THREE WISHES • by Cat Rambo

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.”


Cat Rambo’s latest collection, Near + Far, is now available from Hydra House.


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