I did not know which was worse: my husband’s black heart or his mistress’ black magic. She was one of those man-snatching tea maids, slipping Love-Me’s into his hibiscus brew. I saw her every morning as she served us, smiling with that gap between her teeth, all the while weaning him away from me, two drops of witchery at a time.
It isn’t fair play to use Love-Me’s on someone else’s love, but there are no rules. I saw the tiny vial tucked in the palm of her hand the last time—that red, red color that makes you think of love or pools of blood or both. What rogue chemist she procured it from, I don’t know. There was a raid in Little Ukraine the week before: agents sealed up in full-body suits to keep from falling for each other in the cloud of intoxicating fumes. Six hundred vials incinerated. Yet there one was in her devious little hand with her short little fingers.
Now he loves those short little fingers and he lets those short little fingers love him. I wondered about procuring a vial for myself, about sidling up to the shady copy boy after hours and asking after one. About tucking carefully-counted bills into his shirt pocket and sending him down a dark alley. About tipping the blood-red drops into my husband’s tea at our next stilted meeting and waiting for his eyes to glaze over, for him to blink once, twice—then love.
Would it be the same love? I don’t know. He loved me without assistance the first time, in the days before Love-Me’s let you lay claim to anyone’s heart and make it your own, like Neil Armstrong stomping all over the moon.
But even when I had the money hot in my pocket, ready to snatch him back, I knew I’d need twice the amount. To be together again, I would need double the dose: one for me to win him back, and one for me to want to.
Front page image by Anita Carril.
GHOST WRITER is a project by Tracy Danger Mumford. New sections are released every other Sunday. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here: