No Use for Magic

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[I asked her if she was joking. Her frown told me she wasn’t. “Every last penny, gone,” she said. “And that’s not the worst of it,” she continued, leaning across the table.] “We haven’t made a dollar in weeks.”

“That’s impossible,” I said. “Hasn’t anyone been in to buy a book?”

“Why would they?” She threw up her hands. “All of these books are digitized online.”

“Well, you can’t digitize the dead. Someone must have come in to commune with the spirits.”

“Everyone has therapists now. There’s no reason to ask the dead for advice.”

“The invisibility cloaks were always a big seller.”

“Yes, a thousand years ago. The camouflage body armor the military developed is mass-produced now, and cheaper than an invisibility cloak.”

“Then… the potions,” I insisted. “People will always need potions. For riches, for fair weather…”

“Everyone has hyper-realistic VR. It’s more real than reality, and it gives everyone everything they could ever want, regardless of riches. And you know climate change has rendered our weather potions and charms useless.”

“Then the love potions!” I shouted.

She shook her head. “The police are keeping close tabs on anyone buying love potions. No one want to be seen purchasing one. It’s not like it used to be. Use a love potion these days and you’re looking at an assault charge. Why bother with that when there’s VR?”

I slumped in my chair, defeated. I had known business was bad, but I had been in denial, thinking this was just a passing phase. But finally, after all these millennia, we would have to close our shop. Tears stung my eyes.

“I’m sorry, my dear,” my sister said. “No one has any use for magic anymore.”

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