Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Anything Note

The little child was only curious.  All he knew about the curtain was that it lead to another world and that it was dangerous to go close to it.  Opening it could change the course of fate for all eternity.  So, of course, he had to know what was behind it.  He heard the stories of these humans and their ignorance and how they didn't even know the curtain was there and that it was a good thing, too, because they were not patient like them or wise like them.  They could not handle the knowledge. 

The little child could not handle the curiousity.  It was killing him.  So he lied to his parents about where he was going and waited until dark and tip toed closer and closer.  No one stopped him.  There weren't even any gaurds to protect this dangerous secret.  That's how secure they were with the wisdom of their people.  The curtain was black and sparkly like the night sky.  In the daytime it shined like the sun.  It was velvety to the touch and his fingers tingled happily as he pulled it aside.  Just a crack.  No harm could come from just a tiny, little crack. 

The little child was very disappointed in what he saw.  The colors were dull, the houses plain and the people looked exactly like the drawings he'd seen.  Small craniums, too few appendages to be of any use and only two eyes.  A strong breeze startled the child out of his wonder and he turned to go, his curiosity sated, his knowledge stronger and an unwavering trust in the stories about the humans and their dreary lives.  Nothing exciting could happen in a world with such empty scenery. 

In his hurry to get home on time, the child left a small crack on the bottom of the curtain open.  It was too small to do any real damage, but just big enough to let in a seed, blown through on the strong breeze and settled into a patch of mud where it immediately made itself home.  For this was no ordinary seed.  It was a seed from the Wishing Tree. 

The crack in the curtain was not discovered until later the next morning when a patrol gaurd noticed a dark spot in what should have been pure sunshine.  A committee was convened and the landscape of the human world was scoured for any deviances (with a looking device so they could stay in the safety of their side of the curtain) and that is when they found the seedling.  For in that short amount of time the seed had grown out of the ground and into a small tree.  It was too late.  The damage had been done.  Once something has crossed into the human world it cannot be brought back.  But that did not stop them from monitoring it.

As luck would have it, the seed landed right in the middle of a tree farm.  These trees were grown specifically to make paper.  In thier world, the Wishing Tree was a tall, beautiful, twisted elm placed in the middle of the town.  But in the human world, it molded to look exactly like all the other trees around it.  It didn't take long for it to grow to maturity and be chopped down.  The destruction of such a beautiful creature as a tree pained them to the core, the fact that these simple humans had not found another way to make their paper only strengthened their distaste for the race. 

They had never used the wood of a Wishing Tree for anything other than wishing, so they had no idea whether or not it would retain its wishing powers onced mixed with other trees and pulped and strained and flattened and dried into paper.  But they watched what batch it went into and what it was made for and where it was sent.  It was quite a complicated process and involved many magic tracking devices.  The threads of magic grew fainter and stretched but were still present.  By the time all was said and done there were only three sketch books with traces of magic in them. 

One went to an artist whose pictures in that book seemed to come alive and he garnered much acclaim with many of his pictures, but anything done after that seemed flat and lifeless in comparison.  Nothing in his life would compare to the thrill he experienced drawing in that sketch book.  He killed himself a year later.

One went to a grandmother who planned to give the book as a gift to her granddaughter when she came to visit.  But that visit got postponed and the sketchbook was put in the attic in a trunk with all her other treasures.  The granddaughter did eventually visit, but not until after the grandmother's death.  The trunk was put up for auction with all the other household items and was sold to an antique dealer.  The dealer threw everything inside the trunk in the garbage except for the unused, like-new sketch book.  That she used to keep her finances in.  She had the best sales ever and business boomed until the last page of the notebook was used up.  By then her expectations were high and going back to doing meager sales and spending all her time at auctions wasn't fun anymore.  She killed herself two years later.

The last book went to a little boy.  He saw the sketch book and, some in the committee thought, could feel the magic present and that is what made the normally quiet, well-behaved little boy beg his mother for it until she caved.  They did not yet know the fate of the other two owners and still they were most worried about this little boy and what he would do with his sketch book.  Young humans were known to have the most imagination.  Mostly he doodled.  And as he used up his pages with nonsense and nothing tragic happened, the committee breathed lighter and lighter.  It was almost over. 

Then one day this holiday approached called Christmas.  And he had to make a list of all the things he wanted and send it to a fictional creature who would then drop them through a chimney for him.  It seemed ridiculous to the members of the committee but most worrisome because the boy used a page from his sketch book for his list.  A wish list on paper from a Wishing Tree.  As toy after toy was written down, they did not worry, only hoped for it to be a short list.  But this little boy's dad was fighting in a war in Iraq and would not be home for Christmas.  The little boy wanted his dad home for always.  So he thought about it and thought about it until coming up with the perfect solution. 

His last wish was for world peace.  If everyone was happy, there would be no need for wars and soldiers could stay home with their families.  He was very happy with this wish and sent off his list.  The members of the committee had conflicting ideas about how horrible this might turn out and when.  A wish always came true right when the wisher really needed it, but it wasn't always when the wisher thought he needed it. 

It took many years and that little boy grew into a young man and eventually died of old age without ever seeing his wish fullfilled, but it was his wish that finally gave the world its peace.  Humans eventually destroyed so much of the natural resources of their planet that there weren't enough for everyone living.  The population slowly dwindled and then stopped altogether.  Once they were gone, the world was able to regenerate and become healthy again and live in harmony with all other creatures that survived.  Without even realizing it, the human race got its first lesson in wishing.  Be careful what you wish for. 

The committee closed their investigation with mixed feelings about the end of such a harmful, but innocent race. 

1 comment:

  1. cool story! What a great idea. I think a whole book about "be careful what you wish for" would be awesome.

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