Flash Fiction Friday #16: “The Well and the Wish”

What is flash fiction? It’s an itty bitty story, generally under 1,000 words or 3 printed pages. Fresh fantasy and sci fi flash fiction every Friday!

*Please pardon grammar whoopsies. They will be fixed when this story is published in a collection later this year.

“The Well and the Wish”

A fantasy flash fiction

By

K. D. Jones

 

The little girl clutched the gold coin to her heart. It had taken so many hours of work to earn. Would it be worth losing it for a single wish? Did wishes even come true?

Closing her eyes, she held her breath and wished, wished, wished with all her heart. Tilting her hand, she released the coin. It tumbled through air and landed with a splash far below.

The little girl grasped the brick well and leaned over its side to peer into the dark depths below. Was that something swimming down there?

Golden fins poked the surface, and a moment later, a girl with bright yellow hair appeared. She pushed her long, damp locks out of her face. Her eyes were as big as apples! She smiled, and the little girl saw rows of tiny sharp teeth.

“Hello,” said the well-girl, “I am the water sprite of the wishing well. Why did you pay tribute?”

Fearful of all those teeth, the little girl hesitated. She really needed this wish. Steeling her spine, she said, “I need to make a wish, please.”

“You can’t.”

“Why not?”

The sprite shrugged. “There is no need. You have all the magic and potential you need inside of you. If you want something, go make it happen.” With a flick of her fins, the sprite splashed back down to the depths of the well and out of sight.

With a sigh, the little girl returned home. Later that night, the sprite’s words began to sink in. She was the magic. She was all she needed to make her wishes come to pass.

And so she tried harder, worked harder.

Twenty years later, holding the hand of a little girl of her own, she returned to the well. “Why are we here, Mamma?”

“I want you to make a wish. Toss this coin into there.” She picked her baby up and pointed to the water.

With a giggle, the little girl chucked the coin into the water.

No sprite appeared, but the woman already knew she wouldn’t. Dreams and fears, she thought. That’s all the sprite was. A figment of her own making.

“Did you make a wish?” she asked her daughter.

The little girl nodded. “I wished for—”

“No,” said the mother, pressing her fingers against her daughter’s lips. “Don’t tell me, show me.”

With that, she took her little girl’s hand and went off to show her how to accomplish her wishes.

 

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