If Wishes Were Horses

Take a perfect sphere of some idealized material, colored black, and heat it up. It’ll start to radiate in the infrared, heat. Add more energy to it, and eventually it’ll glow in colors you can see: dull red first, then orange, yellow. Heat it long enough and it’ll glow brilliant blue, like the hottest and youngest stars there are.

That’s how stars work, in theory. In principle gases and dust and maybe interstellar invasion fleets get in the way, blocking certain lines as they absorb specific spectra of light.

But this isn’t an astronomy lesson, this is a fable. About how my father died, and yours too, probably. There aren’t many of us left since Wishing Day.

The magic dragon woke in his cave at the mountain’s summit, and saw X, the man who’d climbed nearly into space just to make his wish.

“I wish,” X said, not really thinking it through, “that sunlight was diamonds.”

Ten trillion diamonds flew out into space, most of them missing Earth by hundreds or millions of miles.

Millions just fell from the sky.

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