The second thing I asked my fairy godmother for was a cookie, the kind my mother used to make. At first she didn’t understand me. “I told you, I can’t do that sort of thing,” she said. And then, “Oh, a cookie. I see.” She snapped her fingers and handed it to me.
“That’s ginger, not lemon,” I said. I felt nauseated, as though all the air had gone out of the room, as though I was floating, weightless. I accordion-pleated the hem of my skirt and said, my voice as loud as a horn, “Try again!”
“Okay, okay,” she said irritably. A peppermint appeared between her fingers. Not even one in a plastic wrapper, but a sticky, used one, covered with lint and cat hair.
“Yuck,” I said.
“It’s been a long time,” she said. “No one believes in fairy godmothers anymore. What’s your third wish?”
“I want my mother back,” I said.
“Told you — I can’t do that.”
“I know,” I said. “My third wish is for a fairy godmother who can.”