This is a story I wrote about four months ago. In retrospect, I could have done a lot better. But here it is.
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It is of great surprise and embarrassment to me that we are such a dependent species. From the frail beginnings of our lives, we absolutely must have someone, or something for that matter, in which we can place our trust and love. I appreciate this sentiment and truly wish it were more understandable to those who stand beyond the massive human herd and choose not to parrot mankind’s vices and foibles. I cannot stress how important it is to have such a figure in one’s life.
On the day I found my figure, I was traveling down a less-taken dirt road, on my way to the Liberation clinic. Gazing into my eyes was the sun, a clump of dust whose natural beauty lit my path as I walked. I stopped to take in the sight, thinking it impossible that such a marvel would not have been crafted by the careful hands of a great sculptor or architect with an eye for interior lighting. The trees, waving in the barely existent wind, inspired a similar feeling, except somehow, they lacked the glowing allure of the great ball of dust in the sky. So did my companions.
I probed onward down the barely-trodden road which, at that time unbeknownst to me, would lead me to eternal salvation, comfort, and love. Even as I walked, the air about me glistened with an almost supernatural aura. Granting virtually no credibility to the occult, I considered turning back. However, secure with my temerity and choice to look on the bright side, I concluded that the prize promised to me at the end was almost too great to forgo. And wouldn’t you believe it, at the very moment I chose to continue, it became apparent that it was not necessary to continue at all, for my salvation lay just before my eyes in the bottom of a bucket in a wishing well. A golden coin. Astonished, I grasped it and flaunted its beauty before my companions, who, I take it, were not in the least impressed.
“Nothing out of the ordinary,” I heard one of them mutter.
“Got thousands at home,” said another.
But to my judgment, this was more than just a common, run-of-the-mill coin. I felt that I had found a vessel of sheer power, as I remember a sudden rush of energy and confidence coursing through my veins. Though I held it tightly in my palm, it seemed to absolutely dominate me with its magnificence, shimmering through the gaps between my fingers. I, of course, did not keep this discovery to myself. This was the Holy Grail, and I was going to spread the news.
I spent the better part of that year constructing an edifice through which I intended to avouch the joy and purity my coin had bestowed upon me. The first meeting was a clean success, boasting an audience of over twenty-two guests. It was a wonderful, joyous celebration – songs were sung, testimonies were made, and a fine meal was served, after which my guests attended a short but mandatory fashion exhibition. To my delight, many of the guests (I believe half of the assembly) were, coincidentally, compelled to donate their own coins to my cause, which I found convenient; before finding the coin, I would have never thought it possible that a simple discovery would lead to such gains in the way of finances. Also, ever since founding the brothel, I have received not a single visit from a bureaucrat or tax collector.
After years of attracting several new guests to my biweekly meetings, I realized that I had not studied the mysterious workings of the coin which I had so piously revered throughout the past decade or so. I learned much in this year-long period of silence, including the horrifying fact that the seemingly innocuous coin had been involved in acts of blackmail, extortion, genocide, and even necromancy. I began to question the true nature of the coin. Were these the sorts of acts that I wished to advocate? What was the coin doing in the well in the first place? Was the coin some sort of wish-granting device? I mulled over this possibility until I summoned the confidence to make a first wish. I held the coin in my hand, closed my eyes, and imagined my mother, without the horrible tumor embedded between her left nostril and right cheekbone. To my utter amazement, she attended my next meeting and took part in the singing and dancing. And eating. And the short but mandatory fashion exhibition.
I was then assured that, despite the previous acts of evil the coin had committed, I could place the very fabric of my existence into the coin’s power and glory, free of uncertainty, and so I wished upon it a second time. Spring rain for the flowers, for it had not rained in over seven months. ‘The beautiful, variegated assortment of plants will require and definitely desire natural nourishment’, I reasoned. The next day, the sky became overcast and dreary, after which a gentle rain poured from the clouds, sprinkling the flowers and extending their meager life spans. I then realized the true supernatural abilities of this coin, and with this in mind, I made the final wish for the security of the brothel and its assembly. Unfortunately, that night, the brothel was destroyed in a fire. I considered this the coin’s own decision, as the sole right to approve the occurrence of a wish belonged to the coin alone. But, weighing the bearer’s ability to wish and the coin’s right to modify the wish as it saw fit, I failed to see any reason for the bearer to wish in the first place.
Then I discovered another possibility. Searching through my pack, I found an eclectic selection of bronze, silver, and nickel coins. I hypothesized that another coin may act more leniently than the one of gold when dealing with my wishes. I tested this theory with a coin each of bronze, silver, and nickel, and, wishing five times upon each, recorded my results:
WISHES GRANTED IN EACH TRIAL
I noted a fairly balanced rate of wish approval, calculating approximately fifty percent thereof for each coin. I therefore concluded that the occurrences which I believed were wishes being granted were ruled not by my own desire, but purely by chance, and that my “wishing” for or against future events had absolutely no effect on the chance of an event occurring. I then found myself at a roadblock, having discovered that each of the coins was equally as powerful and glorious as another. I finally realized that the decision as to which coin shines brighter or is of more personal worth belonged solely to the bearer of the coins, and not myself.
Knowing that the coin was no longer a matter of logic and reason, I returned to the well in which I had found it and cast it back in, along with the other coins with which I had experimented. To this day, they still lay at the foot of the bucket, waiting for a wiling adventurer or band of conquistadors to tie strings to the limbs of his companions and revel in the power and glory of a single coin, forever and ever. The next day, I had little realized that I had been suddenly and inexplicably struck and killed by a single thunderbolt.
What is the truth? Ask the majority.