Ridiculous, Sleep, Honk

3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320
words/phrase provided by @ladychap84

The medicine man came to town, this time in a new fangled contraption. A wagon pulled not by horses, but by witchcraft or engineering (depending who you are).

We heard him before we saw him coming. He blared his horn and we all ran to our windows. It was nearing sunset and through the dust we saw the shape of his ride; one of those Ford vehicles with a cart hitched to the back that looked more like a fortune teller’s or circus sideshow cart.

we knew it was the medicine man because in between honks he’d shout out our problems then give the answer in the form of a powder, tonic or magic elixir.

“Warts? Cysts? Boils? Scrapes? Bumps or Bruises? I’ve got a tonic that’ll smooth your skin back to its newborn state!”

HONK. HONK.

“Having trouble sleeping? Do you suffer from the terrors of the night? I’ve got an elixir as old as time. A few swigs and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.”

HONK. HONK.

“Can’t seem to muster up the courage to ask out that pretty gal? Trouble speaking up in public? I’ve got the cure! You’ll be gabbing like a child telling Santa what they want for Christmas.”

HONK. HONK. HONK.

It seemed everything he was selling would turn us back into some sort of child. I didn’t understand at the time why that was so appealing. Then again, back then I had to stand on my tiptoes and pull on the sill just to look out the window.

The man parked in the center of our town square and opened up the cart he hauled. My mother took me and my two sisters to see him.

When we approached, the four of us gals were already a little late. We watched and waited as our neighbors, acquaintances and other town folk shouted their ailments and he miraculously provided the cure.

“What do yer got fer balding, kind sir?” asked the town cobbler.

“For the follicular-ly challenged I have this hair powder. Mix with raw egg, a splash of gin and leave it on your head for two days.” said the medicine man.

“How much?” asked the cobbler.

“Two dollars fifty.” said the medicine man.

He probably could have named his price, with the cure for baldness on the table.

“Step right up and let me know your weaknesses, I’ll give you the cure. I’m only in town for a day, business calls me elsewhere.”

“Ridiculous.” my mother muttered to herself.

“What is?” I asked.

“That poor cobbler drinks enough gin to put enough hair on fifty men. He eats only eggs because he only owns one hen.”

“Yeah but he doesn’t put them on his head, maybe that’s the trick.” I offered.

“That’s the trick alright. If he’s dumb enough to put that awful smelling mix on his head and pay good money for it, then he deserves it. But by the time he finds out that medicine man’ll be long gone.”

She grabbed our hands and shooed us back to the house, muttering all the way.

“Two days to leave it on but he’ll be gone tomorrow. Ridiculous.”

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