Gerald could feel it. He could feel himself getting stronger, just as he had wanted. He had wished for it and it was happening.
As he stood in the little open area of the woods, surrounded by big, thickly-trunked trees, he could feel himself changing.
It was coming from all around; all pouring into him, power filling him entirely. Just as he had asked. With the power came a great joy that caused him to smile broadly and laugh out loud.
What luck to happen upon this secret area of the wood, untouched for so long, and to find the means to bring his wildest hopes and desires come true.
As he laughed with delight, he felt everything around him laugh as well. He could feel himself growing; swelling with the power he was receiving.
He tried to take a step but found he could not. He looked down and saw he was rooted to the ground. He still smiled but his laughter faded as he looked closer and saw that he was not actually rooted to the ground, but sinking into it.
The power kept filling him, but the joy he had felt slipped away and was replaced by panic as the ground opened more to consume him.
Gerald looked frantically around at the trees for something to grab a hold of, but found nothing. But then saw what he had forgotten, the little wood imp he had chased and caught. Still standing on the mossy stump with its little green cap sitting slightly askew on its knotty head.
It smiled and laughed as Gerald called out to it for help.
“Oh,” it sung in a mischievous voice. “But this is what you wished for, my lad.” it did a little jig and clapped its hands as Gerald sunk deeper into the earth.
Gerald could feel himself growing hot with the power that filled him. Too hot. He burnt the grass and ground where he sank. What was happening to him?
He felt apart of everything but somehow it all felt wrong; too hot to be right.
“What have you done to me?” Gerald screamed at the gleeful imp dancing upon the stump. He became closer to the ground and he could feel his body below disappearing into...
He screamed out and it shook the ground, the trees, the entire wood, everything around for miles with power.
The wood imp stopped dancing as Gerald tried to hold on to the surface that was slowly enveloping him. It stared with a sly smile on its gnarled face.
“Why I granted your wish, sonny.” its voice was mockingly chipper. “Your wish to become the most powerful thing in the world.”
Gerald screamed out again as he melted into the earth's crust, disappearing into the deep chasm that had opened up for him. His scream turning into a rumble as he flowed down, to join with the sea of molten lava that the surface of the planet rested on. Becoming one with it, all the way to the very core itself. Becoming what he had wished for; becoming the most powerful thing in the world.