"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


No Good Deed...

The gray, stooped man stood at the corner of the intersection. His mahogany cane with the ivory handle trembled in his hands as he reached out as if to enter the crosswalk. He pulled back as a car whizzed by uncomfortably close. He peered back and forth, trying to catch the eye of one of the drivers to see if they'd let him cross. Heads turned away from him and seemed not to notice he was there.

A cluster of teen boys approached, laughing and talking a little too loudly.  A boy in a red t-shirt and backwards baseball cap pushed the shortest of his friends who yelled as he reeled close to the passing traffic.  The short boy retaliated with a punch to the shoulder.

The old man looked desperately for a path across the street before the boys could arrive.  Finding none, he shrunk back, away from the road and into the corner under the shade of a tree.

The boys seemed too occupied to notice him, and the old man breathed a sigh of relief.  The small sound caught the attention of one of the boys.  Taller than the rest, he had the awkwardness of his age.  He was quieter than the others, too.  The old man sucked in his breath and waited.

The kid smiled and shuffled over to him.

"Do you need to cross?"

The old man nodded his head.  The boy stepped into the cross walk and beckoned to the gentleman when the traffic paused for him.  The boy's friends bounded across the street quickly and walked on, not noticing that he lingered behind them.  The old man shuffled as quickly as he could, the teen walking in a slow saunter next to him until they reached the other side.

"See ya, dude."  The kid started to jog to catch up with his friends.

"Wait."  The young man stopped, then looked around with knitted brows.  In place of the old man stood a tall, dark-haired man in jeans.  The cane in his hand had been replaced with a gnarly, twisted wand.  The man approached the boy.

"Don't look so surprised.  You know that there are magical creatures that walk amongst us."

The boy's eyes widened, and the man chuckled.

"Look, I appreciate that you helped me out.  I'd like to give you a wish."

"A wish?"

"Sure, anything you want."  The man waited, wondering, trying to guess the wish based on the little bit he knew about this boy.  Would he ask for world peace?  Or a million dollars?  Maybe just a new game system, he thought with a wry smile.

The boy shrugged.

"OK.  I want a fish."

"Excuse me?"  The man didn't think he'd heard him properly.  The boy flashed him a sheepish grin.

"Yeah, well, I've always wanted a pet, but our landlord wouldn't allow it.  We live in a small apartment.  I don't think he'd mind if I had a fish."

The man shook his head incredulously.  He nodded, then turned on his heel and walked wordlessly away.  When the boy arrived home, he'd find a new aquarium on his desk with coral, wavy green plants, and a few exotic fish swimming around.  The man decided he'd throw in a year's supply of fish food, although that was technically against the rules, since the boy didn't officially wish for it.

But hey, he liked the kid.


Wow.  I am really rusty!  The inner editor was going crazy as I wrote this one.  Still, it feels good to get back into Fiction Friday again.

Today's prompt:  Use the images on the dice for inspiration.  The images were a cane, a magic wand, and a fish. 

To play along, visit Write Anything's Fiction Friday at their new website here.