The Curse of Possibility (and why first-year fairies shouldn’t grant wishes)

Magic Wand
Jaden was cursed.

It wasn’t his fault; a wish from his fairy godmother had gone dreadfully awry. She was still a first-year apprentice, woefully undertrained, and she’d waved her wand nonchalantly and said something that would have made any competent fairy godmother slap her in the tiara.

She’d said, “Let Jaden be capable of anything!”

Well, you know how that works out.

Jaden grew into a man of many talents and interests and passions and careers; he’d proven handy at everything from deep-sea diving to chartered accountancy. (The only things he hadn’t tried were the French Foreign Legion and ant farming.)

He enjoyed most of the work he’d tried, which is easy to do when you’re very good at it. But he still felt unfulfilled.

It was a subtle thing, and took some time for Jaden to notice. But even though he was good at the work, it still felt like something important was missing.

One day, a lawyer from the Fairy Godmother Co-operative (Eastern Sector) arrived with a sparkly briefcase and a wand of paperwork.

She said, “Okay, sorry about the delay, but there was a rain of frog princes I had to process first. I understand you received a VYJ-56D, a fairy godmother wish with unforseen side-effects?”

“Uh, yes. I’m capable of anything.”

The legal fairy gave forth a long flat whistle. “Wow, that’s a kick in the teeth. Nasty. Good job on not becoming a serial killer or anything, kid.”

Jaden went pale. “I never even thought of that!”

“Yeah well, it happens. Oh-kay, let’s get this sorted out. Now, due to regulations we can’t just undo the wish, so we’ll have to add in a FGO-23I, a Supplemental Repair Wish.”

“Oh, right. So how do you fix this? What kind of wish is it?”

“Easy-peasy, son. We’ll just wish for you to know what your best work is.”

“Umm… what?”

“Look, you can do almost anything, right? Work with anyone, do a good job anywhere, get results… there is no limit on what you can accomplish.”

Jaden blushed. “Yep.”

“So the limiting factor isn’t possibility. You need a filter for greatness.”

“Oooh. That sounds good. How does that work?”

“Well, instead of focusing on work you could do, you’ll be paying attention to the work you should do. You’re able to do a lot of things, but there are still some things you shine at. ”

“Are there?”

“Yeah, the Philosophical and Philological Practitioners (Eastern) Unit did a lecture on this last week. They were really sure: everyone has some talents that are more powerful. Your baseline is higher than most, but you still have skills that have more potential and power than others. And the more you focus your time on those ones, the happier you’ll be.”

“Wow. Awesome. Sign me up!”


The wand waved, and a new understanding of his greatest work flooded in. Finally, Jaden knew which specific talents were his greatest ones.

The Curse of Possibility had been removed.

(And that apprentice was fired. But she’d messed with a lot of people before Internal Fairy Affairs caught up with her.)

Have you been cursed by your potential and can’t figure out what your greatest work is? I’m your Goddamn Radiant fairy godmother!

Black Sabbath and the wrong reaction to disapproval


Santiago built the world’s loudest stereo.

It wasn’t just a loud stereo, though. It was also the stereo with the roundest tones, the most powerful heart-pounding bass, the most tear-inducing clarity on the high notes. This was a stereo to make the gods weep.

Santiago strode out to share his gift with the world. His heart was trip-hammering with excitement, anticipating the joy and appreciation of passersby as he serenaded them with selections from his favourite heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. They would throw bouquets, buy him a hot dog, get their names tattoo’ed across their ankle. Who wouldn’t want to hear War Pigs shaking the concrete with absolutely perfect clarity and menace?

Ah, Santiago, we all know this won’t go well.

The group waiting at the bus stop were profoundly unimpressed by the strains of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

One man in a suit actually walked down the road to the next bus stop to get away.

Santiago was perplexed and hurt. Maybe it was a bit too loud? His mother had always told him that she didn’t like the way the bass shook the walls. So Santiago turned down the bass, losing the counterpoint of Paranoid. It sounded awful without the bass riff.

Perhaps knocking down the treble would help? Now the guitar solo was a muddy warble instead of a clear slicing, but the people weren’t looking as upset by the music.

Encouraged – there must be a way to make these people enjoy Sabbath, of course there must – Santiago played around with the settings. Eventually, all that came out of Santiago’s beautiful stereo was a low muttering. It didn’t sound like anything, let alone Black Sabbath.

This is not the end of the story. (Although often it is.)

Close to tears and feeling a great void inside, Santiago went to the town centre and said, “To hell with it.”

Every setting was cranked to its most glorious maximum, and Santiago ecstatically played air guitar as the stereo pumped music into the world.

Then a teenage girl with four piercings and a System of a Down t-shirt walked up and said, “Hey, isn’t that Snowblind?”

Santiago nodded so hard his head nearly came off. “Yes, how’d you know?”

“Oh, System of a Down covered this song. I have everything they’ve ever done.”

“Do you know Black Sabbath?”

“No. Is their stuff good?”

And it was.

Very few people like your best work.

(Or Black Sabbath.)

Every time you try to adapt, tone it down, make it palatable to most people… you get more and more boring.

The majority still don’t like your work, and the glorious few can’t connect with it. (If the industrial metal girl had heard the stereo with all the settings on low, would she have recognised it?)

Can you afford not to turn all your dials to eleven?

Are you ready to deliver your absolute best work and looking for help figuring out what it is? Goddamn Radiant is your dependable roadie, ready to hand you the bass guitar of destiny. Rock it out TODAY.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marcus Vegas