WISHING WELL • by Ken McGrath

Water flows endlessly over her feet. Stone eyes watch another coin flipped. It sparkles in the sunlight, splashes, sinks to the bottom.

Nothing happens.

She’s witnessed countless tokens given, every currency imaginable. Guineas, francs, nickels, shekels, pounds. Most tossed with joy, humour, some with other intent.

She’s heard giggles and squeals, whispered promises, tears and unspoken wishes. The desire for secret kisses, results in exams, for health, wealth, happiness. For accidents, disease, even death.

She can however grant only one type. So she waits, hoping someone will wish her to step down from there, human once more and no longer stone.


Ken McGrath lives in Dublin, Ireland but you can find him online @fromthebigface. His fiction has been published in Daily Science Fiction, Speck Lit, Word Legs, Antipodean SF and 365 Tomorrows among others.


Regular reader? We need your Patreon support.

Rate this story:
 average 3.8 stars • 50 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • I am a big fan of micro fiction. But it has to be tight with word use and strong in impact.

    The shopping list approach to the third and fourth paragraphs was a turn-off.

    The ending was a good idea but for me not strong enough.

    I did a word count and came up with 101 words which made me think this was written specifically for a 101-word site. If so, that certainly limited the story telling ability for a site allowing up to 1000 words.

    **

  • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

    Ditto Jeff except for the fondness for micro fiction.

    I’d put this in the Mad Libs school of storytelling–have the reader bring everything necessary to make a real story out of a possibility. Two stars.

  • Trollopian

    I thought this was a remarkably disciplined and evocative story. From now on I won’t look at stone statues in quite the same way. Four stars from me.

  • S Conroy

    Enjoyed this, specially the last line.

  • This is dangerous story telling. Every word must stand with each other for full impact. There can be no room for nonsense. “She can however grant only one type.” What type is that? Am I missing something?

    Perhaps this would be better written in poetry.

    • Only one wish.

    • Camille Gooderham Campbell

      I read it as the only kind of wish she can grant being one to bring her to life — that’s the only magic she has, to come alive when wished for, with no capability to do anything else for the wishers. But I could be wrong.

      • Gerald_Warfield

        Me, too.

      • weequahic

        She does spell it out for us at the end. A colon or dash after “type” might help, but only might. No need.

      • No, I do not think you are wrong but when I accept what you have said and reread the story, I have to wonder why Ken wrote it in the first place. There certainly is room to give the poor reader a little history. I see she is a prisoner stuck in a stone realm, but a bit of who what when would have gone a long way.

        Thank you for your reply.

  • conrad winn

    nice, with a little twist..

  • SueAnn Porter

    I enjoyed this short flash with a great twist at the end

  • Jeffrey Yorio

    An excellent story or maybe vignette. Either way I did enjoy this story, good ending and, for me, the lists of currency and wishes made the story.