MangaHelpers Art Contest #27-28 Wish Short StoryVoting Details: Voting will automatically close on November 4th, 23.00 GMT You may only vote once and for up to 2 of the submissions. Announcement of winners will be done soon after voting closes. If you have any questions regarding voting, they can be addressed HERE. Entry #1: Long waited wish by @Raven In a random place and time, there lived in "Fuckious Mankious" a single mother (Omnya) and her child (Backynam). Now the mother was getting ready to pick her son from school like everyday, Backynam was having so much fun in school, He wished his mother to come late this time, Not long after this, His mother died midway and his wish was half complete. Many decades later, Now the very old Backynam is taking his final breaths, He saw his Death coming in his mother form.. Omnya hugged him and said "Oh Backynam it has been a very long while, tell me about yourself while we walk this path". The old man cried and said "I'm sorry mother my wish was too cruel isn't it" then laughed and said "At least it's like old times when you used to pick me from school and walk together back home".. Not exactly answered "Omnya". "I come to pick you to our new home in Heaven but lets not waste too much time on this, tell me about your story" Once the old man started to tell his story, His mother started to take his life slowly... "Mom, I'm dying, light is fading and my arteries are narrowing, I wish i could finish my story before i die! I've grown old. The rust of years enveloped me, The dust of the journey blinded me. The cigarette fumes clouded me and leaked out through my mortal lungs, I bought the fur of the bears, I tried on the monk cowls, I wore the armor of the knights but i swear i never cheated anyone but myself in the devilish suit. I really challenged the life and that's my tragedy, My struggles i never understood and i proceed with ignorance. I failed too hard but i never admitted, The youth dreams wore me out, Sores of the past agonized me, I passed through my city of depression with wreath of shame all over my head." Backynam died and his mother cried while she carrying his soul to Heaven, There they had another chance of life and they lived happily ever after. The END. Entry #2: Ariadne by @Copy Panda A young man sits in the room, perfectly calm, at the white light-lit table. It is 12:00. A glass half empty. The bright red cups in the cupboard reflect the white light at the wrong angle. The sink houses plates secreting apple pie leftovers and the pillows on the couch are stacked almost properly. Everything seems in order. Noteworthy. Suspicious, almost. The only chair standing up is the one he is sitting on. The few chairs lying on the ground do not seem to be in anyone’s way. Paint, pills and pain. The lights start flickering more frequently. The young man blinks twice and gasps for air. The windows fly open. Stacks of rejection letters fall over. A painting of his lover’s prized piano performance falls off the wall. The frame breaks. The glass shatters. The room goes dark. * Only half of the bulbs find it in themselves to shine anew. Somehow, the light they emit are reddish now. An eerie breeze passes the youth’s long hairs; cold fog creeps up between his pants and skin. A draught hits his face. It dries him. His hands become cold. His eyes feel like ice about to be poured in a bottomless glass. His nose bleeds. His eyes bleed. He hears someone snap. He blinks again. The blood is gone. So is the dark. So is the cold. “Who… Who…” The young man looks for words around him, in vain. The only words he sees materialize are ‘Sleep’ and ‘Forever’, brief flashes of inspiration. ‘Close your eyes’. Oh, tempting, but the trench coat across him has business with him first. “Abel.” At hearing this name, his heart stops trying to claw itself out of the chest that traps it there. Black trench coat. Black bowler hat. Leather black gloves. Long, blonde hair hanging on one side of his face, tied together with the same red as his girlfriend’s hair. The hat covers his eyes but not his grimace. The smile of someone asking more than they let onto, someone who knows why you cannot refuse but will ask anyway. “Oh...” “Aren’t you happy to see me?” The devil responded. “You do not seem particularly happy. But I can smell it in the air. Today, you seek to do business.” “I do…” The clock ticks a thousand times. The young man swallows what seems like a cold, hairy beetroot. He puts his hands on the table to brace himself. He clenches his fists, wipes the sweat off his brow, adjusts his shirt, coughs up some liquid, then takes pause. He tears off his shirt, lifts the table out of the way, grabs the devil by the collar, and roars. He conjures a knife and rams it into the chest of the devil. The devil smiles, a thin stream of blood seeps out of the corner of his lips. * He blinks again. Two men sit in the room, perfectly calm, at the white light-lit table. It is 12:02. A glass half full. “You know why I am here.” No response. “Our deal.” “Our… Deal?” “I am here to uphold my part of the bargain.” “A wish…” “You gave up so much. Now it’s time to take something back.” “… Like…” “Oh you could wish for so many things. You could save the world from hunger or cure it of all kinds of nasty diseases. Maybe you are feeling a little greedy. Perhaps true success? You thirst for nothing else, right?” The young man lips smiled, but his eyes remained fixed on the red threads running through his veins instead of blood. “Just say the words.” The young man looks up. “You want it to be over.” His fingers run through his blonde hairs. “Let go.” His fingers hit a red band holding it all together. “…” “Happiness.” A tear is shed. A chuckle can be heard fading out. A snap of the fingers. * Silence. Deep dark. A hospital bed. Soft piano notes whisper lovingly. Eyes open up after who knows how long. Red manes cover him, flushing him with warmth. “Abel,” a girl cries. She hugs tightly. Entry #3: The Fountain by @Organizized As I gaze into the clear blue water of the fountain, I count the thousands of coins; wishes lying on the bottom. There are nickels, dimes - the cheap, half-assed wishes for winning the lottery, or some other greedy means of getting lots of money for nothing. There’s the quarters and half dollars, from the ones who come to the fountain day after day, always making the same wish - wishes for finding love, or finding the courage to admit to someone the absence of love. In one part of the fountain I see a big heap of dollar coins glittering in the illuminated water. Before me I see someone emptying their coin purse as a desperate resort, wishing for a sickly relative to make it through another year. Every day for the past five years, I’ve walked past the piazza on my way home from work. I have never thrown a coin in the fountain. I have never wished for anything, never dreamt of anything in life. Walking along the never-changing path that is my life, I see the gleam in the eyes of others. They have a vision, they see themselves doing something else, being someone else. They stand with their backs to the white marble pool, throwing a coin over their shoulders and hoping a part of them goes with it into the water as they walk away smiling. The old cliché goes: “If I had a wish, I’d wish for a thousand more wishes”. Watching these people, I find myself thinking that if I were to wish for something, it would be to have a dream, a vision just like them. If I had a wish, I’d wish for just one thing to wish for. Snapping back to reality, I find my fingers closed around a fistful of coins in my pocket. Moving by itself, my body has turned its back to the fountain. I close my eyes. In my minds eye, I picture myself as those other people, eyes glittering. In one swift motion I throw the entire heap of coins over my left shoulder, bracing for the scattered splashes of hope hitting the water. Instead, what I hear is the clatter of twelve dollars and thirteen cents hitting marble in rapid succession, followed by the noise of some sort of engine starting. Turning back around, I realize I’ve been lost in thoughts for so long, the fountain has been drained for its daily cleaning. A man with an apparatus like a big vacuum cleaner is walking along the bottom, sucking up my coins along with the thousands of other dreams and wishes made during the day. I stand by the edge, watching him methodically do the work he has likely done hundreds of times before. When the fountain is entirely clean, the water starts filling up again, awaiting new wishes and dreams to break its surface. And I walk away, smiling. Entry #4: Wished For by @Elusia 20xx Dear Diary, I was having yet another ordinary day. On this particular day, I walked around and doing my own business, listening to music and avoiding the crowd. Then, like the clumsy person that I am, I stumbled and almost fell on my face. The young girl in front of me was startled and quickly stood on my feet. It was my old classmate, peeking through her long, open envelope, as if she was hiding her face. She slowly laughed, but in a very awkward way. I wasn’t a type of person to stand idle. I asked her out and she quickly nodded. Eventually, we sat down at a nearby café. An originally small, friendly talk between old acquaintances turned into a long conversation that lasted for a few hours. After that debacle, she finally told me that her long wish of becoming a doctor came to a hold. Not having to succumb to any of those childhood stuff known as wishes, I didn’t quite get what she was saying at first. Then I have to ask, to stop the growth of silence between us. “What are you going to do after that?” “I'm not sure.” She whispered while bowing her head. “Can’t try again?” And, unexpectedly, she left without saying a single word. I sighed, took it as a sign that she was really upset. It was only proven further when I hear soft, mumbled cries, followed by her bowing her head again in the distance and leaving completely. I had to think back, while looking down at my untouched tea. She wished to be a doctor, but had to stop. I wasn’t really into things like that, though that’s what I always say. Earlier, in my childhood days, I’d go outside at night and stare at the numerous stars there. I’d wish for the simplest of things, like finding a cute girlfriend or a dream car or something. Since then, many years have passed, and now I lived alone, in the best conditions even. But, for those reasons, I never really wished for anything, because I had everything I need. I have a good life, a nice house, a success in school, and pretty much everything else that I need. Even in the worst times, I just keep on going, because in my mind, everything is definitely going to be alright. Nagging in the back of my head, I wonder why I lacked sympathy for my friend. I guess I’ll never know for sure. Sighing again, I sipped the last drops of my tea and head home. As I end this normal day by tucking into bed, I remember something. I did have another wish in mind. I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t an ordinary wish on a starry night. I made it come true. It was no longer a wish. Granted, it’s not exactly what I wanted, but I am satisfied with what I got. I finally realized the lack of sensitivity I have on my friend. It’s not the wish itself, but the outcome. I’ll have to talk to her again tomorrow, so she can have another go. She can’t rely on fictional wishes forever - she has to make them come true. Only then, she might have to stop wishing and start acting. Entry #5: Be careful what you wish for by @MarmaladeSky "Are you sure about this?" Emily nodded. "Yes, I'm sure. This is the only way to ever find out what has happened to your brother". She stood up swiftly and grabbed some thick candles out of one of the cabinets, standing around in the attic. "You do want to help him, don't you?" Jim ran his hand through his hair and sighed. It had been almost a year since the disappearance of his younger brother. Vanished without a word. The police investigation resulted in an emotionally tiring, yet fruitless affair. So did the numerous of investigations by private detectives. And now he was here. With Emily. A "witch". It's not like Jim was a believer of the supernatural. Yet at this point, his desperation led him to this path. The conversations he had with Emily, regarding his brother and his disappearance, were surprisingly sober. No instant hocus pocus or tea leaves. None of that. She was kind. For the first time, it actually felt like someone listened to his concerns regarding his younger brother. And then she made this offer. "I just - This isn't going to work... It's too good to be true." Said Jim. Emily shrugged. Her offer, to ask the spirits to tell him what happened to his brother, whether he's stil alive. He'd give anything for information, despite being a non-believer. "How can you know this isn't going to work or not. If it doesn't work, it's not going to harm us, or your brother" Said Emily, shoving the candles into his arms. "Place those around the circle" "But what if it does?" Despite his complaining he took the candles and put them into position. "Look. I've done this before. It's no big deal. We're just looking for some answers, okay?" Emily started to light the sea of candles surrounding them. "Yeah... I guess" Emily touched his shoulder. "Don't worry. It will be fine. As long as we stay in the circle we cannot be harmed. Got it?" Said Emily, with a little smile on her face. "Got it. " Jim repeated. "I'll- Let's try. You're sure it's safe?" "Entirely safe" Emily replied. And so they began. With the candles all lit, both of them took place in the circle. "Alright, so now take my hands and close your eyes. I will do the rest!" Emily said. Jim closed his eyes and slowly reached for Emily's cold hands. It started quickly. Emily was whispering things Jim couldn't understand, he wasn't even certain he had heard those words before. He wasn't sure if it was a human language at all. His heartbeat racing, this wasn't part of the plan. "Oh Lord Lucifer, come now and grant me your power. Come now and bring me what I desire!" What. Jim opened his eyes. In a split second, all the candles went out. Complete darkness took over the room. Jim tried to move, but he couldn't. Not even his toes. Completely paralyzed. A foul smell. Nasty stench is more like it. He heard something panting. Felt something panting. And it wasn't Emily. Two eerie, red eyes gleamed in the darkness. "The blood of this man pays the price. Emily, what is your wish?" Entry #6: Birthday Wishes by @riki As soon as the school bus dropped me off at my stop, I dashed up the stairs to the apartment complex and hurried into my home. Even though I was glad that school was over, I had another reason to be excited – today’s the day I got to spend time with my mom. It has been awhile since my mom had to work a lot, but she was able to request the day off. Today, we’re going to eat out at my favorite restaurant, where my mom said that I can get whatever I want. Then we’re going to watch a movie before we head home. “A little mother-daughter bonding,” she’d declared. “Mom, I’m home!” I shouted as I opened the door. My mom peeked her head out of the family room. “Welcome home, birthday girl!” she beamed. “How was school?” “Great! The class sang me ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, and Miss Patterson gave me a birthday pencil,” I said, kicking off my shoes before I joined my mom, who was lounging on the couch. The television was blaring “Judge Judy”, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Instead, I noticed the wrapped present on the table. “Is that for me?” “Of course! Who wouldn’t it be for?” she teased. “Well, aren’t you going to open it or not?” “Well, if you insist…” I grabbed my gift and began to unwrap it. “Whoa, a slime making kit! Thanks, mom!” “You’re welcome.” She smiled. “Ready for today?” “Uh huh,” I nodded. “Are you?” “Who wouldn’t? I got to spend time with my little girl,” she replied and gave me a sly smile. “So, birthday girl, what are you going to wish for on your birthday?” “Oh, mom! You know that birthday wishes won’t come true if you reveal them!” I told her. “And why not? To embarrass to tell your own mother?” my mom teased. Before I could reply, the sound of a witch crackling interrupted me. My heart dropped as I saw my mom’s cell phone lit up. I knew who was calling; it’s my mom’s boss, whom she called a “real witch”. My mom must have felt the same way because I noticed her smile faltered. “You don’t have to answer it, do you?” I pleaded. Muting the television, she sighed. “I wish, but you know how she reacts if I don’t pick up.” She reached over to the table and pick up the phone. “Hello? Wait, but I asked for today off. Yes, I understand, but-” Even though I was a few feet away, I could hear an old woman shouting on the other line (something like “getting fired”). “Okay, okay, I’ll come in.” Her shoulders slumped, she hung up the phone and gave me an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, sweetie, but I have to come in to work today.” I jumped out of my seat. “How come!?” “Connie called in sick so they needed someone to replace her,” she explained. “Can’t she call someone else?” I protested. My mom shook her head as she hurried to get ready for work. “I wish she could, Cora, but I’m the only one who know how to run the machine.” “But you promise to spend time with me today!” I pouted as I slumped back onto sofa. Looking down at the floor, I bit my lips as I tried to prevent myself from crying. Nevertheless, my eyes were watery. It wasn’t fair! Why does my mom have to go to work on my birthday? Why does that old hag have to ruin everything? I felt a gentle touch on my shoulders and looked up to see my mom kneeling in front of me. For the first time in my life, I saw the bags underneath her eyes and how exhausted she looks. “Look, I’m not happy about this either, but I have no choice. You know that, right?” I nodded, recalling how hard it was for my mom to find a job. “Listen, I promise that I’ll make it up to you, okay?” Despite the lump in my throat, I managed to whisper, “Okay.” My mom squeezed my shoulders before she stood up and headed toward the door. I followed her as I watched her leave. “If you want, you can stay over at Mrs. Crawford’s until I get back.” I shook my head. “Mom, I’m ten years old. I can take care of myself.” She looked at me as if she was about to protest, but instead, she said, “All right, but remember to lock the door and don’t answer the door to strangers. And if you need anything, let Mrs. Crawford know, okay?” I nodded. “I don’t know when I’ll get back, but hopefully, it won’t be long. I’ll see you later. Luv ya.” “Luv ya, too,” I said as I watched her leave. I lingered in the hallway before I headed back into the family room and turned on the television. However, I wasn’t in the mood to watch anything so I turned the tv off and lie down on the sofa. Despite my mom’s assurance, I knew that she won’t be back until late tonight. As I lay there, I thought about what she asked me what I would wish for my birthday. At first, my wish was to have the cutest boy in class to notice me. But now? The more I thought about it, the more I realized what I wanted the most. I wish my mom would find a better job, where she has a nicer boss, who won’t yell at her for every little thing. Not to mention, a job where she can have time to hang out with me without feeling tired all the time. If I could have only had one wish to come true, let it be that one.