THE FOREST GREEN: Henry's Magic Wish    
 Henry's Magic Wish4 comments
Monday, February 26th 2007, by Marissa A Spencer

A children's story.

Henry's Magic Wish by Marissa A Spencer (c) February 25, 2007

Henry wished he was thirty not ten years old. As he wished his wish he began to tremble. What would it be like to be to be all grown up? It was kind of nice to be a kid. He could spend his free time riding his bike or playing basketball. On the other hand, as a kid he didn't get to decide what to do all the time. Sometimes his mother would make him do chores or do his homework. Sometimes the kids at school would pick on him. He had red hair and a funny way of scrunching up his face when the sun was shining too brightly. Too many times that bully Trey would pick on him after school. He was tall and strong and poor short plump Henry would have no chance. He was tired of making up lame stories for his mother to explain various bruises and cuts. He really got in trouble over torn clothing. Heaven forbid anything happen to his bike.

Today he decided he would make a wish and see if it would really happen. He didn't really believe in magic, but he was still hoping it could really happen. He was only ten years old after all. He stood outside, behind the big tree on the empty lot near his home. He looked up at the sky and screamed, “ I want to be thirty years old!”
Nothing happened. He waited. Still nothing happened. He heard his mother call him for dinner and he rode home on his bike. He made one last look at the setting sun and sighed. Tomorrow was Monday and school and another day of Trey making his life miserable. How he wished he had the courage to defend himself.

Henry picked at his dinner of pork chops and Brussels sprouts. He was thinking if he was thirty he wouldn't have to eat the Brussels sprouts. They were bitter and nasty and all green. They sat on his plate slowly cooling off next to his mashed potatoes. They were even worse when they were cold.

“Eat your sprouts son,” said his mother. She stared at him and felt that Henry was acting oddly. She knew that her son was a bit different and didn't want to make an issue about little things. Still, he looked a bit pale.

“Mom? What was it like when you were thirty years old?” Henry asked.
“Well son, most of the time, I wished I was ten again.” She smiled wistfully and patted Henry on the hand.

Henry went off to bed with a depressed, slumped shuffle and brushed his teeth in solemn silence. His mother watched him go with a sad heart. She didn't know what to do about Henry. His father had died two years ago and his older sister was off to college. She knew he felt very alone. She hadn't felt right about trying to find another husband. So she just did the best she could working part-time in the nearby grocery store.

Henry lay on his bed and grumbled to himself. “This all sucks!” He turned over and went to sleep, mumbling about how unfair it all was.

The morning came in brightly through the window, streaming gold beams on the blue cover of the bed. He got up and stumbled to the bathroom and washed and stared at his tousled red hair. He needed a haircut, but wanted to grow it as long as his mother would let him. He got dressed and ready for school. Breakfast was cereal and eggs. His mother kissed him and sent him off. His backpack was heavy as he trudged to school on his old bike.

He was crossing a small wooden bridge over Smith's Creek when his tire caught in a hole and he flipped head over heels into the bushes by the creek. His bike was hanging half off the bridge with one tire spinning. He had fallen about six feet, but the bushes caught him and kept him from serious injury. He was about to get up when he saw a dark shape under the bridge. The shape stood up and there was a very tall thin man with long dark hair and a short floppy gray hat. His old dusty clothes looked older than dirt and his smile was full of yellow, crooked teeth.

“Well, you are a lucky fellow. You could have lost your head. Say Mr., you got a few dollars to spare to a poor guy like me?” He held out his grimy hand to me and I looked from that to his face slowly.

“Ah, no. Sorry. All I have is my lunch money and my mother won't let me give that away.” Henry stammered and shuffled his feet.

“You still take orders from your mama? That's a riot!” , he said. The bum sauntered off up the hill toward the fields and disappeared from sight. Henry decided he'd better get to school quick or there would be heck to pay. He saw that his bike was beyond repair at the moment and hid it in the bushes to pick up after school. He ran all the way and got there just as the bell rang. He ran to get into line.

All the kids stared at him. One kid, his best friend, named Charles, asked him. “Hey mister, what ya doin'? Are you our substitute teacher today?”

Henry looked at his friend and gaped. He just now noticed that he was a lot taller than he used to be. His classmates had shrunk to half his height. He felt his face and felt rough skin. He held his hands out in front of him. They were large and scratched. Somehow he had grown into a man. His clothes were even different. His wish had come true! He was so excited he ran off the playground and all the way home.

He ran into his house and went to look at himself in the mirror. He was tall and his red hair was darker. His face was covered with a stubble of copper bristles. He looked....well.... he looked like he was thirty!

His mother just got home. He could hear her closing the door. He ran downstairs and was about to say something when she screamed. She ran out of the house to the friend next door. They called the police. There was a strange man in her house. Henry just stood there.

Henry was shocked. How could his own mother not know him? The police came and handcuffed him. They looked for ID on him, but of course he didn't have any. He told him he was Henry, but his mother claimed to never have seen him before. They carted him off and took him to jail for breaking and entering.

He was put in a jail cell with another man. The other man was sleeping on the cot all covered up. Henry was terrified and beyond terrified.
The man in the cot turned around and his yellow teeth glowed in the shadows. “Be careful what you wish for Henry.” Then he heard the most nasty laughter echoing in his head. Laughter and then ringing in his ears. The world started to spin around. He felt strange and cold and sick to his stomach. His hand went to a feel big sore lump on the back of his head. All of a sudden he was coughing and spitting out dirt from his mouth. He could see bright light and his face hurt.

Trey had him by his collar and was smacking him silly in the face and trying to feed him grass. Henry struggled and hauled off and whacked Tray on the side of the head with a rock he was holding. Trey let go and ran off holding his head and crying. The playground kids watching started to cheer and Charles helped him stand up. The other kids left and it was just him and Charles standing in the field behind the school.

“Wow, Henry, where did you figure out how to fight back like that? What happened to your bike? It's all banged up. That Trey sure isn't gonna bother you again!” Charles beamed at him through his thick glasses. Henry had a feeling something very strange had happened to him, but didn't think anyone would ever believe him. Was it a dream or did his wish come true for a while?

He sat up slowly spitting out grass and dirt. It tasted like Brussels sprouts! He looked at Charles and saw his broken bike. Figures, he thought to himself, be careful what you wish for. He saw his clothes all torn up and he knew he had cuts all over his face. He started to laugh and Charles helped him up and they headed home. “Boy, is my mother is going to be mad!”, he chuckled.




26 Feb 2007 @ 14:02 by jmarc : Nice story
I'm still waiting to wake up.
It sounds like things are going to work out ok for Henry.  

26 Feb 2007 @ 20:06 by skookum : dream
within a dream  

27 Feb 2007 @ 01:11 by hgoodgame : Cute story Skookum,
Thank you for sharing it with us. ;) Keep writing!

jmarc, I have a feeling there are a lot of us waiting to wake up.  

28 Feb 2007 @ 03:28 by vaxen : Wei Ting
Maybe with a bit o jing...
Are you sleeping dear little girl?
Allow me to extend my hand to you
And wake you up...

"The call is mine,
I'm gonna wake you up,
I wanna get on top..." - Not the Who

Wi' a kiss from Shan Gri Lla  

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