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Wish the Moon

fantasy by Laura Eno

The full moon rose from the water, rivaling the sun in size and color while caught in the twilight hour.

Neither day nor night, it was an in-between time that held magic in its grasp — at least according to her grandmother. Kelsey never believed the old stories before, but now– Something didn’t feel right. The silence mocked her.

Her booted feet kicked up small clouds of dust as Kelsey stomped to the end of the road, but otherwise it remained impervious to her anger. The street she lived on ended at the lake, about a half-mile from the house. Kelsey sat down at the shoreline, staring at her reflection while she sorted her thoughts.

She shook her head, thinking of the stories. Fanciful beings, able to cross dimensions? The legends were mere fairy tales, used to frighten small children into obedience.

The light from the orange globe dimmed. Kelsey eyed the moon with suspicion, but its solemn gaze remained unchanged.

Nails biting into the flesh of her palms, Kelsey closed her eyes to stem her anger. The argument with Pete was born of nothing, as were all of their discordant words lately.

A chance remark, delivered in sarcastic jest, would often spark a heated discussion. The strain of living out here in the middle of nowhere, trying to make ends meet, was killing their marriage.

“I wish–“

She let the words hang in the cool stillness, not sure of what she wanted anymore.

“What do you wish for?”

Kelsey started at the soft voice behind her. She sprang into a crouch as she whirled to face its owner. The old woman smiled patiently, as if she was used to that reaction. Cheeks hot and heart still thudding, Kelsey attempted to slow her breathing to a more normal pace.

“I’m sorry, you scared me. No one comes down this way.” Kelsey studied the woman with growing suspicion. “How did you get here? I don’t see your car and it’s a three-mile walk to the main road.”

The woman looked at her with calm acceptance.

“You called me.”

“What?”

“You said ‘I wish’. What is it that you wish for?”

I must be losing my mind, Kelsey thought. All those stories of the Fae that Grandma brought with her from Ireland damaged me.

“Time is running out. The moon is ready to take its place in the sky. What do you wish for?”

“Since this is my hallucination, I can wish for anything I want, right?”

Kelsey shook her head at her whimsy, wondering why she was even continuing with the conversation.

“Yes, but choose wisely.”

“Right, the old catch-22.”

Kelsey almost laughed, thinking of evil genies.

“Okay, I wish for a lot of money but without someone dying in order to get it.”

The old woman nodded once and faded out of sight. Crickets played their song in the faded light, the sound awakened by her disappearance. That spooked Kelsey more than anything else had. She started back to the house, the darkness closing in around her on the lonely road.

Pete didn’t remark on her earlier exit but launched into complaints about leftovers as soon as they sat down to eat. Kelsey slammed her hands down on the table in frustration.

“I’m tired of your complaints,” she said. “You’re the one who turned down a high-paying job in the city to eke out a living in this desolate place. This is the best I can do. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else to eat.”

She left the room, returning moments later with a pillow and blanket, dumping them on the sofa. Her steely glance told Pete where he’d be spending the night.

Kelsey tossed for much of the night while formless shapes chased her in dreams.

Next morning, she pushed her imaginings to a far corner. The aberration of the night before had been nothing more than frazzled nerves.

#

Pete’s car squealed into the driveway that evening, just as Kelsey finished preparing dinner.

“Close your eyes,” he yelled, as he ran into the living room. “I’ve got a surprise for you.”

Kelsey closed her eyes, a smile playing on her lips. Pete used to do this sort of thing back when they first started dating. She heard something hit the floor. Several times, in fact.

“Our money troubles are over, sweetheart. You can open your eyes now.”

Kelsey took in Pete’s wild eyes, the red dye on his shirt, before glancing at the floor. Bags marked First National Trust lay in a pile at her feet.

Her grandmother’s warning never to trust the Fae reverberated in her mind, just before Kelsey heard the sirens’ wail.

Copyright January 2010 by Laura Eno

Laura Eno lives in Florida. She blogs about writing at A Shift in Dimensions.

[Return to the January 2010 stories]

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37 Responses

  1. […] Wish the Moon […]

  2. Those pesky wish-givers always find awesome ways to stumble the would-be wisher. Eeek. I think I’ll earn my money the hard way. :\

    Great tale Laura!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carrie Clever, Laura Eno. Laura Eno said: 10Flash has a new quarter up including my story, Wish the Moon. Come have a read! http://bit.ly/4WmOgx Plse RT if you enjoyed! […]

  4. Be VERY careful what you wish for! Wonderful.

  5. A wonderful story to read on this first morning of the new year!

    I was lulled into thinking, “Oh, a sweet fairy tale with a happy ending,” because after all, Kelsey was clever in asking for money and no death.

    But, but…the twist.

    In my experience, Grandmas ALWAYS know best!

  6. Awesome – very cool , love the meter and tempo on this one – slow even simmer then, pow!

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by shadowsinstone: RT @lauraeno: 10Flash has a new quarter up including my story, Wish the Moon. Come have a read! http://bit.ly/4WmOgx Plse RT if you enjoyed!…

  8. Those pesky buggers. Always messing with our wishes. Great one Laura.

  9. Smart enough to insert a qualifier, but those tricky wishes… Nice sweet ride.

  10. She sure worded that one wrong, eh? At least no one died… Good story!

  11. lol i love the twist how will she get out of this???

  12. There’s always a catch, hey? 😉

  13. I really enjoyed your story! What a fun twist, and the entire story moves really well.

    But, I’m not wishing on the moon anymore.

  14. That’s it. I’m never going to wish for anything again. It’s just too dangerous!

  15. Laura thanks for sharing, it pulled me in and the world fell away as I read it… 🙂

  16. Wishes would be great if it weren’t for all the amusing little strings attached to them. Amusing, that is, for the granter of the wish…

  17. I just couldn’t wait to find out how she’d get all that money without someone dying – that must’ve been difficult for you Laura. 🙂
    Just kidding. This is a super story. Your writing is perfection, period.

  18. Excellent! And true to her word, nobody died. At least not yet. 😉
    ~jon

  19. Sounds like he was a bit of a loser anyway – she’s well rid of him 🙂

  20. be careful when you *wish*
    great story. 🙂

  21. Wishes never work out the way we want them too. It’s no fair! Great story, Laura!

  22. Laura, Laura, Laura, I love how you write! You are able to turn the unreal into reality. I wish I had a an opportunity to make a wish. I would be veeerrry selective. Loved it!

  23. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! I really appreciate you taking the time to read my little story.

  24. Ahhhh, I knew that sweet little ol’ lady wasn’t to be trusted! Great job, as always.

  25. Oops – you really should think carefully when asked such a question. Well done, Laura. I knew this couldn’t end well, they never do – do they?

    But your ending was brilliant in its simplicity. I’m afraid neither of your protagonists think too clearly under pressure. They were well suited, I regret to say.

  26. A well done flash, top to bottom.

    –dj

  27. Be careful what you wish for indeed! If only she’d said “legally” they could have won the lottery… Nice twist at the end.

  28. I knew that there would be a twist on how the money was to be gotten. Great job, Laura!

  29. Wishes never workout the way the requester wanted. Nicely written and great twisted ending.

    http://timremp.blogspot.com/

  30. Wonderful story. Be careful what you wish for.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

  31. Fat and fab Laura! That is, your writing rocks.

  32. Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

  33. You are a wonderful writer, Laura. Your stories really inspire me. I could wish to be a wonderful writer like you but I have to be careful what I wish for, right? 😀

  34. Well, Lady Luck always gives you exactly what you ask for.

  35. Great story – I always catch myself double & triple checking any wishes that may fly out of my head.

  36. Thank you all for your great comments!

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