Legendaries of the Present World

Warnings for this chapter: Themes of grief and loss. Fun!

#3: The Wishing Star

On the first night, they emerged from their cocoon. They blinked, blearily, and yawned, feeling the weight and exhaustion of a thousand years' slumber.

They lifted their head to face the one holding them - a tall, greying man. They could sense the passion of the wishes in this man's heart, they could feel some kind of strange anguish from his soul. And yet, as he looked upon Jirachi, his expression softened considerably.

He did not make a wish that night. Instead, he took to caring for them. They didn't yet understand how, but they could sense both happiness and sadness in the man's heart.

On the second night they awoke bundled in soft blankets, almost too cosy to consider moving. They didn't realise they had fallen asleep, but it must have become daybreak when they hadn't noticed. The plates of delicious food the man had made the prior evening had vanished, but the memory of it and Jirachi's smile had not.

The man was quiet, but not unkind. When he realised Jirachi had awoken, he took once more to preparing a small banquet for his tiny guest. Jirachi attempted to summon the moving visions with the buttoned slab, and was happy when the man helped them to do so successfully. Perhaps, before they were cursed into hibernation once again, they would get the hang of using the "TV".

On the third night, they settled into the man's lap as he pressed buttons on a different kind of "TV". This one had a lot more buttons, and they made a pleasing sound as he pressed multitudes of them, in so many patterns that Jirachi couldn't discern. The moving visions were less entertaining on this one, so their eyes wandered to the different doors in the hallway. They were yet too cosy to investigate further, happily huddled against their friend.

The fourth night did not yield many answers for Jirachi. They had hovered over to a particular door, but could not figure out a means to open it without potentially breaking it. They did not want to upset their new friend by breaking his things, so they merely observed it and traced the glyphs upon it with their hands. When the man gently took their hand and guided them back to the "TV" area, they made no further fuss of it. Once more, however, they could feel a deep sadness running through the man's heart.

The man was quieter than usual on the fifth night, although still extremely accommodating of his tiny guest. Jirachi had happily eaten the spaghetti the man made, but his own meal remained untouched. They huddled up to him as they usually did and received some very comforting head pats, but it only seemed to make the man sadder, more absent-minded. Jirachi asked him if he had thought of a wish yet. He didn't answer.

On the sixth night, the man showed Jirachi what was in the locked room.

There were too many colours to take in at first, they hardly knew what to focus on first. The walls of the room were dark with large stars, which they happily glided up to touch. Dotted all around were toys and books and plushies, neatly arranged into little shelves and boxes. The bed was a rainbow of pastel colours, with giant pillows that were just as fluffy and soft as they looked. And yet, it was all too perfect. As Jirachi joyously investigated as many toys as they could, they began to realise that this room had been untouched for some time - every single thing they picked up had a thick layer of dust on it.

The man smiled as he watched Jirachi play, but they could see his sadness grow deeper still. They flew close to him, seeing now that his eyes were soft with tears, and the man gently pulled them into a hug. They stayed like that for a very long time.

The seventh night was the last night. Jirachi knew they would be leaving soon, pulled back into a deep slumber for yet another millennia. When they awoke on the final night, they wanted to spend as much time with their friend as they could.

Happily nuzzling and cuddling the man, they were treated to the biggest selection of treats and delicious food yet. It had taken a week for Jirachi to realise why the man was so adept at cooking, or why he had so many extra plates and small plates when he lived alone.

The man picked up an overturned rectangle that Jirachi had seen before - underneath, it showed a picture of the man with a young child, both of them smiling brightly. He looked happier than they had ever seen him before in the picture, and nowhere near as grey-haired or wrinkled.

He explained that when her mother had passed, his child was the only thing he had left. She, too, was taken from him too soon.

Jirachi asked him if he wanted them to bring her back, but after a time, he refused. He shook his head, smiling with those same soft, teary eyes.

Gently taking Jirachi's hands, he told them that he had thought of a better wish, a much kinder wish. He wanted Jirachi to be able to live and enjoy the world, to be able to experience more than a week of life at a time. He wanted to release Jirachi from their thousand-year prison.

As the ribbons on their head lit up with a mystical force, both Jirachi and the man cried and hugged each other. The pain was still there in the man's heart, but they could sense it had lessened considerably. In some small way, he was finally at peace.

On the eighth night, they would wake up again, and every single night after that. Jirachi's life had only just begun, and they were overjoyed.

Page last updated on 16th February 2021 at 18:41 GMT.