It was a perfect, glossy globe. The light hit it and rainbows would spray off it, shimmering in every direction. Though it sat perfectly still, it always gave the illusion that it was moving—not spinning, but moving across one’s field of vision like a retinal impression, moving to flee from the eye’s focus which so desperately attempts to fix upon it, always missing by just a fraction of an inch. In the center of the elliptical room, one could chase it all around with one’s gaze, yet upon closing and reopening the tired and confused eyes, discover it sitting upon the silver pedestal in the center of the room. Many fell from dizziness before even reaching the pedestal. Even to look away gave no aid; it danced just as elusively across the periphery, demanding focus.
But those who made it to the center, those who were able to touch it, were granted their deepest desire. And while there are thousands of desires in the world, it answered them all with one thing: money. The poor walked away magnificently rich. The rich walked away, their wealth increasing exponentially until they could barely fathom their own possessions. The lonely left, able to find themselves good company by throwing parties with their new-found wealth. The hungry could buy enough food to stock the larders of hundreds.
And yet, the money ran out. It always ran out. The poor found themselves even more destitute, sucked down into the cesspit of debt. The wealthy saw their money vanish in ill-advised investments. The lonely watched as the friends they thought so dear dwindled away along with gold. The hungry found their vast stores of food spoiled, wasted away before they could even hope to eat them.
Still, thousands upon thousands venture to its sanctuary to ask favor at the base of its pedestal, not one of them heeding the warnings of others, desiring beyond desire to touch the Globe of Wealth, not knowing that its makers had called it the Globe of Ruin.
“The Globe of Wealth” copyright 2017 by A.L.S. Vossler.
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