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I Stepped on a Lantern

Story ID:3095
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Writers Conference:$500 2007 Family Memories Writing Project
Location:Fort Lee New Jersey USA
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We walked along the shores lining the coast of Nova Scotia.
A wave crashed against the rocks, splashing us. We jumped back,
wiping our faces. "That was a big one!" I laughed.

The water retreated, leaving a bottle behind. Jimmy picked
it up. He looked at me. "Mike, what if we found a magic lantern?
If we rubbed it and a genie popped out, what would you wish for?"

"I'd wish for a TonkaŠ truck. I want one of those big yellow
ones to carry dirt around. We could build pretend cities and roads."
I said. "And a new bike - one with gears. I also want all the candy
I can eat."

"Cool!" Jimmy said. "I want to be a grownup with a car, a
house and a boat."

Years later, in my teens, a friend asked, "Mike, if you had
three wishes, what would you want?"

"I want a flashy car, pretty women, and a high paying job."

In my twenties, I wanted money, a house, and a chance to see
the world.

I married and had children. I wished for the bills to be paid,
a company of my own, and for my kids to succeed.

I missed the mark! My jobs changed every few years. We moved
many times, never being able to really settle in one place. My wife
took a trip to heaven. I was alone with two teenagers, far from our
original home.

One morning, I woke up, turned to my side and there was Ginny.
In my dreams, I must have stepped on a lantern. A genie offered me
a wish. It came true. There she was- my new wife. She slept beside me.
Cars, money, and homes: who needs them?


The "Beatles" said it best in their song, "All You Need Is Love."

Love is all I need.

My wishes changed as I matured. I wished for many things.
They could only be obtained with money. One thing I didn't wish
for was love - one of the few things I could receive by giving it.

I looked at Ginny again. Her eyes opened and stared at me. I
opened my arms. She slid into them. Her heart beat against my chest.
Our lips touched. We were one - complete. I don't need anything else.

I had it, but I didn't know it. When I lost it, I was lucky
enough to find it again.

I stepped on a lantern.

I got my wish.

Michael T. Smith