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Something beautifully strange happened to me last night. I fell from a dream as one would fall from a tree and landed on my kitchen floor hungry for Ithaca as Odysseus was when he landed on Calypso's sea. The dancing kettles and pots didn't know what hit them at first; and the singing stove froze on a high note. Last checked he is still holding his breath. Now, for hundreds of years it has been a well kept secret that kitchen appliances sing and dance when nobody is watching. This makes the unbearable task of remembering their human life as bread sticks holders and kitchen knives a joyful pun for living.

As I stood up from my fall, under the dim light of the kitchen; I noticed something unexpected. I noticed that I was strangely awake & I realized that all the other times that I had been awake, I hadn't really been awake. I was simply dressed in a more wide eyed pose of sleeping. I noticed something else too. I noticed I was really famished. Famished for something that doesn't have a name...but I knew for certainty…that it was something… something that resembled a cookie.

As my hand reached for the jar of cookies, however; it found something else instead… it found a wish jar. Oh me! Oh my! I swear it on a sleeping tortoise that there's nothing better in the world than a wish disguised as a cookie inside of a wish jar. How can I describe what it tastes like? A wish disguised as a cookie tastes like the deepest, darkest, secret desire of your heart. There are some wishes that once swallowed make the wishers imagine they have sprouted wings; and there are those that make you croak like a fish out of water. There are wishes that remind you that you were once a mermaid, and make you stare at your feet like strange creatures. Wishes to some are not tastes, but sensations- like waves crashing on your body as you lie supine on the sand attempting to fall asleep next to the ocean. Sometimes they are crazy, dizzying notes, drumming in your ears, or your smile tickling a painting elephant.

How does a wish jar work, you might ask? Once you bite into a wish disguised as a cookie, in your mind you are presented a choice to confirm your wish. The trick is that you have to believe that the wish will come true with every inch of your being, or else it might not come true. Now, you always have a choice of wishing another wish, and resisting the one that hums in your heart. Why would somebody do this, you would think? Believe it or not, but someone always finds a reason to bury a wish deep, and slow dance through life with a forgotten wish buried inside their jacket pocket, and two knowing eyes too wide awake for tears. Just like big Alice peeping through a little door with no Eat Me crumbs in her hands.

There are also occasions when some folks are lucky enough to encounter two or three wish cookies in a course of their lifetime; while some are not so lucky, and never even find a single one, not even a little -itsy-bitsy- crumb of a wish.

Now, nobody knows where wishes come from, or how many gets granted each year; but one thing’s for sure, everyone one loves getting a wish cookie. I don’t know if I’ve told you this before; but our Family Band has a tradition when it comes to wishes!

I’m not supposed to tell you this; since most people’s wishes are a secret. But the great thing about being in the Family Band, is that most secrets are not kept a secret! Hahaha! There’s nothing more special than another Family Band member sharing their secret with you; because there’s not a better feeling in the world than carrying a well guarded secret in your other pocket. It makes you feel real strong and trustworthy to be holding somebody else’s secret like that. Secrets go especially well with a Family Band vest. It makes you look real dandy. Which reminds me, that I still have to design some more top hats for our road trip tomorrow. Dee tells me that we’ll be welcoming more, new Family Band members in our bunch, and nothing says “WELCOME”, better than a matching magenta top hat and vest. I just need to put more sequins on some of the top hats, and maybe a turkey feather on some others, because I know RichieMilennium absolutely refuses to sing a song if he doesn’t have a lucky turkey feather glued to the side rim of his top hat to keep the notes upright. I wonder which songs we’ll be singing tomorrow. Which reminds me, I still need to practice a few bars of spaghetti slurping before I go to bed.

So going back to our Family Band Wish tradition. It’s become common practice for a first time Family Band cookie wisher to pass on their wish to others, by wishing for more wishes for the other Family Band members. You can only make a wish once for yourself- passing on a wish to others is considered a wish. Joe did this last year. I think he wished for more than one hundred more wishes; which is crazy, because most Family Band members don’t wish for more than eight or nine more extra wishes, since the more the wish, the less they become powerful. However, on our last Family Band meeting by our Thank You Tree, it was announced by Team Conely that all of those wishes came true. I don’t know how Joe did it, but I sure hope that he becomes a second round cookie wisher this year, since for the second round of wishers; ( these are the ones that have received a wish from the other Family Band members ) it’s tradition too to have them wish a wish for themselves; because every wish that hums deserves to be answered. And there’s nothing that makes a Family Band member more happy than seeing another Family Band member’s wish come true.

The wish jars travel to our family band’s kitchen by surprise. They are always disguised as a cookie jar. Not every cookie jar contains a wish cookie; although sometimes two or there can be found in just one cookie jar. One time an exceptionally powerful wish jar descended upon a kitchen counter disguised as a jar of gingersnaps, ready to grant the most powerful of wishes. This was a very rare kind of wish jar because all of the gingersnaps contained wishes. He waited for days and day…weeks...months. But not a single man, woman, or child, ever came near him; although, he took up residence in the kitchen of a relatively big Italian family. The wish jar hurt and perplexed just decided to vanish one night, and he was never heard from again.

So it’s always fun to guess which Family Band member got to bite on a wish cookie. The funny thing is that it’s easy to tell which Family Band members have been granted a wish. When you shake hands with them they turn blue or when you hug them they break into this uncontrollable, crazy, double time, booty shake; Now, you must know that this is the rarest kind, and most magnificent form of greeting. Ever.

The thing about wish jars you have to understand is that they travel fast; as soon as you make your wish, they disappear, and you are left with nothing but a regular jar of cookies. But if you ask me there’s nothing wrong with just regular cookies. I like to eat twenty to thirty at a time with a mug of warm milk.

So I guess there’s nothing more for me to do now than to reveal my wish. On second thought, I think I’ll save this story for Our Family Band Road trip. I can say this much, though. I’ve decided that this year the magic number is 10! Yes, I think ten is a powerful number. *Biggest grin ever.*

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the third installation of my insane family band short stories. I love writing these more than anything else in the world. I went a little bonkers on this one. Not sure if everything ties up, especially the mechanics of how a wish works. I have to admit that part is a bit sketchy. This is kinda first draftish…so if someone wants to take a crack at revising this, it would be so awesome. I was just so inspired by Buttercup’s precious wish jar that I had to write about it so I can archive it in my heart’s library. This is dedicated to all mah crazy, uncontrollable, booty shaking, fellow, family band members! Cheers to wishes! Cheers to booty shaking! Our Family Band Lives!

P.S. Not sure if razzling-dazzling is a legit word. I know razzle-dazzle is. But I like the way this sounds. Yihawwww!

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