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The World Was Made From A Wish
After that, not everything went so well.
The world was made from a wish.
A girl found herself alone in a void. The universe had ended. Partially by her own action, but sooner or later it would have ended regardless.
Not to imply she entirely expected the universe to end by her action, because she didn't.
She tried to survey the void around her, only to realize nothing existed to look around at... or with. So she thought to herself, "I wish there was a world here."
And just as she thought it, so there was.
Then - perhaps due to her surprise at what had happened, or the realization that there was no topping what she had just done, or any number of other proposed theories - she fell into an eternal slumber.
But actually, as she drifted to sleep, she had one last thought.
"I wish that people can be happy."
The world learned of wishes.
In the world made from a wish, it didn't take too long to notice what was going on. People would have their every whim promptly granted with only a thought.
Yet somehow, deep inside, they knew this wasn't right. So they used some discretion when it came to using wishes.
Not very much of it, though.
Kingdoms and conquerers rose and fell quickly. Many died, but many were revived. Thousands of wishes were used exclusively to counteract other wishes.
It was a chaotic time, to say the least.
The world wished for a solution.
Finally, someone had the bright idea of wishing for wishing to be more restricted, so as to put a stop the chaos.
However, this wish didn't quite come true exactly as hoped.
Indeed, wishes came to be more rare, usually to be earned in limited number from magical objects.
But the wishing power of the average person was not wholly eliminated, only weakened. A wish might come true, or it might not, or it might fall somewhere in-between.
No one was sure why this had happened.
Since things had nonetheless settled down, people began making careful use of wishes to answer their questions.
Namely, how their world had been created - the extent they were able to learn being the beginning of this story - and how exactly wishes worked.
Eventually, people concluded that wishes would weaken (and had been weakening) the more they were used.
And that signs of this had begun to show as early as when a wish was made to restrict wishes, if not earlier.
The world lost interest in wishes.
Wishes were becoming increasingly unreliable, and people finally began to forget about them.
There were still some magic items that granted wishes, but these were getting very rare, and even their wishes would not always work.
Most worrying for people was the possibility that a wish might come true, but in an entirely unwanted way. All this added up to a decline into normality (by our standards).
Around this time, a man named Clyde made a wish, after much deliberation on what he wanted it to be, luckily enough.
His wish was for the powers of a shapeshifter. And it appeared this wish was granted to him exactly as he wanted it to be.
Clyde's number one reason for deciding upon this wish was that it would also grant him effective immortality.
With the ability to keep his body from aging, he lived for many years, and fell in love with many people.
But there was one in particular who stood out in his mind.
"There, there... What's the matter?"
"Please, miss, I can't just ignore it when I see a beautiful lady like you cry -"
"I said GO AWAY, YOU CREEP."
"O-Okay, okay... Sorry."
So Clyde did as instructed and went away.
Kylie, on the other hand, would not give up on her.
"...T-They say my brother is dead. His name's... Lyle...
He's always held things together since our parents left. But he was in a shipwreck, and...
...I'm not sure how I could possibly get on without him."
"That's terrible... I've lost a lot of people in my life, too.
...Even so, I'm never really sure what to say at times like these..."
"...Could you help me make a wish?"
"Yes, of course. I tend to have pretty good luck with wishes, actually.
Let's hope it holds true with yours."
"...I wish Lyle would come back."
"I wish Lyle would come back, too.
...Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't ask your name, did I?"
"And I wish Samantha can live forever."
"...Huh?! Why would you...?!"
"I know you're worried about how you'll manage if Lyle doesn't come back. Either way, you'll want the assurance of a long life.
If he does come back, just think - what if he ended up having to mourn you?
And if he doesn't, would you really want to die without a chance to find happiness again?"
"How do you know that wish worked, though?"
"I don't. I guess we'll just have to see if it did, won't we?"
From then on, Kylie began living with Samantha.
Lyle never came back, but Kylie was glad to take his place in taking care of his sister.
Wishes, despite being so far unable to bring back her brother, were something Samantha put a lot of stock in.
She would repeat the ones most important to her daily, even though studies had found that repeating wishes did nothing for their effectiveness.
Kylie came to learn that even before her brother left her, Samantha was rather sickly.
Lyle tried everything he could to make his sister healthier, but it never did much good.
Kylie, of course, did the same. Yet never once was she able to see Samantha looking truly healthy.
Samantha saw the situation rather differently, however.
"It's just how I am, so there's no changing it. Not with medicine, not with wishes."
Years later, Samantha was suffering terribly from an illness.
Even with all their combined optimism, the both of them feared she wouldn't last much longer.
Kylie - who by this time might as well have been Samantha's sister - felt there was only one thing left she could do for her.
She came to Samantha in the guise of her brother Lyle.
"Sam! Are you okay?! It's been so long!"
"Kylie? Who's Kylie, Sam?"
"...You are. Aren't you?"
"I don't know how I know, but...
As much as you look and sound like Lyle... I know it's really you."
"...I'm sorry, Samantha. I thought, there was nothing else I could do... so I might as well try..."
"...It's okay. I... think I can finally accept he's gone now.
He was the only one who could be Lyle. And you're the only one who can be Kylie."
"I know that's how you feel... so I realize I shouldn't have tried to fool you like that.
I should be telling you the truth instead. Of course, maybe I should have told you this a long time ago."
"Hundreds of years ago... I wished for shapeshifting powers."
"...Th... that's terrible."
"Why would you ever want to change who you are?"
"U-Unless... Have you really...
Kylie, are you telling me this was all a lie...?"
"It's not like that! Maybe I used it to trick a few people to begin with, but...
All the time I've spent with you, everything I did... it was because I loved you!"
"But is that... really you?"
"...I've loved a lot of people over the years. Whether I called myself Kylie, or Clyde, or any other name.
They've all left me now, of course. But until that happened, I was as devoted to them as I am to you."
"But are you Kylie, or Clyde?"
"Why can't I be both?"
"It just... It doesn't seem right."
"...Maybe in a perfect world, there's only one person I'd have to be.
But if I were just Clyde, I might have never met you. And if I were just Kylie, I might have never met a lot of other wonderful people.
I can see why you'd want people to just be themselves, and no one else. But there's advantages to this side that I never even thought about all those years ago."
"...I still think there's a real you.
I've only known you for such a small portion of your life, so it would be silly to say I know who you are exactly.
But it's there, whatever you say your name is. That must be how I knew it was really you."
Kylie was silent, deep in thought. Then Samantha spoke again.
"Can I see Clyde?"
Samantha survived the illness which they had thought would be fatal.
"They aren't reporting many working wishes these days. Then again, it's not always easy to tell what's a wish coming true and what's just coincidence.
But I heard about an interesting idea that's been spreading."
"I wish that things will get better."
"I wish that things will get better, too."
"Did it work?"
"I guess we'll just have to see."
Ultimately, Kylie's wish for Samantha did not come true.
Many more years passed.
Clyde sat in the park, a place he'd been frequenting lately.
A woman sat next to him, watching her children play.
As the boy chased after his big sister, he tripped and fell.
His sister quickly called off the game of tag and went back to observe the damage.
The children came up to their mother, the boy looking fortunately unhurt.
Clyde found something indescribably strange about it all, and so he had to ask.
"Excuse me. What are your names?"
"Sam," said the boy. "Lyla," said the girl.
The world had not forgotten any of its wishes.