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.