Bottles of Happiness

by Victor Luo

She sold bottles of happiness at the marketplace. She woke up at dawn every morning to capture rays of happiness in the air. She would jump and let her fingers thread through each ray before sorting them into bottles. She always added a red ribbon to the tops of each bottle for a more personalized look. However, in these tough days her business was facing a lot of competition. There were merchants who sold joy, merchants who sold bliss, even merchants who sold ecstasy. You could find serenity and enlightenment in artisan crafted glass birds. Gypsies sold euphoria and glee captured in exotically colored glass gems placed on rings and necklaces. Jubilation was marketed as a limited-edition item. Satisfaction and success were booming in sales. She had her regulars and it was enough to make end's meet, but day after day she saw fewer and fewer of them. She took two bottles of happiness everyday and sighed, smiling with effort, only slightly glad that nobody sold meaning or purpose on these streets (though some rumored that shady figures in the black market peddled them).