I am so excited about today’s prompt! I was NOT a fan of The Great Gatsby, so when I saw a chance to do a little re-write, I squealed! Especially with a magical twist! Here’s today’s prompt:
He knew Daisy couldn’t—and didn’t love—a brute like Tom Buchanan. He just knew it. If Daisy loved anyone it was him, Jay Gatsby. The last time they were together, he could see it in her eyes.
But would she leave her husband? Of that, he was not so sure. They had a child together, after all. But Jay could be a good father to that little girl, he knew he could. He would show her how a real man was supposed to act. Yes, he could do it. He could be a stepfather.
And, he could be a husband. He could be a good husband, a better husband than Tom Buchanan could ever be!
But how could he make her see that? He could find out the name and address of Tom’s mistresses—he knew there had to be at least one out there. He was certain he heard Nick mention it in passing.
What to do? thought Gatsby, as he paced in his library. What to do?
He walked back and forth, back and forth for nearly an hour. He thought hard. He was sweating, so he took off his jacket.
If only I could make Tom tell her he doesn’t love her; that he wants her to leave and never come back.
He threw his hands up in frustration. If only that were possible! Suddenly, he remembered something. Once, a very long time ago, while he was walking the streets of London looking very forlorn an oddly dressed man with a long, white beard and half moon spectacles came up to him. He hadn’t even heard the man approaching; it was as if he just materialized out of thin air.
“It looks as though you’re in some sort of emotional turmoil, my boy,” the old man said.
“I’m fine,” Jay mumbled, and pushed passed him.
“You do not look it,” the old man replied, following him.
“Look here, sport,” Jay said, an edge to his voice. “I mean no disrespect, but I have no money to give you and I just want to walk in silence, okay?”
“You misunderstand stand me, my boy. I do not wish to take anything from you.”
“Then what do you want?” Jay asked.
“To give you something,” said the man.
“Unless you can give me a fortune, I don’t want it.” Jay turned to leave.
“Ah yes,” the man nodded and stroked his beard. “Yes, I was right. Financial troubles. I could see it in your eyes.”
Jay sighed and turned back to face the man.
“Sadly, I cannot give you a fortune,” the old man said, apologetically. “But I can give you something else.”
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes,” said the man, eyes twinkling as he spoke. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small vile. The old man then started to explain what was in the vile. Jay couldn’t remember the name of it now, something “juice”.
The stranger described how to use it and what it would do—by adding the hair of someone into the Juice, and then guzzling it down, you would turn into that person for a full hour. Even a guy’s own mother wouldn’t know the difference between the two! Jay couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“You’re crazy, old man,” Jay said, shaking his head.
“I am many things, Mr. Gatz, but crazy is not one of them.”
Jay’s ears perked up at the sound of his name. “How do you know my—“
“It is not important, Mr. Gatz,” said the man. “What is important is that you trust me.” The man handed the bottle to Jay.
Gatsby looked down at the bottle in his hand. “Will it really work?” He looked up, but the man had vanished. He could’ve sworn he heard a faint pop! sound down the street.
That happened nearly ten years ago. He didn’t believe the man then, but now, he was so desperate he would try anything.
Gatsby dashed to his cedar chest at the end of his bed. He wrenched it open and started digging through its contents. Old pictures, letters, and books littered the floor until he found was he was looking for, an old blue sweater. He unrolled it carefully and took out the small vile that the old man had given him so many years ago.
He ran to the foyer. Daisy had worn one of Tom’s coats the last time she visited. He hoped it was still hanging in the closet. He threw the door open and found it. He prayed to find one of Tom’s dark black hairs. He searched the collar, the back, until finally he spotted one right on the sleeve. He picked up, uncorked the vile, and dropped in the hair.
Green smoke billowed out of the bottle. Gatsby couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The liquid turned a dark, dank yellow. It smelled putrid.
“This is for you, Daisy,” said Gatsby, holding the bottle up. He closed his eyes and chugged. The liquid burned as it went down his throat and thought he might be sick. He dropped the vile and it shattered into a million tiny pieces on the tiled floor.
Gatsby watched, first horrified and then amazed, as his hands started to change in shape. He ran to a mirror in the hall. His once clean-shaven face was now growing a mustache. His neat, blonde hair turned dark. Suddenly, in a matter of moments, he was not longer staring at Jay Gatsby, but Tom Buchanan.
He knew what he had to do.