Once upon a time there was little girl. Well, she wasn’t that little, she was about 16. She was popular and clever and witty and had a decent face. She had a big arse but she was learning to live with that. She had a loving family and friends, had never been bullied or abused or even name-called and to top it all she lived in the glorious city of Manchester. She had the world at her feet. She was a very lucky girl indeed.
One day, as the girl was getting ready to go out with her many friends, a witch called. She didn’t look like a witch, she was blonde and wore a big dress (think Glenda from Wizard of Oz), she was kind and looked upon the girl and said:
“Well, haven’t you just got it all? You are a lucky girl. I can help you make all of this even better, I can make you even more popular, even more funny and more confident, like you’ve not a care in the world*”
*she also added,“I can’t do anything about the giant arse I’m afraid, I’m a mere witch, but in time, big arses will become popular, there’s another witch on the way called Kim Kardashian.”
And with those words she left a potion in a little whisky shaped bottle. The potion was called
“MAD DOG 2020, WATERMELON, 13%”
and there was a little tag around the neck of the bottle with ‘DRINK ME’ written in spidery letters.
The girl was good and obedient and who wouldn’t want to make all that she had even better? She had been educated since being a nipper in the wonders that alcohol brought to the adult world. She tasted the Watermelon 13% nectar and she liked it. She went out with her friends and the words the witch had said were true, the girl giggled more and was confident (she puked Mad Dog 2020 Watermelon 13% too, but she quickly forgot that bit) and she was hooked. Right there, from the beginning, she was hooked.
From that night on the girl never went out without her beloved potion. She’d discovered that the witch had branches everywhere called “Bargain Booze” and you could get the potion for a couple of quid.
“The witch was right!” the girl exclaimed.
“This potion is the dogs’ bollocks, I can’t ever imagine life without it.”
The girl loved it, with every bone of her body and she couldn’t get enough of it or how it made her feel and loved what it could do. It was magical, it could turn frogs into princes at the drop of hat and gave her the confidence to kiss a few of them.
To cut a long fairytale short, over the next 30 years the girl turned into a woman. She still had her beloved potion by her side but she had learned that Mad Dog was for kids and she had progressed to wine (as that was good for you, they said so on the telly). She had ditched Bargain Booze and had invested in her own alcohol emporium and worked alongside the potions every day and night where there was a magical, never ending supply and nobody to question her when she drank it because as owner of the emporium, the elves who worked there were a bit scared of her.
Drinking the odd potion had progressed to drinking wine every night. A small glass of potion had turned into two or even three whole bottles of wine, every night. As the woman’s friends were jettisoned one by one as they couldn’t take the pace, the woman found herself befriended only by the witch. The witch was now her only ally. She had noticed that the witch didn’t look at all like Glenda-from-The-Wizard-of-Oz anymore, she was gnarly and ugly and tended only to call on the woman at 3am. The woman assumed the witch lived in her bedroom wardrobe during the day.
After years of being woken by the witch at 3am the woman decided enough was enough. She had slowly discovered that the magical wine elixir wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and she was turning into a fearful, anxiety-ridden, tired, emotional, snappy, even-bigger-arsed witch herself. She banged on the wardrobe door and said:
“Come out witch, pack your bags and fuck off.”
The woman however was a realist, she understood that she still had to live and work in the alcohol emporium. She was like Willy Wonka trying to give up chocolate: chocolate was all she knew and she liked the Oompah Loompahs and the chocolate sales gave her a good living (and she also found herself in the midst of a pandemic where it became illegal to buy chocolate after 10pm and so there was no way people were buying as much chocolate as they used to, never mind chocolate factories, so financially she was a bit glued to the emporium) but she was determined to find a way. She had educated herself in the realities of expunging the power of the potion from the kingdom of her subconscious and knew it would be difficult but…. she would do everything she could to free herself of the power of the potion and if she could, there, in the emporium, then surely, anyone could.
To be continued…