Listen to me.
A voice. Was it mine?
You know this isn't right. Remember what happened?
I saw myself lying back on the bunk bed, still alive, still breathing, but nearly as miserable as being a ghost ever made me. I was tired and cold, my clothes were still wet, my nose was running, and I was almost in tears. But it was nothing compared to being dead. I knew that now, but then I thought it was just as bad or even worse, then I thought I might as well be dead.
"I wish I was dead," I heard the words come out of my live mouth, and I couldn't put them back. I couldn't take it back, and this time I saw my eyes widen in horror, saw the blood drain from my face, heard myself stop breathing… I saw myself die. I saw myself die, just because I had wished it for one second, one measly second. I was dead because I had wished for it.
It's your fault, isn't it?
No. That wasn't it. If I had known, if I'd understood that I really would have died, I never would have wished for it. Never. No, I knew whose fault it was…
Now I saw what I'd never seen before… my fairies, deep in the darkness of my backpack, disguised as a pencil and pen, and just as miserable as I was out of worry for me. They knew they couldn't help me with so many people around, and the five minutes alone I'd snagged in the cabin had run out so quickly… I was so busy taking a break from it all to wallow in misery that I never even thought to wish it better in the short time I had. And they had to stay hidden, because they knew someone could come in any minute.
"I wish I was dead." The words floated to them, and they looked shocked. Stunned. Horrified that I would ever say such a thing, that I could wish for it. I was sure it had to be against the Rules, but Cosmo and Wanda raised their wands anyway, bracing themselves and wincing away from it, and in an instant it was all over, I was gone and so were they. They never should have granted my wish. They should have known better. Why didn't Wanda protest, why didn't she insist I think carefully about my words so I could take it back? Why didn't Cosmo ask me why I would wish for something like that so I could quickly say I didn't mean it? Why didn't their wands not work and blow raspberries? Why did it work?
But no. It couldn't be their fault. They didn't have a choice, did they?
I guessed not. It would be so much easier to believe that if they were here to apologize for it, if they hadn't abandoned me, but it had to be true. They'd never let any harm come to me on purpose.
No, I knew where the blame went. I knew it all along.
Vicky. She shoved me into the rotten boat, and she knew it'd never hold. She made me miserable every day of my life, screaming at me and beating me up, torturing me and tormenting me until I cried. The sound of my wailing made her laugh. And she couldn't ever let me be happy, she couldn't leave me alone. She was a demon. She was evil, pure and simple.
"I wish I was dead." She never even heard the words, but she made them happen. Without her, I would have been happy, I would have been safe, I would have been alive. I never would have wished I was dead if it wasn't for her, making my life so miserable I did wish I was dead.
"You're dead, Twerp, you're dead!" I heard her scream as she ripped her pillow to shreds, as feathers flew and she killed me again and again in her mind's eye. She killed me. And she knew it. And she didn't care.
"Good riddance, Twerp!" And I saw her toss me over the cliff without regret, without the slightest shred of human sympathy, crushing my last thread of hope in the rocks and briars at the ground level. I couldn't bear to picture my sad little broken body, cut and snapped and beginning to rot, but she didn't care at all as long as it didn't connect to her anymore. The last second she could have redeemed herself, and she threw it away, over the edge with my body. She hated me so much. She killed me. It was her fault, I knew. She was the reason I was dead.
No. That's not it at all. You know that, right? You know the only reason it happened is because you wished for it, right?
Vicky was the reason for it, Vicky was the cause of my death, Vicky was my killer, and she'd pay for it. Now that I knew I could do it. She'd pay. I'd make her sorry. I'd make her wish she was dead. And maybe then I'd let her have it.
You're not listening to me.
My eyes snapped open, and I came back to the world, in the cabin where I'd died once more.
Oh, I'd make her pay. I'd see her suffer. I'd see her die.