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Tales To Tell 'Round Midnight: Be Careful What Wishes Are Like

It was just two days before Debs big birthday party, and she was just as excited as one might expect a selfish little puke like Deb to be. She was smallish and red-haired and her glasses were a bit wrong on her face. To look at her would be to look at someone you might assume was named Fran. She's not, though. She's Deb.

Strangers and friends would occasionally assume her name was Fran, too. They were always wrong, although she did sometimes try to go by Fran. Not to avoid confusion or to stir up confusion, but because she absolutely loved the name.

Oh, Deb would lament. If only my name twere Fran.

Preparations for her birthday were in full swing even though the party was days away because, as weve established, Deb was a humongous brat.

No! Deb would shout, the shrillness of her bitchy little wind pipes piercing in the ears of dogs the world over, riling them up and whatnot. I wanted one and a half inches of icing on my stupid ice cream cake!

Youre being a real shit right now, Deb, her older sister Fran would scold her. Were doing the best we can. You should appreciate how much we give to you.

Deb would often sulk off upstairs, in which case Fran would say softly to herself, Maybe one day you will.

In the instances where Deb would not sulk off, she would usually say something like, Whatever, shut up. Call me Fran. Then, of course, the argument would start.

Deb, thats my name, Fran might tell Deb.

But I like it! Deb would probably scream, her freakish shriek riling up even more dogs the world over.

This scenario would always end with Fran saying something like You should appreciate how much we give to you. Deb, of course, would sulk off upstairs as Fran would mutter to herself, Maybe one day you will.

The world over, riled up dogs were being calmed down by confused owners who were pleading with their pets to conform to some form of decency or human logic. Many of the dogs settled down, although some did not.

This would continue for the next few days, until suddenly it was the morning of Debs birthday. She woke up to a blue bird singing in her window, which in her town was unfortunately a sign of impending doom. Although ominous music did not play (juxtaposing the lighthearted chirps of the blue bird with worrisome cellos and tubas), Deb had a feeling it might.

Deb stretched in her bed and sat up as the blue bird stopped its cheerful doomsong and flew away. Ominous music began to play, and Debs fears were realized: This was going to be a bad birthday.

Debs birthday didnt turn out to be so bad. Her mother and father got her so many toys and dolls and so much other girly shit that Deb could barely keep it all in her too-big room. She even had a delicious ice cream cake, which is of much importance later on. The only downside was the sudden and grotesque murdering of her parents by forces unknown. This is probably what the blue bird was hinting at.

The funeral was inappropriately on Frans birthday, which was just days after Debs birthday. Much like a child born right around Christmas, Frans birthday was always overshadowed by Debs much better birthday. This year was no exception, because even at the parents funeral, everyone was abuzz about Debs recent amazing birthday.

Did you see all that girly shit she got? a mourner asked.

Oh yeah, confirmed another mourner. Totes cute.

Totes a lot of it, too.

Totes.

Ashes to ashes, said the nearby preacher. Totes to totes.

The crowd coughed in unison as if to say, Um, excuse me?

Oh, Im sorry, the preacher said, having realized his mistake. I was kind of drifting in and out there for a minute. I didnt get to go to Debs awesome party.

Everyone gave an understanding nod.

Dust to dust, the preacher corrected himself as he closed the town bible, half of which was just about birds and what they might mean. Everyone dispersed and forgot Deb and Fran ever had parents. A year went by and it was of no consequence.

The next year, on the eve of her birthday, Deb wished her name was Fran or something. It was the kind of wish that you knew was going to come true because it involved a wishbone, a shooting star, and a stray eyelash. Deb woke up the next morning to find everyone calling her Fran. She was thrilled, temporarily. Yes, it was all dancing and raisins for a while, but she soon realized the ramifications of her ill-fated wish. Deb was called Fran because her sister Fran didn't exist anymore!

"What a cruel yet expected twist of wish-granting!" Deb might have lamented, were we covering this part of the story in great detail. Deb quickly learned a lesson about not being such a spoiled little shit and she used her birthday wish to wish that everything would go back to normal.

Deb awoke to the life she had taken for granted, the life where she was called Deb. Her sister Fran was alive and well, and their reunion was an eerie one. Upon separating from a sisterly hug, Fran made an off-hand comment about wishes and the name "Fran." Deb, ever the question-asker, asked Fran if she knew of her doomed wish.

"The only doom I'm aware of deals with song birds," Fran told her. "I don't know what you're talking about, Deb."

Relieved, Deb sighed a sigh of relief.

"I mean Fran," Fran corrected herself, winking at her confused sister.

Deb stared at her blankly.

Or do I? asked Fran, her skin going paler than normal.

Do you? Deb asked, still confused.

What do you think Fran? Fran whispered, her breath colder than the ice cream cake that is of so much importance later on.

I dont Deb looked up at her big sister, wide-eyed. Are you insinuating that you know what happened to me with my wish?

Fran became suddenly relaxed and less foreboding. She looked down at her little sister and smiled.

I have no idea what youre talking about, Deb, Fran said. I love you.

Deb gave Fran a big sisterly hug, the kind youd write home to your sister about.

I love you, too, Fran, Deb said, finally happy and not as much of a wretched little puke.

The two sisters continued folding laundry, because that is what sisters do together. They talked of boys and fabrics, and eventually they arrived on the subject of wishes.

Witches? Fran asked.

No, wishes, Deb replied.

Yeah, Fran mused intelligently, Wishes would be nice to have.

Deb smiled a knowing smile and continued folding laundry. She glanced up to notice Fran smiling her own brand of knowing smile.

Wait, so do you know about what happened with me and my wish?

No, Fran, Fran said and winked.

Suddenly, Deb noticed a cheerful blue bird perching on the window behind Fran. It began to chirp.

So you do? Deb pleaded.

No, Deb.

Okay.

Or do I-

-DO YOU?!?

This continued almost forever and then they died.

The End

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