Every week in Tuesday Tales, several of us write to a word prompt. I’ve been writing my historical Vintage Daze Short Stories, adding to them each week as we go along. Until we got to April and the A to Z blog Challenge arrived. I realized that I’d plotted out a short story for my Vintage Daze blog, going from A to Z that conflicted with my Tuesday Tales post.
So, for April, I’m writing a short story on Herb Thyme, since Herb Thyme isn’t participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. For the next five weeks, join Jessica and her desire to work with herbs in this new short story – It’s an Herb Thing.
This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘alone.’ You can check out the other wonderful snippets at Tuesday Tales here.
Laurel dragged her finger over her plate, attempting to get the last morsel of the sugary remnants. “How much money would you need to get started?”
“I don’t know. A hundred dollars. Two hundred maybe. Depends on what tables are going for.”
“I could front you some. Say three hundred dollars. That should be enough to get you going.”
Jessica shook her head and protested. “No! Absolutely not! You can’t do that. We’ve been good friends for too long. Loaned money can come between friends. I wouldn’t want that to happen to us.”
Laurel’s eyes narrowed to slits and a stern look settled on her face. “Girlfriend…I’m trying to help you out here. I’m trying to help you realize a dream. Take the offer!”
“Okay. Then what about this idea. How much would you charge for a bar of soap?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t really calculated out the costs to make. Or scoped out how much others are charging. Maybe…oh, probably two dollars.”
“Not enough. Don’t underprice – nor underrate – yourself. Three dollars at least. And the customers are still getting a steal.” Laurel wagged her crimson-tipped index finger in Jessica’s face.
“Okay. Three dollars. Including tax. Then I don’t have to figure out all the odd change.”
“Perfect. Three dollars. Then I’ll take a hundred bars. Between now and Christmas. I’ll pay you up front. Then just give me…say…twenty bars a month for the next five months. That gives you time to be making some extra money and you’ll just pay me back in product. Then…voila…all my Christmas shopping is done. Everyone gets soap.” Laurel started tossing her hands in the air as if tossing out invisible confetti.
Jessica joined in, mimicking one of their favorite jokes about Oprah giving away gifts. “And you get a car, and you get a car…”
The two collapsed into giggles, reverting back to the high school days of yore. When the laughter subsided they finally calmed down, Laurel stood and stretched. “I’ll be right back.”
She disappeared into the house and returned carrying a check made payable to Jessica. “Here you go. Your nest egg for your future. What are you going to call your new business?”
“So many possibilities. Something with herbs in it, of course. I’ll have to give that one some thought.”
“Tell you what – let’s go to lunch one day next week.”
“I can’t go to lunch. Not right now. Not with-“
“That’s right. Silly me. I forgot. See – I already thought you were this rich, successful businesswoman buying lunches without a second thought. Pick a day and bring your brown bag. We’ll meet at the park. You can tell me your idea for a name then. Or if you can’t pick, bring a list of possible names with you and we’ll narrow ‘em down.”
After the two hugged and Laurel left, Jessica took advantage of the quiet house with no children and no husband. She retrieved a blank legal pad and sat on the porch making lists. Lists of possible business names. List of supplies needed. List of different scented soaps to make. She took a quick break to pop into the craft supplies tote to see what essential oils she had plenty of and what she was running short on. She glanced at the soap molds she had and then made a wish list of a few she’d like to add to her collection. Another page was filled with notations of what prices she needed to research so she could calculate the costs per bar of soap.
When her eyes were starting to cross from all the writing and notetaking, she laid the pen down on top of the tablet and decided to take a short break to relax doing one of her favorite activities. Gardening. She grabbed her clippers and an empty tote and started clipping some of the lavender buds to hang and dry. The peppermint was looking a little limp and wilted, so she turned the hose on to a trickle to give it an extra drink. Next up was the roses. As she started deadheading the spent blooms while taking deep whiffs of the velvety burgundy blossoms, she added another possible idea to her list of products. Potpourri. She looked around the yard and took inventory of what plants would provide inventory for homemade potpourri. The roses, natch. Lavender. Rosemary. Mint – several varieties. Lemon balm. Lemon verbena. She had the oils. She’d really only need to buy some fixatives, preferably orris root if she could afford it.
Come back next week for more It’s an Herb Thing.
You can check out the other Tuesday Tales snippets here.