"This Week: “Caveat Emptor/Caveat Venditor” by Ed Ahern
(Originally published in Silver Pen.)
As warlocks go, Harald was a failure. Even though his curses were vigorously evil, and his pitches quite logical, he almost always lost the business. Harald partly blamed his sex. Most internet advertising for spells and curses came from witches. Those seeking vengeance or unfair advantage picked the repugnant hags rather than Harald, who was merely homely and middle aged. Harald had given himself mental hernias trying to increase sales..
Fifteen years an apprentice and sorcerer, he thought, and nothing to show for it. Washed out priests and ministers become counselors or teachers, but who’s willing to pay tuition to learn the uses of bloodwort?
Harald had joined Wizards Anonymous, but the other members only talked about their mushroom dependencies. Needing money to live on, he took a job with a livery service, driving pampered executives to and from New York airports. It was several months of traffic jams before Harald realized what a premium resource he had at his disposal. He practiced the phrasing of his questions.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty-odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after forty-eight years they are both out of warranty. Ed has had more than ninety stories and poems published so far, and two books. You can find him on Twitter as @bottomstripper and online at swampgasworks.com.
About the Narrator:
Rish Outfield is a writer, actor, and podcaster who can be heard as co-host of The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, which presents genre stories with a full cast. He also performs audiobooks for Audible, and occasionally becomes a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is full and bright."