Summary: The granting of wishes is uncertain magic.
Author's Notes: For the writerverse challenge prompt of "Have You Ever Been to _____?"
At the part of the river where the water grows silent, there are no ripples, no wavelets, no murmurs. The shadows are deep, the banks damp and mossy, and the air smells like the promise of rain.
People from the farms and villages nearby go to that place to make wishes.
Thursday noon is the best time to go, the stories say. We walk in sideways, pockets full of witch-weed and our hair tied in knots. Anyone who slips into that place unnoticed is more likely to have a wish granted.
Our secrets are sacred, and wishes are the most secret things of all. We whisper them into the veins of wilted leaves, wrapping them around pebbles and setting them on the water. Most will float, impossible as that seems. Only the wishes that slip beneath the surface ever come true.
We know better than to ask for small things, or to waste our wishes on sweetmeats and baubles. We plead for fevers to break, or that wasting sicknesses be healed. When our wish-stones do not sink, we return and ask again, for No does not mean Never.
I have been to that place each week since Michaelmas, and still my mother will not wake.
Soon, I shall go daily, repeating the ritual as often as I must to get it right. I bring my own stones, stones that are larger and heavier each week. None match the weight that lies on my heart.
This is foolishness, Annika, you will think, for surely I have come too often to be able to creep up on the magic in that place without it knowing?
That may be, certainly, but I have no other hopes or methods to turn to. I grew desperate many weeks ago, so terribly desperate.
Now, I have nothing to lose.