When you wish for something, be careful. You might get more than you bargained for.
THE WISHING MASHINE
He drove us to the abandoned house. When we got out, I looked around. The house sat in the middle of the woods. If that wasn’t creepy enough, it was literally falling apart right in front of us. It looked dangerous.
Luke had invited me to a party. He knew I hated parties, but I went anyway. And then, on the way, he told me he wanted to show me something. So here we were, standing in front of this morbid looking, broken thing.
The air was cold, so I pulled my jacket tighter around me. I saw Luke glance at me, and he almost moved toward me, but I stopped him.
“Why are we here?” I asked.
“My friend said there was something amazing inside,” Luke said excitedly. “I don’t really know what it is, because what could be in there? It’s a shithole.”
I frowned. “I don’t like it here.”
Luke grabbed my wrist and practically dragged me into the house. It was one story and it looked like kids had been coming here and using things to break it down faster, like it was infected and needed to be dealt with.
I moved toward one of the closed doors, expecting it to be locked, or have spider webs all over it. Once I opened it, I could smell something so strong that it made my stomach twist.
“What is that?” I gasped, stepped back.
Luke came up behind me, his face screwed up in revulsion. “I have no idea.” He squeezed his brown eyes shut and shook his head. “It’s disgusting. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have brought you here.”
“It’s okay,” I said.
I heard Luke turn around and I thought he was going to leave until he shouted, Gail, come here! I found it.”
I followed his voice, and it wasn’t that far away, only in another part of the house. It looked like an old game room. But there was only one thing in it, and it was pushing in the corner, a sheet over it.
Luke grinned and removed the grimy-looking sheet.
It was a large, fortune-telling wishing machine booth. The woman inside the glass had a head decoration that looked like little coins, and little stars dangled from them. She was bent over a crystal ball, her eyes looking ominously at anyone who passed her. She wanted them to succumb and make a wish.
“You should make a wish,” Luke urged.
“Why?” I asked. “It won’t come true. This thing is so old that it won’t even work anymore.”
But, even as I said it, I was thinking of something. I know if I made the wish in front of Luke, he’d just think I was insane.
I wish I could make them go away.
I walked around to the back of the machine. It was plugged in. I scrunched my nose in confusion and shrugged at Luke.
“Got to say it out loud,” he muttered. “I wish for a Big Mac!”
I rolled my eyes. “You idiot, that’s not a wish. You could easily go buy one.”
He nodded. “I could, but it would be nice if it could just appear out of thin air.”
I walked away from him and back outside. I waited by the car until he came back. I didn’t really speak much until we got to the party. It was a Halloween party. People in costumes were everywhere, and as I got out of the car, some girls shot me glares.
“Nice costume, Gail. Ugly is always in.”
I frowned at Lily Owens. She was standing with her friends, wearing a black robe and a witch hat. From bitch to witch.
“Simmons, you look like someone beat you with a hideous stick.” Miranda Reeves cackled.
“They took too many shots at you,” a voice said from behind me. I was going to turn around and tear their face off, but then I realized their comment was toward Miranda.
The boy stepped around me and turned to gaze at my face. His black hair was slightly curly, and his eyes were the greenest I’d ever seen. He smiled, and then returned his attention to the girls.
“It’s a shame that such pretty girls have to be such bitches,” he told them. “Lily, you should realize how much it hurts to be called ugly. Trevor told me about what happened last year. And Miranda, well, I really have no idea what you’re issue is.”
I cleared my throat, and the boy turned to face me, with a smirk.
“I’m sorry about them.” He stuck out his hand. “I’m Saxon. Trevor Barnes is my cousin.”
I glanced at Trevor, who was dressed as Dracula and chugging a beer. I looked back at Saxon. “I didn’t think he’d even have a nice relative.”
He laughed. “Yeah, well, Trevor’s not exactly the nicest person. That’s why all the girls like me better.” He winked.
I smiled and when he asked if he could get me a drink, I said I would do it. I got into the house quickly, looking for Luke the whole time. When I didn’t see him, I headed to the kitchen. Before I got there, however, someone blocked my path.
It was Lily. She sneered at me, gripped my wrist, and pulled me I into the bathroom. Miranda was there with two other girls I didn’t know. I jerked away from Lily and headed toward the door. One of the girls, who was much bigger than me, blocked it.
“You know, I didn’t know you were a slut, too.” Lily smiled, wrapped her hands in my hair, and slammed my face into the wall.
It hurt, but I didn’t make a noise, because I knew with bullies it’s what they wanted. Instead I turned around, flexed my jaw, and glared at her.
“Leave me alone,” I said. “I didn’t do anything to you.”
Lily nodded to the other girls and they gripped my arms. Then Miranda’s fist collided with my nose. Blood poured down my face, into my mouth, and onto the floor. Stupidly, I spit some into her face.
“You’re sleeping with Saxon,” Lily snapped. “It’s bullshit that you just met him.” When she slapped me, my head actually snapped to the side.
Someone was trying to get into the room, but Miranda placed a chair under the knob and leaned it back. I didn’t understand why there was a chair in the bathroom, at least not a first.
But as Lily pummeled me, and I took every hit, I realized they had this planned. When my knees buckled and I started to sink onto the floor, I heard someone speak.
“Leave her. She deserves this.”
I don’t know how long I was on the floor for, but when I opened my eyes, I was in darkness. There was no movement, so I assumed they left. I tried to sit up, and when I couldn’t, I just laid on the tiles, aching.
Suddenly, the lights came on, blinding me. Then someone screamed and dropped down next to me. They were saying something, but I couldn’t really focus on the words. Their hands were soft, and they made me want to sleep.
So I closed my eyes.
Stay awake, a voice told me.
But I was so tired. Before I knew what was happening, I was floating. That felt nice. When it stopped, I wondered why. Then I knew. I had died. They had beaten me to death.
“You’ll be okay,” someone whispered.
Off in the distance I heard, “Oh my God. Gail, what happened?”
I groaned and sat up, bringing my hands up to my face. “Who are you?” I asked to the stranger. I didn’t want to open my eyes.
“It’s Saxon. Gail, you’re going to be alright. Can you tell me what happened?”
I opened my eyes and was grateful to see his green ones. I was slowly getting strength back. So much so that I was able to sit up. I was in a bedroom, probably somewhere upstairs, away from people.
“Lily, Miranda and two other girls I didn’t know did this,” I said.
Saxon narrowed his eyes, stood up, and ran his hands through his hair. “Why would they do that?”
“Lily thought you and I were sleeping together, and she didn’t believe me when I said I just met you.”
“That’s ridiculous. Even so, they didn’t need to do that.”
“It’s okay,” I said, realization dawning on me. “I’ll fix everything.” I stood up, and without a word to him, left the room.
I knew what I had to do.
Sirens wailed. Three or four parked on the lawn. Doors slammed and several of the occupants of the cars rushed over. All of the officers had their guns drawn. Two, a female and male, entered the house. There were no lights on, so they used their flashlights.
They didn’t have to look far, because sitting on the couch was a girl. She had a knife in her hand, and it was covered in blood. But the worst part? The absolute worst part was that the blood was not hers.
“What happened here? Miss, can you hear me?” The male officer asked, crouching down. He placed his hand on the coffee table to his left to balance him and keep the flashlight on the girl’s face, which was blank.
“Bradshaw,” the female muttered behind him.
He turned his head after shifting his hand, and saw that a sticky substance had come off of the coffee table.
Officer Bradshaw turned his flashlight toward the window. He hadn’t noticed it before, hadn’t felt the breeze, but the glass was shattered.
“Where are the bodies?” he asked.
The girl twitched, turned her head, and smiled.
“I made them go away,” she said. “It was so simple.”
“Caplan, come here!”
The female officer approached them, and she knelt down on the girls other side. She reached with a glove-covered hand and dug through the girl’s pocket for identification. She found something else instead.
There was a small, rectangular card with one single phrase on it.
Your wish has been granted.