James hurled the tennis ball at his bedroom wall then snatched it when it bounced back. He leaned against his bed and frowned.
He didn’t see why. His mom had given him twenty bucks for the seventh grade dance. She’d never mentioned that it was “emergency only” money. The fancy fortuneteller the school had hired had given him much more than twenty dollars worth of advice.
At least it had seemed like more than twenty-dollars-worth the night before.
James glanced at the metallic statue that sat on his nightstand. His glower deepened.
All your dreams will come true, the fortuneteller had said. A single wish will change everything.
Yeah, right. James kicked a pair of dirty jeans out of his way—so that’s what that smell was—as he crossed the room and grabbed the talisman.
He clenched his teeth as he turned it over in his hand. This piece of metal had gotten him in serious trouble. And for what? Simply spending money he thought he could spend? Heat bubbled inside his chest.
His mom had always been hard on him. Work, work, work. If only he had a nice mother, like his grandma.
James gasped as an idea formed. He licked his lips and focused on the object in his hand.
Then he made a wish. A real, honest-to-God, bona fide doozy. He squinted his eyes shut and—
“I wish grandma was my mother.”
He opened his eyes and looked around his messy room.
Nothing. Not a thing changed.
His heart sank. His mom had been right, of course. She was always right.
With a groan he fell into bed and switched off his light. Being grounded was boring.
The next morning he woke to the sound of singing. Who was making that awful noise?
He stumbled down the stairs as he rubbed his eyes, fully aware that sometime in the night his mom had made good on her promise to repaint the hallway. The scent of bacon and eggs greeted him as he entered the kitchen.
Nice. Mom almost never makes breakfast.
“You’re late!” a woman-who-looked-identical-to-his-grandma-but-who-was-about-thirty-years-too-young said to him.
“You’ve missed the bus! You’ll have to walk ‘cause I’m not taking you. Go get ready. And don’t forget to get your bathroom cleaned today or you’re grounded to your room for the next week. I expect better, young man!” She said all this in one single breath.
The exact amount of time it took for reality to hit James. His eyes went wide.
His wish had come true.
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017