Drawing by Judith Wolfe

Jessy Randall EDIBLE ISLAND


    Personally, I blame Roald Dahl. If it hadn't been for that stupid children's book of his, we wouldn't be in this mess. I had to go and blow my one chance at having all my dreams come true! And drag my wife and kids along, while I was at it.
    Oh, I thought it would be soooo wonderful to live here. Licorice trees, peppermint grass, a chocolate waterfall all lifted straight from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I knew Sally would go along with it she's always had a sweet tooth and the kids would go crazy with delight! Well, I was correct for about the first week. Goddammit!
    Well, okay. It's not all because of Roald Dahl. That obnoxious genie is partly at fault. He could have clued me in to what would happen! One wish, he said. One wish, and it can't be for more wishes, and it can't be a compound wish (you know, a car and a boat and a house and for our old cat Chuckles to come back to life and the ability to fly). But I could have asked for fifty million dollars! I could have been made President of the United States! But no I had to go and wish for the thing I always wanted as a child. And not snow in the summer, and not for school to be cancelled, oooooh nooooo, I had to wish for my family to live on an edible island where everything is delicious and made of candy.
    Who knew I was supposed to specify the SIZE of the island? Who knew that this idiotic genie would put us on an edible island, yes, but the whole thing would be less than the size of your average high school gymnasium? And now we're starving, huddled together on the last of the gelatin sand, trying not to gnaw on the few remaining marzipan rocks. The lemonade ocean is lapping at our eroding shores, and there's not a goddamn thing we can do about it.
    I'll tell you, if I ever get my hands on that genie, I'm going to knock his block off.


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