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Invincible Rum
About an inspiring friendship between the 2 women living in Australia. One was holocaust survivor, the other one denied holocaust. Yet, they were inseparable.
[1,102 words]
Anna Adamin - Raasveldt
Global village background. Speaks many languages.
[January 2008]
Invincible Rum
Anna Adamin - Raasveldt

Margaret and Wilma were old friends. Wilma was over ninety and Margaret was in her late eighties. The two women looked after each even though they came from different countries, with different experiences and now lived in Australia.
Margaret and Wilma were inseparable even though their opinions differ so much that one would wonder how these two women were such good friends.

Wilma was the one who denied holocaust while Margaret was the holocaust survivor. Past politics were put aside as there was no reason for one to wake up old disagreements that just might torn their relationship apart. At this age, past was left behind and the challenges of everyday life were more important to them than what it took place in the past.

Wilma was almost blind, sweet looking lady with a nice crop of white hair. Her hair carried trace of youth in a shape of braids wrapped around her head. She was much shorter than Margaret. Margaret was still tall for her age, more serious yet more energetic as she was eight years younger than Wilma.

Wilma detested any antibiotics and because of the new strain of a certain flu virus she decided to seek protection of the invincible rum. It was an old recipe hand down from previous generation when medication was scarce.
Wilma revived the old recipe supposedly curing all ailments including flu. She said to Margaret “We’ve got make a good supply of invincible rum because the flu in Australia was gaining its momentum and we are in need to protect ourselves”. So, the women had to purchase a certain brand of rum and finding the right herbs required many trips to different herb stores . A dark brand of rum was the best for Wilma's recipe. She used to obtain her rum at a sale price at one particular shop. Wilma inspected each bottle carefully after the bottle was opened. She tasted it to make sure the sweetness was just right. It was Australian brand she said was the best. Margaret helped to measure portions.

Wilma never revealed her secret to Margaret of the secret recipe of the invincible potion. Her trick was to ask Margaret to get this or that from the storage while she was mixing and fixing the herbs into proper portions. In the meantime, the supply grew to twenty five bottles. Wilma suddenly started coughing. She covered her mouth with a big towel. But Margaret insisted on getting Wilma to the doctor.
“No, I will not go to the doctor”. That was the end of their discussion.

Unfortunately, the invincible rum needs some time to mature so the freshly made batches were no good for stopping her cough. The secret infusion of herbs left on the counter was the closest cure available at the moment. Wilma rinsed her mouth with a hundred ml of rum, then gulped down the herb infusion and poured some coffee into her cup and drank it all. Margaret thought of calling a taxi to take Wilma to her apartment. Wilma said “I can’t go by taxi, taxi won’t take me because of my cough”.
“Any other idea how you can get home ?“ Margaret worries began to take over because Wilma would have to stay at her place. Margaret didn’t want to get something from Wilma. Fragility of their health was always a big concern.
“Get me the mask” Wilma pointed out to a mask hanging in big plastic bag. They bought a good supply of dust masks from one of the hardware stores.
 “I’ll cover my mouth with the mask, take a few bottles of invincible rum with me and I go by bus”. Wilma was swaying from side to side at the moment.
“I’ll go with you and then I take the taxi on the way back. I want make sure that you get home safely and I’ll take extra bottles for you”.

Wilma got on the bus and put a handkerchief around her mouth first. The dust masks were handy just in case but she didn’t want to put one yet to cause some panic among passengers. She has always been discreet in her opening of the bottle of rum, especially in the public places. Wilma took a swallow of immature invincible rum, rinsed her mouth with it , then spat it all to the handkerchief without anyone noticing what she was doing. She kept her mouth covered. Her coughs were barely noticeable. Her eyes bulged. The bottles made noise and she was very uptight about this trip holding tightly to her bag. The bus finally stopped where both of them got off.

Wilma pushed her way out, dragging the stretchy sack, heavily pulling its weight down. She let off her handkerchief and inhaled fresh air. Her face all puffed up, her lips stretched and her breathing was deep resembled dying fish gasping for air. Margaret got ahead of Wilma, speeding like a speed walker, yelling at Wilma to hurry up which took a lot of effort for her as she was getting out of breath.
Wilma kept pulling her weight forward with mask sliding down her chin that really made awkward to walk any further. The apartment was almost visible but too many neighbors gathering around the entrance really jinxed the quiet entry to the building. Wilma put her mask away. She wobbled as she walked. Someone laughed. “Lady got drunk. Need some help to climb up.” But Wilma ignored all the comments. Margaret got hold of her bottles so they didn’t make a single sound while Wilma held on to her handkerchief. She didn’t dare to remove it.
“Hurry up Wilma” Margaret again encouraged Wilma to get to the building as fast as possible. They managed to get to the hallway but Wilma struggled with the keys.

Margaret avoided coughs, sneezes and hullabaloo that came when someone was sick, especially with a strong strain of flu virus. Wilma continued working on the invincible rum on her own, adjusted proportions of different herbs. Wilma created all sorts of different invincible rum remedies. There were remedies for rinsing mouth, to rob on your skin, nose drops, mouth spray and even creams. Later on Wilma developed recipe for chocolate filling. Her name was all over the stores with ingredients enlisted on each product. Wilma became very wealthy at the age of ninety five . She lived for sometime to enjoy the fruits of her labor by living in a luxurious home care. But she never revealed the recipe to anyone and the recipe died when Wilma died. This would have been impossible to achieve if it weren't for the flu virus.



"Please forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing from your name that English isn't your first language. If this is the case then please disregard the fact that this needs a good edit and that some of the phrasing is bulky and clumsily written. If English isn't your first language then regardless of the odd irregular tense it's damned well written. Interesting story. " -- Sooz, Barrow, Cumbria, England.


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© 2008 Anna Adamin - Raasveldt
January 2008

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