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An Existential Wish by Gary Bolstridge

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I was asleep one night and felt someone sit on the edge of my bed. I immediately woke up and saw it was a woman.

“You have the wrong apartment. I didn’t call for an escort,” I said.

“I am a fairy. Your name was drawn in lottery, and I have come to grant you a wish.” Lottery? Do they gamble in fairyland?

“I want to see you in the light,” I told her.

“Why?”

“Because I want to know what you look like. If you are old and ugly you can’t be a fairy or your wish would have come true. If you are young and beautiful you can’t be a fairy because beautiful women don’t grant wishes.”

“But I am a fairy. What do you wish for?”

 

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“Well, if I were a skeptic,” I said, with a wink, “I would ask for something absurd, something impossible for you to grant. If I were a believer, I would ask for something unobtainable. Absurd or unobtainable. Skeptic or believer. They are the same.”

“What is your wish?” she asked, frustration clearly evident in her voice. Do fairies get exasperated?

“I ask for nothing. Just go away.”

I found myself suddenly alone. I could now return to sleep.

 

God Bless America© 2003 Timshel Literature