Be Careful What you Wish for

by Claire S.
(Santa Monica)

One morning, I woke up. Don?t ask me who I was, it was just the only name I could think of to call myself as I could not remember my name, my age, my friends or family, and it was not until I looked in the mirror that I knew I was a girl.

And, all though I was not quite sure I knew what counted as normal, I felt somehow, my presence was not normal. Perhaps it wasn?t my presence, perhaps all but my presence was what was abnormal.

That?s right, it was my surroundings, for when I looked out the window, all was still. Not a scream, a siren, an explosion, the sounds of agony or crying or pain, anything that might have been there. Maybe there never was anything there. Perhaps it has always been this.

I looked at myself in the mirror. I had wavy brown hair, two large green eyes, a dark sweatshirt and pants, and a withered look on my face. I must have been someone. What had happened? Why was it so silent? So still? And was it so strange that there were no other living beings around like myself? No. It wasn?t right. I knew there had to be something more to it than this.

I went into the living room. Where frames of unfamiliar faces stood. I looked around at them, no meaning or memory coming back to me. Then I saw one of a strange old women who looked about 300 years old hunched over terribly. She had a black cloak on, and something did come back to me about her.

I stayed in the house all day, thinking and trying to recall faces. Still the only one that really meant something to me was the one with the old woman. I still couldn?t figure out who she was or why she meant so much to me.

Finally, I decided it was time to go out of the house and search for a soul. A sign of life. A reason or explanation. I walked along for a long time, but I could not find anything. Finally, when nighttime approached, I saw a dark shadow in the distance. I was scared, but desperate, and if there was any chance of another person who knew what had happened, I?d have to risk it.

I walked closer. Suddenly, to my surprise, I realized it was the woman I had seen in the picture. I was glad, and scared at the same time. She could be helpful, but she scared me a little, too.

As I got closer, the woman turned around and saw me.

?Hello?, she said in a low voice.

?Hi?, I said nervously, ?I woke up this morning not remembering who I was, what my name was, or why there was no one else on the streets. Do you have any idea what happened?? The woman sighed, shook her head, and murmured,

?I knew this would happen.

?It all started five days ago, on your thirteenth birthday. I thought it was time to tell you a secret our family has tried to keep hidden since I was born. Your name is Vanessa, by the way. I said to you ?Vanessa, it is time I told you that I am a witch. For your thirteenth birthday, I would like to grant you three wishes?.

You smiled at first, thinking I was kidding, but my face remained serious, and soon you realized it was no joke. You said, ?Well, I um-I?ll uh, think about it later. I don?t have any wishes right now.? ?Very well, then. But before you make any, I want to lay down a few rules. First of all, you cannot wish for more wishes. Also, I cannot reverse wishes. If you make a mistake on your wish, I cannot reverse it.? You nodded and went off.

That night your parents took you out for a birthday dinner. You came home stuffed. ?Ugh, I wish I never had to eat again? you moaned. I had no choice. I granted the wish. Suddenly you realized what you had done. ?Noooooo! Nooo!! It?s not true! I can eat! I can, I can!? You ran to the kitchen, desperate for food. You snatched some food out of the fridge but it simply would not go in you mouth. You screamed. You yelled at me, but there was nothing I could do. I had warned you about reversing wishes. The warning was the best I could do.

The next day, you came home weary and exhausted and hungry. You said,? Oh, everyone is bugging me about being so hungry and tired and why I?m not eating my lunch. I wish I could just be alone!? Your eyes popped and you covered your mouth ?I was-I mean-please don?t! Oh please!?. But it was too late. Your Mom, Dad, the mailman, the mayor, even your dog, Flop, were gone in a flash. Then it was just you and me.

You screamed,?What am I going to do?! You old witch! What now! I can?t reverse spells! I can?t live alone with just you! How do I use my last wish? I don?t want to mess up again! I don?t! What do I do? Please help me! I?m desperate!? I bit my lip and said,?Well, I mean, you could wish to forget everything, but I don?t-?,?Yes! Thats what I?ll do. I wish I forgot everything and woke up in bed!?. I regretted having suggested it. But it?s what I had to do. That?s how you woke up this morning?.

I screamed, for real. When she had been telling the story, I had just stood there, wide-eyed and paralyzed with fear. Now I stood screaming, as a transformation took place in front of my eyes.

The short wrinkled old woman slowly went into her true form, as a nasty, warty, evil witch. ?The third wish you made?, she continued,?had a weird merging effect on the other two wishes you made. The food disappeared with the people. So I am awfully hungry?. The woman took out a knife, and I let out my final scream.

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