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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

Fair Exchange (The Conclusion)

A short story

Note: This story is a combination of a little bit of facts and a whole lot of fiction. A brother can dream, right? I’m writing all that’s fiction into existence 🤓.

Photo courtesy of the author, Henery X

Living dreams comes at a cost.-Henery X

Fair Exchange (The Conclusion)

2023, Henery X ©


January 25, 2023

12:00 p.m. EST

I was cruising the streets of Detroit in my black and chrome 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. I have several other up-to-date vehicles, but none of them could compare with this one. The car in question was the first thing I purchased when I became rich in 2018. I had smooth instrumental jazz playing as I was thinking about what happened yesterday. Since the release of my current book, I Lived A Dream, earlier this year, I have written nothing noteworthy. So many people, especially my publisher, were waiting on the sequel for It Was Destined… Urban Legend, but I just couldn’t mentally envision it. After It Was Destined, I created four books, all of which reached bestseller status as well. But the people were hungry for that elusive urban sequel and when the people are hungry, we better be able to feed them or they just may go elsewhere to dine.

“Hello, Henery,” Samantha whispered. She appeared in the passenger seat, looking lovely as ever. I can’t lie. Her sudden appearance startled me, as I suppose it would have done with the average person.

“Greetings, Sam. How are you today?”

“Grateful. Pull over so we can talk, please.”

I pulled into a strip-mall parking lot and parked. I turned the vehicle off.

“So, have you decided?”

“Seven years is a lot for something I could get done in six months, a year tops.”

“True. But you’re not even thinking of any ideas for the sequel?”

“I know, Sam,” I said somberly.

“Well, let us help you. We can do what will take you six months to a year, in two days.”

“Two days!”


“What if I offered Q a million dollars instead?”

“We have no use for money, Henery. Let me give you a brief history lesson on The Land of Imagination.”

She had my undivided attention.

“Q presented the idea to help people live their dreams to the Most High, and she laughed.”

“Wait. God is a woman?”

Samantha chuckled.

“God is whatever gender we imagine, and I imagine a powerful woman. Anyway. Back to the matter at hand. She laughed because she thought there would be no way people would abandon their own effort to produce their desires for something predetermined. But despite this, she set a deadline of one year for Q to gain one million clients or the project would be discontinued. In two months, Q had a million and a half clients, thanks in part to us muses.”

“Wow! Back stories always fascinate me. So, why isn’t cash accepted?”

“Because time is the only currency that matters in The Land of Imagination. We except time because it, along with effort, are the two primary things responsible for making dreams a reality.”

I thought about what Samantha had just shared with me. If this is God approved, it has to be good. Right?

“Alright, Sam. Let’s do this.”

“Alrighty then. Take my hand.”

The second after I placed my hand in hers, we were in The Land of Imagination. And shortly after the fact, Q appeared.

“Welcome back, Henery.”

“Greetings, Q.”

“So, what have you decided?”

“I want that sequel.”

“And you shall have it. I just need you to sign this contract.”

Q waved his left hand and a piece of paper, and a pen appeared in his right hand.

“Please read it carefully before signing.”

He handed me the paper and pen. The wording on the paper was straightforward: “I agree to exchange seven years of my life for the sequel to my bestselling book, It Was Destined… Urban Legend.” I signed my name and handed the paper and pen back to him.

“Excellent. Once the manuscript is complete, and in your possession, we will automatically deduct the years from your life. Now, let’s get started, shall we.”

With a wave of his hand, Q brought about a comfortable recliner for me to lounge in. After this, he waved his hand again, and what would be the sequel of It Was Destined… Urban Legend began playing out right before my eyes. It was as if I was in a movie theater, minus the crowd and refreshments. I guess Q was reading my mind because a large box of popcorn appeared on my lap, and an ice cold soft drink appeared in my right hand. This was better than anything I could have thought of. Seeing what would make up the sequel of my bestselling book in real time, I was entranced.



January 27, 2023

3:00 p.m. EST

Me and my wife were sitting in the living room of our home enjoying one another’s company. Sabrena was not only my wife but also my best friend who helped me to get all of my books published. She had all the right connections that ensured my books ended up before the people, who would ensure they ended up in the hands of the masses.

“I adore you, Babe,” I said.

“Do you?” Sabrena gave me a look that always made me feel special.

“You know it to be true.”

My phone vibrated, which was a sign I had a message. I picked it up from the arm of the recliner I was lounging in and opened it up. It was an email from Q. “As promised, here’s your manuscript. Thank you for your business. Best regards, Q.”


“Great news, Honey?”

“Absolutely. I have the sequel for It Was Destined.”

“What! When did you write that? How am I just now hearing about this? I thought you had a serious case of writer’s block. And why do you suddenly look noticeably older?

I began explaining to my wife what had happened. And as she listened, her facial expressions were a mixture of surprise, anger, and fear.

Photo courtesy of the author, Henery X, and was created using the facelab app

The moral of the story: It costs to live dreams. Sure, we can pay someone else to do the things we could do for free, but would we appreciate the end result? Struggle is ordain. It brings about the appropriate appreciation for accomplishment. If we continue to avoid putting forth our own effort, eventually it'll become the only thing we'll desire to do. Do what you can, while you can. Nothing in life is free, but we can choose what we want to pay for. Time is our greatest commodity. Spend it wisely, because we don’t know how much of it we have.

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my offering. May all you deserve and desire flow abundantly into your life, as a river does into a sea.

Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.

May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.

Continue to be a lighthouse for all those who feel lost in the sea of life.

Peace, Love, and the utmost Respect.

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