A Simple Wish

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story:
Eli sits silently in a world that holds nothing but darkness. He sits beneath a single tree wishing for more.

Witness as Eli steps forward into the unknown to obtain everything his heart desires.

Submitted: October 12, 2016

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Submitted: October 12, 2016

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I opened my eyes to the vast wasteland that expanded before me. I gazed to my left then my right, and I saw nothing, but the stars still glittering with a magnificent brilliance. I had grown tired of staring at these lights that illuminated my world. They did nothing but provide me light to a world that otherwise gave me darkness. They gave light to worlds that I never visited and lives that had basked in that light without even earning the privilege. I raised my head to stare at the tree that fed upon these lights - a single lone ash tree.

This one ash tree was the only thing that lived with me in my otherwise empty world. The ash tree had large branches that reached out across the universe and to the stars. Countless branches that spanned in almost an infinite amount of directions, and I had given up on trying to count them or the worlds that the branches touched. Its trunk dived endlessly into the void, and the roots were completely exposed. The roots somehow planted this tree where there was no soil, but yet it lived, growing by the second.

The tree was the only thing I could call my friend. The tree was here when I first opened my eyes, and the tree would still be there when they closed.

However, on that one particular day, I decided that I needed to leave my friend. The tree had many branches that spanned to the far outreaches of the universe, and yet I stayed near its base for my entire existence. I had grown lonely overtime, and I yearned for something else other than the darkness. I placed my hand on the trunk of the tree and said, "I'm sorry, my friend. I may be leaving this day, but I'll return someday."

I lifted my hand, and I heard a slight ruffling above me. For the first time, I saw a branch rustling gently when the branches normally stood silent. I smiled, "Are you telling me I should go in that direction?"

The branch moved once again, and I nodded, "I'll trust you then."

I waved goodbye to my friend who had just spoken to me for the first time in my life. I knew it wasn't a farewell as I could never forget him as I knew my friend could never forget me. I followed the path the tree laid out before me. The journey was long, and I didn't know how long I had walked or how much further I had to go, but for the first time in my life, I had a direction.

I felt my soul being tugged forward as if it yearned to arrive at its new home. I became nervous at the thought of what waited for me when I arrived. The only thing I had ever known was the tree, and although I knew other worlds existed, I was always afraid to venture toward the unknown. I walked until my feet went numb and blisters began to form beneath my feet, but I wouldn't yield until I finally reached my goal.

I felt my mind go blank. I had been used to the silence, but I was no longer covered by the vast ash tree. The emptiness of this world swallowed me.

"Hey!"

A sharp and shrill voice appeared behind me to knock me back into reality. I turned my head to see a star hovering next to me. I looked in the light expecting to see a face, but I saw nothing but a warm, gentle light.

The star hovered around me some more, dashing from side to side, and to different angles. My eyes had trouble keeping up with my unknown intruder until it stopped in front of my face once again. I heard the light sigh, and it spoke, "Can you not speak? Will you just continue to stand there with your mouth agape?"

"Elijah," I muttered under my breath. I had never spoken to another being yet alone a star.  I didn't know what the proper courtesies were, and I grew nervous at the sight of my new found stranger.

"Elijah, eh?" The light moved in slightly closer as if it was staring directly at me. The stare was fleeting as the light began to swarm around me without a care, "You are one that lacks proper appeal, but you'll do just fine. Loki is the name."

I felt it odd for a star to have a name, but at the same time, I had a name, and I was the only one of my kind. I didn't know who had given me the name, but I knew it was mine. I spoke to the odd little light, "I've never seen a light move before, where could you possibly be heading?"

The little light scoffed, "Haven't you've ever heard of a shooting star before? I admit that we are of rarity, but I ensure you if you look hard enough you'll see us move about."

I began to look around trying to find another of Loki's kind only to be interrupted when he started to laugh, "If it was that easy, you'd seen us by a passing glance. Give it a little more time, keep one eye on the horizon, and you'll see my brethren." Loki inched forward as if he was dancing along the branch and sat neatly on the top. He spoke, "Where could you be heading to, I wonder?" he asked.

I had no reason to hide my destination. I pointed forward toward the end of the branch, "I'm heading in that direction. The tree told me to go there."

The light chuckled lightly, "The tree told you to go there? That’s a new one. Well, I admit that you're near the end, but I don't know what you'd expect to find."

"Life," I muttered.

The light dipped down in front of me again and jested, "Well good news, you've found a lively one right in front of you."

I didn't say anything to those words, but simply continued forward to my destination. I grew excited at the news that I was near the end of the path - if Loki was telling the truth.

I heard Loki fluttering behind me, "How cold of you to walk off like that without a proper farewell. It was just too painful to say goodbye, wasn't it? Well don't worry, my friend, I'll light your way."

I admit I enjoyed having Loki with me on my journey. The light enjoyed a good conversation, and even though most conversations were nonsensical, the sound of a voice in this silent and lifeless wasteland raised my spirits. Second the light, of course, provided an ample amount of light and a slight warmth that warmed my body. We continued forward, and only minutes afterward, Loki's words became true, and we reached the end of the branch. At the end of the branch, was a large pond that floated mysteriously in the realm. The pond was dreadfully out of place similar to the tree, yet it existed.

I stared down into the pond, and I saw a sight I hadn't seen my entire life. I saw the sight of a blue sky and green grass. The grass was blowing slightly along with the breeze as if the blades were dancing. I saw cars driving along the street and numerous people crossing without any hesitation. The people didn't even know of my existence, but I knew of theirs. I wanted to join them in their world. I wanted to interact with them. However, my heart grew hesitant at the sight of the unknown, and I sat next to the pond wondering what I should do. I looked back, and I could still see the great ash tree in its entire splendor that stretched out amongst the entire universe and my friend Loki who had landed silently on my shoulder.

Loki whispered into my ear, "Will you look at that, an entire world filled with people." Loki's light grew brighter, and he continued, "A world filled with dreams and aspirations, some greedy, some needy, and some fleeting."

Loki paused for a second, "So now that you're here, what do you plan to do?"

I felt my legs quake at the thought of moving the last step forward and felt them inching backward to a place that I knew was safe. That's when I heard a small voice erupt from the pond. The words were muffled, but I knew I heard them. I saw a small ripple in the water of the pond, and I looked to the pond once again. That was when I saw her, a girl running along the grass with a smile that shined brighter than any star.

She looked as if she was staring through the pond directly toward me, inviting me to join her. The girl had long dark brown hair that rivaled the great ash tree and deep blue eyes that could drown me in them. I heard someone yell at her across the street, "Elly! Come on; you're late."

I saw someone that seemed like a friend call her across the street. My heart skipped a beat as they called her name once again, "Elly! Hurry!"

I smiled as her name repeated in my head.

Elly.

Her name was Elly.

She started to walk across the street away from me, and I reached my arm out instinctively. As my hand touched the water, I felt it’s cool, icy touch. My heart had sunk. I didn't know what I expected when I arrived at the end of the branch. I had hoped I could join the world and live amongst its people.

I wanted to do anything to fill this void I felt in my heart.

"Is that your wish then?" I heard Loki whisper behind me, "Consider it granted then my friend."

I felt a sharp tug from the water. I tried to pull my arm back, but I couldn't, and without any proper resistance, the water pulled me in. I had heard Loki say something to me as I was dragged into the depths, but I couldn't make sense of the words. I just saw him hovering over me and staring at me as I sunk deeper into the abyss. I readied myself for the cold water to envelop my body, to steal my warmth, but instead I felt a slight tickle along my skin.

I traced my fingers along my skin as it continued and I opened my eyes. I squinted as the bright light of the sun hit my face and I looked around into the new world that I entered. The touch that I had felt was the fleeting tickle of the wind. I peered toward my feet to see the grass waving at me as I stood on top of the ground for the first time. My heart was racing, and I felt like screaming. Screaming a wave of happiness into this world that I just entered; I started to look in every direction with untold excitement and I tried to absorb everything around me.

I watched and listened to the humming of cars passing by, and the yammering of countless people who were walking by that didn't pay me any heed. I stretched out my arms trying to embrace my new surroundings, but only her face flashed in my mind.

Elly's face.

I turned and looked around in every direction to try to find the woman that had captivated me. I didn't know why I felt the need to talk with her or be with her, but I knew that at that moment, I felt empty without her.

That's when I saw her again as she crossed the street, and my feet instinctively walked forward.

I wanted to introduce myself to her.

I wanted to talk to her.

Heck, I simply wanted her to know of my existence.

She was only a few steps in front of me when I heard a blazing loud horn come from my right. A car had dodged a child who was chasing after a ball, lost control, and was now spiraling toward Elly's direction. I sprinted forward without hesitation and jumped forward. I wrapped my arms around Elly and twisted us so I would land on the concrete. I clenched my teeth expecting the land hard, but as we fell, I felt another strong pull as we landed without noise.

I stared around to see that I was once again in the darkness with countless of stars around me, but this time, something was different. This time, I was here with Elly cradled in my arms.

I felt her rustle for a second in my grasp, and after a few seconds, she looked up at me. She took a moment, smiled, and said, "Hey there. Thanks for –"

Her words cut off when she caught a glimpse of her surroundings. She displayed a wide array of emotion that I could read after every passing moment. The first emotion was the look of bewilderment of standing in space. She gazed at the ocean of stars and worlds that surrounded her.

The second emotion was fear, fear of the unknown horizon that she was forced into. And strangely her last emotion was when she looked at me.

She had a look of worry on her face and pointed to my arm, "Oh my gosh! Are you okay?"

I turned to my elbow, which was bleeding quite a bit, most likely from the fall. I considered it strange that I was bleeding as I fell into nothingness, yet I still managed to scrap my elbow. I muttered a few words, "Yes, I seem to be okay."

I twisted my arm slightly to survey the wound, and it didn't seem serious. After I had come to that conclusion, I found it odd as I didn't remember ever seeing myself bleed before, and yet I knew it was my blood. It was a dark red color that I'd never seen before. It painted this universe to a new tint that wasn't previously present.

I heard an aggressive ripping sound and I watched Elly, without hesitation, as she ripped off the sleeve of her shirt and wrapped it around my arm. She smiled and said, "I can't have my savior bleeding out on me, can I?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but I was quickly interrupted.

"Man, will you look in this. Do you think we died or something? I mean we aren't in Kansas anymore." Elly began looking at her surroundings trying to get the lay of the land. She twirled around in circles trying to notice a recognizable landmark, but of course, she couldn't.

I shook my head, "No, we didn't die. This is the World Tree, Yggdrasil."

I pointed off into the distance of the great ash tree.

Elly cocked her head to the side. "Yggdrasil? What's that?" She asked.

I answered, "It's the tree that connects all the worlds together, the tree that breathes life to all worlds."

I looked at Elly's face, and she seemed confused. She looked like she was thinking hard about her current situation, but eventually she shrugged and turned to me.

"Well, I'm not dead, and that's the most important thing. I'm Elly, by the way, and you are..."

Elly stuck her hand out and waited for my reply.

I reached out my hand curiously; she quickly grabbed it and began to shake it. I responded, "I'm Elijah."

She smiled, "Eli, huh?"

"No, Eli-"

She interrupted me, "Well Eli; I know it might be me assuming things, but since you know where we are, do you know how to get back?"

Elly looked at me expecting an answer, and without saying a word, I pointed to the pond behind her. Elly gazed in the pond and saw that her friends on the other side who were currently scrambling to find their lost friend. A look of guilt washed over her face, and she spoke, "Hey, can we get back? I don't want my friends to worry about me."

I shook my head, "No, I don't know."

It was the truth. I didn't know how I entered into her world, but I knew it wasn't by my power. However, I saw the weight of my words begin to eat at Elly, the fact that she might not be able to see her friends again and that she would be stuck in this place - this place without the warmth of her sun or the comfort of her home.

That was when I thought of his name again, and it escaped my lips without my will, "Loki."

The small ball of light known as Loki appeared right in the middle of Elena and myself, as if I summoned him into existence. His light had dimmed since I last saw him. I could manage to see a small body within his light, and a saw the slight twitch of his mouth, "Why, my dear Elijah! Are you back already? I didn't expect to see you again."

Loki turned to see Elly and she inched closer to the ball of light. She held up her hand and began to move her index finger to the foreign object. I saw Loki's hand smack the finger away from him violently, and he yelled, "Hey sister, hands off the merchandise."

Elly looked in shock but muttered, "I'm sorry."

Loki fluttered around the two of us. "Hmm, I guess I can forgive you, but you got to know your boundaries. Didn't your parents teach you anything?"

Loki turned his attention back to me.  "Now, my friend, you called?"

I nodded. "Loki, can we return to Elly's home?"

Loki had fluttered over the pond. That's when I noticed that the reflection of Elly's world had disappeared. The way to her world was no more.

Loki turned to me once more and spoke, "Is that what you wish for Elly?"

I looked at Loki for a moment in shock. "You're able to return us then?"

I saw the shade of a man nod within the light, "If that's what you wish for, my friend."

I saw Elly step closer to me, and she grabbed my arm. This woman that I simply wanted to stand next to was shivering. She was afraid and wanted to go back home. Return home to a place that I stole her from.

I responded to Loki's question, "Yes, that's what I wish for Loki."

I heard the man chuckle and then without warning his light grew tenfold. I shut my eyes to protect them, and I felt Elly grab me tighter. The light lasted for only a handful of seconds, and it was eventually replaced by the darkness of this world once again.

I opened my eyes. I saw Elly open hers and her gaze solely fixated on me. She stared at me as if she never truly looked at me before and smiled.

She spoke, "Well that was crazy, wasn't it?"

I opened my mouth to answer, but that's when I saw a small dim light erupting from the light behind me. The light was coming from the pond behind us; the light was from the sun in Elly's world. The portal to her world had opened once again.

I pointed to the direction behind Elly, and she smiled. She rushed over to the lake and shouted, "Look, we can go back home now, Eli!"

I nodded.

She asked, "So, how do we go back exactly?"

"I think you just need to jump in."

Elly looked at me with disbelief, and I responded once again, "Don't worry, I wouldn't lie to you."

Those few simple words were enough to convince Elly. She took one small step into the water, and I heard her scream as the water grabbed onto her and forced her home.

I walked over to the water to join her so I could be with her once again when I heard a slight whisper behind me, "I hope your wish will bring you happiness, my friend."

It was Loki's voice, and I turned around to thank my friend. Thank him for everything that he'd done for me. I had only known him for a short time, but Loki had brought more light to my life than all these other stars combined.  He was my first true friend.

That was when I truly saw Loki for the first time. The small man within the light had long blonde hair that was swaying slightly to cover most of his face. Loki had emerald wings that were fluttering brilliantly and gave off sparkles of gallant light.

The light was growing dimmer by the moment.

I called to him, "Loki, are you okay?"

Loki nodded, "How can I not be okay? I've granted a wish to my friend. I wish that he had yearned for with all his being. How could a friend not be okay with that?"

I waved my head, "No, that isn't-"

Loki interrupted me, "I told you didn't, I? I'm a shooting star. Once a wish has been made, I've served my purpose...I've served my existence."

I reached out to Loki. I felt my heart twist. This was not what I wanted. I would never wish for my happiness over his life.

Loki's light ceased and body began to fade, "Eli, someone would have wished for something eventually. But, I have granted a wish to my first and only friend. But if I may be so bold, can I wish something of you, my friend?"

I nodded without a second thought. I couldn't deny my friend his last wish. I'd grant it with all of my power.

Loki grinned, "Be happy."

After those last two words, Loki disappeared. I felt my heart break, and I screamed. I lost the strength in my legs, and I fell to my knees. I had never felt this emotion before, but I felt as if my soul was torn and thrown into the wind.

My first and only friend was now gone.

I felt powerless, and a pair of arms wrapped around me. They clenched me tightly, and I began to feel warmth. I opened my eyes to see Elly clenching onto me. The sun peered directly above us and once again in her world. I saw her crying with me.

I asked, "Why...why are you crying?"

She answered, "Because you're crying."

I wrapped my arms around her, dug my fingers into her back, and I began to weep again. We stayed like that for what seemed like hours. Elly stayed with me the entire time. She held me close and comforted me without question.

That wouldn't be the first time Elly comforted me. I was thrown into a world that I had no knowledge of. The world had so many faces and different personalities that it was hard to fit in. Everything was strange to me, but I was never alone.

Elly never left my side from that day onward. It was strange how people who hardly knew each other could feel so connected.

Elly was there to giggle at me as I tried to learn how to use a cell phone for the first time.

She was supportive when I didn't know another single soul.

Elly stood by me as I got my first job.

She made my soul ecstatic when she agreed to marry me.

She was stronger than me when she gave birth to our first child.

She grew old with me as we lived our lives.

And she comforted me once again when she was on her death bed.

That night when Elly died...I felt alone for the first time since before I entered this world. I stood on the balcony of our house that we lived in for forty years. My heart heavy from all the memories we shared. I could see the shadows of Elly's smile through all the good times and her frown through all the bad. I couldn't stand to look at the simplest of items without remembering the slightest detail of her existence.

My eyes drifted to the stars and in the corner as if it was trying to escape, I saw a shooting star pass by my gaze.

"Hey!"

I looked up to the voice above me, and a brilliant ball of light appeared before me. I smiled and waved to the shooting star.

The star giggled lightly and continued, "I never thought I'd meet someone who'd greet me so lackadaisically."

"Well, I can't say that I haven't met one of your kind before," I responded.

I heard clapping coming from the light. "Then you know how this works. Do you have a wish? Something that you wouldn't be able to obtain in your entire life, I can do anything your heart desires."

My mind flashed to Elly. I'd give anything to see her smiling face once again. There were so many things I would change.

I'd always say 'I love you' when I'd leave for work to both Elly and my children.

I'd stop betting on the Mets.

I'd share the covers of the bed more.

I'd make breakfast for her every morning and give her everything that her heart desired.

However, I knew that I had already done everything that had been wished of me, and it was now time for me to pass off that wish.

I stared at the shooting star and grinned, "Be happy."  


I opened my eyes to the vast wasteland that expanded before me. I gazed to my left then my right, and I saw nothing, but the stars still glittering with a magnificent brilliance. I had grown tired of staring at these lights that illuminated my world. They did nothing but provide me light to a world that otherwise gave me darkness. They gave light to worlds that I never visited and lives that had basked in that light without even earning the privilege. I raised my head to stare at the tree that fed upon these lights - a single lone ash tree.

This one ash tree was the only thing that lived with me in my otherwise empty world. The ash tree had large branches that reached out across the universe and to the stars. Countless branches that spanned in almost an infinite amount of directions, and I had given up on trying to count them or the worlds that the branches touched. Its trunk dived endlessly into the void, and the roots were completely exposed. The roots somehow planted this tree where there was no soil, but yet it lived, growing by the second.

The tree was the only thing I could call my friend. The tree was here when I first opened my eyes, and the tree would still be there when they closed.

However, on that one particular day, I decided that I needed to leave my friend. The tree had many branches that spanned to the far outreaches of the universe, and yet I stayed near its base for my entire existence. I had grown lonely overtime, and I yearned for something else other than the darkness. I placed my hand on the trunk of the tree and said, "I'm sorry, my friend. I may be leaving this day, but I'll return someday."

I lifted my hand, and I heard a slight ruffling above me. For the first time, I saw a branch rustling gently when the branches normally stood silent. I smiled, "Are you telling me I should go in that direction?"

The branch moved once again, and I nodded, "I'll trust you then."

I waved goodbye to my friend who had just spoken to me for the first time in my life. I knew it wasn't a farewell as I could never forget him as I knew my friend could never forget me. I followed the path the tree laid out before me. The journey was long, and I didn't know how long I had walked or how much further I had to go, but for the first time in my life, I had a direction.

I felt my soul being tugged forward as if it yearned to arrive at its new home. I became nervous at the thought of what waited for me when I arrived. The only thing I had ever known was the tree, and although I knew other worlds existed, I was always afraid to venture toward the unknown. I walked until my feet went numb and blisters began to form beneath my feet, but I wouldn't yield until I finally reached my goal.

I felt my mind go blank. I had been used to the silence, but I was no longer covered by the vast ash tree. The emptiness of this world swallowed me.

"Hey!"

A sharp and shrill voice appeared behind me to knock me back into reality. I turned my head to see a star hovering next to me. I looked in the light expecting to see a face, but I saw nothing but a warm, gentle light.

The star hovered around me some more, dashing from side to side, and to different angles. My eyes had trouble keeping up with my unknown intruder until it stopped in front of my face once again. I heard the light sigh, and it spoke, "Can you not speak? Will you just continue to stand there with your mouth agape?"

"Elijah," I muttered under my breath. I had never spoken to another being yet alone a star.  I didn't know what the proper courtesies were, and I grew nervous at the sight of my new found stranger.

"Elijah, eh?" The light moved in slightly closer as if it was staring directly at me. The stare was fleeting as the light began to swarm around me without a care, "You are one that lacks proper appeal, but you'll do just fine. Loki is the name."

I felt it odd for a star to have a name, but at the same time, I had a name, and I was the only one of my kind. I didn't know who had given me the name, but I knew it was mine. I spoke to the odd little light, "I've never seen a light move before, where could you possibly be heading?"

The little light scoffed, "Haven't you've ever heard of a shooting star before? I admit that we are of rarity, but I ensure you if you look hard enough you'll see us move about."

I began to look around trying to find another of Loki's kind only to be interrupted when he started to laugh, "If it was that easy, you'd seen us by a passing glance. Give it a little more time, keep one eye on the horizon, and you'll see my brethren." Loki inched forward as if he was dancing along the branch and sat neatly on the top. He spoke, "Where could you be heading to, I wonder?" he asked.

I had no reason to hide my destination. I pointed forward toward the end of the branch, "I'm heading in that direction. The tree told me to go there."

The light chuckled lightly, "The tree told you to go there? That’s a new one. Well, I admit that you're near the end, but I don't know what you'd expect to find."

"Life," I muttered.

The light dipped down in front of me again and jested, "Well good news, you've found a lively one right in front of you."

I didn't say anything to those words, but simply continued forward to my destination. I grew excited at the news that I was near the end of the path - if Loki was telling the truth.

I heard Loki fluttering behind me, "How cold of you to walk off like that without a proper farewell. It was just too painful to say goodbye, wasn't it? Well don't worry, my friend, I'll light your way."

I admit I enjoyed having Loki with me on my journey. The light enjoyed a good conversation, and even though most conversations were nonsensical, the sound of a voice in this silent and lifeless wasteland raised my spirits. Second the light, of course, provided an ample amount of light and a slight warmth that warmed my body. We continued forward, and only minutes afterward, Loki's words became true, and we reached the end of the branch. At the end of the branch, was a large pond that floated mysteriously in the realm. The pond was dreadfully out of place similar to the tree, yet it existed.

I stared down into the pond, and I saw a sight I hadn't seen my entire life. I saw the sight of a blue sky and green grass. The grass was blowing slightly along with the breeze as if the blades were dancing. I saw cars driving along the street and numerous people crossing without any hesitation. The people didn't even know of my existence, but I knew of theirs. I wanted to join them in their world. I wanted to interact with them. However, my heart grew hesitant at the sight of the unknown, and I sat next to the pond wondering what I should do. I looked back, and I could still see the great ash tree in its entire splendor that stretched out amongst the entire universe and my friend Loki who had landed silently on my shoulder.

Loki whispered into my ear, "Will you look at that, an entire world filled with people." Loki's light grew brighter, and he continued, "A world filled with dreams and aspirations, some greedy, some needy, and some fleeting."

Loki paused for a second, "So now that you're here, what do you plan to do?"

I felt my legs quake at the thought of moving the last step forward and felt them inching backward to a place that I knew was safe. That's when I heard a small voice erupt from the pond. The words were muffled, but I knew I heard them. I saw a small ripple in the water of the pond, and I looked to the pond once again. That was when I saw her, a girl running along the grass with a smile that shined brighter than any star.

She looked as if she was staring through the pond directly toward me, inviting me to join her. The girl had long dark brown hair that rivaled the great ash tree and deep blue eyes that could drown me in them. I heard someone yell at her across the street, "Elly! Come on; you're late."

I saw someone that seemed like a friend call her across the street. My heart skipped a beat as they called her name once again, "Elly! Hurry!"

I smiled as her name repeated in my head.

Elly.

Her name was Elly.

She started to walk across the street away from me, and I reached my arm out instinctively. As my hand touched the water, I felt it’s cool, icy touch. My heart had sunk. I didn't know what I expected when I arrived at the end of the branch. I had hoped I could join the world and live amongst its people.

I wanted to do anything to fill this void I felt in my heart.

"Is that your wish then?" I heard Loki whisper behind me, "Consider it granted then my friend."

I felt a sharp tug from the water. I tried to pull my arm back, but I couldn't, and without any proper resistance, the water pulled me in. I had heard Loki say something to me as I was dragged into the depths, but I couldn't make sense of the words. I just saw him hovering over me and staring at me as I sunk deeper into the abyss. I readied myself for the cold water to envelop my body, to steal my warmth, but instead I felt a slight tickle along my skin.

I traced my fingers along my skin as it continued and I opened my eyes. I squinted as the bright light of the sun hit my face and I looked around into the new world that I entered. The touch that I had felt was the fleeting tickle of the wind. I peered toward my feet to see the grass waving at me as I stood on top of the ground for the first time. My heart was racing, and I felt like screaming. Screaming a wave of happiness into this world that I just entered; I started to look in every direction with untold excitement and I tried to absorb everything around me.

I watched and listened to the humming of cars passing by, and the yammering of countless people who were walking by that didn't pay me any heed. I stretched out my arms trying to embrace my new surroundings, but only her face flashed in my mind.

Elly's face.

I turned and looked around in every direction to try to find the woman that had captivated me. I didn't know why I felt the need to talk with her or be with her, but I knew that at that moment, I felt empty without her.

That's when I saw her again as she crossed the street, and my feet instinctively walked forward.

I wanted to introduce myself to her.

I wanted to talk to her.

Heck, I simply wanted her to know of my existence.

She was only a few steps in front of me when I heard a blazing loud horn come from my right. A car had dodged a child who was chasing after a ball, lost control, and was now spiraling toward Elly's direction. I sprinted forward without hesitation and jumped forward. I wrapped my arms around Elly and twisted us so I would land on the concrete. I clenched my teeth expecting the land hard, but as we fell, I felt another strong pull as we landed without noise.

I stared around to see that I was once again in the darkness with countless of stars around me, but this time, something was different. This time, I was here with Elly cradled in my arms.

I felt her rustle for a second in my grasp, and after a few seconds, she looked up at me. She took a moment, smiled, and said, "Hey there. Thanks for –"

Her words cut off when she caught a glimpse of her surroundings. She displayed a wide array of emotion that I could read after every passing moment. The first emotion was the look of bewilderment of standing in space. She gazed at the ocean of stars and worlds that surrounded her.

The second emotion was fear, fear of the unknown horizon that she was forced into. And strangely her last emotion was when she looked at me.

She had a look of worry on her face and pointed to my arm, "Oh my gosh! Are you okay?"

I turned to my elbow, which was bleeding quite a bit, most likely from the fall. I considered it strange that I was bleeding as I fell into nothingness, yet I still managed to scrap my elbow. I muttered a few words, "Yes, I seem to be okay."

I twisted my arm slightly to survey the wound, and it didn't seem serious. After I had come to that conclusion, I found it odd as I didn't remember ever seeing myself bleed before, and yet I knew it was my blood. It was a dark red color that I'd never seen before. It painted this universe to a new tint that wasn't previously present.

I heard an aggressive ripping sound and I watched Elly, without hesitation, as she ripped off the sleeve of her shirt and wrapped it around my arm. She smiled and said, "I can't have my savior bleeding out on me, can I?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but I was quickly interrupted.

"Man, will you look in this. Do you think we died or something? I mean we aren't in Kansas anymore." Elly began looking at her surroundings trying to get the lay of the land. She twirled around in circles trying to notice a recognizable landmark, but of course, she couldn't.

I shook my head, "No, we didn't die. This is the World Tree, Yggdrasil."

I pointed off into the distance of the great ash tree.

Elly cocked her head to the side. "Yggdrasil? What's that?" She asked.

I answered, "It's the tree that connects all the worlds together, the tree that breathes life to all worlds."

I looked at Elly's face, and she seemed confused. She looked like she was thinking hard about her current situation, but eventually she shrugged and turned to me.

"Well, I'm not dead, and that's the most important thing. I'm Elly, by the way, and you are..."

Elly stuck her hand out and waited for my reply.

I reached out my hand curiously; she quickly grabbed it and began to shake it. I responded, "I'm Elijah."

She smiled, "Eli, huh?"

"No, Eli-"

She interrupted me, "Well Eli; I know it might be me assuming things, but since you know where we are, do you know how to get back?"

Elly looked at me expecting an answer, and without saying a word, I pointed to the pond behind her. Elly gazed in the pond and saw that her friends on the other side who were currently scrambling to find their lost friend. A look of guilt washed over her face, and she spoke, "Hey, can we get back? I don't want my friends to worry about me."

I shook my head, "No, I don't know."

It was the truth. I didn't know how I entered into her world, but I knew it wasn't by my power. However, I saw the weight of my words begin to eat at Elly, the fact that she might not be able to see her friends again and that she would be stuck in this place - this place without the warmth of her sun or the comfort of her home.

That was when I thought of his name again, and it escaped my lips without my will, "Loki."

The small ball of light known as Loki appeared right in the middle of Elena and myself, as if I summoned him into existence. His light had dimmed since I last saw him. I could manage to see a small body within his light, and a saw the slight twitch of his mouth, "Why, my dear Elijah! Are you back already? I didn't expect to see you again."

Loki turned to see Elly and she inched closer to the ball of light. She held up her hand and began to move her index finger to the foreign object. I saw Loki's hand smack the finger away from him violently, and he yelled, "Hey sister, hands off the merchandise."

Elly looked in shock but muttered, "I'm sorry."

Loki fluttered around the two of us. "Hmm, I guess I can forgive you, but you got to know your boundaries. Didn't your parents teach you anything?"

Loki turned his attention back to me.  "Now, my friend, you called?"

I nodded. "Loki, can we return to Elly's home?"

Loki had fluttered over the pond. That's when I noticed that the reflection of Elly's world had disappeared. The way to her world was no more.

Loki turned to me once more and spoke, "Is that what you wish for Elly?"

I looked at Loki for a moment in shock. "You're able to return us then?"

I saw the shade of a man nod within the light, "If that's what you wish for, my friend."

I saw Elly step closer to me, and she grabbed my arm. This woman that I simply wanted to stand next to was shivering. She was afraid and wanted to go back home. Return home to a place that I stole her from.

I responded to Loki's question, "Yes, that's what I wish for Loki."

I heard the man chuckle and then without warning his light grew tenfold. I shut my eyes to protect them, and I felt Elly grab me tighter. The light lasted for only a handful of seconds, and it was eventually replaced by the darkness of this world once again.

I opened my eyes. I saw Elly open hers and her gaze solely fixated on me. She stared at me as if she never truly looked at me before and smiled.

She spoke, "Well that was crazy, wasn't it?"

I opened my mouth to answer, but that's when I saw a small dim light erupting from the light behind me. The light was coming from the pond behind us; the light was from the sun in Elly's world. The portal to her world had opened once again.

I pointed to the direction behind Elly, and she smiled. She rushed over to the lake and shouted, "Look, we can go back home now, Eli!"

I nodded.

She asked, "So, how do we go back exactly?"

"I think you just need to jump in."

Elly looked at me with disbelief, and I responded once again, "Don't worry, I wouldn't lie to you."

Those few simple words were enough to convince Elly. She took one small step into the water, and I heard her scream as the water grabbed onto her and forced her home.

I walked over to the water to join her so I could be with her once again when I heard a slight whisper behind me, "I hope your wish will bring you happiness, my friend."

It was Loki's voice, and I turned around to thank my friend. Thank him for everything that he'd done for me. I had only known him for a short time, but Loki had brought more light to my life than all these other stars combined.  He was my first true friend.

That was when I truly saw Loki for the first time. The small man within the light had long blonde hair that was swaying slightly to cover most of his face. Loki had emerald wings that were fluttering brilliantly and gave off sparkles of gallant light.

The light was growing dimmer by the moment.

I called to him, "Loki, are you okay?"

Loki nodded, "How can I not be okay? I've granted a wish to my friend. I wish that he had yearned for with all his being. How could a friend not be okay with that?"

I waved my head, "No, that isn't-"

Loki interrupted me, "I told you didn't, I? I'm a shooting star. Once a wish has been made, I've served my purpose...I've served my existence."

I reached out to Loki. I felt my heart twist. This was not what I wanted. I would never wish for my happiness over his life.

Loki's light ceased and body began to fade, "Eli, someone would have wished for something eventually. But, I have granted a wish to my first and only friend. But if I may be so bold, can I wish something of you, my friend?"

I nodded without a second thought. I couldn't deny my friend his last wish. I'd grant it with all of my power.

Loki grinned, "Be happy."

After those last two words, Loki disappeared. I felt my heart break, and I screamed. I lost the strength in my legs, and I fell to my knees. I had never felt this emotion before, but I felt as if my soul was torn and thrown into the wind.

My first and only friend was now gone.

I felt powerless, and a pair of arms wrapped around me. They clenched me tightly, and I began to feel warmth. I opened my eyes to see Elly clenching onto me. The sun peered directly above us and once again in her world. I saw her crying with me.

I asked, "Why...why are you crying?"

She answered, "Because you're crying."

I wrapped my arms around her, dug my fingers into her back, and I began to weep again. We stayed like that for what seemed like hours. Elly stayed with me the entire time. She held me close and comforted me without question.

That wouldn't be the first time Elly comforted me. I was thrown into a world that I had no knowledge of. The world had so many faces and different personalities that it was hard to fit in. Everything was strange to me, but I was never alone.

Elly never left my side from that day onward. It was strange how people who hardly knew each other could feel so connected.

Elly was there to giggle at me as I tried to learn how to use a cell phone for the first time.

She was supportive when I didn't know another single soul.

Elly stood by me as I got my first job.

She made my soul ecstatic when she agreed to marry me.

She was stronger than me when she gave birth to our first child.

She grew old with me as we lived our lives.

And she comforted me once again when she was on her death bed.

That night when Elly died...I felt alone for the first time since before I entered this world. I stood on the balcony of our house that we lived in for forty years. My heart heavy from all the memories we shared. I could see the shadows of Elly's smile through all the good times and her frown through all the bad. I couldn't stand to look at the simplest of items without remembering the slightest detail of her existence.

My eyes drifted to the stars and in the corner as if it was trying to escape, I saw a shooting star pass by my gaze.

"Hey!"

I looked up to the voice above me, and a brilliant ball of light appeared before me. I smiled and waved to the shooting star.

The star giggled lightly and continued, "I never thought I'd meet someone who'd greet me so lackadaisically."

"Well, I can't say that I haven't met one of your kind before," I responded.

I heard clapping coming from the light. "Then you know how this works. Do you have a wish? Something that you wouldn't be able to obtain in your entire life, I can do anything your heart desires."

My mind flashed to Elly. I'd give anything to see her smiling face once again. There were so many things I would change.

I'd always say 'I love you' when I'd leave for work to both Elly and my children.

I'd stop betting on the Mets.

I'd share the covers of the bed more.

I'd make breakfast for her every morning and give her everything that her heart desired.

However, I knew that I had already done everything that had been wished of me, and it was now time for me to pass off that wish.

I stared at the shooting star and grinned, "Be happy."  

 


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