The darkness swallows me whole, and surrounds me, until the only hope left is the minute beam of moonlight, among the night shadows, that I follow forever and try to catch. This is a cat-and-mouse game I am forced to play, for the beam is always one too many steps ahead of me. Every time my worn-out, grey boots sink dejectedly into the snow, I hear a crunch. The sharp noise is a desperate cry for a second chance to redeem myself, but there are no more second chances, not for my dull boots, and definitely not for me…
The pixie came to me after I had my 13th birthday. I should have known that along with other things that year, he meant bad luck. My life was as close to perfect as possible, and I had everything a girl needed. I had an understanding family, a great group of friends, I lived in a safe neighborhood, and there was always plenty of food on the table every night. However, with all of those privileges, I was ignorant; moreover, I was insolent. I didn’t care about anyone except for myself, and when the pixie appeared to me right after my best friend and I had had a fight, I was unprepared…
I jumped up as a great thud interrupted my insulting mutters for my best friend. I whipped my head around after detecting that the noise had come from my window. I then slowly crawled across the soft quilt of my bed to the edge. Suddenly, a small man flew into my face, and spread dust and glitter all over the place, which made me cough and turn away.
“Who are you-,” I began, but paused when I received a full blast of the creature for the first time. I ended this moment with a loud shriek, for it wasn’t exactly my definition of handsome. The face was deformed, with two, uneven eyes, a broken nose, and a twisted mouth. But a second later, after I had scanned the rest of it, I realized I had overreacted. This time, I was full of delight, for I found that he had a pair of the most beautiful wings. The sunlight from my window shone down on them, and showed off their shimmering silver with a tint of sky-blue. He was also adorned in a silver cape and crown, a little, green suit, and tiny, caramel colored shoes.
All of a sudden, he started flying away, much to my surprise. “Not this one either!” he rudely remarked. I dashed out of bed, and quickly shut the window.
“Wait! First, tell me who you are!” I demanded. He stared into my pleading eyes for a moment, but started for my door. I grabbed a little butterfly net I hadn’t used since I was in elementary school.
“Okay buddy,” I said excitedly as my arm jerked in his direction, “You are going nowhere! Aha!” I shouted when I captured him. When I pulled him out, he was full of ire, his pride wounded, and looked at me with a new, sudden interest.
“Fine,” he said slowly, with an evil grin. “I am the king of the pixies, and was searching for a human to award. You are not worthy because of your horrid reaction to me. The award in mind is only for the one who accepts me for who I am. However, I will grant you three, permanent wishes,” his face was florid with excitement.
Ignoring my conscience, I hastily agreed. “Fine! I wish for-,” I began to exclaim.
“Oh no!” he snarled, “I make the wishes for you! I will observe, and base them off of things you want. I will make the first wish today, the second in six months, and the last,” he paused. “And the last I will make exactly a year from now. See you soon!” he cried, and flew out of the window.
This time, I was too shocked to catch him again, to make him undo his word. Afterwards I had tried to focus on his short visit to me, but my thoughts wandered back to the fight between my best friend and me. Soon, I fell asleep, and he appeared to me once more in my dreams, which were clouded with schemes to get revenge on her.
“I see,” he whispered. “I can take care of her for you,” he said.
The next morning, the world was deserted. All of my friends were gone, for that matter, almost everyone in the world. The only people left were my family. And in replace for the people, there was snow. It stayed like that for six, long months. During that time, my family and I grew gloomy and bored. For the first time, I felt guilt, guilt for being responsible for the disappearance of everyone. Before, I had always confided in my friends, so I thought I was alone. Back then, I still did not appreciate my family the way I should have…
“Well?” the pixie implored, “Are there any suggestions you would like to tell me before I make my second wish?” His crooked eyes mocked me, and looked deep into my heart and soul. In the meantime, I was once more lying down on my bed with my legs crossed, and I turned my body away from him when he spoke.
“No. I have nothing left to give to you,” I whispered. “Go away, and leave me alone. Go ahead and make your silly wish,” I said, rashly.
“But you do!” the king laughed. “You are forgetting some people, perhaps? Maybe, hmm…your family, the ones who have taken care of you your whole life? They are the ones who remain while all others have left.”
“My family?” I gasped. “Of what importance are they to you? Besides, I see them everyday. They aren’t special,” I scoffed. I followed the twisted creature to my window. “Make the wish on your own!” I yelled, for I was tired of his nonsense. He winked, and then fluttered away…
For the first time since I met the pixie, he showed me pity. On his third visit, he told me, “I’ll let you make the wish this time. Your suffering has already amused me enough. Now let me see a skipping girl again. Tell me anything, and it will happen! What is it that you wish for?”
This was his mistake, for I had changed after he took my family away. My mind had been cleared by my depression, or so I thought. Gone were the days of my blank innocence; I knew better. With confidence, I grabbed him, and declared, “You! I wish for you to be gone!”
An explosion of dust and glitter was blown out of my clenched fist. A sudden wind carried away the evil pixie’s remains. For the last time, he flew out of my window, and I never saw him again…
Still, I fell on my knees and wept. With my haste and arrogance in making a wish, I had forgotten to ask for my family, and my friends, to be brought back to me. For a while, I stayed in my home. I walked around inside, staring at old photos, and remembering life before the pixie. Then, I journeyed outside, seeking more memories. The winter spell of snow was still in effect.
I found everything too much to bear, and soon cast myself in a depression of darkness too hard to get out of. I could no longer see anything but moonlight, so even now, I try to hold on to it, and chase it around. I’m not sure how long I have been clinging on to this thread of the past, but I’m wiser. Although I do not see anything but night now, I remember, and in my mind, I am not just treading through snow. I may have fallen into a pit of despair, and do not have the strength to climb out, but I do not want to climb out. I am accustomed to my punishment for my ignorance by now, and know that I deserve it. I had wishes for forever nothing.
Jolina-Marie Dimen, Age 12, Grade 7, Village Comm School, Silver Key