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Time in a Bottle

The Magic of Healing


“How long does she have?” asked the man behind the counter, stooping in his lab coat as he assessed the prescription.


“The doctor doesn’t know.  Perhaps a few weeks.”


The elderly gentleman empathetically smiled, his ocean blue eyes regarding his customer.  “Cancer?”


“Yes.  Quite advanced, I’m afraid.”


“Your wife?”


“Yes,” Owen responded.  “Forty years.”


“Quite an accomplishment.  I’m very sorry.”  The pharmacist placed the medications in a bag.  “Fentanyl patches and Percocet tablets for breakthrough discomfort.  Read the directions, mind you.  Be careful not to over sedate.  Easy to do, you know.” 


“Yes sir.”  Owen collected the bag along with his insurance card.  “So thankful you were open on the holiday.  I should keep a sharper eye on supplies.”


“Good to have Hospice.”  The pharmacist smiled; his cotton hair tangled in disarray.  “Might I suggest something additional?”


“What exactly?”


“This.”  The pharmacist handed over a brown, inconspicuous container:

Time in a Bottle Shower Balm


Owen studied the packaging: ‘Apply topically in a warm, moist environment.’   

“What’s this for?”


“It only works in the shower,” replied the pharmacist.  “Make it hot.  Make it steamy.  I think she’ll like it.”


A bell sounded in the back; a room hidden by double doors.  It clanked like a phone from the early 1900’s.  “I need to get that,” said the pharmacist, waving farewell.  “It’s probably God.”


“But where does this stuff come from?” Owen inquisitively asked, ignoring the ridiculous remark.  “How much does it cost?”


“From across the sea, Owen.  Pay the man at the gate.”  The voice dissipated, hollow and distant, further than the building allowed.


“What man?  What gate?”




Owen crossed the parking lot engrossed in the directions.  Unlocking his car, he realized he had forgotten the narcotics.  “Dammit!” he cursed, slamming his hand on the steering wheel.  “How could I have forgotten the most important thing?”


He rushed back to the pharmacy only to find the door had been locked.  The handle fell to the sidewalk, rusted and disfigured.  He banged and he screamed to no avail.  There was no answer.  The windows were darkened with filth.  Owen wiped away the dirt with his sleeve only to observe through the glass a wreckage fit for abandonment.


“What is going on?  I need my medicine!  Can’t anybody hear me?”


His voice echoed across an empty parking lot.




Leah smiled upon Owen’s return, perched in their bed like a wilted Orchid, pillows surrounding her emaciated frame.  She was leafing through a Hawaiian travel guide.


Owen frowned.  “I’m sorry.”


“For what?”  Leah’s hands trembled, flipping the pages.


“That we haven’t enough money for the trip.”


“It’s my fault,” she responded.  “All the co-pays and deductibles.  My sickness messed everything up.  You’ve been saving since we got married.”


Owen caught his wife’s tear with a finger.  “I don’t need the trip.  I’d rather have you.”


“And soon you shall have neither.”  Leah bowed her head in anguish.


Owen raked his hand through his thinning hair.  “What is that picture?”


“That’s the Pua Lehua flower of the Ohia Lehua tree.  It’s only found in Hawaii, the official flower of the Big Island.  It has a legend of jealousy and heartbreak.”


“What would that be?” Owen asked.


“Legend has it, years ago, a warrior on the Big Island named Ohia pledged his love to a woman named Lehua. But Ohia was very handsome, capturing the interest of the goddess, Pele. She wanted him for herself.  Despite her efforts to seduce him, Ohia remained true to Lehua and thus endured many tortures at the hands of the goddess.  In the end, Ohia was turned into a tree, but his love for Lehua was everlasting.  She was turned into a flower on the tree so they could be eternally united.  Today it’s called the Ohia Lehua tree.”


Owen gently took Leah’s hand, preparing for the worst.  “I’m sorry for something else.”


“What’s that, Owen?”


“I messed up,” he confessed, softly sitting on the mattress.  “I forgot your medicine.”


Leah looked confused.  “How did you do that?”


“The pharmacist gave me some salve to use in the shower.  I was reading the instructions on the way to the car.  I accidentally left your medicine on the counter.”


“Couldn’t you go back to get it?”


“They locked the door, Leah.  I couldn’t get inside.  I looked through the window. It was like nobody had been there for years.”




“I know!  I know!  It sounds so ridiculous.  I don’t understand it myself.”


Leah reached for the shower balm.  “Time in a Bottle?”  She attempted to unscrew the top but couldn’t get it open.  Even worse, the dispenser wouldn’t dispense.  “What have you brought home?  Magic beans?  Owen, I’m hurting.”


“I know you are, baby.  Let’s take you to Emergency.  I’m sure they can give us something to tide you over.”


“I’m not going to the hospital, Owen.  I’m not going to Urgent Care.  I’m not going anywhere.  Can’t we just call Charlie from Hospice?”

“Charlie can’t give you anything long acting, Leah, only Morphine injections.  Besides, hospice has already been by today.”


Leah began to weep, crumpled in pain.


“Let me take you to the shower where it’s warm, Leah.  The heat will make you better.”  Owen turned on the water and carried his wife through their tiny apartment, dusty and disheveled from neglect.


As the steam began rising, he undressed her like he had hundreds of times before.  Each time she was thinner.  Each time she was lighter.  A tiny bag of bones that he stacked neatly beneath the pelting spray.  The warmth eased her pain only slightly.


Owen noted the balm in the shower alcove.  “I’m glad you remembered to bring this, Leah.”


“I didn’t bring it,” Leah murmured, too uncomfortable to argue.


Owen pumped the dispenser and it worked. The bathroom was filled with the fragrance of flowers.


“It smells lovely, Owen.  Will you rub it on my back?”


Owen smoothed on the salve with a circular massage.  Leah immediately began feeling relief.


“My God, that’s incredible.  I wonder what’s in it?”


“The pharmacist didn’t say, Leah.”


“What did he tell you?”


“That it only works in the shower…and to make it steamy.”  Owen continued to work his way down, noticing something peculiar.  Everywhere he applied the ointment, the skin became taught and beautiful.  “Where else do you hurt?”


“Everywhere, Owen.  Rub me everywhere.”


And he did…  her neck, her arms, her chest, her legs.  He even put some on her face.  “Leah, how do you feel?”


“I feel amazing.  Stronger than I have in years!  Your hands feel so wonderful.”


Owen reached for a small mirror.  “Look at yourself.  You are young.”


Leah peered at her reflection, astonished.  “I’m ten years younger!  Maybe twenty!”  She studied the bottle again.  “Put it on my breasts, Owen.”


And he did…Leah’s breasts grew tight and full at his touch, firm and voluptuous with nipples that peaked to the sky.  “Mmmmm, she moaned.  Rub it between my legs.”


Owen dispensed a fresh dollop and massaged it into Leah’s labia.  His fingers penetrated deep inside her as her clit almost burst with joy.  “God, I’m coming, Owen!  You’re making me come!  Fuck me with your fingers!  Fuck me, Owen!”  Leah climaxed in his palm like he had never seen, squirting and gushing, clamping on his digits.


“Get your cock up, Owen!  I want you to fuck me.”  But alas, he could not.  It had been over a year since he’d had her, and time had not been kind to his stamina.


 Still, they kissed and embraced in the happiness of healing until the walls of the shower opened into paradise with flowers and trees and bountiful wonderment.


“What is this place?” Leah asked.  They were under a waterfall warmed by volcanic lava.


“Hawaii.”  Owen looked out into the lush surroundings.  A warrior in bright headdress appeared at a gate.  “How shall I pay you?”  Owen asked, remembering the pharmacist’s instructions.


“Truth,” said the warrior.  “Truth is love.”


Leah looked at her husband, confused. “What is he talking about?”  Owen shuddered as the water turned icy cold, and they were suddenly back in their tiny shower.  “I’m freezing,” said Leah, violently shivering in her husband’s arms.


Owen shut off the water and raced to get Leah to bed, tucking her tightly beneath layers of blankets.  She was as she had been and worse… the skeletal remains of vigor and youth, dying before his very eyes.


“What did he mean, Owen?”  It was her final breath.  Her hollow eyes gazed into a lifeless distance, further than the building allowed.




“Hello, this is Charlie Pele.  I’m unable to come to the phone.  Please leave a message.”


Owen slumped in his chair by the kitchen table, crying unconsolably.  “I need you…I need you to…”


“Do you need it again already, Owen?”  Charlie’s voice interrupting in a sultry seduction.  “Your cock was so good this morning after Leah had her morphine.  I love how you fucked me in the ass.  Can you get it up again?”

“No! No!” Owen cried.  “She’s gone, Charlie.  My Leah is gone, my life, my love…gone forever.”  There was a silent pause.

“Owen, I’m so sorry.  I’ll phone the coroner.  We’ll be over straight away to take care of her.  It’s going to be alright.  We can be together now.”


“No, we cannot!  We cannot be together!  This was all an awful mistake!  I don’t love you!  I don’t want you!  I don’t need you!  I need Leah!”


“You’re hysterical, Owen.  I’ll bring you some medicine.”


“I don’t want your medicine or your sex!  I just need you to take care of Leah!”


Charlie cleared her throat.  “Leah is dead, Owen.  She’s been dead for a long time.  You should have let me take care of her when we first started fucking.”


Owen burst into tears.  “Just come.  Please come.”


“I already have, Owen.  All over your feeble little cock.”


Owen hung up the phone.




A ‘whoosh’ of fresh water startled Owen from the bathroom.  He rushed to the bedroom and found Leah was missing, the covers laid bare, her gown on the floor.  Steam poured through the bathroom doorway.   A soft voice was beckoning.


“Just come, Owen.  Please come.”


She stood beneath the deluge, a glistening goddess – a misty Madonna, smearing herself with salve.




“Come, Owen,” she whispered, curling her finger.  “Let me cover you with ointment.  Let me show you my pussy.”


He fell into her arms under the scalding shower spray – the lava of a hundred volcanoes.  She squirted and rubbed until the bottle was empty… until Owen was as young and beautiful as she.

“Fuck me, Owen.”  She took him in her hand and stroked his massive cock to erection, harder and bigger than he’d ever been.  “Let me suck this luscious dick.” She fell to her knees.  “Let me taste the cum that I’ve been missing.”


And she did…swallowing his load like the fountain of youth.


“Lick my clit, Owen,” she commanded with authority.  Owen dropped between her legs and tasted her nectar.  Leah filled his mouth up with her ocean of foam.


“I want you to fuck me like a brute from behind.  Fuck my cunt until you empty your balls in me completely.”


Owen, still hard, shoved his shaft in Leah’s slit and immediately felt a pop he hadn’t known for decades.  Leah yelped as she bled on his thick, throbbing member.


“I’m a virgin again, Owen.  We are starting anew.”


“Oh God!” Owen cried as he erupted in her pussy.  All around them grew a congestion of lush greenery and vines, red flowers, tender leaves, and the fragrance of forever.




“Owen?  Are you here?”  Charlie and the coroner wandered back to the bathroom.  There was no one to be found, just a steamy emptiness.  The walls of the shower were covered in flowers.  She reached in and turned off the spicket. 


“Where’s Leah?  Where’s Owen? Where did all these flowers come from?”


Kekoa, the coroner, a Hawaiian native, reached in the shower to pluck a blossom.

“Across the sea, my lady.”

    What do you think?


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    1. Brilliant writing, especially the first part which made me sad then happy for Leah. You didn’t need the imagery, or the sex, to convey the sensational emotion and imagination in this story. One of your best, Kitten, and certainly your most moving in an almost poetic way.

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