Above is the blog hop photo prompt. Below is my story that goes with it. Enjoy!
Janet clutched the gold watch inside her jacket pocket and eyed the mysterious man standing in front of her.
“Come on now,” he said, his voice low and raspy, “What’ve you got to lose? Give me the watch and in exchange I’ll give you these three special berries. I assure you, they’ll yield what you’re looking for.”
“But I can sell the watch. I can’t do much with berries, sir,” said Janet.
“Is money what you truly desire?” the man asked.
Janet sighed. If she was honest, no. Money just seemed simpler.
“Oh, what the hell. You only live once, right?” Janet said. There was nothing to lose except the watch.
“Lovely,” said the man. He laid three petite, brightly colored berries in her palm. She gave him the watch. “Now, listen carefully,” he warned. “You must take the berries to the old bookshop on the corner of 3rd and Main. Ask for Drake and show him what I’ve given you.”
“Hm. I know that bookstore. It’s next to Moonstruck Chocolates, yes?” Janet said.
“That’s the one. You need to go now, though.”
Janet felt her heart leap with excitement. The whole thing seemed crazy, and she was even crazier to go along with it. But maybe this was the moment she’d been waiting for.
“Okay, well I better be off then. Um… thanks for your help? I guess. It was pleasure meeting you…”
“Christopher. Hurry along now.”
Janet put the berries in her pocket and headed toward the bookshop. As she arrived, Janet began to feel sick to her stomach.
“Hello,” said the young woman behind the counter.
“Hi. Is there a man named Drake, here?”
“Sure. I’ll get him.”
Janet took the berries out of her pocket and laid them on the counter. A man came in from the side door.
“Good day, ma’am,” he greeted with a jovial tone. “I’m Drake, what can I do for you?”
“Oh, um… I met a man today ; he said to come to you,” she gestured toward the berries, “and told me to show you what he’d given me.”
Drake glanced at the berries. “You saw Christopher.”
“Wow. I was expecting someone older,” he said. Drake left the counter and disappeared behind the side door. He returned a moment later with an envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL under his arm.
Drake laid the envelope in front of her. “The second you open this envelope, you’re comitted. Think about what you really want, Miss. You must be somethin’ special for Chris to choose you.”
“JANET!” a panicked voice broke through her concious. “Please come back!”
Janet dragged her eyes open and saw her hiking partner leaning over her face. Her stomach felt nausous. “Ugh.”
“Oh my god! You’re okay. I can’t believe you ate those damn berries!”
“Yes. You weren’t breathing. Out of nowhere this dude came over to help me, said you’d be okay because—”
“Uh, yeah… how’d you know?”
“Not sure. I think I’ll find out, though.”