The Three Wishes, Part II

This is a continuation. Part I is here.

This question, so innocuous, definitely produced a response from the genie ahead of me.  He stopped dead, spinning around to glare at me.  His eyes were wide, and his look was so intense that I took a half-step back before I caught myself.

“Want to be set free??” he repeated, nearly screaming.  “Are you freakin’ mad, man?”

Faced with this onslaught, I cowered back.  “I saw it in a movie!” I stammered, too terrified to say anything but the truth.

For a moment later, the man glared daggers at me.  Then, he took a deep breath, clearly attempting to calm himself.  “Ahhhh,” he sighed as he let out the breath slowly.  “No, please, please, for the love of God, do not set me free!  And don’t even joke about that!”

I was confused.  “Wait, you don’t want to be set free?  Why not?  Isn’t this a burden on you?”

The genie opened his mouth to reply, but then paused, wagging a finger at me.  “I’ll tell you after you make a wish,” he replied.

Right.  A wish.  I had three, right, so it was okay if this one wasn’t perfect?  I racked my brain.  But something made me pause.  “What about phrasing?” I asked.  “Are you going to always grant it in some twisted way?”

The genie threw up his hands.  “No!” he all but shouted.  “Just wish!  I just want them over and done with – I’m not going to waste time screwing them up for you!”

I didn’t know if I could trust the man, but what other option did I have.  “Okay,” I began.  “I’d like to never have to worry about money again.  Just have, like, a trillion dollars someplace.  No one knows, but I can just pay for whatever I need without ever thinking about it.”

“Oh, you humans,” the genie chortled, more to himself than to me.  “Always thinking about money.”  He raised his hand and snapped his fingers.  “Granted.”  And a moment later, he handed me a black credit card.

“Okay,” I said, after tucking the card away carefully.  “Now, why don’t you want to be free?”

We had come to a bus stop, and the genie took a seat on the empty bench.  He looked up at me for a second, waiting until I sat down next to him.  “Look, this isn’t my world,” he said.  “And I don’t even know all the details of this whole ordeal.  Our universe is entangled with yours, or something like that, so occasionally we get yanked over from ours to yours.  And not to put too fine a point on it, but yours sucks.”

I wasn’t sure if I should be offended at this slight to our universe.  I mean, it wasn’t terrible!  But the genie was still talking.

“And anyway, when we come over, we’ve got a bunch of energy buildup, that we figured out we can discharge through wishes,” he continued.  “So that’s where the wishes come from.”

“But you don’t want to be free because…”

“…because if you wish that, it discharges all the energy – but uses it to bind us to this universe!” the genie finished my sentence, a little heat in his words.  “And really, all I want to do is get home.”

I nodded.  I could understand that.  I felt as though I’d been trying to get home for far too long.

After a long minute of silence, the genie clapped his hands down on his knees.  “Anyway,” he said, finally breaking the quiet.

“Second wish?”

The Three Wishes, Part I

The genie wasn’t how I had always envisioned them in my head.

For one thing, he wasn’t big and blue, with bulging muscles and those metal bands around his fat wrists.  Instead, he was wearing a tee shirt, the logo faded to obscurity amid what had to be years of occasional stains, and a pair of faded and scuffed jeans.  He looked more like a surfer than a magical being.

If he hadn’t appeared with a clap of thunder in the middle of the antique shop, out of thin air, I would have never pegged him as unusual at all…

Currently, he was staring down at me with a rather pained expression.  He was quite tall, so he could pull off a very imposing downward stare.  “Well?” he demanded.

“Well what?”

“Ugh.  Come on, haven’t you mortals figured this out yet?”  The man rolled his eyes, looking around at the dusty antiques surrounding us without much interest.  “God, I always end up coming through in places like this,” he complained.

Was mortals an insult?  Not quite knowing what to say, I instead gestured towards the front of the shop.  “We could go for a walk outside if you wanted some fresh air?” I suggested.

For the first time, the genie actually looked vaguely interested.  “Sounds great,” he replied.  One hand gestured back behind him as he strode forward.  “Don’t forget to grab the lamp.”

I reached out and snatched up the lamp (a rather hideous thing, I was just trying to buff some dirt off the crest to see if I recognized the name), sticking it under one arm as I hurried after the genie.

“Ahh, that’s better!” the man announced with considerably more appreciation as we exited the shop.  I had been caught by the elderly little storekeeper, and ended up having to fork over four dollars in wrinkled bills before she let me leave with the lamp.  She had insisted on wrapping it up in some old newspaper, and it now sat at the bottom of a small shopping bag.

Every now and then, the man walking in front of me would send a glance backward towards that bag.  They were casual, barely even noticeable, but I saw them.  He was definitely attached to the lamp.

“So how does this work?” I finally spoke up, after two blocks.  “I get three wishes?”

“Yeah, exactly.  Then I get to get out of this stupid dimension.”

“Are there any restrictions?”

The genie shrugged.  “Heck, not really.  I’ve heard them all, but most of them are totally possible.  You can’t mess up the laws of physics too much, but other than that, go nuts.”

I didn’t have much experience with genies, or wishes, for that matter.  Most of my wishes had dwindled down in my mind over the years.  Instead of looking forward to achieving world peace or fame, I simply looked forward to the end of the day, to maybe affording that nice jacket I’d seen in the department store window.

Not something that requires divine intervention.

We were still walking, and I tried to think of what I knew of genies.  Unfortunately, most of my experience came from when I’d had to sit through Aladdin four times with my niece’s kid.  And that wasn’t quite the most modern available reference.  I couldn’t think of any other alternatives, though.

“So,” I finally ventured.  “Do you want me to wish for you to be set free?”

Have you heard? I wrote a book!

I wrote a book!  A novel, actually!

Check it out here:

This little project started 9 months ago, when I participated in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month.  However, just because this story was written, that didn’t mean that it was ready to be shared.  Not yet.

But now, after nine months of tweaking and editing, I feel ready for it to be published.  Fly, little novel!  Go out into this big, scary world, and make a few people chuckle!

For anyone who wants to read what this book is about, just continue.  Trust me, it’s funny.

”All I wanted was the perfect wedding. No bitter mother, no pothead father, no crazy sister or lecherous brother-in-law. No surprises. Nothing going wrong. Not happening.”

Danielle Jansen, newly engaged bride-to-be, knows that there are signs suggesting that her wedding won’t turn out perfect. 

One such sign? As soon as she’s engaged, her parents can talk about nothing but divorce. Next, Danielle finds that her bitter mother has hired a wedding planner without her knowledge – and the theme appears to be Damnation & Hellfire. And just to put the cherry on top, her insane sister shows up to her bachelorette party stumbling drunk – and claims that she just seduced Danielle’s husband-to-be. 

When Danielle’s boyfriend proposed, she warned him about the chaos that would shortly follow. He didn’t listen, but she did warn him. Because the old saying really is true: you don’t just marry your partner – you’re stuck with their entire family…

If the link above, doesn’t work, you can get to it here:

Tell your friends!  Tell your family!  Tell your enemies, if you think they’ll buy a copy out of spite!  No Kindle?  You can read this book in your browser!  But please, help me continue to provide a brief moment’s entertainment by supporting me in this purchase!