There’s an old man, decrepit and ghastly. Dying of cancer in a hospital room, somewhere he no longer recognized.
A nurse visits him in the night. She startles him awake and first whispers in a tongue he doesn’t recognize. She leans in towards him and gasps,
“3 wishes I’d offer a man in his last days”.
The man does not hesitate and accepts the woman’s offer and thinks to himself a moment.
“I want to be free of cancer.”
The woman snaps her fingers. A young man in the hallway falls dead. Terrified, the man inquires quickly about what he had done.
“All actions have consequences,” she explains.
“Why does he fall so suddenly?” He asks her.
“The mans body had never tasted live cancer, and so he fell when you ushered stage 4 on him.”
“I did no such thing!” The now healthy man sits forward in his bed. Looking out to the commotion outside the room, he looks at his hands and sighs,
“Take me home.”
The woman snaps her fingers and they are transported to a bright, well decorated living room. His family sits around him, horrified looks fill their faces.
“Father?” A young girl, looking as though shes seeing through a ghost.
“My child-“, he leans forward to caress his young daughter. His wife throws her hands in front, scared looks still crowd their faces.
“What did you do?” His wife cries. This magic she is seeing must be something from the devil himself. His wife does not believe it is him, standing in the flesh. The man she left behind was a dead man.
The man looks around his once beloved home to see old photos replaced with new happy memories. An unfamiliar man stands in the photos. The man looks lovingly at his family and with an almost hatred in his voice, he questions, “who is this man?”. His wife can now see what she’s done. There is no explaining pre-widowing herself around the town, in hopes of exposing her vulnerability and acquiring a new wallet.
The man turns to the woman who first visited him in his hospital room. He looks almost confused for a moment.
“What was the consequence of this wish?” The woman looks around and grins to herself.
“You learn love is a concept here.”
He smiles to himself and with his final wish, he thinks for a solid minute and asks her for time.
“I was a dying man, no proper life before that. Grant me a chance to see everything once.” To himself he thinks, ‘a tree would be perfect or place me as an animal amongst the beasts’.
The woman nods and a final snap of the fingers, the man is sent to take his place among the stars.
He looks down at the world and is confused at what he sees. It’s not a world he knows, but something far more advanced and unknown. The man is angry for a moment, and he asks,
“What is this?”
And the genie, satisfied with herself replies,
“Time. The biggest consequence of them all. You will see that a stars light takes light years to reach the planet. The things you know are no longer living. You are present in their timeline, while observing a whole new future.”
Devastated with this choice he’s made, he begs the woman to take it back. Bring him home and let him try again.
She places a hand on his shoulder. Its cold and strangely misplaced.
“You need to learn to live with your choices.”
So, when you look into the sky and see the light-polluted, drowned out, twinkle-less stars, remember your actions cause reactions, and a few of those have consequences.