Contributor: Amin Hosseinioun

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It was a hole in a long row of muddy walls; with a short roof and not a single word on its window. It seemed like the shop was hiding. A green eyed black cat was licking her kitty beside the shop. In front of it a horde of berries were hanging from their tree and enjoying shadows of its wide leaves, which cast a shadow on the shop. This was the first berry tree Man has ever seen with no berries under it. He was here after an anti-sneeze herb, farther from Ghanat-Abad[a neighborhood in Tehran] mosque, near the old high school, and past a few broken arcs.
The window was dark and dirty, and the shop itself was filled with bags of herbs. Man pulled his tired feet to the shop, took off his gray coat and laid it on his left shoulder, pushed the glass door and stepped in.
There was neither a bell nor a welcome. There was not a living soul except a red beak crow sitting silent on a bar, beside the jars filled with snakes and bats and frogs. "Hello, anyone here?" Man said, long and loud. The crow was staring at him without a blink. And then those sneezes came back again, these damn sneezes came to him each and every hour hardening the breathing, wetting his eyes, making his everything sour. He put his hand on his knee. Tear drops were in his eyes, his throat was hurt and he wished to die, and the sneezing stopped as suddenly as before.
"It`s nothing, I`m going to fix it now" a young voice said. Man raised his head and saw an old man behind the counter. "You mean you can stop the sneezing?" Man said and the old man smiled and his beard gave way to his yellow teeth. Man couldn't see the crow anymore. The old man opened a jar and a green smoke floated playfully in the air, he grabbed it with a spoon and put it in a glass, then shattered a little dried herb on it and recited a verse and handed it to the man: "Gulp and get fine". Man was in doubt, he was shocked. The old man said: "Grab it Ebi , we don't poison people here."
Man stepped back a step: "How do you know my name?"
The old man put the glass down and laughed: "I call all strangers Ebi, don't be insulted Sir, but you are under a spell and you are lucky it is a simple one, gulp and get fine!"
Ebi wanted to run away, but his throat was itchy again and a wave was climbing down his nose, those sneezes again! He jumped forward and grabbed the glass and gulped it at once with closed eyes and everything was gone! It was like the potion built a breaker in his nose.
The old man said: "be my guest son, but if you want to pay, it is 5 grand."
Ebi was shocked:"5 grand? For one glass?"
"It is anti-spell, not jam." The old man came back.

It was no place to hesitate. Ebi paid and got out. He moved down the street where he had parked his car. The berry tree still had its shadow on the shop.

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I am a published writer in Farsi, in Iran, I have published two Gothic novellas with my brother and many essays. there are two more stories by me on Linguistic Erosion, and I am trying to experience more in English writing.
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