Unwish | by Rae Botsford End | written August 2007

"I take it back."

"You can’t take it back." The fairy, perched in an oak tree just inside the forest behind my house, looks
almost disdainful. She is about a foot high, with wings of gossamer feathers, tan skin barely tinted with
green, and long pointed ears. Her hair, the color of moss, is back in a bun, and she pushes her long
bangs out of her face with neither care nor patience.

The effect is rudely emphasized by the way she stares at me with her grass-green eyes, almond-shaped
and free of pupils, blinking only very occasionally and very slowly into my own, pine-green eyes,
certainly wild and desperate but free of tears.

"Then let me change it, replace it, overpower it." I say it simply. Solidly. My red hair hangs wild and
loose in my face where it has fallen free from its long ponytail and betrays my vague desperation.

She looks at her nails, stretching her elegantly tapered fingers - such a human gesture. "You can’t do
that either. That’s the same as taking it back. I gave you one wish, and you clearly screwed it up."

Such an inhuman response. How fitting.

"You knew this would happen, didn’t you?"

"You made a foolish wish in your desperation. You could not have learned from your mistake without
making it."

"You could have tried!"

"You would have made the mistake regardless of my attempts."

I sigh. "I cannot rationally disagree. But why grant it? Why not let me wish in futility? Eventually, I
would have given up on the idea. I am made human by my emotions. To wish them to be suppressed in
this manner...what was I thinking?"

"You weren’t thinking, you were feeling."

I laugh. I laugh a lot these days. It takes no emotion to do so. "How very ironic. I can make no more
such foolish decisions, that is near certain. But I am losing my mind. I seem to have lost my soul."

"That, my dear," she says as a smile twists her cinnamon lips, "is your problem. Not mine."

I stare through her stare. "This implies that I can do something about it."

"In theory."

"What do you mean?"

"You only have to fall in love." She vanishes, and I wonder why fairies even bother with wings.