The Amulet of Good

Written to [twitter.com profile] Midnight_Blaze_‘s prompt

“It is an amulet of good.” The woman behind the counter smiled with not nearly enough teeth.

“Good… luck? Good… looks? Good wealth?” Opal raised her eyebrows in question.

“Good.” The woman nodded. “It is of good.” Her accent was thick and seemed to wander around the globe. Her skin was more wrinkle than smooth, more age spot than whatever her original tone had been, and her hair was thin and curly.

And the amulet was $4. Opal paid it out of her pocket and left the remaining $1 in the jar for Children with… something. The label had long since faded. “Have a good day,” she told the woman.

“Good.” The woman nodded firmly at her. “Have good.”

A man on the street smiled at her, so Opal smiled back. She strolled down the street whistling, the amulet tucked neatly under her shirt, and so she did not see how it was glowing – or how the man she smiled at seemed to float a little; how the woman she held the door for seemed to brighten up, how the clerk in the candy store was whistling, too, after she left.

“It’s supposed to be an amulet of ‘good’,” she told her mother. “I like the way it looks. Oh, and I got you some of your favorite candy.”

“Oh, that was nice! You know, I think I’m going to order us pizza tonight…”

The pizza boy was surprised by his large tip but more surprised by the way he felt when Opal’s mom smiled at him, like he actually could do something with his life. His boyfriend, in turn, was surprised by the way the pizza boy brought him home a poem, written on the back of a pizza menu. He called his family and invited them to dinner the next week.

It wasn’t a very big amulet of good, and so it took a while for the effects to add up, but because it also wasn’t a very big town, they had this habit of folding back on themselves. The pizza boy’s boyfriend’s mother went jogging with Opal’s chemistry teacher, and so the Chem teacher, Mrs. Friedland, was humming when she got into class and, by the time she left class with Opal, literally floating a few inches off the ground. The principal – who was married to the woman Opal held the door for – was glowing faintly by the time he finished talked to Mrs. Friedland about their problem students. And those problem students, in turn (who included the boy Opal really wanted not to like and really did like), found themselves the target of a new, friendlier way of handling detention.

The old lady in the tiny antique shop stayed only until she could see that one person in three was glowing, floating, and smiling happily before she packed up her shop into a box far bigger on the inside than the out and moved on to the next place and time.

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