Naflafiwrimo Day 17: Stars > Wishes

Whoa I just realised I’m over half way through April. Only thirteen days left after today.

Today’s story is very sweet, perhaps too much so…

Stars > Wishes

Jack stands by his window in his pyjamas and looks up at the stars.

‘I wish…’ he says. ‘I wish that–’

His bedroom door opens and his dad walks in. ‘What are you doing, Jack? You should be in bed.’

‘I was wishing on a star, Dad.’ His father joins him by the window and Jack points to the star shining with unusual brightness between the branches of a tree.

‘That won’t work, Jack.’

‘Mum says it does.’

‘It can do, but that’s a planet, you see. Wishing inly works on proper stars.’

‘Oh.’

‘Not only that, but hope is a very inefficient method of harnessing nuclear fusion energy, so even if you wished on a star, chances are your wish wouldn’t come true.’

‘Aw.’

Jack’s dad kneels down beside him and puts his arm round his shoulder.

‘Don’t be sad, though. When I want to make a wish, here’s what I do. Instead of wishing on a star, I try to make my wish come true myself.’

‘But how can I do that?’

‘Well, get into bed and I’ll show you what I did.’ Jack gets under his duvet while his dad goes downstairs for a while. Jack hears him open the door to the garage. He comes back with a cardboard box and sits down by Jack’s bed.

‘Instead of making a wish, I made this.’ He takes an odd-looking machine out of the box. It resembles a laptop that has been turned inside out, except with added trumpet.

‘What is it?’ Jack asks, voiced hushed in awe.

‘It takes energy from stars and stores it in here,’ his dad replies, indicating part of the device. ‘You can use that energy to make wishes come true. But I discovered,’ he says, his voice turning serious, ‘that it takes a whole star to make one wish. You see that black patch there?’ He points out of the window. ‘That’s what happened to my star.’

‘Can I use it, Dad?’

Jack’s father shakes his head. ‘Sorry, son, but it doesn’t work any more. I broke it, so that no-one could use it.’

‘Why?’

‘Because there aren’t enough stars in the sky for everyone’s wishes, Jack.’ He leans over and kisses Jack’s forehead. ‘Good night.’

‘Night.’

Jack lies in bed with the curtains slightly open. There are many stars in the sky beyond, and he falls asleep counting them all.

 

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About lemonmachine

I am Kieren McCallum, a third-year English Literature student at UEA, Norwich. View all posts by lemonmachine

3 responses to “Naflafiwrimo Day 17: Stars > Wishes

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