Three Wishes


"Are you lost?"

Florian scanned the area quickly and saw nothing but trees. Perhaps the fall was worse than he thought if he was starting to hear voices.

"I asked you a question."

Florian looked down and let out a little squeak before jumping back and nearly colliding with a scrawny tree.

"Watch it." The voice, and the man who belonged to it seemed annoyed but Florian wasn't sure why. He was rather imposing for someone no
taller than Florian's knee.

"Forgive me. Have I done something to offend?" Florian asked carefully. He wished his head would stop aching long enough for him to gather his scattered wits.

"Oh not at all. I enjoy nearly getting stepped on by giants." The small red-haired man tapped his foot and looked down before giving Florian a meaningful look. "Speaking of stepping on things, would you mind?"

"Oh. Sorry." Florian stepped out of the almost-filled hole, ignoring the glint of gold under the loose dirt.

"What's the matter with you?" the man grumbled. "Hit your head or something?"

"I did actually. Something spooked my horse. We got away from the kidnappers, but then I got hit by a tree branch and..." Florian shrugged before adding plaintively, "I have a headache."

"Well that explains it," the man conceded before reconsidering. "Maybe." They stared at it for a long minute before the man sighed. "What happened to your horse?"

"I don't know. It hurt when I fell and by the time I got up the horse was gone. I walked for a while and then I saw it." Florian perked up a little. "Unicorns like rainbows, and horses are kind of like unicorns. So I followed the rainbow to find my horse." He finished with a smile, proud of himself for finding a solution to being lost and horseless even with a bad headache and probably some bruises.

"You were looking for a horse?" The small man seemed amused. He shook his head then gave into laughter. Florian laughed along, although he
wasn't sure he understood the joke.

When the laughter ran out Florian dropped to his knees feeling light-headed. The glitter of gold caught his attention and he idly pushed the dirt away until he found what looked like a little black kettle full of gold and jewels. He picked out a large emerald and held it up to see it sparkle.

"Ray would like this. It's almost as big as that one Noir -- oops. Not supposed to talk about that." Blushing, he quickly lowered his head to inspect the rest of the glittering items. He picked out another emerald and a couple of diamonds, a ruby and a large pearl, but put back all the sapphires.

"Don't like blue?" the red-haired man asked with a smirk as he took a seat on the ground opposite Florian.

Florian shook his head, unable to hide a shiver.

Silence stretched out between them for a while. Florian made little pyramids out of gold coins and idly wondered what he was forgetting.

"Not that this isn't fascinating," the man said at last, "but I have things to do and you need to find your horse."

"I did," Florian told him reasonably. "The rainbow ended here. My horse is late." He blinked up at the man earnestly. "Do you think he got distracted by the unicorn?"

"Sure...." the man said, giving Florian a considering look. "But maybe I can help. Repeat after me: I wish my horse was here."

"I wish my horse was here," Florian repeated dutifully before adding, "And the unicorn."

A huge poof drowned out the little man's muttered curse. When the smoke cleared Florian's horse and a large white unicorn were standing a short distance away.

"Horse!" Florian cheered as he leapt to his feet and then almost fell into the hole with the gold. The little man caught him and gave him a push towards the horse.

Florian hugged the horse and the unicorn before turning back to the man and thanking him.

"Don't thank me," the man muttered, shoving the handful of gems Florian had been playing with into Florian's pocket. "Just say: I wish I was home."

"But I don't want to go home. Ray's not there. We're on vacation so he can be Noir and annoy Solomon." He climbed up onto the horse then leaned down and nearly fell off as he added, "It's his hobby."

"That's nice. Now say: I wish I was with Ray."

"I do wish I was with Ray," Florian said with a dreamy sigh that made the little man want to be ill. "And I wish I didn't have a headache."

"Done and done," the red-haired man said with a smile of triumph. There was a huge poof and Florian and the horse disappeared. The man turned back to his gold delighted to have retained most of his treasure. It wasn't until he picked up the spade to finish burying it that he remembered...

Damn! What was he going to do with a unicorn?


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