A thing I did for a prompt.
‘Come in, come in!’ The friendly voice caught Liana off-guard, she hadn’t expected to hear such welcoming tones coming from a grim back-alley store like this.
She shut the door behind her. As careful as she was in doing so, chips of wood still broke off the rotting frame. The voice from before didn’t comment on it though, so she continued towards the counter.
A frail figure emerged from under the tabletop and ran a few fingers through his mustache. It did nothing to the grime which had seemingly fused with the rough, brush-like hair. ‘What can I do for you, young miss?’ A genuine smile revealed darkened teeth and spread cracks where wrinkles should’ve been.
Liana tried not to recoil, but took a step back anyway when the man’s breath reached her. ‘Can I get… a vial of common cold… please?’
‘Why, miss, of course you can!’ He pulled open a drawer, almost violently enough to send its contents flying. His hand moved to grab one of the many bottles inside, but stopped. ‘But, the common cold? Are you sure?’
His question took her by surprise. She just wanted to get what she came for and leave, quickly. ‘I– Uh… yes– Yes, I’m sure. Why do y–’
‘Because!’ The man interrupted her with a screech. ‘Because, young lady, we have so much more to offer!’ He waved an arm in the air, probably directing at one of the many overstocked shelves. ‘The pox, typhoid, rare samples of the plague, we carry it all! Wouldn’t you rather at least get the flu?’ He grabbed a bottle out of thin air, shoved it in front of Liana’s face. ‘It’s more of a nuisance that the cold, I say!’
Silence fell. Liana stared at the ground, uncertain. She hadn’t planned on going for anything dangerous, a small hint of “take that” was enough for her needs. ‘No I’ll… I’ll just take the common cold please.’
The man slumped, all energy vanishing from his stature. ‘Oh, alright then. What year’s cold do you want?’
I don’t know.