Writing Every Day in August: Day 3

Love potions do not work that way.

If you think about it, love potions are pretty gross. On the other hand, I think the concept of “love potion” is on its face is open-ended enough to play around with the concept. That, for example, there are other kinds of love than romantic.

Basically, I’m approaching it as the equivalent of a real world “truth serum“, in that most people don’t understand how they actually work and that their primary effect is largely just lowering inhibitions and affecting emotional state.

“Now, Kitty-Kat,” Scarlet says, staring at Kat and Amara. “Is it just me, or is Amara maybe just a little out of sorts?”

Amara has her arms wrapped tightly around one of Kat’s, clinging to her like a sloth to its favourite branch. The usually composed and elegant Elf is dishevelled and sobbing.

“So, uh, we had a slight mishap at the alchemist’s,” Kat explains. “Long story short, Amara got a love potion spilled on her.”

“It was my own fault, Katherine,” Amara interjects sadly. “My own clumsiness has brought calamity down upon our heads! Can you ever forgive me?”

She tightens her grip on Kat’s arm and buries her face in Kat’s shoulder.

“She’s been like this for the last hour,” Kat says. “In public. People are staring!”

“Well, good news, Kitty-Kat,” Scarlet tells Kat. “There’s no such thing as a love potion.”

“Yeah,” Kat counters, “but —” She gestures broadly at the hysterically sobbing Elf clinging to her arm.

“Katherine!” Amara wails. “Never leave me! My poor heart — I just couldn’t bear to lose you!”

“There are potions that influence people’s emotions,” Scarlet explains. “But love is a weird, complicated thing. You can’t simulate that just with a potion. You can’t just feed someone a potion and force them to fall in love with you. And even if you could, actually doing it is just gross.”

“So what happened to Amara?” Kat asks, as the Elf continues to cling to her arm and bawl into her shoulder.

“Like I said, there are potions that alter people’s emotions or mental states,” Scarlet says. “And plenty of people who don’t really understand how potions — or, you know, people — really work wrongly assume these sorts of potions are love potions.”

“So what happened to Amara?” Kat repeats.

“The way these potions work, they don’t just create new feelings or emotions in the person,” Scarlet continues. “They just influence and magnify emotions that are already there.

“Katherine,” Amara continues. “You are my best and dearest companion!”

“Maybe that’s why most people think they’re love potions,” Scarlet muses. “Someone who already has positive feelings about something or someone takes a potion like this, and they start feeling more positive. Someone in love is going to get more lovey-dovey, someone happy is going to get happier. On the other hand, someone grumpy would just get grumpier.”

“So,” Kat ventures, trying to pry her arm free from Amara. “Amara’s normally my best friend, but now the potion is making her, like, my best-est friend?”

“Yeah. More or less, Kitty-Kat,” Scarlet says.

“And, uh, how long do these potions take to wear off?” Kat asks.

“Anywhere from a new hours to a whole day,” Scarlet says.

“And do they have antidotes?” Kat asks hopefully.

Scarlet shakes her head.

“Katherine!” Amara wails once again. “You are my dearest and surest companion! My best beloved friend! My very sister!”

“Yeah. That’s great, Amara. I love you, too,” Kat mutters, patting her friend’s shoulder. “But, just to be clear, not, like, in a weird way.”

Honestly, I’m not really satisfied with this one, I like that I thought up a way to play around with the whole “love potion” concept, but I don’t think I stuck the landing.

And, like, it’s always fun to put dignified characters into ridiculous situations.

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