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Strange Conversations: Rules of Wishing

Illustration for article titled Strange Conversations: Rules of Wishing

Many months back I had a really weird dream where I found a multilayered Triforce in my room. Unfortunately, I touched the outermost layer, the Triforce of Death, first. It's used exclusively for death wishes, and I accidentally zapped half my family into oblivion. I was horrified. Wishes get messy, guys.


I quickly regained my wits and used the remaining layers of the Triforce to wish everyone back into existence, but I decided afterwards that I had to either destroy the artifact or come up with a set of rules for wishing so that tragedies like that don't happen again.

That makes sense right? You see rules and guidelines all the time when stories of wish fulfillment are told. No wishes for love. No wishes for godhood. You can't kill anyone and you can't bring anyone back to life. And definitely, definitely no wishing for more wishes. I decided to add a few guidelines of my own, to keep things from getting out of hand:

-Laws of Wishing-

The following laws have been established regarding wish-granting objects and creatures, in order to ensure their safe handling without the need for their destruction. These laws applies to all wish-granting objects and creatures within our jurisdiction, and within the jurisdiction of all other entities that choose to adopt them.

The rules are as follows:

  • 1. No wish shall be granted that will, either directly or indirectly, cause any other entity, including the wishmaker, physical, emotional or psychological harm, unless there are positive long term effects for either the subject of the wish or for society as a whole on any level.
  • 2. No wish shall be granted that encroaches upon the principles of diversity, equality, and autonomy and the free expression thereof, in particular the establishment of a dictatorship.
  • 3. No wish shall be granted involving, either directly or indirectly, the acquisition of nuclear arms by any entity for any reason.

Any wish failing to meet the above criteria will be considered illegal,

and will not be granted.

I figured they were pretty loophole-proof, but of course that's what the said about the Three Laws of Robotics, am I right? *silence* In any case, they seem a bit too rigid to be any fun. Storytellers crave conflict, after all.


So, here's my question: If you were to come up with a set of rules for wishing, what would they be? Do you think you'd need a lot, or can you think of an elegant, airtight list of ten items or less?

Try it out in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Oh, and here's thought for those of you who think they can just rattle off long, ridiculously complex demands in hopes of outwitting a trickster genie or circumventing the three-wish limit: All queries must be submitted in 140 characters or less.


Now how would that work?

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