THIRTY-THREE TALES OF WAR XXXI: THE APOTHECARY
Civil war rages in the black-blooded nation of Kandrisev. Its citizens grow restless. They demand their voices be heard. These are their stories laid out in thirty-three tales of war.
“WHAT do you mean you’re out of honey? How is it possible for an apothecary to be out of honey?”
Pressing her lips into a thin line, the Apothecary put her hands on the counter and, head bowed, told the healer, “I told you three times already: there was an attack at the monastery last night and we donated everything we had to keep their wounds clean. We don’t have any more and we won’t for some time. The roads are treacherous and the vendor won’t be by until it’s safe. I can give you garlic instead.”
“Garlic?” the healer scoffed. “What will I do with garlic? I need honey!”
“Then I suppose you’ll have to find another apothecary.”
“No, I suppose you will need to go down to that monastery and bring it all back. You can’t just give things away at a time like this. And to a bunch of monks and nuns? They’re useless! This is war.”
The Apothecary drew in a long breath before replying, “They provide essential services to the townsfolk. Everyone needs a bit of hope right now. That’s their use. Hope.” She crossed her arms. “Unless you’re going to buy something, you need to leave. You should still be able to make it to the apothecary in Zagleskrod if you don’t tarry.”
The healer sneered. “Thanks for nothing, I guess.”
The door slammed shut behind them, rattling the jars and ceramic pots lining the shelves in the tiny shop. Drawing in the silence, the Apothecary withdrew a stack of parchments from beneath the counter and read the first order. Sighing, she went to the garlic hanging in the corner and pulled down eight heads. That customer would be the first of many for the day.