Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Other People's Wishes - by Julie Gengo

Artwork by Blu Gengo
It's been a while since my last post. This is a flash piece from a few years ago. I'm working on a new series about music and some new lyrics with vocal melodies that you'll have to imagine, I imagine.....stay tuned....


With no commitments, meetings or appointments pending, Celia slipped into the park through the side entrance. Clouds were meeting in anger. Carefully choosing a time when strollers were off to indulge in lunch, and lovers too consumed to notice, she sat down on the edge of the fountain and paused. The cherubs were smiling as she dipped her hand into the brisk water. The wind tensed her body.  She could feel the chill rising up her dress.

Celia took a long, full breath, then reached in. Her slender fingers moved toward a penny. She clasped it in her palm, moved her hand out of the water, then up to her ear. She closed her eyes.

This penny spoke to her as they always do – others people's wishes echoing in her head. Some reeked of love and marriage while some resembled a desire for someone or something to work out.

She remembers one coin, a penny from 1983 that was embedded with a double request. A precocious boy who lost his father to a strange disease wanted a replacement – a dad who would take him to the park and play with his other request – a dog. A dog with no specific measurements or color or any distinctive markings. Just a dog.

His mother couldn't afford a dog now that her husband wasn't there to make things work out, the way they used to. Her lifeless job also came without enough money for the two of them, and a dog to live on. All of this in a city where people move in circles that are closed and void of sensation.

Another wish she remembered was from a tall thin man who yearned for his long lost love to reemerge and walk into his arms; the place he thought she belonged. She left him for another man who had a direct path to a prestigious future; a man who wouldn't take no for an answer. The moment the other man saw her, he couldn't let go and did whatever it took to claim her even at the expense of another's heart.

This other man didn't care that she was involved with the tall thin man, and she, she was caught up in the whirlwind of life. For her, it was the easy thing to do.

The tall thin man thought he would grow old with her as that is what she said while lying next to him, one night, when her supple rose-colored body was pressed against his in a small bed that barely fit the two. The tall thin man was now growing old with another woman; a woman who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Today the wish caught Celia off guard. It came from a shinny penny so new that she turned her head to see if the wisher was still around. A splash of light emerged from the clouds. This didn't distract her. She listened closely. This wish was different. Instead of hearing the wish directly from the wisher, she felt its violent nature; as if she were struck down by a dagger. She saw a women scurrying for her life. She thought she was seeing something that may not have happened yet. Her hands began to shake. She felt helpless, as though life was fleeing and she couldn’t catch hold of it.

Celia knew the woman was in a hopeless situation and for the first time, she added on to the wish in an effort to double its strength. She wished that the women would be cleared from danger and the attacker removed from her life. She wished hard and threw it back into the water then walked away in silence as the clouds began to part. Hints of sunshine followed her. She looked up and smiled.