A loud ding echoes across my bedroom, indicating that my client has completed the proper steps to summon me. I float across ivory-white marble columns that are inlaid with sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. With a room full of treasures of the world, it is a wonder why it still seems empty.
The door swings open and I am met by a young girl whose jaw drops at the sight of me and she sweats profusely. I sigh; she has no idea what she is getting herself into. After going through the standard introduction, I explain the rules of my services: I will grant her three wishes on the condition that what she asks does not involve resurrection, extermination, or the alteration of someone’s mental or emotional state.
The girl continues to stare at me, her body rigid, and face pale. I give her a moment to take it all in and, in the meantime, take a guess at what she will ask for.
The beauty of wishes is that clients tend to rush into their first demands, which gives me unlimited creativity in how I grant their request. From her worn-out clothes and messy hair, she must be a person of lower standing so she will probably ask for wealth. I can take a quick vacation in the Cayman Islands before I deliver her Blackbeard’s treasure chest. After all, I only get out every century or two, so I might as well make the most of this time.
“My mother is very sick,” her voice is shaky, “I wonder if you can save her?”
My forehead wrinkles up in surprise, for it is rare that I receive a wish that is not self-serving.
“Of course,” I respond. We are instantly transported to her home, which, as I previously supposed, is a shabby one-bedroom apartment that is practically bare.
In the middle of the room, on a dilapidated mattress, lies her mother who is on the near brink of death from a cancer that is poisoning her lungs. The girl is fortunate, for if she did not discover me in time, her mother would be deceased and there would be nothing I could do. My fingers rest carefully over her mother’s stomach and I feel an energy surge from the core of being into my fingertips.
Mere seconds pass by before she jolts up in full health and embraces her daughter, crying tears of joy. Thanks to me she has many years ahead of her. Well, for a human anyways.
Seeing them embrace should be a touching moment for me, but instead I wonder about my own mother or if I even have mother. There are plenty of others like me, but it remains a mystery as to where we all came from. If I do have a mother, is she a distant but caring woman? Always watching but never interfering so that I may live out my own destiny? Or is she like a cold calculating machine that only creates products with little concern of where they end up?
The girl turns towards me, her cheeks glistening from teardrop stains. I suddenly have the urge to return home and curtly remind her that she needs to tell me her other two wishes.
“You’ve given me everything,” she responds. “Let me repay your kindness. What do you desire?”
My mouth hangs open and I realize that I probably look as foolish as she did when she first approached me. After all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a client provide me with the chance to use magic on myself. The only accountable record of this happening was thousands of years ago, when my cousin was given freedom by a homeless thief with a pet monkey.
But is freedom really what I truly want? In spite of my limitations, I have already explored so many lifetimes that I wonder what more the world can offer me. Without thinking, I blurt out the first desire that comes to me, the one wish I am incapable of granting.
Across the room, the girl’s brow furrows and I see an expression on her face that I have never seen from a human before. She pities me, as if she knows that there is an element of her short existence that will always outmatch my infinite years. That look of pity feels brutal, like a knife embedded in my side. I want to hurt her.
If I convince her to wish for treasure, I can transport her into the deep ocean next to Blackbeard’s chest with no breathing equipment. Or if she asks for beauty I can transform her into the most gorgeous ninety year old woman and ensure that she only has a few years to enjoy it. The possibilities of her destruction are endless and I continue to silently plot her demise when out of the blue she says, “Stay with me.”
“Stay with me; we can explore the world together”
I stare at her, dumbstruck. Surely this is the stupidest wish I have ever heard, but it is not in my power to deny her of anything unless it breaks one of the rules.
“Your wish is my command,” I say.
Years pass by and we do explore the world together. We travel to the earth’s core getting lost in the complex caves of Agartha, then we swim into the ocean and have a lovely seafood dinner with the Atlanteans, and, of course, I take her to pick out jewelry in El Dorado. But the magic doesn’t really happen until we are sitting on the concrete steps of her apartment complex, silently staring at one another. The sincerity in her eyes make me look at her differently, and I don’t know exactly what happened, but the light from the sun shines down on her and she suddenly looks incredibly beautiful. It is that moment when I realize that she has granted my wish.
Ayana Womack lives in Riverside, California, where she is currently pursuing her degree in School Psychology. During her spare time she loves writing for fun.