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The Cost

By @dk18684

He walked up to the beautiful woman in the colorful booth he had been to yesterday. He was droopy with sleep deprivation after a night of thinking about the events the day before.

“Back so soon? I’m surprised. I didn’t think the incantation would actually work.” The woman said.

“I can’t describe the feeling it gave me.” He replied. “My heart felt like it was fluttering, like the feeling you get when you see your newborn child for the first time. Can I buy it again? I have money with me.”

“Oh, I am sorry sir.” She said in response. “The price was just raised yesterday to $200.”

The man suddenly felt a sinking feeling in his heart. He knew he didn’t have that money with him, and he would have to take it out of his savings, which he wasn’t willing to afford.

“Well you might have something I would be willing to trade for it.” She responded. “I am going to try a business opportunity, but I need some land. If you will sell me ¼ of an acre of your land, I would gladly repeat the incantation for you.”

With four acres of land, the man found it easy to give up one-quarter of it to this generous woman. And after the spell, he felt much better and ready for the day. That night, he went home, and again couldn’t stop thinking about the feeling he had experienced. His wife and kids noticed his change in focus and asked him what was wrong. He simply disregarded their questions, thinking of ways to pay for tomorrow’s spell.

The following day, taking the same detour as the day before, he discovered the price of the spell had raised again. The woman told him she would be willing to trade for even more land than before. The man hesitated, but not long when he thought about the sensation he had felt the day before.

Before long, and before realizing the routine he had gotten into, the man had sold all but the land his house was on to the woman. The feeling became a longing and the longing became an obsession. The day came when he had no more land left and no money in the bank. His wife did the best she could to keep the family alive and knew how much he needed the spell to get through the day. The woman demanded what he had left: his house. He cringed. He knew he couldn’t live without a house. But he could make something work out, right? Without thinking, he sold the last possession he owned.

One month later, he came to the woman. “What should I do?” He asked. “I have no money, no possessions, my family left me, and your spell is the only thing giving me purpose.”

 “I will give you the most powerful spell I have in exchange for your soul.” She replied.

“What!?” He thought. “My life in exchange for a simple incantation?” But as he thought, he realized that this simple incantation really was the only thing giving him purpose. A life without it would be more painful than death. “I’ll do it, but first what is your name?” He asked. “What kind of person can curse someone with temporary happiness?” The last word he heard fall from her lips before he died was: Marijuana. 

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