“Must’ve Been a Miracle” by Luciana Leyton

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year, Complete Archive (2012-2020)

The town was called Miracle Town since it seems that every visitor receives a miracle when they go, causing the town to be so widely overpopulated. The miracles would have a wide array of options, and a visitor would never know what they get. The one guarantee was that your miracle would cause eternal joy and it was often your deepest, truest wish being granted.

That was the case for all, except, of course, Corby Grayson. Poor old Corby, the one citizen who was never rewarded with a miracle, who had been living in Miracle Town all his life solely to be met with disappointment and misfortune. Some citizens would laugh at him, but most felt a sympathy so deep that they’d try to help him out, only for their plans to backfire.

Who could ever forget when Farah Wright spent hours adding details to a fruit cake for Corby, with every new addition making it even more perfect than it was before, only for Corby to eat it with joy and find out he had massive allergies to dried fruit? He spent about a week in the hospital then, already familiar with all the workers after consistent visits to the Miracle Town Hospital, a place that was only kept open for him.

Corby was a vast 67 years old, having lived in Miracle Town for all his life, in hopes of a miracle (Though another reason he may not have left was because he couldn’t drive a car. His license got taken when he continually crashed into everything, stop signs, trash cans, buildings, and other cars. No damage was ever done to anyone except him…) to finally hit him, yet having given up on taking any risks years ago, he refused to poke his head out the window in case the miracle knocked him dead. Corby had always wanted a miracle that would help him become a basketball star as he always wanted, yet after breaking multiple bones playing basketball, he gave up on that dream. Though he used to get a bit envious, Corby learned to accept the fact that everyone’s lives would be better than his, and the citizens accepted it, too, quite easily in fact, knowing that they would always be happy.

That was, of course, until Farah Wright, the same citizen who had made Corby a cake, had made a cake that was absolutely disgusting. Farah had dreamed of being a chef all her life, and with a quick visit to Miracle Town, she was able to make the most appetizing cakes. You could imagine the complete and utter surprise of all the citizens when Farah Wright threw up after a quick bite of her cake. The only other time that’s ever happened was with Corby.

The surprise only grew when Jalea Rose, a woman who ran the widest lengths in the fastest times, was late to a meeting. She took about two hours to run the six miles from her home to her workplace, when it would usually only take her two minutes.

The biggest surprise, however, was when gymnast Brian was showing his double backflip to young children, only to fall on top of a child, and for the first time, the hospital beds were starting to be occupied by more than just Corby. Citizens and previous visitors were panicking as they realized none of their gifts were working anymore. Corby wasn’t quite calm either, despite having nothing to lose.

One gray and cloudy day, the sky seemed to collapse upon itself, striking lightning upon the center of the town, soaking all Miracle Town citizens and visitors as they covered their ears from the deafening noise of thunder. It never seemed to rain in Miracle Town, especially not with lightning and thunder. It seemed to be too much of an inconvenience, therefore not even Corby had seen lighting before (except maybe in his nightmares which seem to happen every night). Corby was not outside when this happened, of course. He was much too afraid of taking the risk of going outside, who knows what unfortunate event could happen to him? However, the risk of danger didn’t scare nor stop Corby when he heard a solemn and singular knock on the door.

Carefully opening the door, Corby looked around to see no one there, but as he looked down before closing the door, he saw a letter addressed to his name. There was no return address nor a sender name. He picked up the dark gray envelope and tried to ignore the pain from his papercut as he opened the envelope.

The paper inside was completely black, aside from the writing in white letters. The handwriting may have been almost illegible, but as Corby squinted, he could make out the words. “Lighting Strike in Town Hall. Tomorrow. 12:00 PM. Be there. – CG”. Just below the words was a faint fingerprint in a dark red dried out ink. It was almost impossible to see due to the dark color on the dark paper, but Corby recognized it, and almost as immediately as he recognized it, he then saw that the fingerprint was not made of dark red ink, rather of blood, most likely the blood of this mysterious CG who wrote the letter in the first place.

Unless, of course, it wasn’t, which was always a chance. For all Corby knew, this CG was a killer, quite rare in Miracle Town, but it wouldn’t be a total surprise for Corby to be the first victim. Immediately he knew that he couldn’t go. Of course life was misfortunate, yet it didn’t need to end. As he was about to toss the letter, all of a sudden, more writing appeared in the bright white ink. “Take that risk, Corby.” and though Corby was confused, the internal debate in his head of whether he should or shouldn’t go was resolved.

The next day came and citizens avoided the burnt down town hall like it was a plague, some still freaking out, some trying their best to keep their calm. Corby anxiously waited for the clock to strike 12:30 to meet CG. He was sitting on the one part that wasn’t burnt down- a bench dedicated to…

A bench dedicated to a certain CG for “acts of bravery”. It was strange, Corby thought, to see another CG right where CG asked to meet. It was most likely a coincidence though, right? (Though Corby knew there were no coincidences in Miracle Town). Suddenly, the long arm on his pocket watch hit the 6 on the bottom of the watch, the shorter arm still resting on the 12. Corby looked around and there was nothing. No one.

Of course. It must’ve been yet another prank on poor, old, unlucky Corby Grayson. And though that was what he wished to believe, nothing could shake that he did see the writing move when he tossed the paper. It must’ve been a miracle. He started to walk off, but felt a sharp pain from his heel. Of course he stepped on glass, or more specifically, a broken mirror. Corby vowed to not take risks anymore, this would happen. Yet, as he was about to dismiss the broken mirror to go home and attempt to heal his heel, he saw something strange…

The mirror was moving. Not in the way it should, no, this mirror, this version of Corby himself was staring up at him with a calm expression which greatly contrasted with the current Corby’s freaked out face. The man in the mirror looked at Corby with a gentle smile and repeated what was said in the letter, “Take that risk, Corby.” and something softly hit his somehow healed heel. It was a basketball. Corby turned around to see a basketball hoop. He looked back at the mirror, shocked. Was this finally his miracle?

He grabbed the basketball and placed it upon his hands as he taught himself to do. Wincing at the thought of when he broke multiple of his bones, he decided to ignore all doubts and shoot. The basketball flew through the air. Did Corby shoot too hard? Too softly? What would happen? Was he getting his hopes up all for an illusion? Was this just another dream made of envy that would haunt him?

Yet the basketball made it into the hoop and Corby didn’t wake up. The town hall was slowly put back together, almost like magic, almost like a miracle. Corby heard cheering as people realized they had gotten their miracles back, and Corby knew deep down that this must’ve been his miracle. He knew what he had to do.

He ran back to the mirror, a smile set on his face. As he looked at himself, the mirror started talking once again.

“Corby. If you do this, you will forever lose your miracle. You will be stuck as a dissatisfied child, known as poor unfortunate Corby. Are you sure? You would be the first of all citizens to give up their miracle.”

Corby nodded, unsure of what he was even going to do, but he still somehow managed to do it. Sticking a shaky hand into the mirror, he seemed to be in a new yet familiar world. There was Corby with a mirror still in his hands, yet a younger version of himself. The mirror still showed this smiling Corby and though this younger version may not have this miracle of basketball, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t learn. Young Corby picked up the basketball still next to him and shot at the hoop.

He missed.

Oh poor, unfortunate Corby. Yet with a smile on his face he shot again. And again. And again. He missed every shot. Corby knew his destiny would be to grow and to teach himself this lesson once again. After all, his name was Corby Grayson. He was the inspiring CG. Yet… that didn’t mean he couldn’t teach himself at this very moment how to accomplish his very dream.

Citizens passed by, eyeing Corby as he missed every shot. Corby continued and played with only himself and his questions.

“Why did that happen? Why me?”

And deep down, he knew. And he knew that he knew.

It must’ve been a miracle. 



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