The Love Potion

It would not be quite accurate to say Elizabeth Blake had been born with a silver spoon in her mouth. A spoon of pure gold, encrusted with diamonds, would do her upbringing more justice. All her life she had luxuriated within her family’s mansion of dazzling white marble out in the countryside, supported by the labor of their cotton plantation’s loyal and industrious workforce. Indeed, the Blakes had amassed so much wealth that finding a suitable husband for their darling princess Elizabeth was like mining for gems in a pig-sty.

True, armies of men would flock to the Blake estate to court her, showering her with praise for her ginger locks, fern-green eyes, and cherry-red lips. But a proper belle like Elizabeth cared little for all those smelly, sun-weathered rednecks, and her old father cared for them even less. It was not until after her twenty-fifth birthday had passed when one worthy young gentleman, an enterprising doctor by the name of Thomas Henderson, had moved into her neighborhood from the north.

As they say, a bachelor in possession of a good fortune is highly wanted as a husband by women like Elizabeth Blake. But every time she and Mr. Henderson crossed paths, despite her best efforts to grin and bat her eyelashes at him, the boy would simply smile back and continue with his business. At most Thomas would nod and compliment her dress upon request. This she found most peculiar; how could the one marriageable man she had ever seen not fall for her charms like all those hicks before him?

All her life, every time Elizabeth had asked for something, she would get her way no matter what. She would do anything she could to win this handsome newcomer over, even if it meant venturing deep into the dark overgrown swamp that stretched beyond her estate. For within that wetland lived a young voodoo priestess named Izegbe. Elizabeth would never let herself touch this savage heathen’s sooty hand, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

“O Priestess of Voodoo, do you know how to make a man fall in love with me?” Elizabeth asked. “I love no man other than Thomas Henderson, yet I fear he doesn’t love me.”

The priestess bit her lip at first, but then smiled before fetching a flask of clear liquid from her medicine cabinet. “Take this love potion free of charge, my sweet Miss Blake. Take a few strands of your hair and mix them into it, and then give it to the man you love. One drink will make him fall for you.”

Elizabeth went home to do as the priestess instructed. She opened the flask, wincing from the potion’s awfully pungent odor, and stirred strands of her own hair into it. She cackled with eager glee as she prepared the potion thus.

The next evening, Elizabeth went down to the local bar where Thomas was enjoying his usual drink after a hard day’s work. She handed to him the potion, wrapped with a glittery red ribbon as if it were a Christmas present. “It’s a special gift just for you, Dr. Henderson.”

Dr Henderson scratched his hair with befuddlement, but shrugged and opened the flask. But after he sniffed its contents, he did not take even one sip.

“Why, this is none other than chloral hydrate—a common date rape drug!” he roared. “I know what you’re up to, Miss Blake! Someone call the cops!”

“No! I didn’t mean to rape you, Thomas,” Elizabeth said. “I was tricked by that sooty whore Izegbe!”

At that very moment Izegbe, who stepped forth from the shadows. “It was for good reason. You wanted a way to manipulate his feelings to benefit yourself. That, Miss Blake, is the textbook definition of date rape, and I had to trap you for it! And besides, Thomas is seeing me.”

As the police marched in to drag Elizabeth Blake away, the last she saw of Thomas Henderson was Izegbe embracing him with ebony arms and kissing him with a lover’s passion.

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