Six minutes. Her mind was whirling, as she wasn’t sure what she’d wish for. Six minutes, and she still hadn’t decided.
Five minutes. Maybe she’d wish for wealth or fame or something ridiculous and worldly like that. Just for fun.
Four minutes. Maybe she’d wish that she and her friends would stay close forever or that she’d find her One True Love this year or something sappy like that.
Three minutes. This could be the most important wish she ever made. Then she realized she was being silly. It was just a wish on the clock—a silly superstition. November 11, 2011 at 11:11 p.m. She knew that people all around the world would be wishing on this time (though, of course, with time differences and different clocks they wouldn’t actually be making the wish at the same time.) She wondered if those people knew what they would wish for, if they threw out something random or if they’d planned all week or month or year for this one wish.
Time was running out, and she still had no idea. It seemed there was a big bubble of longing in her chest, but she didn’t know just what she was longing for. But there were only two minutes left—she didn’t have time to figure it out.
One minute left.
One minute left.
Joyce tugged on the end of her short brown hair, staring at the glaring green numbers on the clock and willing them to tell her what it was she wanted. What could she wish for? What did she need?
It was here. 11/11/11 11:11. And it was time to make a wish.
“I wish that the wish I don’t know how to wish would come true!” Joyce said aloud. The words erupted from her before she could think about them. She sighed. She had wasted her wish—for she knew that was too convoluted and imprecise to come true. Laying her head on the table, she closed her eyes and wished….
It was a knock on her front door that awoke her. Looking up, she glanced at the clock—it was just after midnight. Who would be at her door?
Deciding that the only way to find out was to open it, she went to do just that. At her door stood a girl of about seventeen years of age, with blue hair wound in an intricate knot and eager silver eyes.
“Hello,” the girl said, “I hate to bother you, but I was wondering if I could… um… hide. In your house. Please.”
For a moment, Joyce was too shocked to say anything. What she finally managed was: “Hide?”
“Yeah. I’m kind of in trouble.”
Joyce would never know where the words came from, but they emitted from her lips: “Sure. Come in.”
The girl rushed inside, and Joyce closed the door.
“What sort of trouble are you in?”
“It’s kind of a long story.”
“I’ve got time.”
The blue-haired girl sank down at the kitchen table. “I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you,” she said.
“Try me. Would you like some hot cocoa? It’s a cold night.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Joyce set about fixing the cocoa, while the girl traced lines on the table with her finger and said nothing.
“My name’s Joyce,” Joyce said chattily, “What’s yours?”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you.” Joyce set a mug of cocoa in front of the girl. “Drink that and get warm. I’ll make up a bed on the couch for you.” Somehow, she didn’t need to ask the girl if she wanted to stay the night, or even wonder if it would be wise to allow her to do so. She wondered if she would regret her decision to trust this girl come morning—but she had a feeling she wouldn’t.
“Thank you,” the girl said softly. She drank the cocoa and closed her eyes. Joyce noticed that the girl’s shoulders were tense, and every once in a while she would glance out the window. It was obvious she was trying to appear calm, but something was keeping her from truly relaxing.
“Try and sleep,” Joyce recommended, “Trouble can wait for morning.”
“Why are you being so nice to me?” Pera asked.
“Everyone deserves a bit of kindness.”
The girl’s eyes shone at this, and Joyce thought she heard her sniff. Then Pera went and laid on the couch in the living room. Joyce went to her bedroom and curled under her covers, thinking about wishes.
Today's novel Idea Prompted by: "write a story, about someone who makes a wish at 11:11! It could be on 11/11/11 or not, and their wish doesn't have to come true." Courtesy of Geek Girl's Daily Writing Prompts.