It had taken nearly two years to prepare the vessel properly. Each day, I tended to the monstrous orange blossom, that now stood to nearly the height of a two-story house. I lugged water pitcher after water pitcher to its thorny, green trunk, and lovingly applied fertilizer to the soil that surrounded it. I also diligently plucked pests from the trunk and leaves as high as I could, and what I could not reach with a ladder I sprayed down with a high-volume hose.
I was pleased to see that my hard work had paid off. As promised by the interdimensional merchant I had purchased the seeds from, the brightly colored blossom had indeed curled into itself and sprouted an even larger fruit, similar to a gourd but with the volume of a decently-sized car.
Unfortunately, the merchant had neglected to tell me how to use the magical fruit (the merchant sneered at me when I used the term magical to describe his sudden appearance, but he hadn’t corrected me). So, I simply continued to tend the plant and waited to see what would happen.
Eventually, the fruit became so massive that it bent the sturdy plant over and touched down onto the soil. It was a momentous but quiet occasion when this occurred, I having been asleep when the fruit touched the earth. And then, when I came out to tend the plant the next day, I found the fruit had been split open vertically, and where I had expected seeds and flesh, therein lay silvery walls that looked as though they were newly painted.
Beside myself with curiosity, I stepped up and into the giant fruit and reached out to touch the wall. Immediately, the opening of the fruit snapped shut and the walls closed in on my body, leaving only my head free to move about. Though I could see my body, I couldn’t move, like I had been encased in translucent jelly.
Then, a voice in my head began to speak. “What is your desire?”
I paused, confused. “What?” I asked.
Unfettered, the voice repeated, “What is your desire?”
“I – ” I wasn’t expecting a sudden bout of hallucinations. Was it the fruit causing this? Was it really talking to me?
“Human, what is it that you wish?” Now the voice seemed further away, less located in the center of my mind. It also took on a water note, that dissociated it from the sound of my own thoughts.
“Why does that matter?” I said, suspicious.
“What you wish determines where you go,” the voice replied without hesitation. “Our wishes and desires are like vectors that compel us to move in one direction or the other. I can take you anywhere you wish, if you will only wish.”
“What’s the catch,” I wondered aloud.
“The catch is, it is better to wish from your heart. I will tell you this because you have tended me with such care: wishes born from desires from greed or vengeance often end in despair.”
I paused and thought for a moment. “Can I do this more than once?”
“So long as I am alive, I am able to accommodate your wishes. I assure you, it is a faster mode of travel than your primitive human vehicles, and you will be glad you have traveled with me.”
“Can I just go get a coffee then?” I said.
“Oh yeah, sure,” the voice replied. The strange jelly that surrounded me grew warm, then glowed a bright violet color that all at once became too bright. I flinched and when I opened my eyes, I was in front of my favorite coffee shop just down the street.
I grinned and jumped in the air. “It worked!” I yelled. My celebration was cut short however when I realized that three people were staring at me with their eyes wide open.
“No way…” one said. “Magic.”
C. Louise Williams
This poem was inspired by prompt #3 of the 365 prompt challenge on thinkwritten.com.
The mentally ill know.
. . . . . ……………………….to imagine beyond………………………. . . . . . .
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