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Potions & Prisons

A Gay Fairy Tale

by L.M. Brown

When John the woodcutter realises he is about to lose the love of his life, he seeks out the wicked witch of the Enchanted Forest, hoping to buy a love potion to win his lover back. The witch refusing to help is only the start of his problems, for—on the stroke of midnight—the witch’s cottage vanishes from the Enchanted Forest with him in it.

Mathias is the grandson of a wicked witch and, like his mother and grandmother, he is cursed to be trapped in the cottage in a desolate wasteland for the rest of his life. He and the cottage only return to the Enchanted Forest on Midsummer Day each year. The last thing he needs is an unexpected house guest.

Thrown together for a year, the spark between the two men soon ignites into passion, but can John live the rest of his life in a prison and would Mat even ask him to?

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John the woodcutter cursed as he stumbled through the Enchanted Forest. He could have sworn he'd been walking on a path when he'd entered the trees, yet somewhere along his way he'd begun stumbling through bracken and undergrowth, tearing his breeches and shirt in the process. The witch's cottage had to be around here somewhere. It just had to be. He had wasted most of the day traipsing through the woods; he couldn't give up now.

The sun had gone down hours ago and the moon shone brightly in the clear night sky. The silver orb provided enough light for him to continue his search, even though his efforts were not yielding any results at all.

Finally, he caught a glimpse of a light between the trees and he quickened his pace as he hurried toward the welcome sight.


The building had two storeys and at first glance appeared to be a fairly well-kept cottage. When John studied the dwelling a little closer, he noticed the chipped paint and the patched up repairs to the roof. He guessed the witch didn't have time to keep the place in immaculate condition. No doubt she filled the hours of her day by mixing potions and casting spells. Only the sign on the gate indicated there might be something out of the ordinary about the residence. Although John couldn't read or write, he knew instinctively this must be the place he had been searching for. After all, who else would be living out here in the middle of nowhere?

He opened the gate and marched down the path to knock on the front door.

A few moments later, the witch opened the door a crack. "What can I do for you, young man?" she asked in a croaky voice. John had to strain to hear her and could see nothing of her face beneath the black hood covering her head and much of her visage.

"A potion," John explained. "You're my last resort."

"I usually am," the witch replied. "What sort of potion?"

"A love potion."

The witch stilled. "Sorry. I can't help you."

John didn't think he'd heard her correctly at first, but when she tried to shut the door in his face, he knew he hadn't been mistaken. "What do you mean? The villagers all say you can whip up any potion you like in a few minutes."

"The villagers don't know what they're talking about."

"What about a spell then?"

The witch shook her head. "I don't tamper with the hearts of others."

John hadn't come all this way for nothing. "There has to be something you can do," he begged.

"I brew my potions and cast spells only to help people."

"And a love spell would help me," John interrupted. "I don't see what the problem is."

"No, I don't believe you would," the witch snapped. "Now if you don't mind, I want you to leave my property immediately."

"I'm not leaving until you give me my love potion," John insisted.

A clock striking from inside the house drew the witch's attention away from him. "You need to leave, now!" The witch stepped outside and pushed him back down the path.

Even though her strength surprised him, John stood his ground and refused to budge.

"You don't understand," the witch growled at him. "It's midnight. You have to leave."

"Why?" John asked. "What happens at midnight? Do you turn into a pumpkin?"

The witch answered with a spectacularly foul word, one which John had never imagined coming from the lips of a lady, even if she was a witch.

"Too late," the witch muttered with a sigh of frustration.

"What's too late?" John asked. He glanced over his shoulder to where the witch pointed and he swiftly did a double-take. "Where did the forest go?"

The trees had vanished. In fact, everything outside of the witch's garden had disappeared. All he could see was a vast expanse of dirt and rocks stretching out in every direction. Even the sky seemed different, with the moon hanging far lower in the west than it had a few minutes ago.

John glared at the witch. "What did you do?" he demanded.

The witch walked back toward the cottage. "I didn't do anything."

John peered at the witch, wondering if his hearing had become impaired along with his vision. The witch's voice had changed completely. No longer croaky and rasping, instead she sounded similar to John, deep and masculine. "Where did the forest go?" he asked.

"It's still right where it's always been," the witch replied. With each word she spoke, John became more certain the witch was actually male. "It's my house that moves, on the stroke of midnight. I did tell you to leave."

"You didn't tell me the place would vanish with me in it!"

The witch pushed back his hood to reveal a handsome young man. His blond hair brushed the edge of his collar and his dark blue eyes flashed with anger. "I--even more than you--wish I'd been able to tell you exactly why you had to leave. Being stuck here with you for the next year isn't my idea of a pleasant time."

John's stomach flipped at the man's words. He couldn't stay here for a year. He'd lose his job, his home, and his last chance to win his lover's heart back. "Just point me in the direction of the nearest town or inn, and I'll be on my way."

"There's nothing else here except my cottage," the witch told him. "The cottage is cursed to be here in this desolate wasteland forever. It only appears in the real world—your world—for a single day each year. Midsummer's Day, in fact."

"A year?" John couldn't stop himself from shouting. "Are you telling me I'm stuck here for a year?"

"Unfortunately for both of us, yes," the witch snapped back before disappearing into the cottage and slamming the door behind him.


About the Author

L.M. Brown is an English writer of gay romances and all male ménage romances.

She believes mermen live in the undiscovered areas of the ocean. She believes life exists on other planets. She believes in fairy tales, magic, and dreams.

Most of all, she believes in love.