One Wish

north pole post office

North Pole, Alaska Post Office – Found at PostOfficePhotos.info

“This is your idea of a joke perhaps? I hate Christmas.”

“I’ve never been more serious in my life and you know it.”

“I told you I cannot take lives but neither can I grant them. I cannot save even one, no matter who it is.

“I have but one wish for you.”

“All of them? There are so many.”

“No, not all. Just these.” Meredith wheeled a canvas container in front of Abu Nuh Maimun. She had acquired his services quite by accident and had less than twenty-four hours to exploit them.

He read the label on the side of the voluminous bin of letters, “The Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

“You are Postmaster of North Pole, Alaska for the day. I have exactly one wish and you as a Jinn must fulfill it.” She shook the side of the container filled with letters from children all over the world.

“Grant them!”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google maps image and/or location and use it as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today the Pegman takes us to North Pole, Alaska. Yes, it’s a real place and every Christmas season, their post office is deluged with letters addressed to Santa Claus. I looked the town up on Wikipedia and it’s decorated for Christmas year-round. Especially in warmer months, it’s quite the tourist attraction (Santa Claus House closes during the week in January and February because of the extreme cold).

I originally thought of a person or supernatural being who absolutely hates Christmas being condemned to live in North Pole, Alaska as punishment for some horrendous crime. But as I pondered the concept and remembered those letters, I considered the idea of granting the wishes of children. I didn’t want to grant them all since I don’t necessarily believe in supporting the Christmas feeding frenzy of consumerism and greed. However, there is one worthy cause, one collection of children who deserve everything they ask for, at least their final wish, which is what the Make-A-Wish Foundation does for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

So Meredith has acquired the services of one of the Seven Kings of the Jinn (in this case Saturday’s) for twenty-four hours and her one wish is for Abu Nuh Maimun to grant what those letters request (I’m playing fast and loose with the “wish count limitation” since there are probably hundreds or thousands of letters in that one canvas bin). Oh, I made up the twenty-four hour limit so that Meredith had to act fast in utilizing her wish. I’m sure given time, she could have thought of a more effective way of applying a single wish for practically anything in order to help the maximum number of deserving children.

I don’t celebrate this particular holiday, but if I had to grant one wish on Christmas it would go pretty much the same way.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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17 thoughts on “One Wish

    • Thanks. I had to limit the Jinn’s powers so something like that couldn’t be granted. Not that it would be a bad thing, but I felt it more appropriate and poignant to “only” be able to magically grant whatever those children wished in a more traditional sense.

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  1. Congratulations on devising a most ingenious ploy to circumvent the traditional limitation on wishes to be granted by a Jinn or Genie. Now, if you could only figure out how to summon a magical creature of that sort to perform that “one” task. On the other hand, such creatures are invariably devious and dangerous; and it’s just possible that it might not be safe to turn one loose on the innocent children who made those wishes. There are reasons why the literature warns against tampering with unknown and uncontrollable powers. Moreover, it is humans who need to develop their skills and their compassion, in order to benefit from the exercise of addressing such needs as these wishes represent. As you may have heard, one philosophical explanation for the existence of temporal suffering among humans is to provide motivation for them to pursue relief of it.

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    • I thought I’d try this particular spin on the “miracles of Christmas,” utilizing a source alien to the holiday. Yes, in “real life” this would be a dangerous undertaking, but then again as the author I reserve the right to alter “reality” as I see fit and in this case, in favor of children.

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