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Round Robin Story

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    Round Robin Story

    I wish.
    Two little words that every person has whispered, spoken or screamed at one time or another in their lives.
    I wish.
    I wish I had a million dollars.
    I wish I had a better job.
    I wish my girlfriend would put out.
    I wish I was better looking.
    I wish you were dead!
    I wish
    My name is William Everlearn. Willie, to my friends and family. I remember the year I turned ten and spent my summer vacation at my grandparent’s farm in the country. Bored. I’d say. What the hell were my parents thinking sending me there? The worst part, not one single person my age to play with and only my grandparents to talk to. This was by far my worst summer, until now.
    I spent most of my vacation wishing for things my grandparents didn’t have. Cable TV. would be nice, if they had a television. A horse or pony to ride would’ve been terrific. I would’ve even settled for some chickens to chase. Nope. None of that. The only other breathing creature around here was Elmer, their old, worn out and ready to bite the last piece of kibble bulldog. All he ever did was eat, sleep and fart.
    My grandfather slowly swayed back and forth as he stood on the porch behind me. ”Willie.” He spat out the piece of straw he’d been chewing on. “When I was a boy about your age and I got into one of them spells where I was so bored I did nothing but wish I had something better to do. Just like you have been doing these last few days. Do you know what my Father said to me?
    I stopped pitching rocks at the ground and looked up at my grandfather. I have been sitting on the porch steps for the last two hours feeling sorry for myself. I waited for him to continue. He cleared his throat and hocked a greener that landed on Elmer the Amazing Farting Dog’s paw. Elmer sluggishly raised his head and stared at his paw and decided that whatever that slimy thing was, it was good to eat. Being ten years old this sickened yet fascinated me at the same time. Gramps, well he just licked his lips and went back to talking.
    “I was sitting in that very same spot tossing rocks in the dirt just like you. My Pa said to me, Johnny I want to talk to you. So I got up and walked over to him. He says Johnny hold out both your hands, palms up. So I did. Then he says cup your hands. So I did that too.”
    Holy shit I thought not another long boring story “Gramps is there a point to this story?”
    “Well if you would stop wagging that tongue of yours I’d be getting right at that. Damn kids today talking back like that. If I talked to my father like that he would have bashed me in the mouth. Can’t do that now it’s against the law. This whole world will turn to shit because of that just you wait and see.”
    I shut my mouth so he could hurry and finish his story and I could go back to being bored and feeling sorry for myself.
    My grandfather put out his hands, palms up and cupped. “So I cup both my hands like this and Pa says to me now Johnny I want you to wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first. Then he kicked me knocking me to the ground. Now stop moping around and go clean out the fucking barn before I whip you sillier than a retarded jack rabbit!”

    Well my grandfather and great grandfather were wrong. Wishes do come true. I just never realized that those two little words could bring such misery. I’m all that’s left now. The last person alive. I do realize that writing this is futile. I don’t believe that there’s anyone left to read this but what if I’m wrong? What if some people did survive? I need to write this as a warning and a confession. These wishes became my heroin, my addiction.
    If there is a God and I pray that there is, I am truly sorry for what I have done. I wish I could take it all back but it doesn’t work that way. What is done cannot be undone. I think I heard that in a movie. A made wish can’t be unmade. If I hadn’t been walking in my grandfather’s field that night two months ago I never would have seen that meteor strike the ground and I wouldn’t have investigated. I wouldn’t have been attacked by an eight inch alien, demon or whatever the hell it is that fused itself to my chest.
    A bloody parasite that can’t be removed or wished away. I tried, oh yes, many times and suffered terribly for it. It can read my mind. It seems to know what I am thinking before I do. It will grant anything I wish for whether spoken out loud or not. I must be careful what I think or say now. Which is why I don’t understand why it’s not interfering as I write this.
    At first having these wishes I made come true seemed like a blessing but I soon learned it was not so. I was cursed. Every wish I made whether for myself or someone else, no matter if my intentions were good or not came with dire side effects. It took a little while before I realized that it was my wishes that were making all these monstrous things happen but by then it was too late. I was hooked.

    [One quick scene to keep things rolling, since I'll be away for a couple days.]
    (I’m going to ignore the line about the parasite on the chest, since we’re going with something more theological than alien. If we decide the angel/demon manifests itself that way later, than so be it.)

    Should I start at the beginning? With the fire coming out of the sky, slamming into the side of the hill where Gramps used to smoke? The crater the size of Grandma’s living room, with no rock inside, just that glitter that sparkled for a while then faded and vanished? The blue and green smoke that wasn’t dust? And the crack at the bottom of the crater that seemed to go down to the deepest bowels of the Earth even though it was only an inch wide?

    No. I’ll get back to that. I have to stress the innocent start and when I realized my wishes were coming true. I was back home, several weeks after Gramps’ funeral and that meteor that probably wasn’t really a meteor. Things had been going well for the first time in months. Work was pleasant enough, and Tina had come back to me out of the blue.

    I remember the day was hot and I wished I could have some ice cream. Some guy ran by on the sidewalk then turned, running backward. “Dude,” he said. “Did you hear? They just opened a Coldstone Creamery on the next block. They’re giving away free cones.” He waved a “c’mon” with his arm and continued on his way. I followed, and five minutes later was continuing my walk, eating ice cream from a dish.

    I guess I’d been subconsciously noting the coincidences that had been piling up. But that was the moment. Didn’t you ever have a string of coincidences then try your luck, to see if just maybe your wishes were coming true? You know. You get that phone call from your ex that you wanted, and then you find out that the guy who was ahead of you for a promotion suddenly quits, and then you find out about free ice cream at the exact moment you think of it.

    I’d been luck lately. So I tried it; I pushed my luck. I wished for a million dollars. I felt a little hitch in my chest and a quick pain in my forehead. But that was just from the ice cream; I was sure of that. And a couple minutes later the ice cream was gone and I passed a trash can. I was about to throw the ice cream cup, then noticed a beautiful leather gym bag under some newspaper. I couldn’t believe someone would throw that away. And before you think it, no, I wasn’t a habitual trash picker, but it was too nice a bag to resist. I looked around, and since no one was watching, I pulled it out.

    The bag was heavy. Too heavy for clothes to be inside. I opened it, and saw a scene from a movie. The bag was full of money. I knew, at that instant, it was a million bucks.

    Then it was all screaming, and sirens, and noise. Something plowed into me and I went sprawling on the sidewalk, cracking my elbows and scraping open my pants and my knee. I felt a shoe on my back, and saw/heard/imagined a shotgun pointing at the back of my head. Someone shouted “Don’t move!” even though I wasn’t about to. And somewhere in my imagination I heard the shoe on my back, sounding like Clint Eastwood, asking me to give him a reason.
    "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." - Phil Dunphy ("Modern Family"), from Phil's-osophy.