I've often heard it's best to be careful what you wish for. That's the case for a young boy from the village of Doi Saket in Thailand. On the full moon of the 12th month (Thai festival of Loi Krathong), the people of his village collect the krathong, as well as a wishes, launched down the river, and try to grant them. The boy has no wishes, and he journeys to seek the head monk to ask him what he should wish for. What he discovers is that the altruism of the villagers is not universal, and there are nefarious actions afoot. Just like the butterfly that flaps its wings in New Mexico causing a hurricane in China, one boy's quest to find out what he should wish for causes a string of reactions in his own land.
Told in a gentle, Thai-like style by an author of Dutch descent, this short story is another Hugo nominee, made possible for free e-download by the publisher, Tor.
Tags: Tor, short story, magical realism