198 - Wish


For the third year in a row, no one has shown up to your birthday party. You sit alone at the table in the breakfast nook, a lone candle in the shape of a "9" burning slowly down. Wasn't hard to find the candle; not a lot of people turning nine these days. A cone-shaped paper hat adorns your head, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" written on the side in bright, bold lettering.

The elastic strap stapled to the hat digs into the soft flesh under your chin, causing a small, irritating itch. It is the kind of infinitesimal you wouldn't even notice in the middle of a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey or a water balloon fight. You have no such luxuries to distract you. The itches digs and gnaws at your skin, serving quite well to highlight the desperate loneliness that claws in your chest.

This might have all been bearable if your parents had at least shown up. You're getting to an age where you understand it's not they're fault, though. It's yours.

The cat clock on the kitchen wall meows three times, sending an eerie echo through the quiet, empty halls of your home. Three o' clock. Time for cake.

You close your eyes and wish as hard as you can to undo the wish you made three years ago. You blow out the candle, the hope in your heart tempered by the reality of two previous failures. The great and terrible power you found the day you wished everyone would leave you alone has not manifested itself since.

More cake for me, you tell yourself.

The salt of your tears pairs poorly with chocolate icing.