ok, he told himself. He’d go to town first thing in the morning, and his mother would be fine.
And so here he was, keeping a steady pace as he followed the rocky trail that cut through the dense forest. The town was an hour away from where they lived, and along with the cold, Nathan was feeling rather warn out by the time he’d arrived. He ignored his discomfort as he made his way through the cobble stoned streets, making his way to Floyd’s pharmacy. Opening the door to the pharmacy, Nathan was greeted by an older man. He wore a warm smile, brushing off his while dress shirt and black apron as he walked up to the young boy.
“Hello there, young man. What can I do for ya?” The man said cheerfully. Nathan smiled up at him.
“Hello Floyd, how are you?” Nathan asked politely. Floyd ruffled his thin white hair a bit, and readjusted his wire framed glasses.
“Oh, I’ve been fine. Just feeling a bit sore with this colder weather. Old bones and all that, you understand.” Nathan didn’t, but he nodded anyway.
“How have you and your mother been?” Floyd asked, and Nathan was reminded of why he was here.
“I’ve been all right, but my mother is sick. I’m here to get her some sickness potion.” Floyd’s eyes widened a bit, but he nodded, fiddling with his glasses again.
“Oh dear… Well then we shouldn’t waste any time! Come along with me.” Floyd walked behind the counter, passing by the large wooden shelf filled with potions and bags of herbs that stretched up to the ceiling, and up to a door with chipping blue paint. On it was a metal sign that read ‘Cellar’. Floyd pulled the door open with some difficulty, and Nathan followed him down a large stone staircase. The candles on the walls flickered to life as they passed by, cutting through the darkness. At the end of the stairs was another door, which led to a large open room full to the brim with shelves and tables. There were ginormous books stacked up to form large towers on the tables, and the shelves were cluttered with vials and jars of different colors full of different liquids. Nathan marveled at it all, wondering how Floyd managed to find anything in this place. Or how he kept it so clean. He decided to ask, unable to calm his curious mind. Floyd chuckled.
“I enchanted some brooms and feather dusters to work at all times for me. They never stop cleaning, no matter what. It’s the only way to keep this place from being completely covered in dust and bugs! As for finding things, I put a spell on every potion and herb and healing object here. I just call out the name of the thing I need, and it comes to me. I can send things back to where they belong, too. Watch.” Floyd cleared his throat, and Nathan waited in excitement.
“ One Medicas Manus, to me!”
From somewhere high up on the shelves, Nathan heard glass clinking, and then a whooshing sound. He watched as a small bottle came flying towards them with unimaginable speed. He yelped, stumbling backwards as the bottle came right for him. He waited for impact, but it never came.
Opening his eyes nervously, the boy gasped when he saw the bottle floating calmly in front of him, bobbing up and down gently. Floyd grabbed it, giving Nathan an apologetic look.
“My apologizes, I should have warned you. These things pick up some speed, don’t they? Don’t feel to bad though. The first time I did this, I fell back right on my bottom and screamed so loud a customer had rushed down to check on me! That was embarrassing.” Floyd laughed at the memory, and Nathan joined him with a smile on his face. Dusting himself off, Nathan followed the man once again as they went back upstairs, the candles dying out behind them.
Floyd went straight to the counter, opening a drawer near the cash register and pulling out a paper bag. He placed the vial inside, taping the bag shut, and handed it to Nathan.
“Thank you for your help, sir.”
“Not a problem, my boy; Tell your mother that I hope she gets well soon. And be careful walking back home.” Nathan waved the man goodbye, before starting on his way back home. Before leaving town, Nathan bought some freshly made bread and a new cloak for his mother. He had spent nearly all his cooper coins, but he didn’t really care. He knew his mother would appreciate the bread, and she needed a new cloak anyway after hers had gotten torn earlier in fall.
He made his way back home as quickly as he could. When he arrived, he wasted no time measuring out the correct amount of potion and slicing a piece of bread, bringing everything to his mothers room. He found her resting against the headboard, a book in hand and a cup of steaming tea on her bedside table. He gave her a look, setting the bread on her lap and handing her the cup of potion.
“You shouldn’t get out of bed.” He said. She rolled her eyes playfully.
“Honestly, you act as though I might fall over any moment. I’ll be fine, I promise.” Nathan gave her another look.
“That’s what you said right before you passed out yesterday.” He said, daring her to deny it. She puffed her cheeks, knowing she was beat.
“Oh all right, you’ve got me. Still though, with this potion, I really will be ok.”
“I know. Oh, and before I forget, Floyd said he hopes you feel well soon.” She smiled warmly.
“How sweet of him. Now, tell me all about your adventure.” And Nathan did, excitedly relaying all that happened. His mother listened, smiling the whole time.