Wishful thinking


Illustration by Julia Ogden (juliaogden.com)

In this excerpt from THE WILD IMPOSSIBILITY, the protagonist, Kira, has the second of many "daytime dreams," as she calls them—vivid scenes that she refuses to believe are hallucinations.

The day is blistering, too hot even for candles. But they blaze before me, sixteen of them on a layer cake with pink frosting. The dining room is hot and stuffy and I long for air, for him.
Kira tries to speak but can make no sound. She thinks her eyes are open. There are shadows, figures blurry like those in a black-and-white newsreel shot from a distance at a dead run. Yet she knows the girl is the same one as always, knows she’s in a room with a long table and shuttered windows with the curtains tied back.
“Make a wish,” my mother says.
“Wish for a husband!” my friend says. She’s wearing that dress I like so much, the white one with red polka dots, a full skirt fitted with a red patent leather belt.
My family doesn’t know what I wish for. If only he were here, the boy I love. If only I could tell everyone we’re in love, make it a real celebration.
They are watching me. I take a deep breath and make a wish, and it is not the wish my mother would have made for me. I blow hard, and all the candles go out but one. A terrible omen. I can’t let them see me cry.
© 2018 by Cheryl A. Ossola