Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Wayward Wish

For as long as anyone could recall, the tradition of sending wishes aloft in luminaries always occurred at nightfall. Whether it was for something joyous, like celebrating a holiday or anniversary, or a more reflective time for healing the heart or body, this ritual was woven into the fabric of the land.

Artisans hand-crafted the hot air balloon-like luminarias so that they would remain floating long enough to travel to the Granters. Who the Granters were and where they lived were part of the charm and mystery tied into the community's folklore.

Whispered into the lantern before the paper fuel was lit, the wish was safe. As it rose into the darkness, town-folks would pause from their evening chores watching the lantern climb, becoming smaller and smaller until it seemed to blend with the stars themselves. Unseen, the flame would die out, the air inside the lantern cool, and the wish would slowly descend into the land of the Granters. Some mornings it would take them hours gathering the lanterns that had been sent to them, other times but a moment. Then their real work began, listening to the wish, carefully weighing its consequences, and deliberating the spiderweb of ramifications outward.

But what happens when a wish lands in your backyard? Does the responsibility of honoring the wish now become finder's? So began the next phase of the Wayward Wish; what happened next is another tale that is yet to be told...

A short piece of fiction inspired by finding what appeared to be a deflated snowman in our yard one evening.

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