The Third Wish

by: Garvug | Complete Story | Last updated Jul 13, 2024

Chapter 9

Tom was sat on the floor next to Levi, they were watching an episode of Ben 10 on the television. But Tom wasn't paying much attention to the TV, he was thinking about nightfall. He remembered that when Evelyn had used her second wish to turn him into a toddler, she had explained to him that the genie could only grant wishes in the evening. Evelyn was going to turn him back into an adult, she had assured him of that, but he would have to wait until after sunset.

Evelyn and Camila were busy ordering a takeaway using Tom's credit card, but this didn't bother him, at least not at first. Then after the order had been placed Camila asked "who's credit card is it anyway?".

"Oh it's my big brother's, he said it was okay for me to use it," Evelyn answered.

He hadn't said that, but again this didn't bother him, if she turned him back into an adult then all would be forgiven.

"Wait, you have a big brother?" Camila quizzed.

"Uh yeah, he's called Tom," Evelyn replied

Tom looked over his shoulder and saw the look of confusion on Camila's face.

"Evelyn, are you feeling okay?" Camila inquired.

"Uh...yeah," murmured Evelyn.

"Tom...Tom is your little brother, he's...he's sitting next to Levi," Camila stammered.

Tom could recall Evelyn telling Camila that he was her cousin, so he wondered why Camila now believed that he was Evelyn's little brother. Then it dawned on him that his own memory had been tampered with, he could recall attending Levi's sixth birthday party when he himself was still a baby, but that was impossible. Why hadn't he realized it until now?

"Oh...I mean...yeah," Evelyn replied, "I'm really hungry, I'm feeling a bit lightheaded," she added.

He felt the sudden urge to tell Evelyn to use her third wish immediately, then he remembered that it wouldn’t work, she could only use it in the evening. Then the final piece of the puzzle seemed to fall into place, he could see it clearly. The genie was manipulating all of them, it was rewriting history. So how could he be sure that she could only make her next wish at night-time?

Tom rose to his feet, but before he could say anything he felt a sharp jolt inside of his head, like a guitar string snapping in half. It wasn't painful as such, but the sensation still made him wince.

"Are you okay Tom?" Camila queried.

He wasn't sure, he knew that he wanted to ask Evelyn something, but he couldn't remember what he had intended to say.

"I'm...yeah," he mumbled.

"When is McDonald's here?" Levi interjected.

"In about ten minutes," Evelyn replied.

Tom attempted to resist the urge to run away, his instincts were telling him to flee, but where would he go? Would he return to his crappy apartment, the one that he had been so desperate to get away from? The thought of going back there, where he had lived on his own, filled him with sadness.

Leaving home had not been easy for him and with the benefit of hindsight, it had been a mistake. He remembered eating dinner alone, with only the sound of the television to keep him company, how he had missed sharing meals with his family. The stuff he warmed up in the microwave tasted like garbage compared to his mom's cooking.

He had been working forty hours a week at Krispy Kreme just for the privilege of renting a one bedroom apartment that he didn't even like, in retrospect it was madness. He decided that once Evelyn turned him back into an adult he was going to ask his mom if he could move back into the family home. Then it occurred to him that it would only be a temporary solution, a mere band-aid, he couldn't live at home forever.

He mused that if Evelyn didn't turn him back into an adult then he would have to live at home, perhaps for another eighteen years. There was consolation in knowing that even if he was condemned to a second childhood then at least he would be living in the family home again.

He realized that he wouldn't have to go to work anymore, he wouldn't even have to attend elementary school for another few years. He wondered whether he might have more fun being a child than he would do being an adult, had Evelyn done him a favor?

Tom sat down on the floor again and resumed watching TV. Around ten minutes later a loud knock at the door signaled the arrival of the delivery driver, Evelyn answered it and then returned carrying the food.

"We should probably eat at the table so the kids don't make a mess," Camila suggested.

"Yeah, Tom wiped ketchup on the couch last week and it took mom ages to scrub it out," Evelyn chuckled.

Tom wanted to protest that this was a lie, but he could remember the same thing happening. He could recall shoving French fries into his mouth, then touching the couch with his fingers and smearing ketchup across the fabric. Then his mom, who was much taller than him, had cleaned the couch with a dish cloth.

He instinctively felt that it wasn't true, but concluded that it had to be, because they both shared the same memory. This made him question his belief that he had been transformed into a toddler only hours prior, because he now had a whole host of memories proving otherwise. So he wondered whether he might have in fact been a toddler for days, or perhaps even weeks.

"Come on Tom, it's time to eat," Evelyn said, beckoning him to follow her.

As Evelyn led Tom towards the kitchen, Levi sprinted past them both and almost crashed into the dining table, he didn't need any encouragement. He clambered onto a chair and began to fidget in anticipation.

Evelyn placed the McDonald's takeaway on the table, then something in the corner of the room caught her eye, "where did that come from?" she asked.

He followed her gaze to the corner of the room, but the dining table was blocking his line of sight. So he walked to the end of the table and peered around it, then saw a white plastic highchair.

"Where did what come from?" Camila replied.

"Uh never mind," Evelyn mumbled.

Tom couldn't remember seeing a high chair in the kitchen when he had been in there earlier, Evelyn seemed surprised by it's presence as well. So where had it come from?

Then he recalled Levi's sixth birthday party and that he had been sat in a high chair as he watched Levi blow out his candles. So perhaps the high chair had been there all along and he just hadn't noticed it.

Evelyn pulled the high chair out of the corner, before pushing it up to the dining table, "Tom, come here," she instructed.

"No," he protested.

He wanted to eat with them, but he didn't want to sit in a high chair like a baby. He was an adult, he was...

How old am I? He thought.

He tried to remember his age, he knew that he wasn't a child, but the actual number of years eluded him. He remembered Evelyn telling Camila that he was two, but he knew that was a lie, he was older than Evelyn.

"Come sit in your high chair," urged Evelyn.

He shook his head and took a step backwards. Then it occurred to him that he couldn't remember how old Evelyn was either. He knew that Levi was six and that Evelyn was older than Levi, so he tried to think of a number that was higher than six.

Seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven...

When he tried to think of the next number in the sequence he drew a blank. Was it fourteen?

"Doesn't he like sitting in it?" Camila queried, then bit into a cheeseburger.

"He likes to play when he eats, that's how he got ketchup on the couch," Evelyn replied.

It was true, he could recall that he had been playing with a toy racecar whilst he was eating the French fries, then he had wiped ketchup on the couch.

"Be a good boy and sit in your high chair," Evelyn cajoled.

He didn't want to get ketchup on the couch again and he did want to be good. He wanted to move back into the family home after all and he thought that if he kept making a mess then his mom wouldn't want him living there. He realized that sitting in the high chair might actually increase his chances of being able to move back in.

Tom traipsed towards Evelyn, who scooped him up into her arms before lowering him into the high chair. Then she picked up the plastic tray and secured it to the front of the high chair. Although his legs dangled above the floor, he actually felt taller than he had done before, because he was now looking down at Levi.

Evelyn placed a Happy Meal on the high chair tray, then removed the French fries and Chicken McNuggets from the box. Tom picked up one of the McNuggets and took a bite out of it, then savored the taste.

He recalled that he had asked Evelyn if he could have a McDonalds and she had promised him that he could. She had kept her promise, he thought that made her a good sister. She had also promised him that she would turn him back into a grown up and he thought that she would keep that promise too.



End Chapter 9

The Third Wish

by: Garvug | Complete Story | Last updated Jul 13, 2024


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vended · Jul 9, 2024

That's such a sly mental regression. Very neat ! ^^

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