Use It Wisely by Louise L. Pace

‘Hello Sarah, I’m calling because…well, I have something big to tell you, but you’re going to think I’m losing my mind…No, it’s not that, and no, of course it’s not the perimenopause…well I don’t think it is, but anyway, it’s – jeez, I honestly dunno where to start. Something really strange has happened. Are you okay for time?

Right. Sooooo, on Saturday night we got a Chinese takeaway from that place on the high street and you know how you get those little fortune cookies free when you spend over £25? And they have those little bits of paper wedged in with some random daft message on them? Well, Dave’s said something like The love of your life is right before your eyes’, and of course he said, ‘Jo, you absolutely are and always will be the love of my life’…Ha-ha, I know, I know, sweet and bleurghy – he was on a promise anyway. But mine said You have one wish so use it wisely’… Yeah, total bullshit, so I just crumpled it up and threw it away.

Anyway, I made the mistake of wandering into our Lewis’s bedroom today and it was like a city centre alleyway: McDonald’s containers down the side of his bed, cultures growing on plates and cups, and, oh God, the number of dusty but crusty socks – if you know what I mean – under his bed… Yeah, I know, I know – these teenage boys are all the same, aren’t they?

So yeah, I was having the worst day. The website went down; the dog diarrhoea’d all over the new carpet…Ha! You’re right, she really is a little Shih Tzu – and so when I saw Lewis’s room, all I wanted to do was throw a bloody grenade in.

But you know that bit on Mary Poppins when she clicks her fingers and the whole nursery tidies itself up? …Yeah ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ – it’s my favourite too. And I said to myself, I wish that just once I could click my fingers and the room would tidy itself. So, I did it. I stood up and actually clicked my fingers in the air like someone on the verge of a breakdown.

Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this to you, Sarah, but just as I was closing the door and putting off tidying it up for another day, the whole room began to, well, to tidy itself up! I had to duck as filthy plates flew right over my head! And, just like ghosts, the dirty washing floated past me down the stairs.

It all sailed back an hour later, perfectly pressed, and glided into his wardrobe. His stinky bed now smells like a summer meadow, the floor is hoovered, and the drawers neatly arranged. There’s not a cobweb or crusty sock in sight. Honestly, Sarah….Sarah? Are you still there?


Oh, thank God. Look, I know you don’t believe me, but I can prove it because I videoed some of it on my phone…Hang on, I’m sending it to you now…

Did you get it?

Of course, it’s not some hoax! I was there. I can hardly believe it myself and, on reflection, I’m actually gutted about it all…

Naturally, I’m bloody gutted – devastated, if I’m honest – I had one wish, one fantastically perfect, one-time-only wish and it was mine. ‘Use it wisely’, it said, and what did I wish for? That the bedroom would tidy itself, which will never ever happen again.

But the worst thing about all this is, Sarah, the real kick in the fruit, is that I could’ve been doing the no-pants dance with Tom Hardy for the past three nights now, couldn’t I?

Louise L. Pace has lived in Sunderland all of her life. Her writing journey began 10 years ago when she started writing a novel that had been building in her head for over twenty years. Since then, she has managed to write two further women’s fiction books, two children’s novels, blogs, scripts, training manuals and many short stories. At present, she enjoys the challenge of writing weekly flash fiction to improve her craft.