11: A Funny Tasting Burger

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As I sat on the couch feeling the weight of the universe sink around me, I could not help but wonder what I was doing with myself. I had left my aunts injured and alone, gone off on a wild adventure without telling anyone, and worst of all I left with a total stranger. I was breaking all the rules a young person like me was supposed to follow.

I glanced over at Novus. His green hair sparkled in the blinking lights of the spaceship's interior. For a thief he surely did not look like one, but I would be a fool if I dropped my guard and put my complete trust in him. Novus admitted to stealing wishes from children and selling them for money. No trustworthy man steals from kids. And no man doing illegal business is worth making deals with.

Yet against my better judgment here I sat in the spaceship of an intergalactic thief with no way to escape, and all I had to keep me there was a mystical pinky promise.

I glanced at the glowing rock in my lap. It pulsed like a heartbeat sending ribbons of colored light into the air. Galaxion, the oldest star in the universe, rested before me. Who knew how many secrets the star knew; how much it had seen in its lifetime? I wondered if I should just use my wish right there and get the adventure I craved. Maybe I could wish my aunts gone, or to be a famous claymation artist, or even bring my parents back. My heart jumped at the idea.

"Novus," I said as the man stood up from the couch. "Are there any rules to wishing on stars? I know it sounds funny, but I remember watching this movie and the genie said there were certain things a person couldn't wish for."

Novus pressed a few buttons causing the spaceship's walls to expand.

"Why yes," he said twirling a knob on the wall. A door slid up from the floor leading to another room on the ever growing ship. He exhaled a satisfied huff. " There are some rules to wishing. Five to be exact." He came and sat across from me. Stella jumped on his head. She counted the rules using her tentacles. "Rule one," said Novus raising a finger. "You only get one wish. Not two. Not three. One. Rule two. You can't wish for more wishes. Three, you can't wish to bring back the dead. Some things are certain. Death unfortunately is one of them."

"So far it all seems pretty standard," I said crossing my legs. A part of me knew bringing my parents back from the dead was a dumb idea. At least now I knew such things were impossible. One can only be so hopeful. "What are the other two?"

"Rule four." Stella raised four tentacles. She bounced up and down. Novus patted her squishy head. "Rule four, kid, is an important rule. Be careful what you wish for. Every wish comes with consequence. For example if you wish for money, money will come, but that money must come from somewhere. A wish does not create it only exchanges. So wishing for money will take money from someone who may need it more than you. This could hurt others. As such a wishmaker must remind themselves that one can't just wish for things. The same rule applies for wishing for the end hunger or cure sickness. The food that would feed the hungry will randomly take from someone else's plate, and that cure for a disease will only shift it to another place where others will suffer. Everything comes with a heavy price. That is the reason why you do not wish to bring back the dead. Nothing equals the price of a human soul. So always act selflessly and think before you wish." Novus leaned in and raised five fingers. "And finally we have rule number five."

Stella once more mimicked Novus's actions. He reached out and placed my hand over Galaxion. "The most important rule of all. Never under any circumstance attempt to destroy, break open, or force a wish. In your hands is a star. To grant a wish the star must release the energy it has stored inside. That energy is under great pressure. Breaking the seal without a wish to guide it can lead to terrible things. Entire planets have been lost because of people's selfishness. Trust me. I know." Novus sighed. "Wishes can be both beautiful and horrifying."

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