Careful What You Wish For by Erika Lance

To Glitter Sparkle Cupcake Princess: Without you, I only have two legs of the Trifecta of Doom tripod!

She slowed down her sprint to steal just the quickest of glances downward to examine the damage, the pain in her chest spreading like the scarlet colored stain blossoming across her chest.

She was bleeding more than she thought. Suzy had hoped that it had been only a small wound, but closing her eyes to catch her breath, she felt a twinge with each inhale.

She looked down at the lamp in her left hand. It actually looked more like an overly decorated gravy bowl, but he would argue that it was a palace. The smartest thing she could do would be to drop it right there, in the alley or better yet in the dumpster in front of her. She couldn’t though, she knew that. It wasn’t finished yet.

She heard a crash in the distance and knew she had to move; there would be no stopping. Not yet! She needed to be far enough away that it couldn’t track her before she got help for her wound. She almost fell back against the wall behind her from the wave of pain when she took in a deep breath and started to walk and then run. Within moments, however, the adrenaline kicked in again, and she knew this was the last sprint she could make and headed to the only place she would be safe.

She pounded on the door a third time before the door opened, and Joe stood there looking disheveled and annoyed. He was wearing pajama bottoms and a robe, no shirt. Under normal circumstances she would love to find him in this not quite clothed condition; however, she was barely standing, having no idea how much blood she had lost at this point.

Joe was opening his mouth, about to ask her something when he caught sight of her hand that was trying and failing to cover the wound. Suzy began to speak but then felt herself falling, and before she felt herself hit the ground, there was blackness.

As her eyes began to flutter open, she tried to sit up and found herself unable to. She was sore and when she moved, she felt a stabbing pain shoot though her chest.

“Don’t sit up” she heard his voice say and then she felt the chill of a cold compress against her forehead. She closed her eyes again. She was safe. She could feel it, but she needed to finish, she needed to move. Blinking a few times, she was finally able to focus. As she looked around, she saw that she was on the couch in Joe’s living room. There was a pair of light sabers mounted on the wall above her. She smiled for a moment. Joe was an epic nerd, but he was her nerd and in that she found a moment of solace as he lifted a straw to her lips and she tasted cool water and then he asked her the one question she didn’t want to answer: “What the hell is going on?”

“A… well…” she began. “I…um…It’s complicated,” she finally said, not truly sure where she should begin.

“Complicated?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Yes. Well a little complicated,” she said, trying to use her cute little girl voice sometimes girls use to lessen the impact of her words.

“Explain ‘Complicated,’” Joe said, using his fingers to make quotes in the air.

She looked around for a moment hoping to think of anything to distract him from this conversation. It occurred to her she had been bleeding when she arrived. She quickly pulled down the throw from the couch covering her to find her bloodied shirt unbuttoned and her chest free of any wounds.

“What happened?” she said as she was still scanning her chest. “You tell me,” he said. “You passed out, and I caught you. When I got you to the couch, I opened your shirt to find you had a hole about the size of a quarter in your chest and just as I was grabbing the phone to call 911, it closed, right in front of my eyes. You have been sleeping for about an hour,” he finished.

Suzy couldn’t help but smile. Although she could tell he was a little mad at her, he was concerned at the same time.

She tried sitting up again and found she was still sore. She still felt the twinge where the wound had been, but she needed not to be here soon. It was almost midnight, if she had truly slept for an hour; she couldn’t believe the time had gone by so quickly.

“You still haven’t explained what happened and why you are carrying around that lamp,” he said again. He wasn’t going to let this go.

She sighed.

“It is a genie,” she said and then looked down at her lap.

“What?” Joe asked.

“A genie, you know like Aladdin,” she said, still not looking up.

When she didn’t hear him say anything, she peeked up to see him sitting with his arms crossed, looking less than amused.

“Ok, well, so… I was with J and E at the beach,” she had shortened the names to tell the story more quickly with the hopes that it didn’t sound as terrible as she thought it would, “and well E saw this under the water and wouldn’t touch it, so I did, and then when I decided to try to rub it to clean it off, a genie popped out.” She said the last words a squeak from using up all her breath.

“Did you just say a genie ‘popped out’ of the lamp?” Joe asked, arms still crossed.

“Yes and well he said I had three wishes,” she continued, “I was SO excited that the first thing I wished for was a glitter cannon. Which was dumb because it appeared on the beach and started firing off glitter non-stop and it eventually got in our eyes and we had to leave the beach with the cannon still firing.” She took another breath and continued, “As we headed back towards the car, we showered off as much of the glitter as possible, but when I tried, I couldn’t put the lamp down.”

Joe still sat there.

“When we got back to the car, I wanted to get dressed and when I did I must have rubbed the lamp again because the genie appeared again and told me it was time for my second wish. I told him I did want a second wish right then. Which made the genie mad, and he made E disappear. When I asked him why, he said that he was going to take from me until I gave him what he wanted.”

“When I refused a second time, he made J disappear. Which made me freak out, so I wished for a Unicorn. A rainbow Unicorn specifically.” She stopped for a moment to gauge the reaction. There wasn’t one. Joe was waiting until she finished.

Suzy took a deep breath and continued “This, the Unicorn, as it turned out, was not a good idea. Apparently, unicorns are not actually nice and don’t want to let you ride them.” Joe chuckled a little.

“So I demanded the genie return my friends and he said ‘Not until you finish wishing’ and this made me mad and then the Unicorn bit me and then it started to chase me, and neither J or E was there to help or tell me what my third wish should be… and then I had to keep running as no matter where I went the Unicorn was there… and….” Suzy had worked herself into tears at this point.

“I was running so much, and then the Unicorn came up to me acting all sweet and I thought that maybe it just needed to get used to me.” The tears were streaming down her face and each word began to be issued through sobs. “Then…It…Stabbed…Me!” and she fell back in sobs.

“So you’re saying that a Unicorn stabbed you, a Genie kidnapped your friends, and you have one last wish to fix all of it?” Joe asked sounding calm amongst the sobs.

“Yes,” Suzy said between the continued crying and sobs.

There was a banging at the front door.

Joe walked over and looked through the peephole just as the door vibrated again from something heavy slamming into it.

“Well, the Unicorn is here,” he said still peering out the door.

“I don’t want to be killed by a Rainbow Unicorn,” Suzy sobbed.

Joe turned and looked back at her and calmly asked, “Why don’t you wish that you never had made any wishes?”

Suzy sat up. Another bang came from the door. She looked down at the lap in her hand and then back up at Joe.

She scrunched her face and then bit her lower lip while shrugging and said, “Oh. Good Idea.”

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