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There once was a man who learned how to capture emotions. The way a photographer entraps scenes.

Like all humans he sought to profit with this new skill. He rented a shop and kept his feelings corked up on bottles. They lined up on shelves bearing labeled thought suitable. 

Rainy Day Melancholy. Wedding Bliss. Meandering Spirit (works best in the Spring). Drunken Happiness. Innocence of First Love. The Fascination of Jumping in Puddles. Dying Man’s Invincibility. Comfort of Smelling Lavender. Home For the Holidays. Dancing in a Meadow. And so on.

They were all tied with ribbons that reminded him of each feeling. Yellow for Birthdays as a Youth and green for Walking Among the Pines. In summer, when the windows were open, the ribbons danced in the breeze like pendants on a party banner.

He did quite well and soon was forced to rent a bigger building and buy larger cases of jars. Because people everywhere craved his potions of liquid…whatever feeling they lacked. The world is full of thirsty, lacking hearts.

She became addicted to Joy of Summer. It made her feel warm inside and full of courage. It made her crave beaches and sand on her toes. She suffered from frequent spells of throwing her head back, staring at the sky while she spun in circles with her hands outstretched. 

WShe spent her savings in bottles of the sweet liquid and carried it about with her in a flask. She took a swig whenever she felt a touch of cold or fear of fading. 

A kind soul attracted to her wild eyes and shapely figure who knew that her heart could belong to only one craving began to feed her doses of reality and sad books.

She wept often and he was there to hold her. Her fall from infinite summer to brutal autumn was a long, brutal one.

He bought her lots of sweaters and hot cocoa and sang in her ear when longing for the sound of the bell above the door of the grand shop where happiness could be bought almost drove her mad. 

It was spring before she lifted her eyes to the sky again. But in the heart of a man who saved her from the addiction of a happiness that came with a barcode, she found an eternal autumn. Full of change and fading glory. But solid gold all the way through.

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