The Crystal Bottle

Sitting on a shelf in my office is a small crystal bottle, this bottle is gorgeous. The evocative design was made of daydreams, but it isn’t the bottle what attracts attention, it was what was inside.

On the common was a little house, inside was a little old lady. She was a believer, she believed in magic, and things that went bump in the night, she believed there were fairies in the woods and goblins in the forests. As small children she read to us tales of fantasy and incredible mystical lands. She read from a big black book that no one was to touch.

To us, this book was pure magic, full of good and evil, we dare not move whilst in its presence.

She told of ghostly winds and snowcapped mountains, of weird and wonderful creatures. There was no fear. This little old lady was the guardian of the book and while she had the power we were all safe.

As she aged and withered away, the stories got shorter and the lyrical words faltered, she explained her time had come and all was well. The book was closed forever.

As a parting gift, she gave us small crystal bottles that within she had captured a rainbow. One for each of us.

If, she explained. You feel in need of love, hold the bottle to the light and the rainbow will come alive and shower you with its essence.

Now as adults, we know the black book was just a blank book, you see the little old lady never learned to read or write.

As adults we know the crystal bottles were empty…

…or were they.

She believed, do you?

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Mark O'Hara

Many years ago, I wrote a story… a very short story, I showed it to my then English teacher, who set about destroying the appalling grammar and spelling. She looked me in the eye and said, don’t bother again, the story will never make sense until you can construct a sentence and use correct grammar. A harsh lesson, indeed! I would like to say I took her critique on board and worked really hard and published my first novel… but alas, I never tried again… I was twelve

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