Chapters

Chapter Eight: The Wishcaster

 

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Before I could answer Francisco’s question, a little girl with shiny blonde hair in a cornflower blue and sage green dress appeared near the large tree in my backyard.

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She…

I gulped…

FLOATED toward me in a shimmer of rainbow sparkles.

What the hell was going on?

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“I believe you wished to give something to me,” she said. Her tinkling bell voice calmed my pounding heart.

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I tossed Wish Book at her feet. “Here! Take it. I don’t want it anymore.”

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Zelda rushed to the little girl, sitting next to her. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she cried. “You can save us from that nasty thing in our kitchen!”

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I had no idea what Zelda was babbling about. How could this strange girl save us from our grandmother?

The girl pushed Zelda’s shoulders back so she could gaze into her eyes. “What thing, child?”

Zelda pointed to our large back window. Gran was rolling out pastry on our kitchen table.

“Oh, Great Guardian,” the little girl whispered, standing up. “Brenden. Show yourself.”

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All of a sudden, golden sparkles swirled around Wish Book until a blinding light shot out of it.

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Then light exploded, shimmering all around us.

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A person arose where Wish Book once sat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Before me stood a dude who looked about my age and was all decked out for a Renaissance play. He was very handsome with bright golden eyes, dimpled chin, and wide smile.

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“Athena,” he said, bowing deeply at my feet. “I’m forever in your service. Thank you for saving me from the nuisance of being that odious Wish Book.”

My breath caught. “W-Who are you?”

“I am Brenden, the Cursed,” he said as if he’d just announced his knighthood.

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“But the queen will have to give me a new title, now won’t she?” he added. I could see a slight smile twinge at the corners of his lips.

The girl rolled her eyes. “That is the least of our worries, Brenden. Look there! In the kitchen. That creature in a thin shroud.”

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Glancing up, he said, “Heavens! You’re right, Lenora.”

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Brenden snapped his fingers at us. “All of you, listen to Lenora, Fairy of Essence. Come quickly.”

I gripped the rubber of my wheels. “I’m not going anywhere until someone explains a few things.”

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Francisco walked to my side and glared. “Yeah. Why should we go with you?”

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Holly yelled, “Guys! I think we better leave. Something’s up with Granny!”

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“Come here, dear ones,” my grandmother called from the back porch.

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Pulling a translucent veil off of her body, she transformed into a scary blue skinned witch.

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“Oh God, oh God,” I said, feeling like centipedes were crawling up my back. I pulled at Zelda’s shirt to follow. “Yes, we’ll go with you.”

Brenden huddled us around us, saying, “Hold hands.” Clasping mine with a smile, he went to grab another hand. It was Francisco’s.

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He snarled then flicked his fingers away as if he touched something disgusting.

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Francisco grinned and moved to my other side.

The witch must have figured out Brenden’s plan. “In the name of the Under Realm, you’ll not take her from me!” she screeched.

Glowing orbs appeared in her hands and she spoke some strange words.

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A shower of icicles shot through the air, pinning us into a frozen prison.

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Lenora breathed deeply, closing her eyes. “Do not give into her threats. Concentrate on me, no matter what she does. She cannot do anything to us that we do not allow. This is not her realm. As it is not mine.”

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Lenora caught me with her eyes. “Athena. We need you now. Brenden?”

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“Blast,” Brenden grumbled as he ditched my hand.

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In an explosion of light, he transformed back into Wish Book. Lenora placed him on my lap along with the pencil that I’d flicked in the flower bed only moments before.

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The witch cackled. “Athena, my dearest granddaughter. What is that half-pint fairy telling you? They’re lies. Me powers are indeed very strong in this realm as she knows. The rampart protecting this world is crumbling.” She scurried close to the frozen prison bars. I could smell her breath—it was like a decaying skunk on the side of the road.

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“That’s why I’m here. Come with Granny, Athena, and I’ll show you what your power was really chosen for. You have a gift. Casteen, queen of the Under Realm, has seen that your time has come and allowed me to go to you.” She beckoned me, outstretching her blue, gnarled hand. “Come, dear child.”

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“Ignore her,” Lenora whispered. “Wish us to my realm where we’ll be safe. A fairy kingdom with a castle, flower gardens with animal topiaries and two enormous guardian unicorns at the entrance.”

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“But why can’t you snap your fingers and get us there? Aren’t you a fairy? Use your pixie dust or something.” I whispered back, freaking out. I wondered where the hell my parents were? Did that witch do something awful to them? My body trembled at those terrible thoughts.

“No, Athena! My powers are limited in this realm. You must do it! With Wish Book. Hurry!”

I didn’t know what else to do but obey this strange fairy girl. Anything was better than listening to that horrifying witch.

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I pictured us on the grounds of a beautiful white castle with lots of flowers and trees surrounding it. Gigantic ivory unicorns guarded the large castle entrance with green topiaries of elephants and other animals dotting the landscape within its plush grounds.

Readying my pencil, rainbow sparkles crept up my hand. I pulled back, saying, “I can do it by myself, Brenden.”

Hurriedly, he whispered, “I’m only going to speed you along, but I need you to not resist.”

The witch hissed, “Very well. If you won’t listen, Athena, then I will stop you. You leave Granny no choice.”

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The witch spoke some words and it felt like a sickening cold shackle clamped down on my throat and my writing hand. I didn’t know which would happen first, either I’d pass out from the blood not reaching my head, or I’d lose all sensation in my hand. My head pounded as my heart leaped out of control. Tears threatened. I couldn’t do this.

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“I can’t,” I gasped, struggling to breathe.

“Athena,” Lenora whispered. “She isn’t more powerful than you. This is your realm. Use the Wish Book against her. Fight.”

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Sparkles flew before my eyes and then I drifted into a dream of shadowy voices, melting into one another. Gradually, my focus returned. Soft grass poked my cheek. I’d somehow fallen over and now was sprawled on the ground, magically out of the ice prison.

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The witch cried, “It’s over, Lenora. Go tell yer fairy queen to give up. The time of the Over Realm, Middle Realm, and Under Realm truce is finished. Convey to Queen Oria that when the new moon rises, our armies will have already overtaken your world.”

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Lenora laughed, her voice like pleasant chimes. “Hogswallow, Sidheag. You and your kind can never penetrate our magic. It was ordained by the Great Guardian as was The Wishcaster.” She motioned toward my body. I closed my eyes to pretend I was still knocked out. “This move was all in vain as are your hollow threats.”

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While Lenora talked, I spotted Wish Book lying next to me and the pencil close by. My heart pounded in my ears. I still had a chance.

Inching my hand toward Wish Book, I went to grasp it.

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Lenora spotted me and went on with her speech even more forcefully. “And furthermore,” she said, marching to her left so the old woman would put her back to me, “once Queen Oria hears of your wicked plot, she will be ready for you. What a globstroppet idea to tell us of your plan, Sidheag. What on Middle Realm were you thinking?”

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The rainbow sparkles whipped around my hand as my pencil raced across one of Wish Book’s pages.

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Once I’d finished the last image, a giggle bubbled up and surrounded me, pounding against my head as if a thousand fairies were laughing in my ears. The sound whirred around and around, making me feel dizzy.

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Flashes dazzled before my eyes and then they went blank like I’d passed out again and fallen into a deep black hole. But before I twinkled out, I thought I’d heard Lenora’s voice in the distance, “Do you think she’s the true Wishcaster?”

And then Brenden’s soft low voice answered, “I’ve known it all along, Lenora. Without a doubt. She’s the one.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pammie

SO, next update Wednesday, November 14th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, Twitter or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Seven: Last Wish

1ac

On our way to my house, we picked up Holly.

“Soooo, you actually chunked it in the dumpster?” Holly cringed.

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“Yep,” I said, making my hands soar like the dumb book. “Heard it thud at the bottom. I’m through with it. Who knows what it would have conjured up next?”

“Yeah,” Francisco said. “I didn’t know Athena had such an arm! That wheelchair must build up huge muscles.” He squeezed my bicep.

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“Stop it,” I protested, pretending not to like it but not doing a good job of it.

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Shaking her head, Holly said, “You two, this is serious. I think Athena made a big mistake. She gave over control to the book which is a rule that must not be broken.”

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I cocked my head. “How do you know?”

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Pausing, eyes darting around, she stammered, “Uh… it’s…um…o-obvious, isn’t it? Would Aladdin ever allow the genie to make a wish for him? Would Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz ever let someone else use her magic ruby slippers?”

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Francisco shook his head, laughing. “Sorry, I don’t agree. No one but Dorothy could use those magic slippers, and Wish Book is no genie. It does what it wants. I’m with Athena on this.”

“Totally,” I agreed, so happy Francisco and I were on the same team.

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“Point taken,” Holly said. She loved arguments based on logic. She continued with an impish smile on her face, “But I say this magic book is indeed every bit as powerful as a magic genie or Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and if Athena would take the time to use it like she’s supposed to, she may find the reason it was given to her in the first place.”

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She stopped for dramatic effect, raising her arm. “But I can tell you allowing the book to have its way is not one of them.”

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I threw up my hands. “Holly, who cares? The book is gone. It’s probably on its way to the dump in San Myshuno by now.”

Holly moved ahead of us, not saying anything. We followed in silence. I had a feeling she wasn’t telling us something.

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The white flowered dogwood trees near my house were in full bloom, which gave me the idea to do our science experiment in the backyard. I loved the smell of spring. So fresh and sweet. And I adored sketching out in my backyard. The scenery would make the science project even more exciting. But I had to ask my mother if it was still okay to have Holly and Francisco over since I was grounded.

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I stopped before I rolled up the wooden ramp to the door. “You guys stay here while I go check to see if it’s okay.” I also wanted to peek at my newly decorated bedroom.

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They both nodded. Holly and Francisco sat down on the front porch bench waiting on me.

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Carefully, I entered. I heard a familiar voice cackling in the kitchen. Whizzing my chair over as fast as I could, I shouted, “Gran?”

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“Oh, me dumplin’ dee. Granny is so happy to see you!”

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She put her knives down on the counter then bent over, enveloping me in her squishy arms.

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Gran was here! I rarely got to see her since my dad had quit his job. Four airplane tickets to Scotland would bankrupt us for sure and normally, she couldn’t see us more than once every two years. “How come everyone kept this a secret? Mom never mentioned your visit.”

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Gran’s silver eyes twinkled through her round glasses. “Well, that’s because she didn’t knoo herself.” Gran’s Scottish r’s trilled and sometimes she would speak so fast, I wouldn’t be able to understand every word. “It’s a surprise!” she announced.

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“Your parents stepped out to buy some groceries. They’ll be back shortly. I’ve been keeping a wee bit of company with the young lass over there.” She pointed toward the entryway closet, then bent closer to me and whispered, “It don’t look as if she remembers me now. Locked herself in the closet, she has. It took all me powers of persuasion to coax her out, but she won’t have none of it.”

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Zelda. That girl. How she could be bratty to our sweet old Granny was beyond me.

“Sorry about that, Gran. I’ll try to talk to her.” Then I remembered Holly and Francisco sitting on the front porch. “Oh yeah, my friends are here. We’re about to do a science project in the backyard. Would you like to see them? I think you’ve already met Holly.”

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Gran beamed. “That sounds lovely, lass. Please, show them in.”

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But before I could open the door, Zelda burst out of the closet, freaking out.

“What’s the matter, Zel?” I asked, trying to feign some normalcy. The girl was about to have a meltdown. I wondered what was wrong with her.

She took a peek at Gran then hollered, “That’s not Gran.”

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I nervously glanced at my granny from Scotland whom I’d adored all my life. White, short haircut. Three deep wrinkles above her forehead. Milky, weathered skin. Smelled of gingersnaps and cigarette smoke. Black horn-rimmed glasses she’s worn like forever. Yes. That was Gran.

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“I don’t know what she’s talking about, Gran,” I said, trying to make my grandmother feel better. “Zelda’s been having trouble lately. Yesterday, she destroyed my room and ranted about bad people. I’m a little worried about her.”

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“Well, that’s okay, hun,” Gran responded to Zelda’s wild accusations. “Zelda, me lovely, I’m about to have a go at Toad-in-the-Hole. Yer favorite.” Then she squished her eyebrows, sliding her hand behind her head and whispered, “That should make her feel a wee bit better, don’t ye think?”

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I grinned and nodded, throwing my head back thinking I could talk Zelda into eating my grandmother’s wonderful dishes. She cooked like a certified pastry chef. Once Zelda tasted the sausages and mouthwatering buttery crust of Toad-in-the-Hole, she’d change her mind. “Zelda, I’m serious. Behave!”

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“Thena, she’s…please don’t make me stay!”

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“Why are you acting like this? She’s our sweet Gran!”

“Thena… Let’s go. I don’t want to be here anymore!”

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I sighed and told Gran we’d be in the backyard. She was so sweet and waved us off, saying it’d be an hour before her wonderful masterpiece, Toad-in-the-Hole, was ready.

I was so embarrassed. What had gotten into my sister?

I opened the front door and told my  friends I’d meet them in the back with the box full of science experiment stuff.

Once we got there, I gave Holly the box and she put it down on the ground.

Francisco motioned at Zelda. “What’s with the rugrat?”

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Zelda glared and yelled, “I’m not a rat. I’m a girl.”

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Francisco laughed and said, “Could-a fooled me.”

Zelda stuck her tongue out.

I sighed. “Come on, guys. My parents are on an errand and my sister suddenly doesn’t recognize my sweet granny.”

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Holly winced. “Your grandmother is here from Scotland?” Fear crept in her voice, “You didn’t say anything about her visiting.”

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“I didn’t know about it until a few minutes ago.”

Holly shot a worried look. “Hum.”

“What do you mean, hum?” Hum was Holly’s catch phrase for either something was very puzzling or very wrong.

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Walking to the box, Holly piled a list of reasons. “Number one, you were given a magical book by a strange little girl that holds peculiar powers, some of which can be quite nasty.” She glanced over at Francisco. He blushed, no doubt recalling his goofy poetic rant about how he loves me.

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“Yeah, so?” I said, shifting.

“So, number two, your grandmother all of a sudden comes to visit all the way from Scotland without a word to anyone at this exact time. Three, your little sister doesn’t recognize her. In fact, she’s frightened.”

I gazed into Zelda’s silver eyes. “Why are you scared of Granny?”

Zelda shuddered and said, “She’s…an ugly toad.”

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“Zelda!” I hollered. “Take that back! Gran is very pretty for her age!”

But Zelda just winced and shook her head.

Holly scrounged around in the box. “Oh my GOD!” she cried, then whipped out a golden book.

Wish Book!

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I pointed. “W-Where did you get that?”

“Did you dig it out of the trash?” Francisco asked.

“No. It was here in the box! I just found it.” She resembled a girlie Sherlock Holmes who’d solved her first case. “It appears this book is not done with you yet, Athena.” She opened it and shoved the book into my hands.

“Oh no. I’m not drawing in this book again. If you love it so much, why don’t you wish in it?”

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Holly waved her hands. “Well, I…uh…can’t. It’s not for me, Athena. It’s for you.”

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“How do you know?”

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“I just do. Trust me.”

But Holly didn’t have a look as if I should trust her. She was hiding something. “What is with you? How do you know anything about this book?”

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Sighing, she dropped her hand, slapping her leg. “Don’t try to figure it out. We don’t have much time. Just…well, you need to make another wish. I’m not sure what, though. Think it through. It’s important.”

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I glared at her not understanding why she wanted me to make a wish and why we didn’t have time. Confused, I thought about this situation. I hated that book and didn’t want it anymore no matter what Holly said. If the book wouldn’t allow me to throw him out of my life then I would wish him away. “Okay. Fine. Do you have a pen?”

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“Awesome! I knew you’d listen to reason!” Holly dug through the box and pulled out a pencil. “Here!” She placed it in my hands.

I rolled over to the picnic table, readying my pencil.

I was about to start on my drawing when I heard the book say, “Let me do it.”

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I looked at my friends, but it was clear they couldn’t hear what I was hearing. I gulped.

“I know what you need,” it cooed.

“NO!” I hollered, jerking my hand up to draw when suddenly, the sparkles crept up my arm as I felt a warm hand wrap around my fingers.

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“Stop!” I screamed, but it didn’t stop. The hand thrust the pen to the page, ready to do what it wished. I was nothing more than a slave doing the bidding of an evil spirit.

Heart racing, I had to think fast. I was not about to let it draw whatever it wanted.

My hand wobbled uncontrollably as I fought against the unseen force. And during that struggle, I wished with all my might that I’d never accepted that horrible book.

I had only one thought. One purpose. One last wish to draw. My hand felt as if it was drawing in sand, but I drew anyway. Slowly. A face appeared. Then her skirt. A hand. Wish Book. Tiny sparkles. My wheelchair. Sweat poured down my nose as my arm burned against the power. Wish Book must have figured out what I was up to, because it fought against my pencil, trying to stop me, but I would…not…

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You will.

Not.

You will.

Not!

Will!

NOT!

WILL!

STOP!

The pencil flew out of my hand, tumbling end over end, almost in slow motion until it landed in the middle of a flowerbed.

“Athena!” Francisco gripped my arm. “What’s happening?”

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Breathing hard, I turned my head slowly and peered down to see my picture.

I didn’t remember drawing all of it (I mean, what was up with that “Tough Love” shirt anyway?) But I’d hoped the message was clear and the stupid book would grant this wish.

I was giving Wish Book back to the girl.

last wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pammie

Going back to once a week updates.

SO…next update Wednesday, November 7th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, Twitter or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Six: Wish Fail

1e

I literally zoomed to science. I wanted to warn Francisco about the strange book. Not only had it actually talked but it’d drawn a picture I didn’t see. Plus that impish giggle sent a nervous shiver up my back.

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When I arrived, Francisco beamed and waved me over to sit by him. The test tubes were already in a tray—one per lab pair. I noticed Holly perched at the back with us, writing in her notebook.

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Mrs. Tanaka used Holly as a teaching assistant since this class was way too easy for her.

“Okay…let me see…” Francisco waggled his eyebrows, grabbing Wish Book out of my bag. “What awesome thing did you do for me in this class, huh? Is Mrs. Tanaka going to make me her favorite student? Give me an automatic A for the lab? What?”

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“Um…about that, Francisco…” I winced. “The wish didn’t exactly work out.”

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His face fell. “Huh?”

“The book is creepy. It talked to me at the library and wouldn’t let me see what I drew.”

“What?”

“It’s hard to explain.”

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He shook his head at me obviously ignoring my warning. Jiggling the book like it was some Christmas present, he winked at me.

Freaking out, I said, “Wait, Francisco. Seriously! I wouldn’t touch that thing. Who knows what it’s capable of doing?”

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But he didn’t listen. He eyed it feverishly. More dazzling than ever, the book looked as if it was taunting him.

Francisco opened it.

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I tilted my head. “Hey! It opened.” But I had a sinking feeling that wasn’t a good thing.

I was right.

Francisco studied the page for a while, not saying anything.

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“What’s wrong?” I asked, squeezing his arm.

Francisco jerked away. His dark eyes glared at me and he whispered, “How can you ask me that?”

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“L-Like I said,” I stammered, “it wouldn’t let me…”

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But the tardy bell sounded, cutting me off. Mrs. Tanaka hushed the class.

Quickly, I flipped the pages to my last wish. Blood flowed out of my head and arms. Wish Book drew me with some horrible smirk on my face and Francisco looked as if he was running up to the front of the class. And then…I wasn’t sure what he was doing, but it didn’t matter. The words, “Dum dum and stoopid”, had arrows pointing at Francisco.

Oh my GOD!

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“Class, as you can see, today is the day we get to do our organic lab. I want you all to make sure to…” Mrs. Tanaka stopped, cocking her head. “Is something wrong, Francisco?”

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Instantly, Francisco bounced out of his seat and yelled, “Love potions!” His body convulsed like a huge demon had swooped into it, forcing him to twirl down the aisle as if he was a fanciful dancer.

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The class giggled nervously.

He sashayed to the front of the class.

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And then started doing jumping jacks, chanting like a preschooler:

“I love ice cream.

I love tea.

I love Athena,

And I hope

She loves me.”

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Hot blood pulsed through my face. My neck heated up like it was 120 degrees as my body seemed to sail upward, trying to flee the class, but never moving.

What the HELL?

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Laughter erupted along with tons of whistling and whooping. Some guys shouted, “Go for it, Romero!”

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I sunk my head in my hands, but peeked through my fingers at Francisco.

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Knees buckling and a face in full mortification, he apologized to Mrs. Tanaka.

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Then he slunk back to his chair next to me, putting his face in his hands. I felt nauseated like I’d just punched an innocent person in the mouth even though I didn’t have anything to do with that wish.

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I whispered, “I’m so sorry, Francisco. I tried to tell you I wasn’t the one who drew that. Wish Book did.”

Francisco didn’t move. He didn’t speak or look up or do anything to make me feel like he’d think about forgiving me.

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At that moment, I was trying to process what Francisco just announced. Did he really love me or was that some assholery done by Wish Book? I was so freaking angry, I decided right then what to do next.

I was going to throw that evil book away.

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***********

I got out of my last period a little early. I hated to do it, but I blamed my wheelchair and my locker sticking and a whole assortment of other lame excuses. My Careers teacher, Mr. Glover, was a pushover. I didn’t need half of them. He was too busy reading some blog on his Slablet while the rest of the class blabbed to one another to really notice or care about what I was saying.

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He wrote me a pass and told me to be careful, never removing his eyes from the small screen.

Darting to Francisco’s locker, I waited as cockroaches seemed to crawl in my stomach. I prayed he’d listen to me and understand.

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A few minutes after the last bell rang, I spied Francisco in the midst of milling kids, walking toward his locker.

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Once he spotted me, he made a 180-degree turn.

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“Oh no you don’t,” I muttered to myself.

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I dodged people with my wheelchair trying not to lose him, but he was too smart for me. He dashed toward the back door of the school that people rarely took, knowing I wouldn’t be able to follow.

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Steps.

Without a ramp in sight.

But I was determined, so I hit the bar on the door and rolled my wheels toward the edge of the concrete stairs, yelling, “Francisco! Wait! Let me explain!”

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He shook his head. The look on his face made my throat tighten.

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Out of desperation, I glanced everywhere, wishing for a ramp or a sidewalk or even a plank of wood. But there wasn’t anything except for a bunch of very steep and very scary steps.

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My head swooned just thinking about what would happen if I attempted to topple down them. But I thought I’d threaten anyway. “I’m going to chase after you!”

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Francisco bit his lip, squinting up at me. Then he fumbled for the keys to his motorcycle.

“I will!” I screamed, hoping he’d believe me. But he knew better. I’d freaked out around steps so many times or ranted about places not having ramps that I knew he’d bet I’d stay where I was.

Then Wish Book caught my eye.

I jerked my pointer finger at it.

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“You owe me, Stupid. I don’t care if you can’t make things appear magically. You’re going to do my bidding right now.”

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I grabbed a pen out of my pack. Quickly, I sketched me sliding down the steps toward Francisco, only they weren’t steps. I drew a ramp.

I waited a moment, hoping Wish Book would do its magic. Maybe a teacher would bring a board or a construction worker would help me. There were a hundred possibilities.

Minutes ticked.

Francisco put the key in and revved the engine. In a few minutes, he’d disappear. I had to speak to him. Now.

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Not caring what happened to me, I decided to go down the steps anyway. I’d seen bike riders bob over steps, but you needed speed and balance. I was fairly gifted at balance and could do all sorts of tricks on my wheelchair, balancing on one wheel even.

“Okay!” I screamed. “You asked for it. I’m going to kill myself trying to talk to you!”

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Taking a deep breath, I backed up until the cold door handle stopped me, poking my back. Visualizing my wheelchair as a bicycle, I rotated my wheels as fast as I could. And wham!

The wheelchair soared through the air as if I’d taken off on a wheelie ramp.

My stomach felt like I’d just plummeted off the Tower of Doom as I flew over the steps. “Ahh!” I shrieked, gripping the rubber.

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The wheelchair hit hard and bounced on the gravel, tossing the book out of my lap. The chair rolled a few feet then stopped. “I’m alive,” I whispered, heart hammering so hard it hurt.

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Francisco hopped off his motorcycle. He scrambled to me. “Are you nuts? If you think that’s going to make me forgive you, you’re wrong. Now I’m pissed as hell at you!” He turned around and pulled at his hair. He pointed at me. “Don’t ever do that again!”

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His order infuriated me. “Don’t tell me what to do, Francisco. I can do what I want. I’m not an invalid.”

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“Well, don’t worry. I won’t be telling you what to do anymore because I won’t be talking to you.”

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The way he was acting made my blood steam. He wasn’t even giving me a chance to explain. Obviously, the book had some sort of power, and we didn’t even understand how it worked. Why couldn’t he give me a chance?

“Fine. But you’re losing a good friend who really cares about you. I didn’t draw that wish. Wish Book did. You hear that?” I pointed at the idiotic golden book, glinting in the sun.

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“So, you expect me to believe that Wish Book draws your style of manga?” Francisco caught my eyes. “I know your style, Athena. You drew that.”

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Pressing my lips together, I agreed. Sort of. “Okay, so yes, I did draw it, but Wish Book guided my hand. I didn’t even see what I was doing. My eyes were closed.”

“You want me to believe that?”

“Do you believe this stupid book grants wishes?”

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Jaw set, he nodded slowly.

“Then why can’t you believe it has the power to do any number of weird, assholish things? I’m telling you. IT. DREW. THAT PICTURE!”

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Francisco threw his head back and heaved a sigh. Moments ticked.

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Finally, he said, “I don’t know…it just seems so unreal.”

“How real is a Wish Book that grants wishes? You say you believe it, so why can’t you believe me? Tell me this, Francisco, why would I want to hurt you? Does that make sense?”

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Staring at me with his brown eyes, I could see the wheels turning in his mind. I was making sense now. I was his friend. Why would I do that to him?

With a slow shrug, he finally said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Why would you want to embarrass me? And call me dum dum and stupid.”

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“I wouldn’t. It doesn’t make any sense.”

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Staring at the book, he went on, “I mean, if you hated me that much, you wouldn’t have launched your wheelchair skyward like some freakish flying squirrel.”

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I laughed, feeling my face warm. All the anger from a moment ago seemed to release like the air out of a balloon. “I guess not.”

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Francisco smiled. “You want me to walk you home? I have to go over to your house soon anyway for the science project.”

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My heart fluttered. He was looking cute again.

“What about your motorcycle?” I asked.

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He shrugged. “I’ll run over and get it later. No problem.”

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Smiling at him, I pointed at Wish Book. “Can you hand the book to me? I have something important to do first.”

Once Francisco placed it in my hands, I wheeled over to a dumpster at the edge of the school property.

“What are you going to do?” Francisco asked.

“Open the lid for me and watch,” I said.

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Hurling Wish Book in the air, I heard the book hit the bottom with a satisfying clunk.

1pammie

SO, next update Wednesday, October 31st.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, Twitter or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Five: The Third Wish

1c

Suddenly, the third period bell rang. I don’t think I’ve ever rushed more to get to a class in all my life. I wanted to see if Wish Book would change Mr. Rah’s appearance. Usually dressed in a tie and stiff as a ruler, Mr. Rah would sit at his desk and read a book or grade papers.

My heart sank as I entered the room. There he was, dressed in a drab green button down and a blah-blue tie. Plus, he was reading Game of Bones. Well, that was new, at least.

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I rolled to my desk, puzzled.  Did I dream I sketched a party going on in here?

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“Sooo?” Holly asked. “You DID wish our Thursday quiz away. Right?”

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Totally unsure, I gave her an I-believe-I-did-yeah-cuz-my-brain-didn’t-dream-that-up-in-art head nod.

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“Whew!” she blew out a breath. “I’m glad because I’d be totally screwed otherwise. I didn’t have time to study.”

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Just then, Mr. Rah rose from his chair and said, “Get out your testing booklets. It’s time for our Thursday quiz.”

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Holly winced and whispered, “What the hell, Athena? You said you made a wish.”

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My mouth opened to answer but Mr. Rah shushed. “There will be no talking.” He shot arrows at us from his dark eyes.

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After answering questions about the Roman Empire until I got a brain freeze, I handed in the testing sheet from my booklet. I felt depressed. Not that I failed the quiz—it was pretty easy. Mr. Rah had drilled us about that stuff all last week. Even though he was boring, he was still a pretty decent teacher. I was depressed about Wish Book.

Wish Book, oh, Wish Book!

My heart cried in agony, seeing all my hopes and dreams flutter out of its glistening pages. What went wrong?

I took a look at it to see if I’d dreamed up the whole thing.

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But there it was: Mr. Rah dressed in a Hawaiian shirt dancing with a boombox blasting, eating pizza. My wish for no Thursday quiz was written right over that awesome pizza-tastic drawing. Unfortunately, not even crickets were going to party in this classroom.

MrRah

I scrolled to the page where I’d sketched my beautiful bedroom.

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It must have been a freaky coincidence.

Frustrated, I plopped the stupid thing on my desk. The morning light seemed to catch on the spine and for a minute, it twinkled innocently at me. No, I told myself. I would not be tricked again. I decided to sell the thing online ASAP. Or maybe Holly’s mom would have a few ideas where we could pawn it.

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After the last test was handed in, Mr. Rah excused himself and told us to read our assignments quietly at our desks.

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Once he left, the whole class murmured.

“Boy, that was rough.” Holly shook her head. “I probably didn’t get an A. My first. I don’t get what went wrong.” She gave a big sigh.

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I plopped my head on the desk, staring at the useless book. “Well, I guess it’s just a regular old journal.” What kind of weird kid would want to give me a glittery blank book? It was so…strange.

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Gazing at the beautiful golden book, I said, “It would have been a wonderful dream, though.”

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As I was about to put Wish Book in my backpack, Mr. Rah entered the classroom.

With a stack of pizza!

My mouth dropped. Holly’s mouth dropped. The whole class’ mouth dropped.

“I thought since you’ve been working so hard this term that you deserved a break.” Mr. Rah’s face beamed (I never knew he smiled.) He shouted, “Let’s rock!”

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Blasting the stereo, the whole class erupted in party mode. Pizza flew, the stereo cranked, cell phones texted, and we had the most fun ever in twenty minutes. Mr. Rah even danced, shedding his tie and unbuttoning his shirt!

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The glee I felt was written on Holly’s face as she pointed at Wishbook and danced with me.

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Wish Book worked!

It might not have worked exactly as I’d written or drawn, but that was something I had to figure out later. All I knew was that I had power. A power that could move mountains, shake cities, recreate teachers and bedrooms but most of all…

Change my rotten life.

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At lunch, Holly, Francisco, and I went into miracle-planning mode. I placed Wish Book on the brown table gently like it was made of glass.

Francisco knocked on the book. “So, you’re not kidding? The book actually worked and you didn’t suffer Blah’s quiz?”

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“Not exactly,” Holly said, lifting the book and showing Francisco.

I waved my hands, frustrated. “It only half worked. Blah gave us the quiz but then threw us a party like I drew it.”

Francisco whistled. “That’s it. Look what you did, Athena.”

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“I didn’t do anything,” I said. “It just doesn’t work like it should.”

“Athena,” Holly tapped on the page. “I know what San Fran is getting at. See? You wrote your wish and it didn’t come true but you drew the wish and it happened.”

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“Exactly.” Francisco put his hand behind his head and grinned. “Tell me I’m a genius again.”

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“Huh.” I studied the page. “Sorry, genius.” I smirked. “It didn’t happen exactly how I drew it. Blah wasn’t wearing a Hawaiian shirt.”

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“Hmm. That is a conundrum,” Holly said, taking a bite of ham.

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With a knowing gleam in her eye, she went on, “It would seem the magic can only happen if it’s possible.”

“Yeah, she’s right,” Francisco agreed. “Blah didn’t wear a Hawaiian shirt because he didn’t own one or he didn’t bring one to school.”

A rock plunged into my stomach. “That means Wish Book can’t create something out of nothing,” I said, thinking about my nothing legs.

“Right.” Francisco agreed. He didn’t know how disappointed I was feeling at that moment. “What’s wrong, Athena?” he asked, cocking his head.

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“Nothing,” I answered, fiddling with my plate. Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry. “Look, guys, I’m tired of talking about this. I need to go to the library to study for Careers class. Okay?”

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Francisco scratched the back of his neck nervously. “But what about my wish?”

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“Go for it,” I said, wheeling my chair back from the table. “You can draw excellent manga. Wish away.”

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Francisco shook his head. “My name isn’t on the book, Athena. It probably wouldn’t work for me.”

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He wasn’t giving up. “Just a tiny wish for our science class, okay? You can come up with something. We’re going to have our organic lab, right? Have me do something that will impress Ms. Tanaka. You know she hates me.”

“Well, if you didn’t catch her on fire with a Bunsen burner in our first lab, things might have been different,” I said.

Francisco blasted me with a grin. “Please?”

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I caved. “Oh, alright. I’ll come up with something while I’m at the library.” I brightened and said, cheerily, “Don’t worry, Francisco, I’ll think up something amazing.”

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“Thanks,” he said, making a tiny flutter in my stomach. For some reason he looked really cute today.

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I rolled down the aisle toward the library, hoping I was wrong about my miracle book. I wished it was a magic genie that could make all my dreams come true.

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After I went over my notes, I heaved Wish Book out of my bag and dropped it on the table. Thud.  I looked around, suddenly nervous about creating another wish. The librarian, Ms. Fern, bent over her computer, typing in something with her back to me.

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I didn’t spy any other students, so I was free to draw. My mind tried to picture what Francisco might do or say to impress Mrs. Tanaka when I heard a whisper that suspiciously sounded like it came from the book, “Let me help.”

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“What?” I glanced around. No one was there.

“Let me help.” A boy’s voice sprang out from the spot of the book.

“Wish Book?” I asked, heart pounding.

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“Yes,” it said, flashing spectacular colors on its surface like a golden holograph. “I can assist you with the wish for your friend.”

I shook my head, feeling suddenly dizzy.

“Trust me,” it said.

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My mouth dried up as if I’d just traveled through a dozen deserts without water. “How?” I croaked.

“Take your pencil,” he whispered. It was definitely a boy’s voice with a British accent.

I obeyed.

“Now open me.”

With shaky hands, I opened the book. The spine seemed to creak.

“Close your eyes,” he ordered.

Against my better judgment, I shut my eyes and readied the pencil.

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A warm, soothing sensation rippled through my chest and down my arms. Instantly, my hand raced across the clean page.

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I drew so fast, I couldn’t quite make out what I had drawn. Sparkles and smoke seemed to burst across the images.

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The book shut. Slap!

My heart lurched into my throat.

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Shooting from her chair, the librarian raised a finger to her lips in warning.

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My cheeks warmed. I whispered, “Sorry!”

Because I wanted to see what Wish Book drew, I tried to open it, but it wouldn’t move.

“Wish Book,” I whispered harshly so I wouldn’t disturb Ms. Fern again, and so she wouldn’t see me trying to wrangle a freaky book’s binding. “What have you done?”

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The only thing I could hear was a slight giggle.

Then the bell rang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pammie

Next update Monday, October 29th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Four: The Second Wish

1b

The next day, I raced to the cafeteria at school. Like an idiot, I’d tried to find Francisco to tell him about Wish Book but couldn’t find him where he normally ate breakfast.

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Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to talk to him until second period because of a tyrant who was impersonating a teacher—Ms. Claxton.

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Down the hallway, my wheels hummed as I dashed to first period. Ms. Claxton, my computer teacher, was going to kill me!

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This woman was 199 years old, skinnier than a needle because she mostly ate barley and Metamucil. If she smiled, her face would probably crack and disintegrate into a million tiny pieces. Oh yeah. And her favorite pastime was devouring students for breakfast. Today, I was going to be the main course.

Quietly, I opened the computer lab door and wheeled myself inside.

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I stopped between Holly and Francisco’s desks. Glaring at Francisco, I mouthed, “Where have you been?”

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He lurched his head back and whispered, “I had to take a test.”

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I spoke silently, “I have something important to tell you!”

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Claxton was behind her computer and didn’t even glance my way. What luck!

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Holly waved at me and whispered, “Read my text. Okay?”

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I reached for my phone when I heard Ms. Claxton clear her throat. “Miss Martin. Come to my desk. Now.”

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Holly shot me an I’m-so-sorry-for-you-but-glad-it’s-not-me look. Everyone in the class shot me that look.

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I inched my wheelchair over to her desk. “Miss Martin!” Ms. Claxton, the Beast, yelled, slapping her ruler on her desk for emphasis. Smack!

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My heart wobbled.

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“Why were you late?” she asked, glaring her puny gray eyes. The woman looked like she hadn’t washed her hair in months. I knew she’d bathed, though. She was meticulous about covering everything with antiseptic before touching it. The reason her hair was so greasy was that she constantly drenched herself in ghastly smelling lotion every fifteen minutes so it would end up everywhere: In her hair, on her desk. Once she handed me a paper and it stuck to her fingers. Blecch.

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She went on with her lecture, “You don’t think school is very important, do you?” Her thin lips drew down into an ugly C shape. “You think you can come skulking in here like a careless spider? You think the world is all cartoons and boys and roses.” She caught her breath and continued evenly, “Am I correct, Miss Martin?”

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Scribbling something on a familiar yellow slip of paper, she then peered into my eyes, saying in a low, horrifying voice, “Well, it’s not.” She flicked the slip at me. I took it.

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I swallowed my tongue. Five demerits!

Ten demerits sent you to Saturday school. I’d already gotten three—one for not turning something in on time and for two other tardies. Normal teachers only gave you one. Two more and I was royally messed over.

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“Just because you’re in that wheelchair does not give you the right to shirk the rules. Have I made myself clear?”

I gulped and nodded.

“Do not come to my class late again or you will be sent to Saturday school.” Then she lifted the side of her mouth, wrinkles cracking. “With me. Take your seat.”

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It felt as if everyone’s eyes set me on fire. If I could have died one thousand deaths, crawled under a ten-ton rock, sunk to the bottom of the sea, I would have jumped at the chance. Burning with embarrassment, I plopped my head on my hands, tears dropping one by one onto the desk.

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Holly shoved a note underneath the tepee I’d made with my head and arms. I grabbed it then swiftly unfolded it.

It said:

Read my text.

NOW!!!!!

P.S. It’ll make you feel better!!!!

 

Keeping an eye on the Beast, I carefully looked at my phone.

XdLY5L

My eyes popped. If the wishes in Wish Book didn’t work out, maybe selling it could be the answer to my families’ troubles. Well, at least for a little while. And maybe I could go to the the summer art institute! I grinned, then texted back.

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I was about to put my phone away when the Beast ripped it from my hands.

Crap!

I was soooo screwed.

Ms. Claxton read my text, looked a little shocked, then gave it back to me.

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“Eyes on your work, ladies.” She threw on a fake smile.

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Then she marched back to her desk.

I couldn’t believe it.

No demerits. No yelling. No Saturday school. What was up?

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Holly blew out a breath and wiped her forehead. I guessed we were saved.

When the bell rang, I met Francisco and Holly at my locker, pulling out Wish Book.

Francisco spoke first. “What’s all this about, Athena?”

“What if I told you this book really works? It grants wishes!”

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“I’d say you’ve totally flipped.” Holly shook her head, but I could see in her eyes she wasn’t sure.

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“Well, I wouldn’t believe it myself, but I watched it work last night. Look.”

I pointed at the page of the drawing of my new bedroom. “See that?”

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Francisco shrugged. “It’s a bedroom. So?”

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“This is a new bedroom I drew since Zelda got a really strange idea to trash my room. Right after I finished the drawing, my mom tells me I’d just won a grand prize and guess what it was?”

“A visit from Smartha Flewart?” Francisco asked.

Holly laughed.

“Close,” I countered. “A visit from Brindleton Bay’s version of Smartha Flewart. I mean, right now there are worker elves transforming my bedroom into the real live version of this. Mom and I picked out all the stuff for it last night!”

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“Hum…” Holly said, scratching her chin. I could see a tiny flicker of fear in her eyes.

“What’s wrong, Holly?” I asked.

Glancing around nervously, she said, quickly, “Nothing! Um…well, we need more proof than that. You should make another wish!”

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“Okay.” I shrugged. “What should I do?”

“I know,” Holly said. “Make Mr. Blah not give us a quiz today.” Mr. Rah was our 3rd period History teacher who was as boring as hell. We lovingly called him Mr. Blah. It seemed to fit.

“Holly, that’s genius!” I said. “Okay. I’ll wish our Thursday quiz away.”

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Holly grinned. “Awesome!” She glanced at the wall clock. “Oh my gosh! We’re gonna be late!” She tapped on the book and kissed it. “See you third period!” She rushed down the hall.

Francisco stopped me from moving. “What about me? I don’t have your third period class with Mr. Blah.”

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“If this works, we’ll do something special, okay?”

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“That doesn’t sound promising.”

I rolled my wheelchair by him. “It’ll be great! We’ll plan at lunch. Bye!”

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My arms burned as I raced my wheelchair to second period—art. My favorite. Ms. Harper was the best. Every month, she’d give a prize to the person who worked the hardest and usually that would be me.

When I got to class, Ms. Harper walked around, looking at our stuff.

I pulled out Wish Book, then glanced up and saw Adam Slack.

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He was talking to Morgan Ashton and Peyton Marshall, the two most popular senior girls. Peyton had beautiful dark skin with amazing spiral curls and Morgan’s silky dark hair flowed down her back. Peyton was a star athlete and Morgan was a cheerleader–two things I could never do in a million years. They were laughing with Adam.

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I imagined I was Morgan with long, beautiful hair and strong cheerleader legs so I could talk to Adam any time I wanted. Maybe that was something I could use Wish Book for later.

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A tingle tickled in my stomach. Maybe Wish Book could help me walk. Heal my legs. I pictured muscle rippling where there was nothing but tiny bones and skin. I didn’t have any memories of ever walking, but I’d always dreamed about what it would feel like—splashing my feet in a rain puddle or bounding on the cool grass.

Maybe Holly was right. Wish Book was given to me so I could wish to walk.

But I pushed that thought out of my head for the moment. First things were first. I had to prove that I wasn’t imagining things with Wish Book.

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Now, the last time I’d used it, I drew a picture, but that took too much time. I figured since it was my book, I could write about what I’d like to see happen in Mr. Rah’s classroom. I’d write like you’d see in those wish movies with a genie in the bottle—“I wish for blah, blah, blah” and poof! It happened.

I took out a pencil and wrote:

  1. I wish Mr. Rah wouldn’t give the Thursday history quiz.
  2. I wish

I felt Ms. Harper come up in front of me. “What’cha working on?” She smelled like Hollister’s sweet Malaia perfume. Mmm.

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Smiling, I said, “Um, nothing much.”

“Wish Book?” she asked. “That sounds like a fun book.”

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If she only knew. “Yeah, it is.” I smiled, trying to hide my guilt at wielding supernatural powers to foil wicked teacher-plans.

Her eyes grinned through her trendy round glasses. “Well,” she continued, “why don’t you save the book for English? It’s time to draw.”

I had to think fast. “Oh, well, this is sort of like a journal. I can draw in it.”

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“Okay, Athena. You may free draw at the end of class for five minutes. You need to work on your art projects.”

I nodded quickly and said, “Thanks, Ms. Harper.”

At the end of class, I opened Wish Book and drew what I’d wished would happen next in history class.

Hopefully, this was going to work.

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1pammie

 

Next update Friday, October 26th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Three: The First Wish

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Gingerly, I inched my chair to the door of my house. I could hear Mom and Dad yelling. As usual it was WWIII, The Civil War, and Doomsday all wrapped into one. They fought about the same ridiculous thing: money.

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Two years ago, Dad quit his job in San Myshuno, working as an architect, to come out to Brindleton Bay and join his friend to sell solar windows. Solar windows helped insulate a house better so money didn’t literally fly out the window. I all knew was the business stunk and my dad was under a lot of stress which put my mom under stress and so the whole house was an exploding bomb set off at almost all hours.

Cringing, I opened the door quietly so they wouldn’t notice me.

Crrrreeeeak!

Damn. I’d forgotten about the freaking squeaky door. Quickly, I rolled my wheelchair toward the hall.

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Mom stopped yelling at Dad for a moment and brushed a piece of hair from her eyes. She was half Italian and half Scottish. She looked like Gran, her Scottish mother–a very pretty artist in her day. But Mom didn’t “do” art. She was creative in an engineering way. She made all sorts of contraptions from the Flab-buster (a device that will make your belly skinny) to Christmas robots—elves that actually decorated the Christmas tree with lights and Santas whose bellies wiggled when they laughed while offering drinks to friends. I often wished she’d make a machine that would take the wrinkles from between her eyebrows. Mom would be very pretty if she wasn’t so mad all the time.

“Athena? Is that you?” She marched up to me and waved her hand. “You’re late. Again.”

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“I know, Mom, but I can explain…”

Dad showed me a letter. “Explain this.”

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“What’s this?” I scanned it quickly. Oh my God!!! “I got accepted into Art Studio Summer Institute in San Myshuno! Isn’t that great?”

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“Read on.” Dad motioned with his finger.

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“Cost is…” I gulped. “Three thousand dollars?”

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Dad moved next to me as I read. “Why did you sign up for this, Athena? You know we can’t afford it.”

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“I didn’t sign up for it. My art teacher, Ms. Harper, did. She didn’t say anything about the price. She just thought with my talent for art, it would really help my future. Can I go? Please, please, please? Think of it as an investment in your future. If I get rich, I’d share.”

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Dad laughed. “Nice try, peanut.”

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Smiling, Mom asked, “Todd, please, can we talk about this? There might be scholarships for teens with disabilities.”

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This was one time I didn’t mind that term. “Yeah! I know there are probably tons. Please, Dad?”

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He shook his head slowly. “It’s not just the price. They might not have the proper facilities.”

“We could look into that, of course,” Mom countered. (Yay, Mom!) “And I’ve got a bite on one of my Christmas robots. If it sells, there will be more, and then we’ll have the money.”

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Dad sighed. “Listen, Serena, I hate to say this again, but you need to get a job. A real one. Not this flim flammy stuff that doesn’t pay a dime.”

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Moving away, Mom said, “You’re not starting up on that again. Inventing things is my career. You just have to keep persevering. Look at what happened to Thomas Edison!”

Dad smirked. “The Ho Ho Ho-er is NOT the light bulb.”

Oh no. They were about to start up again. I tried to slip past them, but I felt a hand stop me.

“We’re not done, young lady,” Mom said, walking in front of me and narrowing her eyes.

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Crap.

“You were late again. Why?”

“Um…there w-was this little girl and she gave Francisco an interesting, golden book to give to me. So, I got distracted by it. I mean, it’s really cool. You want to look at it?”

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Mom rolled her eyes. “Riiiight. Another one of your lame stories.”

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Stiffening, I said, “You don’t believe me?”

“I find it hard to believe that you would have a perfect excuse every night. First you had to get a flower from Holly’s mom’s shop for a project without telling me…”

I crossed my arms. “I did, and I had to!”

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“Then an unidentified dog chased you all over town and you happened to end up at Holly’s house…”

I craned around my chair, jerking my backpack onto the table.

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“Fine. I’ll show you.” Scrounging around inside it, I pulled out a science book, a spiral, my art notebook, a few pens. Turning the backpack over, I shook. Nothing but dust. My heart pounded.

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The golden book had vanished.

“Well?” By this time Dad was getting into the picture. Mom had a satisfied smirk on her face.

“I-I…” I looked from face to face. How could I make them believe me? “I had the book in my backpack. Honest! It was a beautiful golden expensive book that someone gave me.”

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Mom pursed her lips. “And now you’ve lost it.”

“Well, yeah…I guess…oh, I don’t know.”

“Athena, we are really tired of your stories,” Mom started, “and you’re not going to get away with it this time.”

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“You’re grounded,” Dad finished.

“Grounded?” I squeaked. “But I’m telling the truth!”

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I felt my face prickle with guilt, remembering how I’d told a little lie yesterday about going over to Holly’s. I mean, Holly and I did see a dog and it scared us but then I didn’t want to go home and went over to Holly’s house, hoping they’d let me stay. But this time I was telling the honest to God truth and they didn’t freaking believe me.

“You should have at least texted us or turned on your phone,” Dad argued.

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I blinked back tears. “I’m sorry, I forgot. And you know I have ridiculous teachers who make me turn off my cell phone all the time, but whatever. You guys don’t care.” I was about to twirl my chair to leave but Dad stopped me.

He asked,“Where are you going?”

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“Nowhere. I’m grounded,” I choked out.

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Wheeling myself as fast as I could to my room away from them, I slammed the door.

Instead of throwing myself on my bed and crying like I wanted to, I was slammed full on by what I saw.

Oh my GOD!

My bedroom was a total and complete hot mess.

“What the hell did you do to my room, Zelda?” I couldn’t even think straight I was so mad. She’d destroyed it, throwing everything she could think of–clothes, food, trash all over the floor. And the smell was so bad I wanted to puke. Was that dog poop smeared on my rug?

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But then I caught a sight of what she was holding and I about lost it. “Zelda!” I cried. “You stole my book?”

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Caught, Zelda’s lip quivered. “Don’t be mad, ‘Thena!”

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I glared even harder. “Why shouldn’t I be mad? I got grounded because of you. Mom and Dad thought I was lying about it. Now give it back to me and get out.”

Slowly, she shook her head. “I saw them. They’re coming for you. You can’t stay. I made a mess in here and you can’t stay in your room.”

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“What are you babbling about?”

Zelda dropped the book on the floor and hung her head. “Please, ‘Thena. Just run away. I saw them. They’re ugly–not like you.”

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She wiped her eyes and sniffed looking at me as if for the very first time. “You’re…pretty!”

I pressed my lips together. Zelda must have had some freaky nightmare.

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“Flattery isn’t going to get you out of trouble. You need to clean up starting with this.” I pointed at the disgusting dog poop. I had no idea where she got it. We didn’t even own a dog.

Zelda jumped off the bed then brought me the golden book. “Here, ‘Thena. It told me it’s yours. You gotta make a wish. Wish those bad people away.”

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I squinted at her. “Have you been into the Halloween candy stash? I think it’d expired and messed with your brain.”

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She gave me a pencil then jumped back on the bed. “Hurry! You gotta wish.”

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Sucking in a breath, I opened to the first sparkly page. Although I knew nothing would come of it, I decided to wish away my messed up bedroom and readied the pencil. In my head, I pictured a beautiful new bedroom with freshly painted walls, new furniture, the works. I mean if I was going to wish, why not go big?

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Quickly, without warning, I drew fluidly almost as if a magical force was guiding me, beckoning, sinking me into a sparkly golden pond.

“There!” I said, savoring the awesomeness of the drawing as I rolled over to my sister. “What do you think?”

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Zelda’s eyebrows knitted. “That’s no good. Try again.”

“What do you mean? That’s a great picture of what my bedroom SHOULD look like.” I gave her a knowing stare to make her feel guilty.

But she kept shaking her head. “Do it again, ‘Thena. The bad people have to go. Put them in jail.”

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I couldn’t believe Zelda was acting so strangely. I’d never seen her like this. I thought I should ask mom to check up on her. Maybe she was getting bullied at school and to cope, she dreamed up all these “bad people”.

A few minutes went by as I was trying to reason with a messed up five-year-old when Mom knocked on my door.

“Come in,” I called.

Walking into my room, she waved her hand in front of her face. “My God it stinks in here. What happened?”

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I cocked my head. “Nothing much. Just a misunderstanding. Zelda’s helping me clean.”

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Mom shook her head in amazement. “Wow. What timing! I just got off the phone with a decorating company. Seems you entered a raffle and won the grand prize. The decorator will arrive here tomorrow to talk about redecorating your bedroom.”

My stomach plunged. “I didn’t enter a decorating raffle, Mom.”

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“Well, someone must have entered for you.” She smiled brightly.

I stared at Zelda who was staring right back at me with a worried look on her face. A weird yet wonderful feeling swept through me like I was invisible and could float through a wall or fly to a mountaintop.

I heard a whisper…

“Wish Book.”

The book seemed to sing to me from the nightstand, “Oooopen meeeee!”

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And right there in the middle of my dirty bedroom I saw my drawing of an amazing bedroom. I swallowed as my heart thumped hard in my chest.

The possible power swirled in my head. But then I stopped myself. Maybe Holly’s mom entered both of us in the drawing and this was just all a weird yet wonderful coincidence. But what if the book actually worked? And how did it work?

If it was real, I had to be smart about the wish power. Maybe that little girl was really an angel—a gift sent from heaven. I mean, my life had been total garbage, and it was going to take miracles to set it right. Why not?

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Tingles of anticipation rippled through me. My life was really going to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pammie

SO, next update Wednesday, October 23rd.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, Twitter or The Sims Forum.

Chapter Two: The Suggestion

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Holly hit my arm. “Earth to Athena! Hullooo!” She waved a hand in front of my vision, startling me.

I blinked a few times. “Huh?”

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“I said, let’s go over to my house and take a look at your new book, okay?”

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Nodding, I moved to leave then pointed at Francisco. “Remember you’re going to my house tomorrow after school to work on our science project. ”

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Holly added, “Four PM sharp! And don’t forget the snacks.”

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“I won’t leave you damsels in a pit of despair.” He bowed with a flourish of his hand.

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Holly rolled her eyes. “What-EVER.”

Whatever was right. Francisco and I hung our hopes on Holly’s giant brain of scientific information. I was great at art, Francisco was talented at marital arts, but Holly was supreme with facts and information. She was like a walking thesaurus, smoogle, and Simipedia all rolled into one.

“Later, San Fran,” Holly said, walking out the door.

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I loved visiting Holly’s house. Everything about it whispered “home” to me. The hundred year old, 3 story house sat across from the town square of Brindleton Bay, walking distance from the bookstore. On the outside, it looked like an old Victorian inn, but on the inside, it felt as if I’d stepped into a bohemian dream.

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As we entered, Holly’s mom, Desiree, greeted us, so unlike my parents. They were usually too busy fighting about money to say hello.

“We’re going to be in my room, Des,” Holly announced, already darting to the hallway toward her bedroom. Holly called her mom by her name since they were more like friends than mother and daughter.

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“Okay, sweetie,” Desiree said. “See you later, Athena.” She grinned, flashing a set of white teeth which went nicely with her long auburn dreads.

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She owned the flower shop in town. Holly and her mom moved here when she was five from Dragon Valley when her dad left them. It was easy for Desiree to start over as a flower shop owner since she had what I liked to call a sorcerer’s thumb. She could make flowers arise from the literal dried up, shriveled grave.

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Opening Holly’s black door, I tried to avoid mashing Holly’s clothes flung from one end of her Goth Victorian room to the other.

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“Okay,” Holly said, bouncing on her bed. “Let me see that book.” She opened it slowly as if it held a magic genie. I gazed at it as it sparkled in the light. For some weird reason, my heart was racing.

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“Wish Book,” she said. “Hmm…I wonder if this is like a journal of wishes. People have been journaling their thoughts for centuries but journaling wishes? That’s something different.” She flipped through the glittery blank pages.

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“Yep.” Holly said. “It’s definitely a journal. Because of the title, I’d advise using it as a wish diary. I wonder who bought it for you.”

“It’s such a mystery. I mean, first of all, it’s not like I have friends who would want to buy me stuff like this.”

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Holly glared. “What am I? Thin air?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t mean it like that. I meant, I’m not popular. All my life I haven’t had any friends because…” I looked at my chair. “Let’s be serious. If you hadn’t broken both your ankles the summer before I moved here, would you have become my friend?”

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“Of course I would!” she huffed.

But I didn’t believe her. When I’d arrived at Brindleton Bay Elementary, I saw Holly with a bewildered face, awkwardly wheeling around the fifth grade classroom, bumping into chairs and desks. I showed her how to wheel around like a pro. To maneuver the chair around in most places, you’ve got to pop a wheelie—it’s fun. And bam! Instant friends.

Holly slipped down to the ground, still holding the book. “What about San Fran?”

I shrugged. “What about him?”

“Uh, hello? He only has a mega massive crush on you.” Holly kept flipping through the  pages. “Don’t tell me no one cares about you.”

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A pang of guilt rippled through me. I hated feeling like that. But Holly didn’t understand. She was born with two working legs. Well, so was I, technically, but after the car accident eleven years ago that I can’t remember, and an injury that shattered my L-2 vertebrae, having two working legs was not my reality. And besides, she was totally wrong about Francisco. “We’re just friends.”

“My point exactly. Hey!” Her eyebrow arched wickedly as she stood. “Do you think maybe he bought it for you?”

“No.” I ripped the book away from her. “First of all, Francisco doesn’t lie. And second of all, the story is just so bizarre, it has to be true. A little girl gave him the book to give to me so…” Flipping through the blank pages, I said, “There’s only one thing left to do.”

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“What?”

“Do you have a pen? I think it’s time to do some wishing.”

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Holly squealed, scrambling through her ebony drawers trying to find a pen. She dropped a half chewed pencil with a small nub for lead in my lap.

I held it up to her nose. “Really?”

“Okay, fine.” She dug through her clothes on the floor and came up with a blue ballpoint.

“Thanks.”

My mind raced with the possibilities. Of course, this wasn’t a real wish book, but it was fun thinking about it. “Holly, if you could wish for anything in the world, what would you wish for?”

“That’s easy.”

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The corner of my mouth lifted. “That your dad would come back?”

“Seriously?” She shot eye-lasers at me. “I’m very happy with Des just as we are. No, I wouldn’t wish something for myself.”

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She gave me a look I’d known most of my life. The look of pity on the poor cripple. I scrunched my face. “You’re not thinking about me, are you?”

“Well, why not? You’re always complaining about being confined to that chair and about how your legs have withered. Why shouldn’t you wish to walk?”

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I tilted my head. “Maybe because I know in all the possibilities of possibilities that can’t happen. And honestly, I learned a long time ago to be okay with that.” I focused on the blank glitter dust page. “I want to wish for the possible,” I whispered. “For something that actually could happen. Like when you get a fortune in a fortune cookie and it gives you hope when the words ring true for your life, you know?”

My life.

“Oh my God!”

“What?” Holly cried.

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Panic beat against my chest. “I forgot Mom wanted me to babysit my sister today. I was supposed to come home right away. I’m dead!”

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Holly winced. She knew I was headed for certain grounding by coming home late. Again. I’d been late for the past two days and my mom and dad said they’d personally string me up by my pinkies if I didn’t come right home today. But could I help it if I got distracted by a freaky book? I tried to calm down my heart.

It wasn’t working.

Flying through the door, I yelled a goodbye to Desiree, then wheeled down the street toward my house. With lots of good luck, I’d make it before Mom left for her meeting.

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1pammie

I’m going to update every Wednesday now.

SO, next update Wednesday, October 10th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, or The Sims Forum.

Chapter One: Wish Book

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When something pops into your life that changes it forever, turns it into a cauldron of chaos, a demoralizing den of dragons (not kidding here), an evil envelope of extreme enigmas (not exaggerating one bit), and you had a chance to erase it all and do a do over, would you do it?

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Well, I’m here to advise you to do just that. I didn’t and now I can’t turn back. The world is counting on me. Me. Athena Meree Martin. Artist extraordinaire. Brown straight hair. Big teeth. Unnoticed by most. And very unlucky.

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It all started out innocently. One of my best friends, Holly, and I were simply browsing through the art section of the Inky Hollow Bookstore, trying to find something that would help her manga characters look more like humans and less like stick figures.

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“Athena, it’s hopeless,” Holly cried, surveying all the stacked books. “If you think I need this much help, I give up!”

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“First of all, I’m not suggesting you buy every one. I just want to choose the best ones for you. And second of all, more instruction is always better! Think about how good you’ll be once you’ve read them all.”

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She held the newest tome I’d given her and raised her eyebrows. “The Works of Monet? How in the world will Monet help me with drawing cartoons?”

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I swiped the book and flipped through the pages. “Manga, Holly. Manga comes from Japan. They aren’t just cartoons. And if you want to be an artist, you’ve gotta learn from everyone before you pick…” But something caught my eye through the store window. A strange flash.

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“Did you see that?” I asked, wheeling my chair toward the large window to see if a thunderstorm was brewing. Brindleton Bay rarely had storms. I missed them. Since my family moved here two years ago from San Myshuno, I hadn’t seen one storm. Gobs of rain and humidity, yes. Thunder. No.

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I peered at the stores across the street. No rain. Just blue sky and sunshine. But then I saw someone in front of Mr. Freezies.

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I gulped. Adam Slack. The cutest guy at Brindleton Bay High. My insides pinged. He smiled at me.

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I bolted.

Crashing into someone, I squeaked, “Oops. Sorry!”

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“What’s your hurry, Spiderlegs?”

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Francisco Romero. One of my very best friends. Only he could get away with calling me that. Last year, frustrated at my pathetic mode of transportation, I threw myself a pity party as he led me on a walk through the woods behind my house. I told him I’d never make it in the underbrush with my “spiderlegs” and wagon wheels. He refused to let me quit. Once I entered the forest, I realized it was filled with redwood trees that dropped pine tendrils which was easy for me to ride over.

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He’s called me Spiderlegs ever since. It always helped me to remember that I can do most anything. I just have to try.

I smiled up at him and he winked.

Black, messy hair. Brown eyes. Cute glasses. His mom was Japanese and his dad was Puerto Rican. A nice combination. I wondered why he was at the book store.

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He taught karate on Mondays. His parents owned the Tai Kwon Do dojo down the street. “Did you get tired of kicking first graders’ asses today, Francisco?” I asked.

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His eyes widened. “Are you kidding? That’s my favorite part of the job.” He flung his hair out of his eyes and smirked. “Um…someone came into our place and was asking about you.”

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Holly whisked herself to my side, bright red ponytail swishing. “Oooo,” she crooned. “Secret admirer?”

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Francisco laughed. “Yeah. Something like that. Well, if you consider an eight year old little girl with a blonde ponytail an admirer.”

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Shaking my head, I asked, “An eight year old girl? I don’t know any. Five and six year olds, yes. Zelda invites a zoo of them over to my house on a daily basis.” My little sister, Zelda, was the queen of our neighborhood. Maybe she had made friends with an older girl. “What did she want?”

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“Not much.” Francisco reached into his jacket and pulled out a golden book. He plopped it on my legs.

If I could have felt them, it would have hurt so I said, “Ouch!”

Reflexively, he cringed and said, “Sorry!” But then he realized my joke and rolled his eyes. Pointing at the book, he said, “The girl told me to give this to you right away, and then basically ran out of the dojo before I could ask any questions. My mom made me find you. So, yeah. Here you go.”

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I picked it up. Sunlight danced over its sparkling surface. “Strange,” I said. The beautiful golden book seemed to ignite into a dazzling display like fireworks at Simseyland.

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“You think that’s strange, look at this.” Francisco pointed to the cover.

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My breath caught at the sight of the title.

 

Wish Book

By

Athena Meree Martin

 

“Wow,” Holly cried. “You do have a secret admirer, Athena. That book must have cost a fortune.”

“But where did they get it and who purchased it?” I asked, flipping through the pages. It was all blank and sparkly like it came straight from Fairytale Central.

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Francisco shrugged. “This is the only bookstore in town. Maybe they ordered it here?”

“Or they could have ordered it online,” Holly countered.

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I figured it was worth checking into anyway while we were at the bookstore, so I whirled my chair around and searched for the owner, Mr. McCreary. He was on a ladder, cleaning the shelves. “Mr. McCreary?” I asked, waving the book at him. “A stranger purchased this for me. Do you know anything about it?”

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The silver haired man gazed down at me with a stoic face. He always looked mad, but I knew he wasn’t. Mr. McCreary was as sweet as a bunny eating grass.

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His ladder squeaked as he turned toward me.“Hmm…very interesting.” He surveyed it as I wiggled the book back and forth. The sunlight through the windows splashed across its surface. If I didn’t know better, it looked as if the cover was almost alive–as if it had been plugged in just to show off for Mr. McCreary.

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He mused for a while, scratching his chin. “It appears, my dear, that someone thinks highly of you. They didn’t buy it in my store, but I can tell it’s an antique and worth quite a bit.”

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“But, Mr. McCreary. Would you know where a book like this would come from?” I asked, bewildered.

Before Mr. McCreary could make his ascent, he turned and stared at me.

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“In my sixty-two years of life, I’ve learned when I’ve been given a gift. And many times, I was foolish enough not to accept it. This, Athena, is, without a doubt, a gift. To you.” His hazel eyes twinkled in such a way that I knew the gift must have been from him.

“Thank you, Mr. McCreary, for this gift. I don’t know what it’s for, but thank you anyway.”

His face grew serious and his eyes almost seemed to glow. “Ah, but I wasn’t the giver of the gift. No. But sometimes the world brings forth marvelous things. Things we cannot understand or explain. They happen, oh, but once, maybe twice in a lifetime.” He stopped then looked straight at me and said, “You’re a talented young lady. Use your gift wisely.”

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My heart hammered, almost flying out of my chest. Mr. McCreary knew something that he wasn’t telling me. I didn’t believe that he had nothing to do with the book, but he left me there, holding the glittery thing and said nothing more.

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If I had known better, I would have dropped the book at his feet and wheeled myself far away.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t have a clue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1pammie

I’m going to update every Wednesday now.

SO, next update Wednesday, October 10th.

You may follow this story on DiscordTumblr, or The Sims Forum.

The Beginning

“Brenden, what ARE you doing?” Lenora, Great Fairy of Essence, glared up at me from behind my easel. Her golden hair sparkled in the moon-glow, streaming from above.

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I hated it when she did that.

Swallowing, I added a speck of white glimmer to the eye of the girl in my portrait.

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Lenora always had a way of launching a stone in my stomach. Maybe because with the wave of her tiny, magical fingers, she could order my dismissal. And to her credit, I’d dropped a few foibles lately with my protege’s, but this time would be different. I’d chosen well. This girl wouldn’t disappoint.

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Quickly, I responded, casually so she wouldn’t know her intimidation, “Can’t you tell? I’m painting a portrait.” I flicked my fingers, trying to inflict a little intimidation of my own. “Of a girl. Not a fairy who annoys me.”

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Wiping my brush, I scanned the palette for just the right hue to match this girl’s beautiful green eyes. I’d already mastered the sunlight gleaming in her chestnut hair. The rose in her cheek. The charming overbite of her rather large incisors.

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Utter perfection.

Lenora’s eyes grew wild with fury at the sight of my adoration. She accused, “Is this who I think it is?” Her voice usually sounded like tinkling bells, but today it bordered on crashing silver.

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“Lenora, you’re insulting my artistic abilities. Now if you don’t mind.” I pushed her aside, hoping she’d flit away somewhere and leave me alone. I wanted to present this to the dear girl at the proper time–when the Fairy Queen ushered her into our kingdom. When I’d be released from the odious torment of being a wish book.

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But Lenora wouldn’t go away.

“You are NOT allowed to acquire emotional attachments for them. It is forbidden.”

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“Oh, Lenora, please.” I laughed, hoping she’d take that as a sign of compliance. I didn’t wish to lie.

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I’d formed an emotional attachment the first day I saw the girl many months ago. She was throwing rocks at some boys by a creek who had tied a handful of keys to a cat’s tail. The poor thing was so frightened, it jumped around like exploding firecrackers on a string. And although that act was noble indeed, what sealed my high regard for her was when she careened her wheelchair back under a tree. She fell out of it and sat on the cool grass, caressing and soothing the cat with her words.

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I noticed her artist’s sketches strewn every which way. One was of a princess with a sword, knighting a boy. And that boy looked exactly like me.

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Athena sketch

Call it destiny. Fate. Divine will. I know not what. She held my heart forever in her power.

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She’d be the one chosen by the Fairy Queen. I could feel it. If that girl could stand up to thugs while sitting in her wheelchair, what could she do against Casteen in the Under Realm? And as the great Wishcaster? No doubt with her bravery and talent, she would be the one to save us all.

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1pammie

Next update Monday, October 8th.

You may follow this story on Discord, Tumblr, or The Sims Forum.