7: Celeste

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"Novus, who is that?" The woman stood silently surveying the area.

"That is a problem." He breathed deeply. "Of course they'd send her."

"Novus, who is that?" I repeated. "She's dressed just like you. Is she a Wish-hunter too?"

"Her name is Celeste, and, yes, she is a Wish-hunter, the Djinn's current number one. Which means we are in big trouble."

"Why would they send another Wish-hunter if they already sent you?"

"You have a lot to learn about the wish business, Eddie. Not all of us play nice or fairly. Remind me if we make it out of this to tell you all about it." He pressed a few buttons on his watch. The screen lit up. "Oh this is bad. This is really bad."

"What now?"

"It seems your little wishing on a star has generated headlines across the galaxy. Oh no. They are broadcasting the hunt live." I looked over at Novus's curious watch. A video of the top of the house played on a channel called EvoEarth. The camera zoomed to Celeste standing in the yard, and a bunch of strange symbols scrolled along the bottom screen.

"Novus, why is this house on television?"

"Have you ever wondered why aliens have never been confirmed here on Earth? Well, there is a reason." He turned his watch so I could see. "Earth is its own entertainment show. A couple billion years ago your planet was discovered to have very unique properties. The galaxy also needed entertainment so they started filming the life of your planet. It's been a hit show since, and to keep the ratings up, the Federation agreed to keep Earth a no contact zone. We jam your signals, we stop your satellites from finding anything useful about life elsewhere. Ships aren't even allowed to fly by within 50 million light years, and of course, some people have broken the rules. That's where you get your alien sightings. Though where you earthlings get the idea of green men with big eyes, I'll never know."

On the lawn below, Celeste spoke into her watch.

"I've arrived at the spot of the fallen star. I'm going in."

We watched as her outfit and appearance began to change shape. The cloak turned into a fitted black suit. Her long hair curved up into a bun, and glasses appeared over her eyes.

"I wish I could do that," whispered Novus. I gave him a disgusted side look. "Upgrades," he said. "She's got the latest gear."

"Novus, what happens if she catches us?" I said leaning away from the window.

"She will without mercy take the wish from you, or abduct you, or worse comes to worse, kill us."

"Oh, that's a lovely thought." I secured my backpack over my shoulder. "Then I need to get out of here. I'll take the back door." I gave him another look. "Why aren't you using your magic cloak?"

"I'm not leaving without you," said Novus. "We have a deal."

"Well that's a pleasant thought," I said opening the door. We slowly exited the room and began descending the stairs. I could hear my aunts arguing.

"Vera, you can't possibly order more cosmetics if you haven't used the last batch."

"Vicky, I'm a grown woman. I can order what I please when I want it."

The doorbell rang.

"Oh, who could that be? It's too early for mail."

Vicky arrived at the door and opened it, groaning at the sight. Celeste stood by dressed like a distinguished lady.

"Good morning," said Celeste with a candid smile.

"Who's at the door, Vicky," cried Vera, looking up from her computer in the corner.

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