Tanya Sebrekova (Таня Себрекова)

Верю в волшебство. Верю в потайные комнаты, единорогов из сахарной ваты, печного домового, таскающего бабушкину сметану. В детстве простучала весь паркет на предмет таинственного клада, оставшегося там от прошлых жильцов. Спустя много лет, сняв этот самый паркет во время ремонта, внимательно изучила еще раз — а вдруг? А еще верю в то, что волшебство живет в каждом из нас. Бывает так, что человек прямо сияет изнутри — проходишь мимо и невольно зажмуриваешься. Но больше всего верю в то, что каждый взрослый может стать настоящим волшебником для ребенка, просто прочитав ему сказку на ночь или сделав бумажный самолетик.

«Shop of wishes»

— What do you want? — asks the thin man in the checkered jacket with a red woolen scarf carelessly tied on his neck, looks like it’s been a hundred years old, however, as a man himself. His face, dried, with pointed nose and sunken cheeks, has a pair of narrowed eyes that run all the time from side to side, stopping only for a moment — to meet a new man who enteres the shop. For example, like now. The eyes of the lean man stared at the merry woman with cheeks flushed from the cold. She exhales the frosty air so loudly that the men’s glasses are fogging up in a zip. He takes them off and rubs them with a corner of a red scarf. — So what do you want, ma’am?

— I would … I … —  the pink-cheeked woman mumbles and finally says — I’d like a glut of wealth.

The lean man raises his glasses on his nose, sighs and answers:

— Well, then set sights on this shelf — here we have very different riches. Some are bigger and some are smaller, there are royal ones. These, of course, are quite myriad. And you, how innumerable are you looking for? There are quite a lot of them, but they are quickly snapped up.

— The royal, of course, are very interesting, — the woman licks red lips. — But I would like to have something not so myriad. For now!

— Then the most popular model is here: there is a nice villa, a convertible car … And, here’s another, — he looks closely, — Puffed as peacocks friends go as a bonus. I recommend.

The woman’s eyes light up.

— How much? — She asks.

— A mere penny, — replies the skinny man. — Half of kindness, one third of joy and, of course, honesty will have to be given up completely. But it’s worth it, believe me.

— Somewhat expensive … — A woman’s mouth curls, she taps her fingers on the counter.

— What are you saying, ma’am?-  exclaims the lean man. — Is it expensive, really? Look who lives next door! There is a pool and all the staff comes completed — a gardener, a cook, a kitchen-maid …

— You can persuade, — the woman shakes her head. — Well, all my life I saved — what I can regret now! Wrap it!

The skinny takes out golden paper and packs it in a moment. A woman greedily grabs it and runs out of the shop.

— Follow the instructions! — The skinny man shouts after her, but the woman no longer hears.

And in the shop a decent gentleman is already walking back and forth.

— Wrap me a rapid career success, — he says, looking at his watch. — Yes, quickly, I’m in a hurry.

— How rapid do you want? — The skinny has specified. — We have different degrees …

— Such as to do nothing today, and tomorrow to sit in the chief’s chair and guide everyone,- gentleman interrupts him impatiently.

— As you wish, — replies the thin man. — It will cost you 2 parts of pride, heartwarmth, and sincerity and honesty without a trace.

— Very expensive, — gentleman winced.

— Today’s price boost, — the thin man lifts his hands in dismay. — But a big flattery bank goes as a gift.

— Hold, you are a robber, — the gentleman replies, snatching out the packet and leaves.

The skinny wipes out sweat droplets with a red scarf and falls wearily at a rickety  time-worn chair. He immediately jumps up from it, seeing behind the counter a large pink pompom, fluttering from side to side. The lean man bends over the counter and sees the little girl in a knitted hat.

— What kind of wish do you have, little miss? — he says. — Expensive toys? The title of the most beautiful girl in school, maybe?

— The girl looks up and answers.

— And can I have a friend? She says quietly. Any good friend to have fun with? So that I am not alone. Please.

— A friend? — Surprisingly the skinny pulls up his thin eyebrows so that his glasses bounce. — Has I got it right — you’ve said «a friend»?

— Why, there’s nothing out there?- sighs the girl.

— Yes, there is, — the thin man bustles about, scampering behind the counter and, at last, fishing for a rumpled, unattractive box. — Here, I found it. I knew, I knew that somebody will need it! Hold it!

— Thank you! — joyfully shouts the girl, hugging a box with her wish. — How much do I have to pay?

— It’s free,- says the salesman. — Friendship is being already on sale, all it takes is a couple spoons of care and sincerity. Yes, no one has taken any. I had to recycle. That’s the last thing I saved.

— I get lucky! — The girl smiles, pressing the box to her. — Thank you, mister!

— Hey, salesman, chop-chop! —  The lady of unidentified age screams. — I wish the rays of glory. Wrap the ten and one, the smallest and ugly in another box — it’s a gift! — pleased with herself, she smiles.

— Just a moment — sighs lean and drag himself for the key from the glass counter from the shelves where the rays of glory shine. He passes by the window and freezes. On the snow-covered street, jumping up and down in the frost, a girl with a pink pompom on her hat hurries home. In her hands there is an unpretentious crumpled box, inside which blossoms the most real friendship.

— Why have you stopped? I’m in hurry! Disgruntled voice interrupts the thought of the skinny.

He takes the key and goes to the glass counter. His eyes glittered joyfully, and a rosy glow appeared on his cheeks.


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