The Tub

It was only a matter of time before they found me. I had killed two of them in the last 24 hours. It was only fair. They killed my husband and son. I honestly didn’t know I had it in me until it happened. Now they were all going to pay. There were six of them. Well, I suppose there were only four now. But that was four too many as far as I was concerned. They could have just let us be. They could have just let us live our lives. We only wanted what they wanted, to be left alone.

But because of what we had, what we had found, we couldn’t both have what we wanted. I honestly wish we had never gone out to the park that day. It was perfectly sunny day. There was no reason for us not to go out. It had become somewhat of a tradition. Every Sunday. Pick a new park. Go to it. Every since Evan was old enough to walk. It was really the only way to tire him out. As parents we relished being able to get him to nap. It gave us our much needed alone time. Why should that day have been any different?

Leave it to a child to pick up everything they find. Nobody should have found this thing. Yet there it was, moments from his tiny little lips. Why do they have to try to eat everything? Mark moved magically, plucking it from Evan’s fat fragile fingers. He never did get a chance to lose that baby weight. They were going to pay for that. Evan cried when it was taken and it seemed like he wouldn’t stop. Like it was the end of the world. How prophetic in a way. I remember the words so clearly from Mark. “Oh Evan, I wish you would stop crying.”

Just like that he had stopped. We should have realized something was wrong with everything right then and there. But we just didn’t get it until it was too late. The next day we won the lottery, after I said “I wish we had the winning ticket. Turns out the ticket I bought was the winner. Just a coincidence right. If only I hadn’t been fiddling with that damn trinket when I spoke the words. Why did Mark even keep that thing? Why did he put it on the counter after he took it out of his pocket. So careless, but how could he have known. It would have been better placed in the trash though.

After that things got weird. It took us a few more wishes to figure it out. I was at the library and they didn’t have the book I was looking for. I could have just bought the book and waited a few days. We were rich after all. Instead I just whispered to myself as I continued to play with it. Why did I still have it? I wish you had an extra copy in the back. Such a mindless thing to say. Oh, ma’am I just remembered. She inexplicably went to the back room and came out with the book.

Why did I even think to test it? Such a silly thought. Nothing has the power to grant wishes, does it? Mark, Mark honey. You have to see this. See what dear? This thing. It grants wishes. Don’t be ridiculous dear. Just listen to me. You have to listen to me. Okay, I’ll humor you. Just, hold it, and wish for something. I could use a beer. No, no, you have to hold it and say, I wish… Okay. He took the bauble. I wish I had a beer. He was looking at my eyes when he said it. He tilted his head and looked at the table past me. Sure enough, there was a beer sitting right there. We hadn’t bought any lately, we ran out a couple of weeks ago. But there it was, sitting on the table, ice cold and open. I wish I had a recliner and big screen TV with a football game on. In the other room we heard the sound of a TV come on. We didn’t even own a TV. But sure enough there in the living room was a recliner and a big screen TV, with a football game on.

We tested it further. You couldn’t hurt people we found out. You couldn’t undo wishes either. We tried a lot of things. You couldn’t make people do stuff if they didn’t want to. We thought it was a blessing at first. Until the men came. There were six of them. I said that before, didn’t I? At first they were nice, asking if we had found anything suspicious. They claimed to be with some government agency. We trusted them, but we didn’t want to give up what we thought was ours. Surely they would take it if they knew. On the other hand, what else did we need? We could buy anything we wanted, we were rich. We should have just given it to them. But something made us keep it. It was ours, right? What if it fell into the wrong hands. Then they followed Mark and Evan a few nights later, while running to the convenience store. Witnesses said it was a hit and run. But I know it was them. While burying them, I noticed a car matching the description of the hit and run vehicle. It just sat silently across the street while they were being put in the ground.

They were watching me now. They were sending me a message. I bought a gun right after the burial. That night they showed up at my mother’s house. I answered the door and unloaded the gun. Two of them dropped. The other four scattered. I ran out back in the confusion. I wish I had a car to get away in. There in my parent’s driveway was just what I needed. I pocketed the ornament once again and drove off. I drove almost all day. Mostly in circles. Now I was back at my house.

I knew they would come here looking for me. Now there was a knocking on the door. Not so much a knocking, as a pounding. They were going to break it down. I reloaded the gun. I had no where to escape. I could hear them at the back door too. I wish they thought I was dead. Then the tub appeared. I didn’t understand at first. As I could hear the cracking of the door frame it came to me. I took a deep breath and laid in the tub. Fully clothed. I dared not move. They stood around me for what seemed like several minutes. Their muted voices barely penetrating the water around me. How could I hold my breath for so long? Eventually they decided to go through my clothing for the charm. As they turned my body over I pushed the gun into the face of the man with his hand on me. It turns out that guns work even after being submerged in water, at least this one did. The other three tried to back up and take out their own weapons. I didn’t give them the time to do that.

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