One Heal, Please
By Dan Simpson

The four warriors wandered wearily into the town of Coneria. They had spent most of the day fighting the various nearby monsters, gaining money, and experience; and now they wanted to spend their hard earned money. These four warriors had been brought together by the fantastic coincidences that they each carried an Orb, and also that each of their names was under 4 characters (or less) in length.

"I believe that we should spend our Gold Pieces on White Magic," said Cal, the White Mage. "You never know when you might need a good Cure!"

"Do not listen to him," said Nubr, the Black Mage, "we should spend the money on powerful Black Magics, so that we can blast our enemies!"

"I most heartily disagree," replied Bob, a Fighter, "what we need are newer, shinier, deadlier, faster, and cooler weaponry! And maybe a new Armor as well!"

"All of those things are great," said Yang, a Black Belt (and self proclaimed party leader), "but what we could really use at this point in our quest, is a bag full of Heals and Pures." To the Mages: "If we bought magic now, you wouldn't be able to cast more than a spell or two before needing to rest," and to Bob, "and we already have the best weapons offered in this town. Let us wait until we reach a new town to buy weapons.

"Yes, what we need is to visit the Item Shop, and stock up on Items!"

Yang looked around the town, and found the Item Shop to be located across a small stream. He led the party over a bridge, and into the shop. Inside it was unaccountably dark. In fact, all they could see was the counter, a man, and some barrels behind him. Yang found it odd that he couldn't see the walls, or the floor for that matter.

"Good day," said the man.

"And to you," replied Yang, always eager to be the one to do all the talking. (Which was probably why he was always First in battle) "What I need," he said making it sound as if the other three warriors weren't there, "is a full order of Heals and Pures. Ninety Nine of each." He finished with a smile.

"One Heal, coming up!" The man said turning to one of the barrels.

"No, wait, I asked for 99 Heals, and 99 Pures," returned Yang.

"Yes, One Heal."

"But I don't want one, I want 99."

"Yes, but I can only give you One," the man said with an obvious emphasis on "one".

"Do you only have one?"

"No, I have a seemingly limitless supply!"

"Then why can't you sell me more than one?"

"Oh, I can sell you as many as you want, but you can only order one at a time. Item Shop policy, you know."


"It is the policy of Item Shop that we sell one item at a time. This way we keep people from buying too much of our seemingly limitless supply at once. Folks might get to talking if we sold in such high quantities, but our supply never seemed to drop. So, one item per transaction."

"That sounds like a stupid policy."

"But there it is."

"But I need 99 Heals! Now! I don't have time to order them each individually!"

"Well you're going to have to."

"Your policy certainly doesn't make any sense, not from a practical point of view! You would get the same amount of money, you would still have your seemingly limitless supply, and you would get us out the door so that you could help new customers."

"Business hasn't been that great lately."

"What?! What does that have to do with anything?!?"

"Well I get lonely. I like talking to people."

"So you keep me in here for no better reason than you are bored?!?!?"

"No, it's Item Shop policy."

"To annoy your only customers?!?"

"Did you want your One Heal, or not?"

"Yes, I want it, and I want a lot more!!"

"Then you'll have to order it again," he said and handed Yang a Heal. "60 Gold pieces." Yang pays the man.

"So, now I have to order again?" Yang asks.


"I would like.... 98 Heals!"

"One Heal, coming up!"

"Well I had to try."

"I know you did. 60 Gold Pieces."

Yang bites his lip, and pays the man the gold. Behind him, Yang hears Bob snicker, and mumble something to Cal. Yang thought it sounded like "this wouldn't have happened at a weapons shop." Yang wanted to smack the man.

Yang looks at the man behind the counter. It really was dark in here, and that did nothing to help his mood. He really needed to get a full load of Heals. The world is a dangerous place, and it will only get worse. But to take the time to order them one by one, well, that would take hours! Think of all the imps that they could be slaying! Yang could also picture in his head getting beaten by a Dragon, or an Ogre, or any number of other creatures, and knew that 99 Heals could mean the difference between life and death out there.

So, he let go of his pride.

"One Heal, please."