As he put the pen down he felt a sense of relief wash over him. At least maybe he could atone somewhat. He had no idea how this had come about, nor the extent of his power, but hopefully what he had written would be put into motion as surely as what went before. He had kept it vague, simply willing Elliot to have a fulfilling life wherever he was going, nothing too obvious.
Sitting down in the recliner he rubbed his eyes and let his mind drift. The fortune-teller. How could she have made this happen? Just some silly little incantation and he was granted…no, not granted, it was more as though it had been forced upon him. What was that old saying? Some are born to greatness, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Well, this certainly didn’t feel like greatness. It could easily become a curse, couldn’t it? But how had it really happened? Could it simply be that some gypsy hag in a second-rate travelling carnival was the bearer of the power to grant wishes? Couldn’t she tell he was being flip when he had answered her?
He leaned forward and put his head in his hands. It was all too much. It wasn’t like he could just ignore this. He was a writer, it was what he did. If he couldn’t just write about someone without the things he wrote happening to them…that was it! What if he only wrote about fictional characters? Elliot was a real person. He thought about it some more and decided it must be the solution. If he avoided writing about anyone he knew it wouldn’t matter. Still, if he could just find that gypsy and get her to undo what she had done…but it was a travelling carnival. They had simply shown up that weekend and now they were gone. There had been those flyers that had been put up downtown…
Springing forth from the recliner he grabbed his car keys and headed out. Maybe, just maybe there was still a flyer on some telephone pole that might give him a clue how to find her. He didn’t want to have to go the rest of his life being careful not to write anything at all about everyone he knew. Eventually he would do it without thinking, and their lives would be affected.
Searching the street he had seen the flyer on he was disappointed to find there was nothing there. Plenty of other flyers, some many months old, long forgotten by whoever had put them there, but not one single carnival flyer, and he was sure there had been several. Was it possible that they would have come and removed them all before they moved on? Not likely. So it was strange that there was nothing. He inquired at a few of the shops to see if any of the employees had seen them, or knew who might have removed them, but he seemed to be the only person who had any idea they had even existed. To make matters even stranger, no one he spoke to had even gone to the carnival.
He headed back to his apartment trying to decide what he could do next. Maybe call the local authorities and see if they knew where the carnival might have gone. They must have gotten a permit to set up. Surely someone would have some information about him or her. He found the department he needed in the phone book and rang them, only to be told that person who arranged the permit had left no forwarding address. He got the name, but couldn’t put a phone number to it.
He felt anger welling up inside him. He didn’t want to be stuck with this power, and he didn’t feel he could tell anyone about it, they’d just think he’d finally gone around the bend. Especially his ex-wife, and that would cause problems with visitation rights with his son. He didn’t dare mention all this to Michael for fear he’d tell his mother. He was alone with this. Utterly alone. All this just as he was about to start on his new novel. What a distraction. What if…no, he couldn’t even bring himself to think it. He was going to write his novel, and that was that. It would be fine. It would have to be. He poured himself a glass of wine and sat down to write.
Part 4 tomorrow…