Laughing BuddhaShe reached out and touched its belly, lightly at first.  It was cold and hard but as she circled her finger it grew warm and smooth under her touch.  She closed her eyes and prepared to make her wish, then opened them… suddenly afraid.  What if her wish came true?  Hadn’t her mother always warned her to be careful what she wished for?  Yes.  Pausing to give it careful consideration, a shiver of relief washed over her and she was grateful to have caught herself before releasing such thoughtless energy out into the universe.  There were dangerous possibilities associated with wishing something into being.  Of course she wanted the money…needed it in fact.  But at what cost?  She knew her parents had been careful planners and guessed they would have purchased a sizeable life insurance policy.  But nothing was worth losing them.   “Oh thank goodness!” she thought.  She had stopped herself just in time.  Suddenly overwhelmed with possibilities, Claire simply blurted, “I wish for a lot of money but that no one I care about gets hurt for me to have it.”  There.  It was done.  Whatever the consequences, her wish had been relinquished, set free to work its magic.  Now all she could do was wait.  Wait and hope.

The next morning Claire awoke to the smell of breakfast wafting up from the kitchen.  Pancakes.  Blueberry pancakes.   She knew not because she could smell the blueberries, but because that’s the kind her Dad always made.  Always.  Blueberry pancakes with blueberry compote.  His favorite, and now hers too.  She smiled at the thought of them, warm and topped with melting butter.  What a pleasant way to wake up, she thought.  No alarm, no school today.  She smiled and rolled over, still feeling cozy under her down comforter, Pepper curled up at her feet.  She looked over at her dresser where the fat little man sat, smiling at her as his big belly peeked out from his robes.  She wondered how long it would take; how it would happen.  Would the money come all at once, or in little bits from here and there?  Deciding it was best not to question magic she climbed out of bed, pulled on her favorite jeans and comfiest t-shirt and headed downstairs to breakfast.

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“No, but I will right after pancakes.”

“Ok, but don’t forget this time.  Blueberry scented morning breath is no less smelly than the regular kind,” her Dad joked, wrinkling his nose and planting a quick kiss on top of her head.  He smiled, slid fresh pancakes onto her plate and turned his attention back to the stove.

“Dad, what time does the mail come on Saturdays?”

“Usually around 11:00, I think.  Why?  Expecting something?”

“Mmhmm.  Well maybe.”

Who knew how it would come.  By post was as good a guess as any.  Claire allowed her mind to wander, exploring the possibilities as she finished off her breakfast.  Placing her plate in the sink, she thanked her father for the pancakes and started for the door.

“Where you headed, kiddo?”

© Kelly Rainey and http://www.500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2015.  

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