Poem Stained Fingertips

"I may have poem stained fingertips but I have a tongue coated with a thousand pins of silence."
A refillable book of every idea and scrap that I can come up with. This will include everything from poems, short stories, metaphors and microfiction.
AKA: a fancier name than the actual word document (Bits and Bobs)

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18. Wells and Wishes - Short Story

 

There used to be a legend about the well in Hope Village. That when a penny and a token were dropped into its ink waters it would grant you a wish. The token, of course, had to represent the given wish and it attracted many willing and praying participants.

There was Lenny who wanted nothing more than his bride to love him instead of the man next door. He tossed in her old veil and a penny. Within the next day, his bride ran back to him, weeping into his open arms with a tongue divided in treacle thick apologies. The man next door moved away and they lived out their lives. Lenny, however, never noticed how his bride would sit by the window, staring at the door adjacent to their home and dreaming her life away. No, because when he entered the room she was all rainbows and all inky shadows disappeared from the lines around her lips.

Next, there was Sandra. She wished for money so that her grandfather could get the health treatment he desperately needed and their roof could remain over their heads. She tossed in hospital letters and her last gold coin, believing that double the token would mean double the strength. Her grandfather received his treatment and lived. Sandra found her mother's old antiques that were sold for something Rumpelstiltskin would choke at. They ignored the fact that her grandfather missed his past wife more each day, having been denied the chance to meet her again and the small fact that Sandra locked her doors with an extra bolt in case someone stole her fortune.

Then there was Harry who wanted nothing more than happiness. He didn’t know what his token would be and he pondered for days over it. Finally, he dropped in a penny and a small fish that he had carried from the ocean. He liked its flashing scales and how it didn’t jump or stutter about in his hands. It wasn’t afraid of him, not like his parents were. His parents beat him for his devil skin, for the way his eyes didn’t catch the light right. He didn’t belong in God’s house they said as if his childhood home was a place to worship instead of a harvest of nightmares. Harry didn’t feel a difference at first and so he returned to the well. Then he realised, he could watch this small fish splash and play in the waters, it was trapped itself, a representation of Harry but they had each other. He would spend days with his hands around the rim and he felt a smile grace his lips. It would be the only grace he would ever receive.

No one knew where this well had come from, maybe from a beggar man who wanted nothing but hope for the village when he had none of his own. Maybe Aphrodite wanted to spread some love to her children but Ares threaded her hope with war. Maybe the devils created a chamber into which they could prove to God that everyone was no more angel than devil.

Wishes are a double-edged coin, a fifty-fifty chance of liability where the probability is never on your side. But wishes give people hope and isn’t that the damned point? 

 

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