Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Flash Fiction #10 - A Mindless Wish

Wrote this one a while ago and never got around to posting it. No time this week so it finally gets its chance :)

Enjoy!

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"I wish I could live forever." It was a foolish statement, an ambitious youth's dream. One lifetime wouldn't be nearly long enough to accomplish all I'd dreamed of accomplishing.

I remember that day so clearly -- it was one of the first true spring day, senior year of highschool and we were on top of the world. All grown up and ready to "be somebody." Michael already WAS somebody -- he'd raised over a million in support for a small African country, built three schools, delivered food and medicine, and changed the lives of thousands. He was 18. He wished for the ability to change the world -- but we all knew he already had it. Jessi had no ambition in life beyond a happy healthy marriage and family. Her dreams were the simplest, but perhaps the hardest to achieve. Karen? She was going to cure Alzheimer's -- and several other diseases while she was at it. Mark's goals were far more immediate -- he was going to find the courage to tell his family he was gay. Stephanie was the political activist of the group and her plans went beyond the scope that any of the rest of us mere mortals could fathom. The closest we could understand was that she intended to rule the world. And know her, she just might do it.

And me? I'm ashamed to admit my dreams were far more self-centered. I wanted to travel -- to see the world. I wanted to learn to speak a dozen languages (despite being absolutely hopeless at the ones I had studied). I wanted to be known -- not famous, I never had any dreams of stardom -- but I wanted to be able to visit anywhere in the world and know I'd have a friend there to welcome me. I wanted to know . . . everything. What was and what would be. I wanted to understand. And sure I'd love to help people throughout this but if I were honest w/ myself, that was a happy bi-product rather than the motivating factor.

So it's warm and sunny out and we walked into our writing class to see a sub sitting on the desk. Mark made an immediate u-turn and left to enjoy the sunshine. The rest of us considered a mass exodus but a look from the sub was powerful enough to have us slumping into our seats wishing we'd been as quick to analyze and respond to the situation as Mark had been.

The exercise presented to us that day was childishly simple and, we felt, a complete waste of our time. Our usual instructor presented us w/ thought provoking exercises that encouraged us to think, to analyze, to argue. All things we were very good at. This? This was fluff. However, it was fluff w/ a codicil -- as soon as it was done, we were free to leave. Needless to say we whipped it off in no time and out we went. It was out of our minds by the time we got to the front door.

The assignment -- 500 words to finish the statement: If I had one wish I'd . . .

They say the first step to accomplishing a goal is to write it down. We didn't discuss the writing exercise -- it was nothing and it was spring out. So I never knew exactly what my friends wrote. I do know that Jessi left uni in third year to marry her TA; they would go on to have five children. The rest of us thought they were insane -- but they were happy. Ten years after that Karen won the nobel prize for her genetics research which led to cures for many of the worlds more tragic diseases. Meanwhile, Stephanie had worked her way through several university degrees before earning an intern position at the UN. Blood, sweat, tears and many years later she had worked her way up to the point where when she spoke, the world sat up and listened. And then did what she recommended.

And I? I had the life of dreams. I got to travel the world and meet people on every continent whom I would forever consider friends. I got paid to tell stories w/ my camera. And I enjoyed almost every minute of it. But life went on, as it will, and time took it's toll -- on everybody but me. I watched my friends die, and their children, and their children's children. Eventually, given enough time, I recalled that spring day so many years ago and the paper I'd put no thought into whatsoever.

And I wish I'd never wished.

11 comments:

Be careful what you wish for... :) Great little tale.

 

Glad it got its chance to be read!

It was a really good...cautionary, heh, tale.

 

might be my favorite one yet :)

jen

 

Wishing is not always a good thing. Thanks for letting this one out to shine.

 

Ah ha, be purposeful when you wish and once its written down well it's almost concrete.

 

Immortality would only be fun if you had immortal company that you loved, I reckon :-)

Cool story!

 

Thanks for reading guys :) Glad you liked it!

 

This was a great cautionary tale on wishing without abandon. Often I've been asked about this immortality thing. I feel that it would be a lonely existence...but still. Terrific rendition. I'm really glad you were able to share it.

 

Ah, many a flippant wish have had their consequences... Really enjoyed this; nice work!

 

Nicely wrapped up. That simple and succinct final sentence shows an eternity of loneliness. Great! Thank you for sharing.

 

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