Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

3 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

Arts Editor

September 20, 2022 (Featured Image)

John leveled his crossbow at the mouse. Gullard watched with piggy eyes, attention rapt. “One shot. How much you wanna bet?” said John. He kept the mouse in his sights. The mouse chewed a nub of corn contentedly.
“I bet it’ll take two,” said Gullard.
“Yes,” said John, “but how much?”
Gullard pawed his purse, and a slow smile widened between his cheeks. “Alright,” he said, “I bet six pieces.”
John whistled, eyes on the mouse. “Six coppers. Feeling lucky today, are we?”
Gullard shook his head. “No, no. Six silver pieces.”
John didn’t move, but his eyes swiveled over to look at Gullard. “What are you talking about, silver pieces? No way a dolt like you got his hands on some silver.”
Gullard opened his purse and, after a second of fumbling around, pulled out a gleaming coin. 

8.3/10

September 21, 2022, Part 1

“I’ll be damned,” said John. “Where the hell did you get that?”
“The genie,” said Gullard.
“No you didn’t,” said John, “Allen used up the genie a month ago. It’s gone.”
Gullard shrugged. “It wasn’t gone when I found it,” he said.
John lowered the crossbow. “I really will be damned. Say, what are we doing here then? I need to get a wish in before it goes again.”
“Oh,” said Gullard. He scratched the back of his neck. “I think it’s already gone. Uh, sorry.”
John’s eyebrows narrowed into a V. “What do you mean it’s already gone? What do you mean, my friend?”
Gullard swallowed. His face had begun to sparkle with sweat. “I um, I mean I used all the wishes. I used three.” 8.0/10

September 21, 2022, Part 2

John dropped the crossbow. The bolt released and impaled itself into a snake that had come to eat the mouse. The mouse continued to chew corn. John grabbed Gullard’s shoulders and shook vigorously. “You used all the wishes? You idiot! We could have used those! I could have used those! What were you thinking?”
Gullard backed up until he was backed up against the stable wall. “Well, to be honest, I was thinking it’d be nice to have some silver.”
John stared into Gullard’s face, as if he could vaporize it by looking. Then he released Gullard’s shirt and stepped away. He wiped the sweat off his brow. “Alright. Fine. It’s fine. How much silver did you wish for, exactly?” 7.9/10

September 21, 2022, Part 3

Gullard had an acute sense what could happen in the next minute, and once again swallowed. “Um, first, I wished for silver, but the genie only gave me a coin. They can be tricky, you know? So I thought about it, and then I wished for multiple coins. Then he wouldn’t be able to cheat me, yeah? Wouldn’t you have it, he gave me two. Sneaky, sneaky. I sat down for a while. I didn’t want to get played on my last wish. I asked him for more than two pieces of silver. Well, didn’t I have egg on my face when he gave me three. So, add all those up together, and I’m pretty sure that’s six. Six pieces of silver. John? Hey John? Are you alright?”
Gullard leaned down to get a better look. The sorry man lay on the dirt, limbs locked in the air, twitching, and beginning to escape through his gnashing teeth was a white, frothing foam. 8.1/10

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