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Wishfulfilment International Inc. (part 1)

In the following weeks you'll find a story that earned me second prize in the Writing Magazine "Jealousy" competition.
Night comes crawling in over the canal when you arrive home. The ugly block looms against the darkening sky like a rotting tooth. Past the graffiti-covered corridors and letterboxes, the stench of urine accompanies you up to the stingy flat you can just afford as a supermarket-till-slave.

You look out of your window at the newly born luxury apartments on the other side of the canal. There, they live among their Lichtensteins, wear Gucci or Chanel, eat from Paloma
Picasso plates and drink their cuvee from Riedl glasses.

Like that glamorous woman you've been watching for some evenings. She greats her manager husband with a smile when he comes home. He will give her a kiss, lift her up from
her seat by the piano or wherever she's been sitting all day and carry her over to what must be the bedroom. Then, invariably, they close the
blinds, shutting you out of their happiness.

You make yourself fried eggs with bread and butter for dinner. The soap operas seem even duller than usual. With nothing else to do, you put on a coat and sneak onto the concrete ledge the house owner describes as a balcony and watch the prince and his Cinderella eat their meal. He is feeding her forkfuls of some classy food and she is, you've guessed it, smiling. There are candles on the table and glasses of wine.

You can't stand so much bliss any longer. Back in your living room you switch on your laptop, proof of the only time in your life you were the lucky one and won a competition.
Some chatting will help you forget.

Only, this time the screen looks different. It's golden, strewn with countless pictures of luxury articles. At the top right corner, so tiny you can hardly make it out, the word 'wish'
appears in fancy letters. There is neither a start menu nor an icon that would lead you back to the desktop. Shrugging, you let the cursor dance over the pictures. It's no arrow anymore but a magic wand with a star at the top.
(To be continued)