Short Story: The Otherwise



Humans are stupid.

Yes, I mean you, you, and that person over there. I mean your family, your friends, your loved ones, the people you meet for mere seconds in your daily life. Every one. You are all a bunch of fools.

You put too much value on reality, not realizing that it's the monster that chases away every inch of happiness out of your life. You are afraid of dreaming, and those who aren't, feel ashamed by it. You value reality over imagination, and that is your biggest flaw.

When you were little, you had no differentiation between imagination and reality. You believed in the impossible, in magic. You dared to step out of the box.

When you were five, you tried to move an object with your eyes. It didn't work.
When you seven, you waved a wooden stick pretending it's a wand. It didn't work.
When you were ten, you closed you eyes and hoped for a miracle. It still didn't work.

Magic keeps failing you, and that's the beauty of it. You keep hoping that it is real. After all, you've read the stories. They must be true. There's an innocent certainty in human children that leaves us in awe. Their constant trials makes us happy.
But then, that innocent certainty gets stained by a single drop of doubt. And then some more. And soon enough, you give up on magic. You stop talking to your fairy, and stop wishing upon a shooting star.

Humans call it adulthood.
We call it foolery.

There is nothing more stupid than doubting magic, or worse, not believing in it. It is when you do so, that you sign up for a dull future. Some give up after a few trials, most of you give up after fifty. It's the number we use to differentiate between the fools, and the.. otherwise.

Those whom you call crazy. The beggars you avoid because they are talking to themselves, or the people you throw into mental hospitals.. they are the otherwise. They have all tried to wish for magic more than fifty times.

You call them crazy.
We still call you stupid.

My job is to get those gems out of your sad world and into mine. It's very easy really, it happens with two snaps of my finger. Snap, and they are taken from your world, and snap, they are thrust into my mine.

The better world.

It always saddens me how uncelebrated they leave your world. If they are mental patients, sometimes the nurses cry, but otherwise they depart without notice. If they are little kids or ordinary men and women, there are more tears shed. Before you move on with your dull life, you set up what you call a funeral. You weep and cry for the loss.

We, on the other side, celebrate.

It is what takes me so long to collect the otherwise. After each human is transferred into our world, a seven night long celebration takes place. We have to show them a hint of the unimaginable that awaits them. Seven nights in my world is a few several years in yours.

I happen to be the only one transferring the otherwise.

That brilliant author who dared dream of magical worlds so terrifyingly close to ours? I am going to take his life.

That girl painting a picture she conjured solely from her imagination? I am going to take her life.

That old man gazing up the sky, hoping with all his heart for his loved one to come back to life? I am going to take his life as well.

I might take your life too, one day. That is, if you are a dreamer.

Will you dare hope for magic more than fifty times?

If so, join us, why don't you?”


This week's suggestions comes from the ever so awesome Eve @ Paper Sanctuary. Her prompt was  Twisted Liar which makes sense when you read the full version of the short story. I decided to go with a shorter version here, but if you want to read the full one, here it is. 

Did you hear that sound? It's the sound of me writing a story without a sad ending. I knew I can do it!

Original image 


  1. Eve
  2. Eve

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