I’m keeping my promise to share some of my writing with you! I’m also interested to hear any riddles you might want to share. 🙂
Matt entered the store with caution, the smoke and sparkles stinging his eyes. Blinking a few times, he found the young man behind the counter.
“Welcome to Top of the Hat: Magic Shop. What can I help you find today?”
“Hey, Travis. You promised you would have my answer by today.”
“That I did, and so I do,” the man said, grinning.
“How can I trust it’s the right answer?”
“Real magic never lies.”
Matt quirked an eyebrow at the emphasis, glancing around the shop facade. To any ordinary bloke, it would appear as a fanatic store. Quirky bells and whistles, colorful handkerchiefs, plastic cups with fuzzy balls, white-tipped wands, and rubber chickens. There was a section dedicated purely to the fan magic of Harry Potter. The back was a collaboration of board games inspired by video games, action figures shaped like tv characters, and super hero posters from both Marvel and DC comics. Matt wasn’t any ordinary bloke though. He saw behind the curtain -so to speak- and knew there was a third section of the store where Travis kept his real magic and sorcery.
“You remember our bargain?”
Matt shuffled uneasily. He wasn’t supposed to know about Travis’s secret. Only those who knew magic could know of it and its culture. Matt had slipped through accidentally, but Travis allowed him knowledge as long as he provided knowledge in return. Knowledge was worth more than money, but recently, Matt found himself in the hole.
“You solve a riddle for me, I solve a riddle for you.”
“That’s right. You understand your riddle will be more challenging, to pay off your debt?”
“Yes, I agreed to the terms,” though they made Matt uneasy. How was he supposed to solve a riddle that was even harder than the one he needed Travis’s help to solve?
“Your riddle to me said:
Roses are pink, but I make them red
Two petals part, and rub in my blood
Roses are red, and I am encased
May two bloody petals, always be chaste…”
Travis smiled, watching Matt’s expressions as he recited the poem. Matt had nodded, knowingly, very familiar with the words that swarmed around his head for weeks. As the silence lengthened, however, he grew impatient. Travis had been pursing his lips, as though waiting for him to catch a hint and solve the riddle himself.
“Fine, dimwit. The answer is lipstick.”
“What?” it was that simple? But then how was Matt supposed to know that? He never put on lipstick! Maybe having a girlfriend would have helped…. Matt cursed his loneliness before Travis interrupted his thoughts.
“Now it’s your turn. See if you can solve this one.” Travis called a whistle to the third section of his store and Matt began to sweat, feeling fooled, inadequate, and unprepared. What he didn’t expect was an 8 year-old boy to come from behind the shelves. His age and gender were his only discernible features. His hair was every possible shade of brunet, blond, and black. His left side was smaller than his right, making his walk and posture uneven. He had one brown eye and one blue, the blue one was covered with a single eye glass.
“Hi. I’m Riddle.”
Disclaimer: I wrote this short story this morning, and it’s a first draft. Please feel free for feedback! 🙂