the paper filter

the residue of my poetic consciousness

/r/WritingPrompts You have the ability to steal wishes from a wishing well by taking the coins people drop in. However, you can’t know what the wish is before you decide to take it.

I dipped my finger in the well. Eenie-meanie-miney-mo.

I submerged my hand into the water and gripped my fingers around a dull, blackened coin, sighing as I pulled it out. Surely this would be a hard and heavy one.

Tyche and Kamadhenu have been slacking again. Since the rise of Atheism, these fuckers have been refusing to do any work. They want to be worshipped before they lift a finger. Lazy, egotistical bastards.

That’s the problem with Idolatry. Maybe the Muslims had it right; except now most of them are worshipping a man and a book too, just like the other religions. That’s not what Mo’ wanted, yo.

I see what you did there, God. The irony is not lost on me! Idolatry is the trickiest of all your lessons, even for deities.

I’ve been stealing wishes from the fountain for a while now. Consider me a vigilante of sorts. I’m pretty sure the Dude is keeping an eye on me, but the others don’t know. They’ve been too self-absorbed to be prioritising their responsibilities over their vanity. Which is why I do what I do. It’s not an easy job, but someone’s got to do it, and if I don’t, the universe tips over, unbalanced.

I’ve been stealing wishes from the fountain for a while now. Consider me a vigilante of sorts. I’m pretty sure the Dude is keeping an eye on me, but the others don’t know. They’ve been too self-absorbed to be prioritising their responsibilities over their vanity. Which is why I do what I do. It’s not an easy job, but someone’s got to do it, and if I don’t, the universe tips over, unbalanced.

Wishes need to be fulfilled for existence to be justified in its… existence. Humankind has wants, desires, drive, passion. Even animals have instincts and needs. Seriously though, without them, what are we?

I turned the darkened coin over in my palm three times and felt a warmth spread from my hand to the rest of me. Amina Abillama wishes she had a big set of Crayolas for her 5th birthday. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. Okay, this was a good one. An easy one. There was more than enough time to manipulate the fates to make that happen. I just needed to align this wish with another for it to happen.

I have mixed feelings about wishes: they give me hope and despair at the same time. Some days are harder than others. I’ve helped people with mass genocides in the name of the Almighty, and murderous plots to climb the political ladder, but I’ve also helped them fall in love and bring new life into the world.

I don’t get to pick and choose the wishes I have to fulfil. It’s a harsh reality. It has taught me to expect nothing and accept that the world is what it is and. People are who they are. In all my years of existence, their vastly opposite and opposing natures have been the singular constant that I have observed. I would be foolish to think that I could make a difference. Unlike Humanity, I was not created with free will. I may not like what has to be done, but I understand the weight of these actions on the universe and what happens to the big picture if they go unchecked. Somebody’s got to do it.

I put my hand into the well again and pulled out a copper coin this time. I flipped it over three times in my hand and waited for the wish to wash over me, hopeful for something positive.

I wish he were dead. The warmth of the wish went cold in my hand and the dread slowly burned in my chest. Isn’t it funny how lives intertwine? Even if these two souls meet, they would never know how much their lives have influenced the other. I saw it play out in my head. Unfortunate circumstances will cost someone their life. The vacancy they leave behind will be a job opportunity for Amina’s mother who is looking for one. Amina gets her crayons in the end.

My usually buzzing consciousness quietened from the sudden sombre turn. Disheartened, I slipped the two coins into my pocket, bracing myself for the task ahead. If there was a way I could actually communicate with humans, I would tell them to be careful what they wish for. Their words carry more weight than they know.

Haiku 35 – Kismet

Remembering things
I thought I’d forgot but then
learning something new.

Haiku 34 – Too

I wish you lived here
I could be in love with you
and you could love me

Haiku 33 – O 

Within the circle
lays an emptiness waiting
for its companion.

Haiku 32 – Shell

You are no longer
The person you used to be;
Carefree, vibrant, loved.

Faulty

I think I’ve forgotten
what it feels like
to feel you.

I can’t remember
the last time I
touched your skin

or had your lips
pressed against mine

or your breath
in my mouth

or your taste
on my tongue.

But how could I forget
someone I haven’t had?

Haiku 31 – Aches

What I really need
Are your fingers down my back
To ease the tension.

Haiku 30 – Pine/Pint

Drain the pint to help
myself forget about you,
But it never works.

Haiku 29 – Enabler

Written words are sly.
When did I turn into an
Enabler of Death?

Haiku 28 – Feigned Thirst

We sit together,
you with your bird, me alone,
like nothing happened.

Laughing and smiling,
avoiding each others’ gaze,
secretly hurting.

Chasing drinks til I
cannot make out your faces,
still, they’re all I see.