“It’s all a matter of taste,” said Miss Marble to her friend and neighbour Myrtle Turtledove. “A potion is not a potion unless it has some pizzazz about it and that’s always in the taste. Are you listening to me Myrtle? Pay attention and don’t be petting Sal, he has work to do and needs to be always vigilant.”
Myrtle Turtledove looked up at Miss Marble and realised that she was giving Sal, Miss Marble’s faithful old hound, far more attention than she should have. Sal had that ‘pet me’ way about him, and Myrtle loved Sal who was always ready with a doggy lick should she come near.
But tonight, Miss Marble had promised Myrtle a lesson on potions. Not that Myrtle had any ability in potion making but rather as a way to entertain her neighbour, and do a little showing off of her own. Like any performer, Miss Marble loved an audience.
“So, Myrtle, would you prefer the Lemon Tea potion, the Crossed Eyes and T’s potion or the Passion Pumper?”
“Passion Pumper?” queried Myrtle suddenly feeling a tad uncomfortable. Her hand immediately went to her top button on her cardigan making sure it was done up, and nothing was exposed.
You could say Myrtle Turtledove and passion were as polar opposites and it showed clearly on her face.
“Oh, for goodness sake Myrtle, get a grip on yourself. The Passion Pumper can be applied to almost anything you might have a passion for. There’s more to be passionate about than the baker’s apprentice.”
“Miss Marble how could you insinuate such a thing. I am a God-fearing woman and lusting after the baker’s apprentice is not something I would entertain for anyone.”
“Well good then. Now let’s go with the Passion Pumper, it’s a lot of fun to brew this one.”
“Well if you say so. Have you made a lot of it?”
“Goodness yes. Once you get a taste for it, you keep coming back for more. Every newly-wed in Grimace Street has tried it.”
That fact settled in Myrtle’s brain for a few moments as she thought of the newly-weds she knew living in the street. Grimace Street was a long street with Miss Marble living at No 46 and Myrtle across the road in No 47.
The newly-weds Myrtle knew were very happy couples from her observations. Loving and come to think of it rather passionate in their interactions with each other. Several times she had had to avert her eyes when she passed the home of Mavis and Brian Pickle, newly married and totally wrapped in each other.
They could at least pull the blinds she’d think to herself.
“Now Myrtle,” said Miss Marble, “what are you passionate about?”
“Oh goodness,” thought Myrtle her mind going blank before blurting out, “Muffins!”
“Yes, I can believe that,“ said Miss Marble looking her up and down. It was true that over the years Myrtle Turtledove did begin to resemble a muffin in shape.
“Now Passion Pumper has these ingredients. Collect them from the shelf there Myrtle. Lure of mink, a cradle of carnation, three drops of twinkletoed resin and a bevvy of passionfruit all mixed in a liberal mix of black rose water. Ahh yes, thank you, dear, now pop all the stuff into the pot. There we go. Now Myrtle here is the tricky bit. The mix has to be stirred and stirred right. So, grab hold of the ladle and follow my instructions.”
“Like this?” asked Myrtle.
“Perfect Myrtle. Now to the right for forty the left for forty. You got that?”
“Good now off you go and one more thing, when you stir right, you need to stand on your right foot and so when you go left stand on the left. Yes, that’s the idea.”
After a while, Myrtle reached the required total of eighty stirs and announced to Miss Marble that she thought the potion was ready.
Looking into the cauldron, Miss Marble gave the potion a long hard look and then spat into it.
“You can’t spit into the potion Miss Marble!” exclaimed the bewildered Myrtle.
“Oh, yes I can.”
“’Cause I’m blessed, and we want it to taste right, don’t we?”
“Now Myrtle, stir it some more, and when you hear it sing you know, it’s ready.”
“Yes sing. Is there a problem Myrtle?”
“A singing potion I thought we were making Passion Pumper.”
“When it sings its ready. Its flavours are ready to set your taste buds alight.”
“Ok then,” said Myrtle unsure of what she was letting herself in for.
“Oh, and Myrtle, right leg, then left leg. That’s the way.”
After a while, there began to emerge from the cauldron the faintest sound. As Myrtle stirred more the sound grew louder, it started to sound more and more like singing, the sound was growing on Myrtle, she stirred faster, the singing grew louder, she felt a stirring inside of her, one she hadn’t felt for a long time, it began to overwhelm her, she couldn’t stop stirring, the singing was infectious, she feared if she stopped she would never feel the same again, so she stirred all the harder, perspiration formed on her brow but she kept on with her task until the gentle hand of Miss Marble quietened her and stopped, flopped exhausted to the floor.
“Passion Pumper,” said Miss Marble, “gets you going, doesn’t it?”
Myrtle Turtledove sat on the floor gasping, she had never experienced such passion, her bits were alive and making noises she wasn’t quite sure what to do with.
“Here,” said Miss Marble, a cheeky grin on her face, and handing Myrtle a small phial of the potion said, “take this home with you dear, use it to wash out your mouth, you’ll be in for a wonderful night.”