← Issue 9

The Spellbound Shop

by Alisha Kauten

The shop, I can admit, is hard to notice with its pale cream brick, blue glass, and dark oak doors. It’s unassuming, tucked away quietly. A stark contrast to the busy market street and its bold colors and bright noises. My love insisted it be this way. I can’t say that I mind too much.

The first thing that meets you is the incense. Smokey tendrils of lazy lavender in the air when he is here, cinnamon and cardamom when it’s just me. It invites you in when you open the door. Pulls you away from all the noise outside. The bell overhead chimes to signal your arrival. It is just me today. Hello, stranger.

You’re halfway through the door, hesitant. Your eyes wander. You close the door behind you.  The spell is cast. The lamps cast a warm orange glow in the dark room that lays across the shelves and glass display cases like a lazy serpent. Transparent pink fabric is pinned to the ceiling in low hanging arcs. Stones twinkle in the display case. Quartz. Amethyst.  Obsidian. Malachite. I haven’t seen you around here before.

Just visiting. I hum and nod. I know. The shelves behind me house leather-bound books. No two are alike, but each of the titles are written in gold. Dried herbs and flowers, carefully bound in twine, are set on the lower shelves. Lavender. Myrrh. Sage. Cinnamon. Anything I can help you with then, visitor?

You hum. Just looking. Your eyes catch onto the reading room. Heavy red curtains prevent you from seeing inside. I laugh and gesture for you to follow. Pushing back the curtains reveals a round room. White candles decorate the table in the middle. It’s covered by a velvet purple cloth, embroidered with tiny silver animals along the outside. A wood tea tray sits on the edge. Tea kettle already steaming. I pull two cups out of the air. Please, take a seat.

Chamomile?  I pour you a cup. There’s a myriad of throw pillows on the plush couch in shades of blue and green and orange and purple. The sea against the sunset. Some round with yellow tassels. Others square with delicately stitched patterns of plants. A quilt lays over the armrest, worn and soft with use. A glass wind chime is hung in the corner. The cup is warm, a flora scent wafting from it, and it tastes just as sweet. You relax into the plush cushions, the warmth of the tea, the smell of cinnamon.

Words will flow, quiet and muffled by the thick curtains separating the room from the rest of the world. I’ve been feeling a little lost. I’ll hum and nod. I know. A comforting hand on your back. There is the gentle twinkle of the wind chime. A rainbow is cast over your hands when the candlelight hits it just right  I’ll help you up and escort you to the door when you decide to go. Goodbye, visitor.

You’ll leave, walking back into the bright noisy market street, blinking to adjust the onslaught of light. An unopened tin of chamomile tea in one hand, a shimmering opal ring on the other. You’ll find you won’t be able to find the shop tomorrow no matter how hard you try. The market is just so busy, you’ll murmur to no one. The scent of fresh pumpkin bread will lead you down the street.

I’ll wait for the next customer. If not me, then it will be my love and his lavender smoke. It will swirl lazily in the air like a snake. The bell above the door will chime, signaling the arrival of someone new. They will be halfway through the door, hesitant to enter. Light will pass over the stones and jewelry in the display case, scattering a rainbow across the far wall of the shop.  Jade. Garnet. Citrine. Selenite.

A smile. Hello, stranger. The spell is cast. The door will close.


Alisha Kauten is an aspiring writer and artist. Currently, she is pursuing a major in English and a minor in Management at Simpson College. In her free time, she likes to draw, read, or spend time with her close friends.