wishing star

When you wish upon a star

This week Charli Mills from the Carrot Ranch challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a wishing star. It can be central to the story or used in a different way. You can have a character interact or not. Go where the prompt leads.

My mind skipped immediately to a song from my childhood, remembering Sunday evenings when we huddled around the television set to watch The Wonderful World of Disney:

“When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are”

What a wonderful thought – all success stories have to start somewhere – why not with us?

But there is another saying too, Be careful what you wish for.

This is my response. I hope you enjoy it.

The wish

The words replayed continuously as he sat on the step searching the sky for a wishing star: “When you wish upon a star …”

Inside, the adults’ voices grew louder and harsher. He covered his ears and sang through his tears.

A crash followed a thump, then all went quiet. He held his breath.

He crept to the door and peeked in. Mum, slumped on the floor, cradled Dad’s head in her lap. Blood was everywhere.

“Call triple zero.”

Huddled together they watched paramedics try to revive him.

“I didn’t mean …” each whispered to themselves, but weren’t convinced.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

52 thoughts on “When you wish upon a star

  1. Hugh's Views and News

    What a powerful piece of flash, Norah. It just goes to show how the most innocent of thoughts can turn out to be so destructive and dark. I used ‘be careful what you wish for’ in one of the openings to one of my short stories that involved time travel. I had great fun with it, although readers were rather shocked with the ending.

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    1. Norah Post author

      If I recall some of your stories correctly, your endings are often rather shocking, or surprising at least. I’m wondering which one began with ‘be careful what you wish for’ and if I read it. I can think of a few stories it would apply to.

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      1. Hugh's Views and News

        It was ‘The Rose Wish’, Norah. When I said I used the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ it was more of what was running through my head when I wrote the story. I often come up with the endings to my stories first and then write the story back to its beginning. I’ve been told it’s a rather odd way to write, but it seems to make perfect sense to me. 😀

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    1. Norah Post author

      I wonder if learning about paradoxes is exclusive to adults. I’m thinking some children are exposed to life’s paradoxes far too early. You’ve got me thinking. Thank you.
      Thank you also for reading and commenting – always appreciated.

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      1. Tina Frisco

        Darkness defines the light, Norah, and light unveils the many truths hidden in darkness, which incubates them until we’re ready to accept. Carl Jung said: “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” The time was right for the tenor of your post. So glad you listened to yourself! 🙂 ❤

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        1. Norah Post author

          I appreciate the meaning of that quote from Carl Jung. It gives us something to think about – in many situations. Sometimes condemnation inflames also. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tina.

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  2. Pingback: A Wishing Star « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

    1. Norah Post author

      I’d love it if the adults would just behave. Children’s lives (and their future adult lives if they get there) would be so much better if people practised love rather than hate.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Debby. I think I may have read that phrase in your book Twenty Years: After “I Do” – or perhaps it was just in a blog post. I’m not sure now. But we do have to be careful, that’s for sure. Things don’t always work out as we had in mind.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Jennie. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. It did end a little darker than I had intended, but sadly it seems to be the way of it in far too many families these days. It seems we don’t have a day without another occurrence. The violence really must stop. I don’t think wishing causes it, but neither will it end it.

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        1. Norah Post author

          You know it! Don’t act innocent! 🙂
          I saw a story from the US on the news tonight, about a policeman having to catch a chicken that escaped onto the road. Guess what I thought of?

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    1. Norah Post author

      It would have been very scary – particularly if he really thought he caused it. I don’t believe he did though. It was just an unfortunate accident – one of a type that is becoming far too common.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I don’t really think his wishes caused the result and I hope he doesn’t blame himself for too long. Though neither of them wanted it to end that way, they did need the abuse to stop.

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  3. Michael B. Fishman

    We need to be careful with our wishes… I remember watching The Wonderful World of Disney on Sundays. I think we also watched The Time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The FBI on Sunday nights, too.

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    1. Norah Post author

      We do indeed, Michael, though I can’t think of any ill effects of mine at the moment. Maybe I need to think a bit harder. 🙂 I don’t recall The Time Tunnel and have only vague recollections of the other two. It’s funny what we remember and what we forget.

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  4. Steven

    It still surprises me just how much of a story (along with its implied detail) can be incorporated into less than 100 words. You have again done well, managing to capture the dark aspects of a domestic dispute in a detailed but “elegant” way.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Steven. I appreciate your saying that my story is successful. When I do -perhaps what I shouldn’t – compare my stories to those of more skilled writers, I realise how much I have to learn. But I think I am improving, so that’s what matters. That you read and comment so positively encourages me to keep going. Thank you. 🙂

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