“Work was good today. Excellent job.” The door closed with a click, only the sound of shoes tapping on the floor. Michael was the receptionist he hired, a bright young man who sometimes reminded Gabriel of a starry-eyed puppy. “Here’s the mail.”

Gabriel smiled at the stack of appreciation letters on his desk. They were penned by his grateful clients, for fulfilling the deepest requests that they were desperate to come true. “Thanks.”

“You’re really such a star. I’m so glad you’re doing this for the people.”

“Yeah. Funny how this all came to be.”

Michael smiled. “Tell me, was it magical?”

“Oh, it certainly was interesting.”

The memory of Gabriel, head bowed low and getting yelled at in front of the entire office was so vividly etched into his mind that he could never forget the anger and humiliation. Running on caffeine the night before, he had rushed through the last portion of a report and overlooked a minor detail that turned out to be everything but minor.

His face burned with shame as he stood stiffly in the direct line of fire of the project manager’s aggressively flying spit. A piercing rage trapped within the cages of his heart; bubbling resentment threatening to spill over at the unjust nature of the situation. But a sudden calm wave had washed over him then. And for a moment, everything seemed to dull down; the screeching yells of his project manager engulfed by an uncanny blanket of tranquillity.

The next thing he knew, the project manager received word saying the issue was resolved. That was the first time he’d performed a miracle; the first time he realised that he could be something more than a lowly worker slaving through months of overtime work and understaffed projects. An inciting incident, one may call it.

To this day, Gabriel wishes this discovery was more exciting. He would have a much easier time explaining to clients who queried for his origin story. Instead, he had to come up with one that sounded thrilling enough to have his clients’ eyes sparkle with wonder.

Devmi, Gabriel’s colleague at work, took time to reel in the news he brought to her. Truly, it was mind-boggling. To be fair, what else was the proper reaction to your friend suddenly awakening with great abilities?

“What you’re saying is, you are like Jesus from the Bible.” There was a brief pause before she continued. “The performing miracles, not the whole salvation part.”

“Yes?” Gabriel had replied with an uncertain tone. “I mean, I haven’t done anything else. But imagine what the possibilities are! I think—”

“How did you find out? Did some mysterious person appear in your dream and bestow these powers upon you?”

“Everything was absolutely normal! Surely there are other things I can do.” Gabriel began rambling, ideas spouting off the top of his head. He didn’t think he had been this quick when he had to suggest ideas for a new project. “Cure terminal illnesses, make the dead come back to life—” 

His friend’s demeanour turned serious. “You should be careful with this, Gabriel. Who knows what people would do if they found out?”

He tried to laugh it off. “So what, Devmi? People want all sorts of things.”

“People can surprise you, Gabriel. Their deepest desires may be darker than you think.”

Gabriel strolled down the streets to grab his usual cup of coffee. Just down the road from his little office tucked away in the blocks was a quaint coffee place that brewed excellent concoctions of caffeine. The walk to this establishment was his way of taking a breather from work. It was also during this time period where he would think about the next miracles he could do.

It wasn’t strange for him to heal people from their undiagnosed illnesses, and turn water into various drinks just by the wave of his hand. He had even fed an entire community stricken by poverty with just small boxes of food.

His abilities were not limited to people, nature too. Flowers bloomed in places where they shouldn’t, he could command rainbows to decorate the skies or cease thunderstorms to a halt.

He really could have the world at his fingertips.

A sudden, prickling sensation prompted him to look around. No one was paying any attention to him, and yet the feeling of a burning gaze lingered, like a prey marked by its predator. An eerie chill went down his spine.

He quickened his footsteps, throwing occasional glances over his shoulder. As he headed for the coffee shop, a brief flicker at the corner of his eye caught his attention; a silhouette, just there, then gone. His heart pounded against his chest. Was someone following him? 

A heart-jerking tune blared, causing him to jump before it occurred to him that his phone was ringing. An unknown caller. He hesitated for a split second, then swiped right to answer the call. It was a woman requesting his services, a hint of desperation in her tone as she asked to meet.

“You healed my father a year ago.” Gabriel sat opposite the young woman at a quiet, pink and blue themed cafe, his coffee forgotten. She introduced herself as Laura. The look of confusion on his face must have been evident as she immediately elaborated.

“He had a serious heart condition that doctors couldn’t seem to cure and desperately sought you to help. I believe he asked you to give him another chance to live.”

“Ah, I remember now.” Relief flooded him as he could recall the client. Andrew Whittaker, an upper-class businessman who built quite a life with his trading. “How is he?”

She was silent for a moment before quietly saying, “He passed three months ago.”

“He lost himself to his obsessions. It made us miserable and bitter.” She sucked in a breath. “Maybe if he left us earlier, things would have been better.”

He lowered his gaze. “My condolences.”

She explained that her father’s passing left deep scars in the family. Wounds that would only heal with time. But they were not blessed with such time. Her family succumbed to sorrow and grew apart day after day after day, unwilling to accept the fact her father had died despite the miracle.

She feared her fragile familial ties would stretch and stretch until eventually, it would snap. The loss of her father ate away at her mother, leaving her naught but an empty shell. Emotionless and dull. So she pleaded with Gabriel: if only he could erase her mother’s memory of her father.

Feeling like he had no choice, Gabriel did what he thought was right.

“You erased her mother’s memory?” Devmi was absolutely in shock, no surprise there. Gabriel winced at her shrill voice, but nodded. 

“T-that’s unnatural,” she spluttered, panic etched into her features. “And without her mother’s consent for god’s sake!” 

Gabriel was silent for a moment, before saying quietly, “Her mother’s consent wouldn’t have made it right. Just like her mother’s lack of consent wouldn’t have made it wrong. What did it matter, as long as her mother was happy? Even though her mother would live in ignorance, she would at least live in contentment, their family a whole once more. Would it still be wrong?”  

Devmi wavered, in her eyes an unspoken protest. Gabriel was a dear friend, seeing how they got along as interns and eventually as fellow colleagues. She wanted the best for him, and she was glad that he had found purpose with these miracles he was doing. 

“What you’re doing is good for them,” she finally said, acceptance seeping into her bones. “But I hope you understand what the consequences entail.”

With that, she stood to leave, like the leaves swept away with the wind. Gabriel rubbed his face and wondered if he truly believed what he’d told Devmi. A tingling sensation ran through the back of his neck, and Gabriel shot up immediately, eyes scanning the perimeters, searching for a mysterious watcher. An uneasy feeling crept into his nerves when he was met with nothing at all.

A month had passed, clients came and went. Devmi had not spoken to Gabriel since then, so he steered clear of seeing her. He was hoping she would cool down and they could meet up again, but for now, work remained at the top of the pyramid.

Gabriel flopped on his office chair, fatigue washing over him. A light tap came at the door, and he looked up just in time to see Michael holding a new stack of letters. 

“This week’s mail,” Michael said as he set the stack atop Gabriel’s desk. Warmth flooded through Gabriel as he picked up the new set of letters written to him by his clients, the ones he helped at their lowest times. A little pleased with himself, he tore open the top envelope and unfolded the letter inside.

“How does it feel like to play hero?” whispered a voice. Gabriel jerked his head up, startled.

“Pardon?” Gabriel turned to Michael, who frowned in confusion. 

“I didn’t say anything.” There was no one else in the room, no other potential speaker in sight.

Gabriel parted his mouth to protest, before a flurry of yells and cries boomed from outside. Gabriel was on his feet in an instance, following behind Michael as they rushed out to investigate the commotion. A crowd had formed, encircling a woman who seemed to be begging and pleading desperately. Recognition lit up in Gabriel’s eyes as he saw the woman, prompting him to push through the crowd. Laura Whittaker.

At the sight of Gabriel, she broke down and pleaded, begging him to help her. Through her incoherent garbles, Gabriel deduced a simple fact: her mother had passed.

“You did this to us,” she screamed, hands clawing at him. Grief had reduced her to such a state.

“I simply did what you asked,” he attempted to speak calmly. It was difficult to see Laura in such a hysterical state, especially when she was saying that he caused it.

“No. You are the cause of our sorrows.” Her voice was getting hoarse now. Passer-bys were staring in shock, stunned at the scene. There were even a few who got their phones out to film. Gabriel prayed that none of this would reach the reporters and news channels.


That was the last time he saw Laura, before she was pulled away by whatever help Michael managed to get. The pricking sensation was back again, stronger. But Gabriel clenched his fists and ignored it, there were bigger matters at hand now.

In the few weeks that Laura caused a scene at the entrance, their clients had basically turned to dust. As the daughter of a famous businessman, word got out that Gabriel was running around wrecking havoc under the guise of fixing things. His work was dwindling.

“We became dependent on you, hoping that you would show up again and make everything better,” a person said in an interview.

“Miracles help us understand the beauty of humanity, we shouldn’t harness it to bring self-satisfaction or destruction,” said a reporter on the news channel, in deep discussion with others about Gabriel’s services. “He’s ruining everything.”

Feeling bitter and lethargic, Gabriel turned the television off with a groan. Slumping into his seat, he was exhausted from the comments he received. The backlash was getting to him, having a lack of appetite and reluctance to go out.

He didn’t even notice Michael knock on the door and push it open. Something was placed on his desk.

“Have you truly benefited their lives?” Michael asked, his tone solemn. Gabriel was thinking this must be the first time he’s ever seen his receptionist so serious. For someone who wore an easy smile, he looked as if the world was weighing down on his shoulders. “Are they happy?”

“Aren’t they? I healed their ailments, made spectacular results in places where there was no hope—”

“Yes, but haven’t you seen what you’ve done? I never wanted to sign up for such a thing.”

“You applied for the job.”

“But I realised the damage you were causing.” Michael’s voice was breaking, on the verge of tears even. “I believed what you were doing was good. But now…”

“Don’t you think this world needs some miracles?” Gabriel tried to fight back. After so much loss, he couldn’t stand to lose support. “We see so much pain and conflict each day. What harm am I doing for helping these people and their desperate needs?”

“Those were indeed great things,” his receptionist finally said, voice soft.

“But isn’t that why it’s called a miracle?”

With that, Michael turned to leave the office. A blink of an eye, he was gone. All packed and a resignation letter staring at Gabriel on his desk. The sight of it was making him feel numb.

His chest ached, filled with an anguish that Gabriel could not help but let out with a cry. Crumpling to the ground, he lay with this growing ache in his ribs. A sharp pain erupted in his skull, and he struggled to move.

What had he done?

Doing what he thought was good, it came to bite him back. Even after helping all these people, he was still miserable and nothing was going right.

This selfish thought found its way into the back of his mind, could he just make this all resolved? He could build this up again, get people to flock to his services. It seemed so possible.

But maybe, this would shatter his world into pieces. The only thing he’d be doing, was running away from the consequences, taking no responsibility at all.

Maybe, waiting on this miracle would break everything he had left.

Leaves rustled in the chilly night air, the moon and stars hung in pitch darkness where they were the only sources of light. Shadows crept in alleys and pavements, full of stealth and secrets.

Somewhere, a tired young student makes the impossible possible.

“Would you like to create miracles?” whispers a voice.

Written By: Zhen Li & Emily

Edited By: Merissa

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