Wish I May…
by Aoikami Sarah
One fall evening three old men wish upon a bright, blue star, but will they get what they wished for...? Stancest. Genderswap.
.x. Monday Morning .x.
Stan awoke on his back in his bed to the kind of debilitating malaise that only a night of heavy drinking can bestow on a man. His head throbbed, his mouth felt like the floor of a taxi (had he been smoking?), and every cell in his body threatened him not to move a goddamn inch or suffer the consequences. "I am too old for this shit," he muttered, reached for his glasses and instantly regretted it. He didn't usually puke the morning after a bender, but damned if he didn't feel like he might. "No no no no no…" he repeated, trying to soothe himself, took deep, slow breaths and drifted back to sleep. Moments later he woke to a door slamming somewhere nearby and clenched his teeth, wincing at the sound.
He clenched his teeth.
The thought of this action meandered around his migraine and danced across the backs of his eyes. His teeth. He turned his head, glacier slow, to the left and squinted at the nightstand.
Glasses. Lamp. Alarm clock. Glass full of day-old polident and dentures.
Dentures on the nightstand—teeth in his head.
He pressed his tongue against the backs of his teeth then dared to part them and feel the fronts. Yes. Those were in fact actual teeth in his mouth, not someone else's dentures. This thought relieved Stan only slightly.
If he weren't so utterly damaged from drinking too much, he would have bolted out of bed and rushed to check them out in the mirror. But just the increase in adrenaline was enough to sour his stomach, so he lay where he was and sweated as panic started to rise.
Perhaps his mad scientist brother had performed some sort of sci-fi hoodoo on him while he slept. Stan cringed. Stanford. Oh. Something happened last night. There was yelling. And McGucket was there? It seemed like there was more to the story, but try as he might, his mind could not put the pieces together. "Of course I blacked out when somethin' friggin' weird happens…" he groaned and cautiously pushed himself up and swung his legs out of the covers and over the edge of the bed. If he could get to the bathroom, take a piss and get some water down that would help, he knew that. He reached again for his glasses and put them on.
"The hell…?" Stan sneered, took them off and squinted at them. Blearily, he repeated the motions three more times, but each time he got the same result. After the third attempt he examined them closely, but could not focus on them from the distance he was accustomed to holding them out to. He brought them closer. They were his. "Ya fix my eyes while you were at it, Poindexter?" he scoffed. His apprehension grew sufficiently to propel him to his feet and toward the bathroom despite the pain in his head.
Stan flicked the switch for the night-light so as to not blind himself. Eschewing the mirror for now, he relieved himself. When he was done, Stan stood in front of the toilet with his penis in his hand and stared for a few moments. Usually, he couldn't see much of either of them from this angle. "Huh," he said dreamily. "Ya… fix my gut while you were at it…?" He put himself back in his boxers and staggered to the mirror.
A twenty-something-year-old Stanley Pines gawked back at him.
"The whole package, huh?" he muttered, face ashen, eyes wide in disbelief. "Ok. Really wish I remembered what the hell happened last night." A sliver of memory flashed across his mind of his brother screaming at him, tears flying from his eyes as he charged at him, slamming him against the wall so hard he saw stars. Did that happen last night or was that just a nightmare? Stan's heart twisted and he yanked the mirrored door of the medicine cabinet open. With trembling hands he found the aspirin and took several, washing them down with cup after cup of water. He panted and dared to look back up at his reflection. "Stanford…" he breathed and wincing, hurried from the bathroom to find his brother.
.x. Sunday Night .x.
"Oh, donkyspittle…" McGucket sighed. "I sure wish there were somethin' I could do. Poor Stanford." He chuckled darkly. "Never thought I'd hear m'self say that! But I mean it," he said, tucking Stan in.
"Wish we could just… be. Start over." Stan looked out the window. It was nearly dark in the room and only one star was visible, a bright blue dot in the heavens that shined down into his eye. "Wish he'd just be ok with lovin' me…like I love him."
"I know, I know. Shush now. Git you some sleep. Here. Gimme yer teeth—now, don't fuss none, I see yer polident there on the nightstand, ya big baby!"
Stan reluctantly complied and removed his dentures, letting them drop into the glass McGucket held out for him. He let his arm fall back on the bed and closed his eyes.
"There ya go. Sleep now. I'll go check on our friend Stanford." McGucket gave him a warm smile and trundled off down the hall.
"Stanford, it's just me, I'm a comin' in." McGucket opened the intricately carved wooden door to Stanford's room and stepped inside. It was dark, but starlight gave a little illumination from the large window above the sofa. Stanford was curled up with his back to the door. A waste basket stood at the ready, but was yet unused.
"Go away," he slurred.
"No," Fiddleford replied, sweetly and seated himself at the man's feet.
"I'm just checkin' on ya. Bear with me, Stanford."
McGucket pursed his lips. "Well, I figure I done you wrong tonight by drinkin' ya under the table like I done. I shoulda known you lightweights couldn't kept up with a coot what's been drinkin' rotgut moonshine for thirty years!" He laughed lightly.
Stanford sniffled. "Wasn't your fault. I'm an idiot."
"Naw," he said, patting his calf. "You're a fool in love is all."
Stanford balled himself tighter, pulling away from McGucket . "No, I'm not. I'm a disgusting creature undeserving of…" His breath hitched as he stifled a sob. "Get out, Fiddleford. Go away."
The small man pouted, brows arched in pity. He got up and did was he was told. "Alright, Stanford. Rest easy, now." When the door closed behind him, Stanford Pines buried his face in the couch cushions and bawled his eyes out.
"If only we could… I wish we could… if people would just…"
The air was cool, but not too chilly as McGucket stepped out on the porch. "Land sakes," he said softly. "Those poor, poor boys. My heart, she's a breakin' for 'em. Wish there was somethin' I could do. Mebbe I could invent a gizmo what would restore their youth—give 'em a second chance. Heck. Wish I could do that fer myself!" he chuckled sadly and looked up into the sky. One star in particular gleamed with an uncanny blueish brightness. He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his overalls and smiled at it. "Starlight, star bright," he whispered. "First star I see t'night. Wish I may, wish I might…"
Much to McGucket's surprise, the star grew brighter. "Oh dear…" he muttered, frozen in place with fear. The light became more diffuse and appeared to be slowly approaching the Mystery Shack. "Oh, oh dear…!" he stammered, but just as his fight-or-flight mechanism was about to kick the door of his inebriation down, he noticed the blue blur had wings.
"Fiddleford," a lilting female voice called to him. "You have nothing to fear."
"Oh my lord..."
She shook her head. "Nothing of the sort. I'm here to grant your wish."
He took a few steps backwards until he ran out of room and had to lean against the side of the building. "Ya have, huh? I may be drunker than a craphouse rat, but I know better th'n ta git m'self tied up in some sorta supernatural bait-n-switch." McGucket raised a brow. "What's the catch?"
"I will give all three of you a second chance. But you must guide the twins. If by the time my star rises tomorrow eve, they must make amends."
"That is all. Do this and you may keep what I give you. Fail, and you shall wake on the morrow as you were."
He laughed and belched and his adrenaline ran out. "Sounds great. Sign me up!" The old man chuckled and passed out in a heap.