cures for what ails
The sign on the door is so worn that if it bore a more elaborate description it might be rendered illegible, but because there is only a single word inscribed upon it, it remains discernible.
Cures, it says. No more than that.
A tinkling bell sounds the quietest of alerts when the door is opened or closed.
Inside, the shelf-lined walls are covered with jars and bottles, each clearly as old as the sign on the door, if not older. They are carefully organized and labeled, though some of the labels are fading or stained or torn.
Their contents can cure anything. Fevers of any type, colds of common and uncommon varieties, sleeplessness and restlessness, confusion and depression and allergies, broken limbs and broken hearts.
But the bottles hold only individual ingredients, they must be mixed to gain potency, carefully combined and measured to counter the ailment in question.
And though the mixologist has kind eyes and a secret-keeping heart, many customers find they cannot confess their needs aloud, leaving empty-handed while the tinkling bell echoes behind them.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.