Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2215817-The-Wishing-Machine
Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2215817
A contest entry from another site (second place).
While enjoying a fine afternoon walk, Mark spots a new store. He decides to have a look around. He notices that there is a lot of odd things in the store. He also sees the owner sitting in a chair wearing a terrible looking wig and two different pairs of socks. One is white and the other is odd-looking.

“How can I help you?” “Just looking around”

“Ok, just let me know if you need help.”

Mark looks around for about ten minutes then spots something of interest
up high on a shelf.

“What is this?”

“It’s a wishing machine.

The store owner uses a step ladder to get it down off the shelf. He takes the large box to the cash register. Mark pays for the machine and starts to head outside.

“And just so you know, I have a zero-return policy.”

Mark takes the machine home and opens the box. He pulls out the instruction manual. It has been used many times, for it is missing the cover and title page. He takes out a ball of twine and unwraps it. Ties part of the string to a bicycle with one wheel. Attaches some bells, whistles, and lights.

“Now what should I wish for?”

Mark thinks it should be something small for a test run. His favorite rock band comes to mind. They are on tour and tickets have been sold out for months. So, he wishes for a ticket.

The machine starts to light up and flash. The bells begin to ring. Steam is coming out from the sides. When it was done it whistles. On the kitchen table, a ticket appears. Mark is ecstatic. The machine worked. He quickly goes to the table to look at the tickets. His pure excitement soon turns to anger.

“Stupid machine gave me an out of date ticket to a rock concert.”

“Ok, let’s try something else. I wish for a turkey sandwich.”

The machine makes noises and lights up. When done a sandwich appears on the table. Mark tries to pick it up and have a closer look. That is when sand and keys fall out of the bread. Mark gets pissed. That is not what he said. But this did not stop him from making another wish. But what could it be, he thought? Perhaps a new computer?

“I wish for a laptop. A really great laptop.”

The machine works its magic and when done something appears on the table. Mark flips out.

“You stupid machine, this is not what I meant by a laptop.”

Mark curses at the machine some more, as he holds a napkin in his hand. Though to be fair, it is a great silk napkin. After screwing up for the third time, Mark takes a chance at one more wish.

“Ok, you stupid machine, I wish you would just disappear.”

He made this wish thinking that if worked, then he found a way to get rid of the machine. And if it screwed up again, it would hurt itself. Either way, he felt like it would be a win. The machine disappears. At first, Mark is livid.

“Of course, that’s the one wish it does right.”

But soon he felt relieved. He no longer has to worry about that machine anymore. The machine reappears at the shop, in the back room. The shop owner sees it and takes it apart. Boxes it up, then puts it back on the shelf. A few minutes later another person comes into the store and buys the machine. The owner’s wife comes out from the back room.

“Sold that machine again?”


“That wish you made a long time ago really did come true.”

“Never thought when I wished for the machine to make me money, it would turn out like this.”

The Story must include at least three of the following
1) a step ladder
2) an odd sock
3) an instruction manual
4) a ball of twine
5) a bicycle with a wheel missing
6) a book with its covers and title pages missing
7) and out of date ticket to a rock concert
8) a wig.
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