101 Wishes

Christmas Eve panic suffocates mall-goers. Everyone is too busy with their last minute purchases to notice the little girl crouched over a iron mall bench.

Her chubby fingers count small copper pennies. Her mother waits patiently to the sidelines, in the wheelchair she’s been confined to most of her life, with her father. With the last of the money counted she picks herself up and sits at the edge of the malls fountain. One by one she flicks 100 pennies into the fountains blue water, but not before she squeezes each penny tight with her eyes shut.

“That’s a lot of wishes.” an old man says. “What does a little girl like you wish for?”

“For other little kids like me to be able to make a wish in a fountain.” she says. Her eyes open and she joins her parents, her hands helping her father push her mother in the wheelchair. The old man takes a coin from his pocket and flicks it into the water.

“And one for you,” he whispers, watching her walk away.

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