A Logical Progression of Imperatives

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wished, more than anything, that she could shake Marie Curie’s hand.

She wanted many things. She wanted to rule the Ottoman Empire. She wanted an ice cream cake three thousand miles tall. She wanted a doe-eyed white dwarf star to attend to her every whim. She even wanted respite for all the hurt souls in the world. But mostly, she wanted to shake Marie Curie’s hand.

She wished on a star.
She wished on a pony.
She wished on the train.
She even wished in the shower.

But it didn’t happen.
It didn’t happen.

Not for a long, long time.

One day, the girl goes to her mailbox. She opens her mailbox and finds a letter. Inside the letter is Marie Curie’s hand. It’s miraculously preserved—probably, by radiation!

“Wow,” she says. She shakes Marie Curie’s hand. “This is like a dream come true!”

Then she begins to scream. She shakes off the hand. She runs into the house. She slams the screen door behind her. She runs to the phone. She calls the police.

“I just got a severed hand in the mail!” she babbles.

Then she screams.

“It’s followed me in!”

There’s a pause. The policeman on the other end tries to reassure her.

“It’s trying to use the Yellow Pages!” she cries.

The police mobilize their anti-hand unit. It’s full of special gloves and mitts and harsh detergents. Pretty soon the hand is just plain soaking in trouble. Her bittersweet fantasy has come to an end.

Autumn turns to winter. Winter turns to spring.

“I wish I ruled the Ottoman Empire,” remembers the girl.

9 thoughts on “A Logical Progression of Imperatives

  1. i wish
    more than anything
    more than the world

    i wish to go to the festival!

    also, i’d like a pony and a castle in spain.

  2. I’ve got a friend who always wishes for a million dollers and a cheeseburger. No matter how many times I point out she should instead wish for two millions dollers and spend a million on cheeseburgers, she persists with her original wish. Does this have occult signifigance or is it just a sign of her attention deficit disorder?

  3. No matter how many times I point out she should instead wish for two millions dollers and spend a million on cheeseburgers, she persists with her original wish. Does this have occult signifigance or is it just a sign of her attention deficit disorder?

    No, it’s a sign of her quirky individuality, Mr. Rational!

  4. A doe-eyed white dwarf star to attend to her every whim.

    Now that conjures up some bizarre images. In order to interact with her without smooshing her it would have to be an exceptionally small white dwarf star. There are many whims that would be quite difficult for a star to fulfill, like wanting a cheeseburger (intact, please, not ashes). You would need very special glasses to look over the prospective star-servants and find the doe-eyed ones. Still, how many people can say they have a star at their beck and call? She would almost certainly be the first on her block to have one.

  5. Had they waited and traced its call they might have found the rest of Marie Curie. And perhaps found the answer to why she was discovered drifting with all hands missing.

    (Second layer there product of astonishing serendipity rather than Tim-powers. *shakes head*)

    I wonder whether this piece is Rebecca being wistful about something.

  6. A doe-eyed white dwarf star to attend to her every whim.

    Now that conjures up some bizarre images.

    Not if you’ve read _Dogsbody_ — where a star could be a spirit, or even a dog descended from one of the hounds of the wild hunt…

  7. A doe-eyed white dwarf star to attend to her every whim.

    Now that conjures up some bizarre images.

    Not if you’ve read _Dogsbody_ — where a star could be a spirit, or even a dog descended from one of the hounds of the wild hunt…

  8. Don’t rest on your laurels.

    four and a half stars!
    (I know my ratings may seem arbitrary but that’s just how I am)

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