The real wish
by Monica Rose and QModo
Proof-read by Portia Bennet
This is a work of adult fiction so that's a caution that covers everything. No resemblance to reality should be inferred or expected. Copyright… are you kidding?
Tuesday is a pay day at Lemon Tree café so I went over there despite it’s my day off. Then I took my cheque to the bank to deposit it into my account. I deposit my tips into my little bro’s saving account. I haven’t told him about it, but few years from now, when he graduates Millinocket High, he’ll have something to go on. It’s not much, but week after week, I hope to donate a few thousand to his graduation next year.
I had empty pockets when I came to Boston a few years ago and started as a gofer at Restoration Company. Later, I was working in their workshop as an apprentice mostly and, after I started studies at CAS of Boston University, I kept getting some tasks for my summer breaks; mostly scouting for old bricks or timber.
During the semester, I make enough money in the café for a living and I get some tips as I’m mistaken for a girl often and girls usually get better tips. I want to be a real girl and not to be just mistaken occasionally. But no such luck. Nature pampered me by giving me a soprano voice while life used every opportunity to deny my desire to cross the boundary and become a girl.
The college is LGBT friendly and there is a support group and the college even assigned me to a counselor and I am stuck with her now. Mrs. Kraft is kind of a female chauvinist. She accuses me of using non-prescription hormones because she sees my smooth skin and my resemblance to a real girl and refuses any appointment to a physician. I can switch to another counselor and then get appointed to a GP but it costs money, much more than I can afford. People at my support group say Mrs. Kraft is very good both for L and G but she is a redneck for both MTFs and FTMs and they can’t do anything ’cause she’s like the dean’s cousin.
So now I’m the first in the line to deposit my cheque and the lady motions for me to come to her window. I know her by face and her name tag says Angela and she recognizes me too because I’m here every week. My name is Morgan and she assumes I’m a girl and refers to me as such and she is very friendly with me.
“I have kind of a present for you today since you’re our loyal customer,” she says and gives me a card the size of a business card though more colorful than one but not as colorful as candy wrap.
“It’s a wish,” she says, “an anonymous one and of two hours strength.”
“Wow! Thanks a lot,” I manage to say as I’m astonished. I’ve seen one hour household wishes a few times as they go as consolation prizes at the state lottery and are useful for some not uncomplicated appliance repairs.
“It’s anonymous,” Angela says, “so you may wish for whatever you want for yourself. It’s four times stronger than those one hour wishes so you could ask for a total make over. I used one once when I needed to get ready for my cousin’s wedding in one hour after I’ve got home from the bank.”
“Wow!” I say again.
There are wishes which are stronger than the two hour wish I’ve got but they are assigned to some special persons by the government and their use is supervised. Even if I was assigned one, I am not sure I’d be allowed to use it to make me a real girl.
There was a time almost one hundred years ago, before the government monopolized production and distribution of wishes, when even one day wishes were in circulation. A one day wish was four billion times stronger than that one I’d got. Such a wish is powerful enough to not only to remake a person, but to also to remake the part of the world where that person was located. One could make a wrong wish and destroy himself and others so there’s the book “Make your wish!” by Hedwig Ragnarsdottir. Our family had this book, interesting reading but it is no way to get a real wish.
This wish is good to keep in the car for any emergency. Or it may be even better to give it to my brother Marty because there may be so many emergencies in a home with a drinking father. There is no Mom. She disappeared twelve years ago when I was thirteen and Marty was five. She drove Marty to his friend’s birthday party and had to pick him at eight but she never came.
The police started looking for her the same night but to no avail. There was nothing – no car, no body, no trace. For the first few months, the police were calling Father from time to time if they had found something similar in description and after returning home afterwards, Father was taking a shot or two to calm down. Later, he needed it more and more and, half year later, he lost his job at the paper mill.
When mom was still here we had settled everything OK about me being a girl thingy. Later then, Marty was still OK and he was calling me ‘sis’ when he was home while Father changed his mind and his attitude toward me. I was his ‘little fag’ now and had to know a taste of his fist to remember who’s a boss at home.
Later, he demanded my hair to be cut as well as Marty’s hair because he thought I was making Marty into a fag like myself. Mom was nowhere to found, dead or alive, so there was no insurance, just good will and some help from school where mom had been Assistant Principal. Good will doesn’t last long so shortly, Marty and I were left to fend for ourselves and only our neighbors, Mrs. Oswald and Mrs. King, were helping us from time to time. Later, there were food stamps, backyard gardens, and no lunch at school and hand-me-downs from anybody who remembered that we were in need. Sure, there was not so sober Father when he’d found the pennies to pay for his booze and we were his two fag sons and he helped us to man up.
After graduating high school, I settled in Boston. It was foolish to send money to Father and Marty was still too young for me to help him directly, so I was sending some money to Mrs. King each month and she was buying necessities for school or underwear or anything else.
The semester was coming to the end as well as my junior year at BU. Since Lemon Tree was located on Bay State Road, the clientele was mostly faculty and students and, during the summer break, there wasn’t a lot of visitors. I had an agreement with the owner to leave for ten weeks on unpaid vacation and be back for the last week of August. Other two girls were leaving with me and Lemon Tree had only two waiters during the summer.
I needed the summer for myself or rather for Restoration Company. They appreciated me as a scout to find valuable old timber and bricks all around New England. During the crash test at my first summer break at BU, I proved to pick only valuable materials for a very low price and a few times the only expenses were the disassembly of the building and to bring the planks and logs to Boston. Especially valuable are logs older than one hundred years with no splits and cracks. There could be some cracks, but the price drops drastically in that case. I could make a deal by myself because the Company trusted me but I always called my boss, Mr. Harris, prior to every deal just to be sure
So the semester at least was over and I was driving the company’s CRV round Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There is a Bickford pond on the western side of Maine and Mill brook at its north-west side where I noticed a cabin two years ago. It’s abandoned and the logs were light gray and almost without any cracks. The only problem was that I couldn’t find the owner. I found a law firm in Augusta, Abraham Spencer & Son, who confirmed the cabin was more than one hundred years old but they were still looking for the inheritor and I was calling them once in a while to no avail.
Abandoned houses tend to be burnt and not only by vagabonds but by lightning too. So the first thing this summer was to come there and check that cabin was still there and maybe just drool over it. I couldn’t believe my luck because there was another car at the cabin and a man walking round it.
I parked beside his car and approached him as he came around the side of the cabin.
“Considering putting it on sale, Mister?” I asked.
“Linder… Nicolas Linder,” he said giving me his hand. The narrowed look he gave me said that he was not sure of what I wanted, but his smile was friendly enough.
“Morgan Summers,” I introduced myself. My smile was just as friendly. I had found that a smile helped me much more than a frown or even bland expression on my face.
“I don’t want to sell anything, Miss. I need this property." He waved back at the cabin. He obviously did not think much of the place himself. "The only thing to consider is to cut this shack into firewood.”
I was confused for just a moment. ‘Miss?’ Sure enough, my ponytail and soprano worked as gender identifiers again.
“Oh no!" I exclaimed. " I’ll take it.” The thought of those ancient logs being cut up and burned horrified me.
Mr. Linder frowned slightly. "Are you prepared to dismantle it?"
“Yes, I am. And I’ll pay you for it.” I said.
He shrugged and said, “I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want anything from you if you take it apart.”
The idea that I would be able to get these materials for Restoration Company made me feel like I was going to faint.
“There will be some men Monday morning to disassemble and to take every single log away I if I can have the weekend to mark them.”
Now he did frown at me. “Are you about to stay here alone for night?” It was obvious that he saw me as a girl and unable to stay alone safely.
I smiled confidently. “Yes, I am. Staying here at night is safer as in any city by the way. The nearest inn is in Porter so I’d save time too and be ready with marking through to Monday.”
“You will mark every single log? Why?”
“Marking the logs helps to disassemble and not simply break and cut,” I explained. “By the way, I can’t take it for free, I need proof that it’s not stolen.”
“Huh? Ah, sure. I have some blank receipts. Your surname is Summers like summer?”
“Well then Summers with two m… Twenty bucks not too much?”
“Twenty bucks for what?” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.
“For it,” he pointed with his thumb, “for this HOUSE and all the rags inside it,” he said with a chuckle. “Actually, I was ready to pay to take it apart. I need you to take everything inside it. There is some furniture and rags and I don’t want a pile of it left here.”
“Ah…” I just managed to say. “OK.”
“Well… sign here and here. It’s yours Ms. Summers,” we shook our hands. “There is a padlock with a key, outhouse is behind the shack and behind some dogwood shrub. Mill brook is less than one hundred feet away and I think its water is clean enough to make a tea.”
“Wait a minute…” He was already heading for his car.
“What else?” he asked with a puzzled look.
“Your twenty bucks,” I took my wallet from my handbag and handed him a banknote. “I’m sure you don’t take a card.”
He chuckled and we shook our hands again and he drove away with a grin on his face.
I was about to explore my new property but first things first, so I rounded the cabin looking for the outhouse. It was clean but there was no chance that I was going to sit here so I relieved myself as I was supposed to according to my biology and not by my state of mind.
First thing, I called Mr. Harris and we rejoiced about the newest buy. While talking to him, I entered the cabin and described to him what I’d found. The first room had a dirt floor and boulder stove and a big table with two benches, some shelves on the walls with earthen and tin ware, another room had a hardwood subfloor and bunk bed and chest of drawers. There was no wiring and no plumbing in the house so most probably the house was abandoned more than fifty years ago. Windows were doubled and had shutters. There was no porch and no backyard door.
I had a camping gas stove, sleeping bag, and some canned food in my car so I didn’t need to look for the motel. I had enough time before dark to take all the rags out in garbage bags and clean away the dust.
I made three garbage bags of rags. It wasn’t much but they were all dirty and smelled frightfully. The dust. Yeah. The dust laid in a thick, almost half inch, layer over everything horizontal. Add to it cobwebs in every corner and hanging from the ceiling and then windows covered in dirt and you get a view. I found a bucket for water and some decent rags suitable for dust cleaning while first I carefully removed cobwebs with a broom, trying not to raise the dust. I washed all the kitchenware I found and laid it outside on the bench to dry. Everything was really old and maybe something was suitable for a museum or for an antique fancier.
In the upper drawer, there was a Holy Bible and another book in some unknown language while in another drawer was folded newspaper. It was “The Boston Journal” dated Tuesday, April 16, 1912 with a headline “1500 perish at sea as giant Titanic sinks”. This tragedy was probably important for someone living in this cabin. People usually don’t keep old papers folded neatly and put away in a drawer. It was the first time I kept in my hands something so old. I unfolded the paper carefully, curious what else was in the day after such the great tragedy. As I was opening at the centerfold, a piece of paper the size of two postcards, similar to an old share warrant, slid out and glided to the floor.
I picked it up and it was…
Printed in bold letters across the top of paper was:
120% wish for personal transformation (solely for personal use only)
made by Penobscot River Mining Company and signed by company’s Deputy director Tarik Gamerlan and by FMF (Federal Magic Fund) secretary Levi Silbermann at September 17, 1909.
This kind of wish could make almost everything. These wishes were generally used for incurable patients. Any such wish had its own registration number though, but there was a black market where they’re worth a fortune. Wishes were used not only to cure but more often to change criminals into someone more powerful and eventually into someone of a different appearance.
This piece of paper was my ticket into personal happiness. I wanted Marty to be with me ’cause only the persons participating in the wish will share all memories. Marty was the first on my list to call.
“Marty!” I almost shouted into the phone, “I have a wish.”
“Sure silly, I know you have had one for years.”
“No no, you don’t understand,” I was trying to find the proper words, “I’ve found a real wish printed on paper and more than a hundred years old. A real one. A wish that makes my wish.”
“Oh sis!” were Marty’s the only words though I heard a smile and a sigh, tears of happiness and wish to hug.
A powerful wish will work no matter how it’s voiced. The end result depends a lot on the words that are used. It’s not the magic of the words. It’s rather the way the wish works, adapting the idea to reality with minimal energy losses. So… if the applicant says “I wish to become…” there are only minimal changes to reality while all energy is steered into changing the person in the nearest future and changes seem to occur naturally. Then, if the applicant says “I wish I was…” the person is changed as if they had been born in that new form and reality is rearranged to fit that new form, including the memories of other people as well. It’s very energy consumable but it works for congenital diseases. At least the applicant may say “I wish I am…” and the new self appears as if from nowhere. This form is generally used for injuries. Then there are a lot of formulations on what to wish for. In the Ragnarsdottir book were described almost all possible nouns, adjectives and adverbs. Good thing I had studied all those nuances while I’d read and re-read that book several times when I was still at home.
When waiting for miracle or magic to happen I had no patience. I thought I’d change immediately when the possibility arose. Now I had the wish secure with me and I was rather considering waiting till I was together with Marty and maybe with both Mrs. King and Mrs. Oswald who were the part of my life and what’s no less important to the boy I was and still I am the part of their lives too.
The cabin was disassembled and all the logs and furniture were brought to the Boston storehouse. It was a very successful deal and I was encouraged with a substantial payout. I decided to afford myself a small vacation to come home to see Marty and most probably to proceed with my wish. I could to scout territory around my native town too.
I was driving home and was nearing Bangor when my cell phone rang, caller ID said that it was Mrs. Oswald. A few years ago, I’d bought cell phones both for Mrs. Oswald and Mrs. King to call me in an emergency. I quickly moved to the shoulder and answered the call.
“Marty… They brought him to hospital,” her voice was hoarse and I could tell that she had been crying.
“What hospital?” I shouted into the phone.
“St. Joseph in Bangor. Hurry up…”
“Thanks! I’ll call you back later.”
Good, I thought to myself, I was already in Bangor and not hundreds of miles away. I simply had not to miss the 185th exit on I-95. Ten minutes later, I ran into the hospital emergency room and was directed to ICU. I wasn’t allowed to see Marty and the nurse would not tell me anything, though there were two men in the waiting room who I knew were from the paper mill where Marty worked for the summer. Father always said that real men worked in the paper mill or in the woods while only fags like me worked in the store during summer break. They told me that Marty was smashed by logs when the forklift fell on its side while making a sharp turn.
“I don’t know what docs have to say," one of them said, haltingly, " but I don't think that your brother is going to come through this. I’m sorry… Really…” Both men confirmed that the paper mill would pay all funeral expenses.
The doctor came out twenty minutes later and he simply confirmed that there was a zero chance of my brother being able to survive such damages. There was not much left undamaged below Marty’s waist and there was nothing he or other doctors could do. Marty had been given painkillers and he was conscious now for five to seven minutes, maximum ten, before he lost consciousness again and slipped back into a coma. He was very weak but he could talk and we were holding hands.
“Thanks for coming sis,” he whispered, “it's good that it’s you and not him to see me off… I expected you to come as a girl…” It was obvious that Marty held our father in just as high a regard as I.
“I’m a girl no matter what,” I whispered back with a warm smile, “and as I’ve said already I need you for my final change.”
Marty sighed heavily and tried to smile unsuccessfully. I saw tears welling in his eyes.
“Now… now bro,” I said comfortingly as I opened my handbag and pulled out a green colored sheet of old paper.
“Take it in your left hand and keep it tight and try to focus on it,” I said and he obeyed.
“Now repeat after me – I…”
“… Martin Lionel Summers…”
“… Martin Lionel Summers…”
“… wish I am…”
“… wish I am…”
Scouting for old cabins and brick houses all over New England is much more interesting than just sitting in the office. I see new places and I meet new people and I make new friends and from every trip, I bring some trifles to my little bro’s twins. They are happy to have me spoiling them with presents every time I show up and it makes me happy too.
Life’s good when you know what wish to wish. Maybe one day I’ll find another wish to make a wish…
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