The Four Wisher
By Harry J. Chong
Mr. Lynch contemplated suicide after losing all his money in the stock market. He had yet to tell his wife. The house was quiet, because he was often absent, out at the pub drinking with his buddies. While they understood his woes, they thought he was foolish for hoping to get-rich-quick—but then again who doesn’t want to get rich quick?
“Aw, you’ll make it back,” said Paul, Mr. Lynch’s best friend. “Don’t worry.”
“I’ll be losing my home soon,” said Mr. Lynch. “Wife’s going to divorce me once she finds out. Is this not the time to worry?”
“I really don’t know what to say to that.”
“Neither do I.”
Dennis returned with a pitcher of beer. He set it down on the table. “It’s on me,” he said with a smile. Nobody else was smiling. He put his arm around Mr. Lynch. Mr. Lynch frowned and rested his chin on his arm.
“Hey, hey, hey,” said Dennis. “We’ll help you out. No problem.”
“And how will you do that?” asked Mr. Lynch. “Magic? This isn’t Harry Potter.”
“You’re alive and healthy—presumably intelligent—you should be able to get back on your feet. Just think of a way to dig yourself out of this hole. Have you gotten an extra job? If not, I know a restaurant down the street looking for waiters.”
“I’m a 40 something man with tits. You think I’d get much in the way of tips. I think not.”
“Well, what do you propose?”
Paul and Dennis sat closer together. They stared at Mr. Lynch waiting for him to say something. They knew it’d be negative, as such was his mood, but they were hoping he’d have some daring plan. The trio was always looking for adventure.
The reply was mundane. Just another complaint. “I knew I should’ve stayed home,” said Mr. Lynch. “It was a bad idea to come out here. American dream indeed.”
The waitress came along. She had a blue pen and notepad to take down orders. “Can I get you boys anything else?” she said in an Irish accent. “Last call.”
“No,” replied Mr. Lynch. “I’ll be going home now.” And without saying good bye to his friends, he left.
He went outside, and dragged his feet. He walked in a droning pace. He would’ve preferred to drive, but his car was crushed and cube. It resulted from a fiasco the week earlier where he got drunk and smashed into a police cruiser.
Mr. Lynch sung to himself while trying to get home; though, his words were slurry. It was about “money, money” or something other. As he came to the traffic light, he leaned against the lamppost. Snow fell upon his face. “Isn’t this grand?” he said to himself. “A white Christmas.”
“Grand indeed,” said a voice.
Startled, Mr. Lynch spun around. His head nearly hit the jutting part of a stop sign (he was quite tall). “Who’s there?!” he exclaimed.
A little man came out from the shadow. He was wearing a green jacket. “Greetings,” he said with a bow. “How are you today?”
“How am I?” said Mr. Lynch, sarcastically. “Bloody swell!”
“Well, I think you are lying.”
With a pointed finger Mr. Lynch exclaimed, “ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR?!”
“Didn’t say you were,” replied the little man. “Just saying that you were lying. Now calm down, and let’s have a chat. I get awfully bored during the holidays.”
“Are you an elf?” asked Mr. Lynch.
“Not quite an elf. A close relative.”
“Elves would surely be appropriately around this time of the year.”
“I know it would.”
“So, what’re you up to then? Just here to make small talk. Well, none of my talk is small. Tends to be big and loud. If you wouldn’t mind that we’d get along fine.”
The little man nodded, and buttoned up his jacket. He went closer to Mr. Lynch and tilted his head back to look him in the eye. Mr. Lynch took a step back, feeling a bit uneasy. “Don’t be getting too close,” he said.
“Goodness,” said the little man. “You’re awfully hostile—“
“I may be a tad sauced, but I know when somebody wants something from me. Out with it!”
“I’m here to help you. I can grant you four wishes.”
A chilly wind blew while there was a moment of silence. Then Mr. Lynch stamped his feet and laughed, “Haw-haw! That’s a laugh! Are you a genie?!”
The little man corrected him. “No,” he said. “I’m a four wisher—a distant relative to the elf and leprechaun. Every four wisher, on his hundredth birthday, must grant four wishes to a random stranger. At that point we transform into our true-selves. A metamorphosis if you will.”
“WELL! DAMN!” yelled Mr. Lynch. “Give me a car! First wish! I wish for a car!”
The little man, the four wisher, clapped his hands. “Done,” he said.
Mr. Lynch stretched his neck, “Where is it?” He sauntered about, going around in a circle, mocking the little man. “Here, car, car! Where are you! Come to papa! Here, car, car! Here, car, car!” The little man didn’t look offended at all. The expression on his face was rather smug and confident.
THEN A CAR DROPPED FROM THE SKY. It squashed Mr. Lynch, killing him instantly. The little man put his face into his hands. “Every single time!” he exclaimed. “Ugh! They always wish for something heavy.”
“I’m alright!” said Mr. Lynch. The little man’s eyes brightened. “Yuh! You thought I was dead! No, I slipped and fell. I’m just stuck under this thing! I must say, bloody good show! You really gave me a car!”
“Whew,” went the little man. “What’s your next wish?”
Mr. Lynch crawled out from underneath the car, which was a convertible. He hopped inside of it and went behind the wheel. “A fancy car,” he thought aloud. “I half thought I was going to get screwed on this deal.” He looked behind. The little man was in the back waiting. His legs were up, resting on the seat in front.
“For my next wish,” said Mr. Lynch. “I’d like a certified check for $100,000,000.”
After the little man clapped a check, indeed, did appear. It too fell from the sky. Mr. Lynch took it before it got caught in the wind. He eyed it hungrily. “Outstanding!” he exclaimed. “For my next wish I wish to know the cure for cancer! Might as well do something good for the world!”
A vial of cloudy liquid dropped into Mr. Lynch’s hand. Mr. Lynch looked at it and then stored it in his pocket. “I’ll get this analyzed by a lab,” he said. “Or maybe I’ll open my own!”
“Last wish,” reminded the little man. “Make it a good one. After this I’ll be reward and transform into my true self.”
Mr. Lynch came out of his convertible. He had one more wish, and wanted to use it wisely. He paced back and forth, leaving his footprints in the snow-ridden sidewalk. “What to wish for?” he thought. “Assuming wishing for more wishes is out of the question—as it usually is.”
“Hurry up now,” said the little man. “I haven’t all day, contrary to what you think.”
“Okay,” said Mr. Lynch. “I’ve decided… I want you to make my wife happy. I, I, I, I don’t deserve her. I wish my wife happiness. Even if that means not being with me.”
“Quite unselfish wishes,” replied the little man. He clapped his hands. “And it is granted.”
At that moment Mr. Lynch blacked out. He awoke in bed. His wife was standing over him, clapping. “Wake up,” said Mrs. Lynch. “You’ve been drinking again and I don’t like it.”
“I apologize,” replied Mr. Lynch. “I apologize for everything.”
“No need to apologize,” said Mrs. Lynch. “I know what happened. How you lost our savings.”
“And we are going to have a divorce? Well, you certainly deserve better.”
“Why’d you say that? I don’t care about money… Well, I do, but it’s not more important than you.”
“Is that true?”
“Can I have a hug?”
Mrs. Lynch wrapped her arms around Mr. Lynch. Tears were coming down her face. “What are we going to do about our home?” she asked. “The bank is going to take it away soon.” Mr. Lynch got up. He put on his slippers and went to the window. He looked outside. There was a full on blizzard. The trees were covered in snow, which was so heavy it weighed down the branches to the point of breaking. Therein, it was realized that the little man did grant at least one wish.
- - -
Bio: Harry Chong is an amateur writer living in Canada.
Labels: Harry J. Chong