Three Wishes

You bump into a genie and she offers to grant you three wishes. What are your wishes and why?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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108 thoughts on “Three Wishes

  1. Mr.Philip

    Emerson was a very strange man. He seemed to be in a world of his own, and odd things always seemed to follow him wherever he went. He was always believing the ridiculous and planning against preposterous events.
    So it did not surprise him when, one Saturday evening, a genie appeared in his garage.
    “Hello, good sir,” the genie said, “I am a creature of immense power and wisdom. Ask me, and I shall grant you three wishes.”
    The genie, obviously attempting to impress the man with her amazing powers, might have been slightly oblivious to the man’s skill with the unnatural. Enveloped in pride, she did not realize that he was trying to trap her in her words.
    Of course, Emerson had run this very same situation in his head countless times before. He decided to show this genie who was boss.
    “You- you said, O powerful genie, that you would grant your humble servant’s wishes thrice?”
    “Why yes. I will use my infinite and eternal source of power to grant your three wishes on this abased planet.”
    “And (do please forgive your humble servant for asking this) you have the power to grant anything I may ask? Anything?”
    “I have the power to grant anything you ask.”
    “Then, O genie, I ask that you would grant me this: give me one hundred billion more wishes!”
    The genie finally saw the man’s sarcastic tact, but only too late, for the wish was already granted. Now the poor genie was faced with an impossible choice: to grant this man’s wish and become his slave forever, or to return home without granting the man’s wish, thus destroying her honor as a genie. She slapped her hand over her face.
    “I…uh…sorry about this, but….I gotta go.”
    And without any further words, the genie departed in utter humiliation forever.
    Of course, this is exactly what Emerson had wanted. He laughed quietly to himself.
    “Well, there are several morals to this story,” he said, “Don’t get too prideful, don’t be a genie, but my favorite is this: Perhaps a good insult is better than a hundred wishes!”
    Still laughing, he walked into his house.

  2. Amslovesgod

    So ya a bus is not really where I expected to bump into a genie but I was smart enough to know not to shout out the first thing that came to my mind as genies are tricky. So I thought quietly for a few minutes and then said “genie for my first wish I wish for a working time machine. ” the genie nodded and there in front of us was a real time machine squssing the five people in front of me to death. Ops forgot I was on a bus, “Well now I wish for a billion dollars from 1990” the Bennie the genie agin nodded and there in my hand was a bag full of cash. Finally I smiled and said “I want Taylor ( a hot guy from down the street) to be here handcuffed to me ” the genie nodded one last time and Taylor was handcuffed to me looking baffled. I then smiled hoped into the time machine with Taylor still hooked to me and off we flew back to 1992 where we landed outside a large building I took him in got a room and handcuffed him to the bed. Then I went back outside destroyed the time machine and went to the local court house explaing that my husband and i lost are passports and documents to a thief and I said I had the money to pay them what ever they needed to replace them. They were very helpful especially when they found out I was planing on starting a computer business here in California.. after that I went back to the hotel gave Taylor his new ID card and let him know no one would believe him if he tried to fight me. So that is how I came to start dapple computer company and have a family my husbands only been locked up three times in a mental ward for his delusions and I am the loving wife who keeps him highly medicated.

  3. Nouseh

    It was getting late. Everyone had already left the training ground over the past hour or so. The locker room was lifeless.

    Isn’t it unnerving just how fast a place usually bustling with loud cheers and friendly banter can be reduced to a hollow and sad space without its people?

    Andy was glad to be alone, though, finally. The jabbing looks his teammates gave him made him feel worse than any of what had just transpired on the field did. He could still feel their eyes on him, even after they had left.

    I was doing okay in the 2nd division, he thought, maybe I’m just not cut out for playing at this level…

    “You cost us the trophy with that reckless challenge of yours, Andy!” David had screamed after everyone had gathered around in the locker room, just as they had done 100 times before.

    “Clumsiest tackle I’ve seen in all my years in football! You didn’t even get anywhere near the ball! Just went flying in and caught your man. In our own damn box. From the back for Christ’s sake!”

    Coach David wasn’t yelling at Andy per se. He was pacing the room, staring down and shouting at the floor. He wasn’t even looking at him. That somehow made his words sting even more.

    “In all my years in football”

    That two-footed challenge got Andy sent off and gave their archrivals a penalty, which was duly converted by their star forward to level the score. Being a man up over the last half hour of the game ensured their opponents scored again. And, again to claim the trophy in what had been a highly anticipated cup final.

    As he sped across town in cherry red Alfa Romeo 4C Spider on his way home, Andy suddenly found himself laughing out loud.
    Good thing I used my new signing bonus to buy you earlier this season, ey Spider?

    “What the…”

    Suddenly there was someone in the middle of the road straight ahead of him. He swerved the car left just missing the woman, then right in an attempt to regain control. But the car flew off the ground, and came crashing down. It flipped over once again before sliding across the empty street and finally coming to a screeching halt.

    He felt the blood trickling down his face.
    Shaken and bruised, Andy slowly crawled out of the car.

    “Are you okay, Miss?” He limped over to the woman in the middle of the street, dragging his right leg behind him.

    Getting closer, Andy realized this was no human in front him.

    “Who…. What are you?” he demanded.
    “I’ve been set free from my bottle and can only return to it by granting a human three wishes” the genie replied, without turning around to face him.

    “Right.”

    I must’ve hit my head pretty damn hard back there…

    “What is your first wish?”
    “Okayyy. You are not real and I clearly need to get to a hospital…”
    “You don’t need a hospital. If you command it, I can heal you right here. And fix your car too. As if this accident never happened”
    “Sure… why don’t you do that…while I call an ambulance real quick”
    “Done”

    Andy couldn’t believe it.
    He was bleeding just a second ago. His headache was gone. He patted himself frantically. He was fine. Glancing over his back, he found Spider neatly parked near the sidewalk, unscathed.

    “What… How did you do that?!” he fussed.
    “Two more wishes” The genie replied, ignoring Andy’s confusion.
    “Well… hell, since this working then I want you to make me the best football player in the world! I want the top clubs in Europe vying to sign me!”
    “Done”

    He didn’t feel any different just yet, but he didn’t have a reason to distrust the genie after the first wish came true.

    “For your third wish, would you like to have your right leg back?”
    “What?! What do you mean my right leg back?!” he snapped at the genie as he looked down the length of his body towards his legs.

    “My leg!” Andy screamed clutching his right thigh and raising his leg upwards.
    It was cleanly cut from just under the knee down.
    Almost as if someone had carefully sliced it off in an instant…

    “What have you done?!”

    The initial shock made way for weakness and he fell backwards; smashing his body into the street behind him so hard it felt like he tore the ground open and kept falling, and falling. Ripping through the crust towards the core of the Earth.

    “My leg! My leg!” he screamed all the way down “How am I going to play again!”

    “Hey, honey, take it easy”
    He opened his eyes. The left eye felt heavier, and firmly shut. Like something was smothering it. He followed Caroline’s voice, his loving wife, with his right eye until he found her. She smiled down at him.
    “Hey, baby, you okay? You had that same dream again?”
    “Yeah…”
    He stared at his legs, stretched out on the hospital bed and tucked under the cover. His left foot bulging out from under it. His right leg, cut short, just beneath the knee.
    “The way your car looked… You’re lucky to be alive, Andy. Try to focus on that honey, okay?”
    “Yeah…”

    He tilted his head backwards. Closed his eyes and searched his mind for spider. Neatly parked on the side of the road.

    Yes. Yes… I want my right leg back…

  4. tpaladin

    ~Azur-gul, the Jinn of Justice, is a character in a horror novella that I may or may not write someday. I hope that you like it 🙂

    He kneeled awkwardly, camera poised, and stared at the woman’s pursed, rigid, and dry lips as he swooned in his horrific moment of glory. A final gasping breath heaved from her as she faded, and he quickly sketched the last of her expressions as to capture that fleeting moment between life and death. This latest addition to his voluminous stack of ghastly animations composed of decades of collages he had collected would not be the last. However, this macabre melange would perhaps be his final offering to his lewd lady of Darkness. Prior to the capture of his most dedicated and somewhat enamored student in the Mysticism course he taught at the Department of Religious Studies in the Willamette Valley of Eugene, OR. Professor Glave had studied briefly in Mecca at the behest of several colleagues who revered his vast knowledge of Arabian History and The Quran. They bid him to visit the Grand Mosque during a Springtime convention since he was the only member of his esteemed staff to have never been during his doctoral studies abroad.

    Egyptian, European, Iraqi and South American “projects” drew him away from that final destination of his fellow dissertation buddies at the time. That is when he met Azur-gul, a pale-faced and cloaked gimp he found panhandling outside the Swissotel Makkah after dining and several Bloody Marys with Garvin and Shayla, his closest student aides. The wheezing pleas and anemic pallor of this wretched man was amusing to Glave, so he allowed the man to speak long enough to elicit laughter from his two aides. “I know what you are, scholar of darkness, and I offer you three choices by which you may repent by way of suffering.”, he spoke. “It is important that you gather your wits to answer, lest you fail to recognize the quizzical nature of my gifts”…again, more laughter as he uttered these seemingly nonsensical words in drunken ears. “Fame, prosperity, and health”, he interrupted, were the answers that he gave amid the cacophony of grossly lurid suggestions from the others, as he staggered toward the direction of his room dismissing the man and his riddlesome ranting. His woeful decision that evening would be something that would alter every aspect of his successfully dynamic lifestyle, and the duality of his academic and gruesome identity.

    1. Nouseh

      Don’t leave us hanging ;)! Good read, especially liked the Azur-gul name and the offer to repent through wishes that end up being used on personal fame, prosperity and health instead!

      1. tpaladin

        Thank you, Nouseh:) I am glad that you like the idea. So much of writing is research for the setting and character dynamics. Fiction, for me, is about 75% research and 25% creativity. I hope that you had a good New Year!

  5. jhowe

    Hilary double took another look and rubbed her eyes, smearing her mascara as the genie floated in front of her.

    “What’s in the bottle beotch?” the genie said.

    “I’m sure I have no idea, ma’am.” Hilary said.

    “Let me give you a hint. It ain’t me, cause you just set me free mama.”

    “I’m so happy for you… so if I could be on my way.”

    “Not so fast mama. You got to make your wishes first.”

    “I do wish you wouldn’t call me mama.”

    “Now you just went and wasted a perfectly good wish. How bout I give you a little help. How bout some shoes that go with that lame ass pant suit.”

    “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my shoes or my attire.”

    “How bout a mirror then ma…. I mean beotch.”

    “You’re wasting my time, my good woman… so if you’d just step aside.”

    “Ok, I’ll level with you. You get three wishes, but you only got two left cause you wasted the first one.”

    “You can’t be serious.”

    “Try me.”

    “Ok, let me think. I wish you would shut up.” Hilary beamed with self-satisfaction as the genie opened her mouth and gaped like a beached carp.

    “Are you serious? You really can’t talk?”

    The genie shook her head.

    “Ok,” Hilary said. “I guess I’d better be careful with this last wish.”

    Just then, a man rounded the corner followed by an entourage of serious men in suits. He sidled up next to the genie and said something quietly into her ear and gave her a slight tap on the bottom. Hilary’s face turned candy apple red and there was a poof of smoke and then he was gone.

  6. Kerry Charlton

    I thought you might enjoy a Christmas Memory

    PHILADELPHIA, THE EARLY YEARS

    A CHARLTON CHRISTMAS

    CHAPTER NINE

    Descending on my home in nineteen forty four, the Charlton Christmas boasted

    unusual traditions, due to the character of my Father. Dad believed in a big bang theory

    when it came to stretching a dollar. If he ever walked through another life style, it had

    existed years before I was born. Suspicions ran rampant that in his early years, Dad

    had been a big spender, judging from the quality of antique furniture that made its home

    with us.

    We lived in a two story cottage in Upper Darby, a northern neighborhood in the

    city of liberty, Philadelphia. A comfortable home with a pretty yard honed from my

    Mother and Father’s passion for gardening when they were young. Beds of rose bushes

    lined the front walkway to our home. I remember Dad stopping on the sidewalk each

    morning on his way to work, picking a new rose and placing it into his suit lapel. In early

    spring, roses stood proudly by the dozens each morning waiting for the master to choose

    one of them.

    I took spent roses, placed them in a glass jar, added a little water and pounded

    rose petals with a stick, making perfume for my Mother. After creating a grueling mess

    of water and broken rose petals, I proudly gave them to her and waited for her to use the

    perfume that I had made with love, behind her ears. A proud moment arrived when she

    would tell me how wonderful the rose water smelled.

    On the east side of our home, Dad had constructed cold frames out of lumber and

    old windows he had collected. It gave seedlings an early start in the spring, protecting

    them from cold Philadelphia mornings in March until mid April. Then I helped with the

    planting of the tiny plants when spring arrived in our neighborhood.

    A full basement held the furnace and coal chute on it’s left side by our driveway.

    The basement, heated by our boiler in Philadelphia winters, became a play area for me

    after school and on weekends. Dad had turned part of the lower level into a recreational

    room by painting the walls sky blue and the half windows above ground black, to keep

    the lights inside from getting out at night during black out exercises in Philadelphia

    during World War Two.

    My Father’s relationship with the coal fired house heater became tenuous at best.

    Being cranky with age, the furnace responded to my father‘s banging on it and chastising

    it by ignoring every word Dad yelled at it. By winter mornings the house remained

    freezing to a young boy whose ears heard every blue word my Father could invent,

    yelling at an inanimate heater.

    I loved the coal chute descending from the driveway on the first floor to the

    basement. Puffs of coal dust tumbled into the air surrounding my slide down to the pile of

    coal slumped beside the furnace. Mother shook her head at me, handing a bar of lava

    soap for me to clean up with in the mop sink located across from the room. I wasn’t

    allowed back upstairs into the house until I stripped to my underwear, wrapping my

    clothes up and placing them in the mop sink.

    During the war, air raid practice drills were common occurrences in Philadelphia.

    Our entire family gathered in our basement, listening to the radio, playing cards or

    reading, whiling time away until we heard the all clear siren, cutting through the silence

    in a city paused for the air raid practice. It was one more experience telling my mind, the

    war was a constant reminder of a strong country united in one simple pursuit, the ultimate

    defeat of our world enemies.

    On weekends when Dad had spare time, we retreated to our basement, making

    lead soldiers for my standing army. Using scraps of lead, Dad melted them in a small

    electric pot, making sure the lead was hot enough to pour into the two-sided soldier

    molds. When he unfolded the mold covers and exposed a new squad of lead soldiers, he

    made my happiness complete; not because of soldiers I possessed but rather that they

    were hand made by my Father.

    I sanded the edges smooth with emery paper until I was sure the seams wouldn’t

    appear through the army green paint I applied on each soldier. Eventually, I had a

    standing army of several dozen troops, some striding forward, others were crouched in a

    firing position. A fearsome amount of men to mow down any enemy forces that might

    have come by our neighborhood.

    After Thanksgiving passed in my memory, an excitement started to build about

    Santa Claus, his eight reindeer and his mysterious elves who were scheduled for a visit to

    my house on Christmas eve. Department stores glowed in holiday splendors featuring

    The Jesus Child, tucked away in a manger with shepherds, Mary and Joseph, wise men

    and animals gathered close to the cradle. Scenes of decorated trees, candy canes, elves,

    wreaths lit with electric candles and boughs of holly laced with red and green bows,

    twinkling with lights, paraded through Gimbal’s and Wanamaker’s.

    Outside department stores, display windows sparkled with toy villages, nestled

    in winter scenes of bright snow with miniature trains, puffing white smoke from their

    engines, winding their way amongst the cottages and small neighborhoods. Other store

    fronts showed animated scenes from Christmas times in the past. It was magic time for a

    small child, standing on the sidewalk jammed next to dozens of people gazing through

    the glass, listening to Christmas carols playing from broadcast speakers placed close to

    display windows.

    Inside, being dragged unwillingly to visit Santa Claus, I became anxious, looking

    up at Santa, sitting eight feet above the department store floor, beside a set of temporary

    stairs rising to meet him. Climbing steps in the open, frightened me because of the height

    above the floor and the thought of being pushed down a slide by an unfriendly, bored to

    death elf. I managed to work my way through the mess and didn’t make a scene at the

    store even though I was petrified.

    I had made my list to show Santa when he pulled me into his chair but I was too

    uncomfortable to say anything to him. It didn’t matter anyway because Mother had

    mailed my list the previous day to Santa at the North Pole after she placed a three cent

    stamp on the envelope for postage. Appearing at the top of my list was an erector set,

    complete with pulleys and electric motor. Also mentioned in the list, a chemistry set, with

    instructions on how to make gunpowder.

    Most of our neighbors had decorated their homes a week before the Christmas

    holidays, but not in our family. We were used to decorating the old fashioned way; on

    Christmas Eve. Being led to believe this resulted from old Charlton traditions, I held

    that thought well into my thirties before I realized differently.

    When my brother Bill, Dad and I showed up at the Christmas tree lot around four

    on Christmas eve, only left over, scraggly trees, greeted me. The tree man told my Father,
    “Take any tree you want for fifty cents.”

    “How about two trees for fifty cents?” Dad answered.

    “You can have as many as you need, mister. They won’t sell anymore.”

    Bill picked out the first tree and I the second. Dad loaded them on top of our forty

    two Chevy and tied them down. On the way back to our house, a feeling of

    disappointment surrounded me. These trees were so ugly compared to other trees I had

    seen earlier. But when Dad strapped the two trees together and pruned them, they looked

    wonderful to me. I wasn’t about to let his secret out to anyone.

    We struggled to push the tree through the doorway, it was immense in size. Set up

    in our living room, we started to put our lights on. Unfortunately, the lights were old and

    decrepit, when one bulb went out the whole string went dark. It took a long time to place

    the lights glowing against the tree branches. Next came the glass balls and trinkets from

    long ago when my sister was born. Mother placed her two stuffed elves she had kept in a

    small box in her dresser. They belonged to her from years in the past. Today, those two

    elves sit in a small cabinet on my sunroom wall , covered by sliding glass doors. They

    have earned their rest as I consider them too precious for to me to let them sit on the trees

    anymore.

    Hearing a gentle knock on the front door, Mother opened it. I had wished Santa

    had come early to watch but instead, a group of caroling neighbors, stood at our doors

    singing “Silent Night.” We were invited to join them caroling in the neighborhood but

    Dad thanked them telling them how beautiful the Christmas carols were and that we were

    too far behind in our decorating to join them.

    Beautiful electric candle wreaths were placed in our front windows with a single

    Christmas bulb glowing orange, reflecting light into the darkness outside. Joy’s train set

    was assembled on a simple oval track, circling our two trunk tree. Consisting of an

    enormous locomotive, a passenger car and a caboose car smaller than the middle car. The

    track was oversized and the train set had been given to Joy on her first Christmas as a

    baby. By the time I realized what Christmas was about, my sister reached her teen age

    years and replaced the train set with her new interest, boys in her classroom.

    After we finished decorating our house, I was promptly taken upstairs because

    Mother told me the same story every year; that Santa didn’t visit children’s homes if they

    were awake on Christmas eve. Bill, my older brother didn’t seem too excited about Santa

    coming, not as much as the presents he hoped would be around the tree in the morning.

    Sneaking down the staircase late at night to see if Santa had come yet, we were chased

    back to bed by our Father telling us we would scare Santa off unless we went to sleep.

    On Christmas morning , under the tree, sat my own chemistry set and a metal

    erector set with it’s own electric motor. Taking the chemistry set outside because my

    Mother insisted on it, I found mixing bowls, small wooden stirring sticks, glass tubes, a

    Bunsen burner and rows of chemical lined in order strapped to the lid as I opened it. I

    searched through the set until I found a book of instructions showing formulas to make

    things. Under gun power, a list of chemicals to be used in making it, lit the page up.

    Bill had received a new BB gun and promptly loaded it, shooting the enemy who

    climbed over our retaining wall that led to the back alley. Mother rushed out the back

    door when she heard the pop of a tiny explosion, propelling an empty can of pears that I

    had used as a rocket over the ignited gun powder.

    Later in the morning, began the ritual of Mother wresting with a twenty some

    pound turkey, with Dad’s help. It took all day to cook the bird covered with a piece of

    cheese cloth with Mother basting that monster four times an hour. She fretted over it,

    worrying she might over cook it but by magic, it turned out perfect year after year. Our

    Christmas dinner was shared by all four of my grandparents. Only one more year would I

    be able to share the Christmas season with all four of my grandparents. The usual side

    dishes were brought by my Nana Ney and Nana Beauchamp. After the turkey was

    attacked by our whole family, Nana Ney brought her dessert, a time honored event. She

    had made two large glass containers of what she called “Favorite Dessert“. We made

    quite a commotion over lady fingers laced in layers of home cooked chocolate pudding

    being topped by whipped cream made at the last minute in Mother’s kitchen.

    The first dish, disappeared with the first serving. It packed a lot of calories and

    richness in the pudding, but Bill, Dad and I attacked it with second helpings. After

    dinner my parents and grandparents shared a tiny glass of crème d mint by the fireplace.

    As children we were allowed one sip only. It thought it tasted God awful but I didn’t say

    anything about it.

    Our Philadelphia weather seemed especially biting that year but I didn’t care,

    being surrounded by all my family. It was a relief to put the war behind us even if only

    for a day and celebrate the true spirit of Christmas which my grandfather Pop Pop Ney,

    [Dr. William C. Ney] prayed about on his Christmas Eve service he conducted at

    Temple Lutheran Church in Brookline. Pop Pop Ney was senior minister at Temple

    Lutheran from nineteen twenty until nineteen fifty one, when he was given the honor as

    Pastor Emeritus.

    .

    1. jhowe

      Now that, was delightful. What a trip into the past.
      Let me see… breathing coal dust, sanding lead soldiers, riding in a 42 Chevy without seat belts, making gun powder, shooting BB guns, eating pudding coated lady fingers, sipping spirits… I can’t believe you’re still alive and kicking. Times sure have changed, but the real magic in this story is still with us.
      Cheers.

  7. Papa Troll

    “I don’t know,” he finally replied. His finger was resting on his lip as he sat and really thought about it.
    The genie floated back and forth staring at him in the equivalent of agitated pace. She did not speak.
    “To give back to the people,” I smiled. “Could I wish for something like that? Give them real hope. Give them real understanding, and give them tolerance.”
    “So you’re looking for extermination of your species, Alan?” The genie looked at me with her head halfcocked to the left. She was every shade of adorable, a latticework of frills and lace delicately interwoven in a way that proclaimed class with a whisper of fragility.
    “Well, I was hoping for more of a ‘Peace on Earth and good will towards mankind’ moment,” Alan answered with a gasp of surprise, a hint of outrage, and a dash of comedy.
    “Same difference,” she responded with a small pout.
    “No, it is not,” I told him in the sternest tone I could muster.
    He looked at me with a slight smile of appreciation. “What I meant,” she explained and then lost momentum when a chuckle broke through her. “That is, what I mean is I cannot grant a wish of this nature.”
    “You have limitations on wishes?” Alan’s question emphasized the flabber is his gasted.
    Chestnut brown eyes bore into his soul as her long black lashes opened and closed lazily. “I do not affect the absolutes. A balance must always be maintained.”
    “Balance,” Alan scoffed. “Funny how the idea of creating a balance involves all that crap that needs to happen to good people, innocent people. Balance isn’t always a good thing.”
    “Balance is never a good thing,” she replied. “Balance is balance, neither good nor evil.”
    “But if things are imbalance,” he countered, “wouldn’t that be a negative thing?”
    “Is chaos evil?” She asked with a wise arch to her brow.
    Alan scratched his thinning brown hair. The idea always made him pause, wondering if it was his scratching that expedited the hair loss. “Sorry what?” Thinning hair makes for quite the distraction.
    “Is chaos evil?”
    He made to scratch his head, but thought better of it. His hand held halfway up struck a ridiculous pose, as he gave her an incredulous stare. “How could it not be?”
    “Chaos isn’t negative or positive, it’s both, it’s everything,” she explained, “It only is opposed to order which is also neither good nor evil.”
    “I said negative,” Alan stated.
    “Same difference,” she shrugged. “Now about those wishes.”
    “I don’t see the point in wishing,” Alan said, changing tactics. “There’s nothing you can give me through a wish that I wouldn’t rather get for myself.”
    “Eternal youth, unlimited riches, to be admired by millions of people, success, fame…” she rattled off a list of wishes to him. “Any of those things you could have.”
    “If I really wanted those things,” he said with a shrug, “don’t you think I would have tried for them?”
    The djinn stared at him. Her beautiful head cocked to the side as she studied him. “There is nothing you wish for? Do you even want to make a wish?”
    “Consider what you said about the ‘balance’, no,” he answered.
    She put her hands on her hips and gave a long look. “You are strange man, Alan.”
    “I’ve been called worse,” he laughed.
    “I meant it as a compliment.” She smiled at him. It was warm, bright, and filled his being with love. “You are the first person to abstain from wishing in over two thousand years.” She walked up to him and kissed his cheek.
    “Thank you so much,” she said as she pulled back.
    He blushed and asked, “What for?”
    “For setting me free,” she said, tearing up through those long lashes. She then took a deep breath and proclaimed, “Only by a selfless soul who denies their wishes shall you be free. You have released me.”
    “You were a prisoner?”
    She cried, and put her hands to her face. “I was, but thanks to you I am free.”
    “I could have wished for your freedom,” he told her.
    “That would have defeated the principle, and affected the balance of our nature,” she explained softly.
    “Well then, now that you are free,” he said with a shy smile, “I do have a question for you.”
    She smiled at him warmly. “Anything.”
    “Would you like to have some coffee with me?”
    She took his hand. The silver bangle around her wrist fell to the floor and shattered on the pavement. “I would be honored to.”
    And off they went.

  8. ReathaThomasOakley

    Three Wishes

    Used to sleep like this when I were carrying Luther, Rose thought as she cradled her swollen belly, then caught sight of her right arm in the dim light from the hall.

    This arm, she thought, bony, skin wrinkled up like forgot sheets wadded up in a basket ’cause the rain ain’t let up, this ain’t the arm what held Luther there under my heart.

    “I wish,” she whispered, “oh, dear Lord, I wish…”

    “Wish what, Rose?” The question, soft as a breath, came from behind her, from the dark corner of the room.

    “Who’s there? Rose struggled to turn over. “Speak up!”

    “Ah, Rose, rest easy, lie still.” The voice was deep, with a slight hiss at each letter S. “I’m very interested in what you’d wish for.”

    “How’d you get in here?” Rose heard panic in her own voice.

    “Now, Rose,” a tiny laugh, “this isn’t about me, is it? It’s only about you.”

    Rose moved her arm away from her body, and struggled with the quilt, but her legs seemed trapped under the once familiar covering.

    Gotta turn over, she thought, gotta see.

    “So, is that your first wish?”

    “First? I don’t–”

    “There are always three wishes, you know that.” The voice seemed closer, but no louder. “Would you like Luther back?”

    “Luther?” Rose nearly choked on the name. “Luther?”

    “Were you not just thinking of him, of the time he was inside you?”

    “No, no…” Rose grasped the quilt, ran her fingers over the squares, tried to pull it off her body.

    “So, for your first wish, Luther. That was simple.” Another small laugh.

    Oh, Lord, Rose thought as she wrestled with the bedding, what is happening.

    “Do you wish you could turn over? Is that your second wish? Just remember to wish wisely.”

    “No, I–”

    “Mama?” Rose froze at the sound of the new voice. “Mama, you there? I can’t see nothing, nor hear…”

    “No, no,” Rose sobbed. “This ain’t right, ain’t right atall.”

    “Rose? Aren’t you happy? Your son is here. Isn’t that what you’ve always wished for, always wanted?” The voice was in her ear. “Don’t you want to see him? Hold him? Tell him how you’ve missed him?”

    “No! No! No!” Rose screamed. “Never!”

    “So, is that your second wish, that Luther goes back?”

    “Yes, yes,” Rose pulled the quilt to her face, covered her eyes.

    “Now, Rose, it’s time, time for the third wish.” The words seemed to weave themselves into her hair, into her brain.

    “I wish, I wish…”

    “Yes, Rose, I know what you wish. You wish I’d leave and that you’d never remember this night. Am I correct? Is that your wish?”

    “Yes,” Rose whispered, “that’s my wish.”

    “Well done, now you may sleep.”

    —————————————————————————————

    At the door of her room the two women watched as Rose quieted.

    “Every night, without fail.” The older one said. “Same thing, starts with, ‘I wish’, then she’s calling out her dead son’s name.”

    “Guess we ain’t gonna never know what’s she’s hearing.” The women moved down the hall, 2AM bed checks over. “Ready for some coffee?”

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Reatha!

      Wow. This one actually creeped me out. Whether what she was hearing was real or not, just all manner of creepy (in the best possible way).

      It made me stop and think which would be worse: to be visited every night by this unknown evil or to have it all be a product of one’s damaged mind. It would be easy to say being visited by the evil would obviously be worse, but to have something like that be only in your mind…It’s just sad and frightening all at once.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello Reatha, Goose bumps again, that’s about the fifth time you’ve done this to me. The last three sentences set this story to burn bright in one’s memory. I’m not afraid of many rhings but losing my mind stands out as the worst thing possible. The theme and style is what I expect from you and you never fail to please me. Take an A+ and go to the front of the room.

      2. ReathaThomasOakley

        Cosi, thank you so very much. I was working on another approach to this prompt when this sort of wrote itself. Hmmm, that’s kinda creepy, isn’t it. As always, I value your comments, which are so appreciated.

    2. Nouseh

      This is fantastic! Extremely well written. Freaked me out.
      I can almost see Rose in her bed, covering her face under the quilt, while the two women stand outside her door, pitying her before their coffee.

  9. DailyProffet

    I sat on the edge of the bridge, swinging my legs. I knew it made no sense, but I had a nervous feeling they were going to fall off any second now. Not that it mattered anyway, my entire body would soon fly off the edge of that bridge. I hadn’t quite gathered the courage to do it yet, but today was the day I finally would. I felt it in my gut.

    “Hey there, what could a girl like you be doing up here?”

    The source of the voice was a man, dressed in blacks and grays, his tipped over hat covering half his face. He sat beside me and dug into his coat pocket and took out a pack of cigarettes. He tilted his face upward to light one, revealing his rather handsome face. He offered one to me, “Well?”

    I shook my head at his offer, “My reasons are
    my own, how about you?”

    He sighed heavily, “Just needed to get away for a little while.”

    “I see. Me too actually, in a way.”

    He examined me with curiosity in his eyes, his brows knotted in corcern, “Ah.”

    We sat there for what felt like days when I finally decided to break the silence. “So?” I asked, not really expecting a reply other than a shrug or a quick I don’t know.

    “If there was genie here right now granting you
    three wishes, what would you ask for?”

    I laughed briefly, “Like a genie out of a lamp or a bottle?”

    “Something like that.”

    “And are there any rules?” It was beyond me as to why I was engaging in this conversation, but I went on anyway, “And consequences, are there any of those?”

    “You cannot wish a wish for anyone other than yourself, doesn’t matter whether your intentions are bad or good, and you cannot wish for more wishes.” He paused to take a puff of his cigarette, “As for the consequences, they depend on your wishes and actions, as is the same with everything in life.”

    I nodded and took a moment to think. I gazed at my legs again. This time I could not feel them. They were suspended in midair, it was almost as though they were entirely separated from the rest of my body. I finally came to a decision.
    “My first wish would be freedom from the grasp of society and the effect it has on my thoughts and feelings.” I said at last.

    “Hmm, that is very thoughtful wish. What about your second?” He said, without looking at me.

    “I would wish freedom. Freedom of the body, mind, and spirit.”

    He nodded, watching as the smoke blended into nothingness, looking as though he were in deep thought. He gestured at me to go on.

    I had to take another moment, then went on, “My final wish would be the answer to the riddle of life, I want to know it’s meaning.”

    This time his gaze shifted to me, “That is your final answer, yes?”

    “Yes.”

    “Kate, would you believe me if I said if I can grant you those wishes?”

    “Don’t be ridiculous, I..” I stopped dead in my tracks, “How do you know my name?”

    “I know many things, Katherine. For instance I know that you like to read every Sunday under the oak tree in your grandfather’s orchard, and I know that your favorite thing to do is to share a strawberry milkshake with your sister every afternoon. I also know that your mother left you and your sister when you were five and you can’t decide who you hate more, her or yourself.” I opened my mouth to speak but he went on, “I also know why you wished those wishes. Because your heart and mind are too weary to care about material things. Because all you’ve ever wanted was to take a break from what is expected of you by society and your family so you can enjoy a breath of freedom. And you want the answer to the meaning of life because you feel as though your own bears no meaning.”

    Tears welled up in my eyes. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t find it in me to move. So I finally sobbed, hot tears streaming down my face.

    He looked at me, unmoved and indifferent, “Those wishes can become reality, if only you walk away from this bridge.”

    He sounded absolutely insane, but really I was the crazy one for listening to him. I nodded, dragging my legs back. We both stood.

    He looked at the cigarette between his fingers that had nearly entirely burnt out. “You almost ran out of time there.” He said, dropping it on the ground and putting it out with his shoe. Then he turned on his heels to walk away.

    “Wait!” I shouted reluctantly, “what is your name?”

    He didn’t turn around or stop walking, but after a while I heard a distant, but it came to my notice that he gave me a shrug with his shoulders.
    I didn’t leave. I stood there for a while until a surge of new thoughts and feelings overcame me. I had the answer now, and a certainty I never possesesed before. I went back to the edge of the bridge.

    1. jhowe

      Well done Daily. This was well written and enjoyable. It seems the meaning of life was much more terrible than she expected, or something that drove her back to the bridge’s edge.

  10. snuzcook

    ENOUGH
    The bottle rolled from the weathered wooden park bench onto the wet grass. Its amber contents sloshed out its open mouth in three slow glugs until it came to rest, weighted in place by the remaining few ounces of fluid.
    I watched from my reclining position, parallel to the bottle, observing from a mental arm’s length the waste of what a few hours ago was my sole tangible purpose for being.
    I willed my hand to reach but the bottle was a finger tip’s length too far away. As I rocked my upper body closer, it rolled away teasing, nudged by a playful predawn breeze. I reached again , and this time my cold-numbed fingers found the sensation of hard glass and closed around it, my first small victorious act of the day.
    The effort, though, had its inevitable price. A early patrolling seagull had found the remains of last night’s sandwich on the bench I had abandoned, and was busily unwrapping it from my bag. I lunged toward the seagull, and the tangled threads of my frayed bag closed around its foot like a coyote trap. Its eyes snapped at me, and its beak parried every move as I tried shoo it away. Finally, I raised the bottle in a primal move to defeat my rival.
    “Wait,” the seagull pleaded. “Don’t kill me. I will grant you three wishes if you set me free.”
    I looked around. There was no one to confirm if this was really happening or if I was hallucinating. It had been my experience that it was usually best to go with the flow, either way, until I could tell the difference. I lowered the bottle. “Three wishes, huh?” The seagull blinked in the affirmative, settling its feathers and folding its wings.
    “Let me think. I bet everyone asks for lots of money, but I’ve had that. I was an arrogant son of a bitch. And everyone was always telling me what I should do. No, it’s better not to have so much that other people think you have more than you need. Then they want it, too. I’d rather have just what I need. Yeah, that’s my first wish, to have enough, but no more.”
    “And your second wish?”
    “What about the first one?”
    “Not until you let me go.”
    I had to think. Probably should be something about people. Don’t most people wish for a beautiful woman or a loving family or something like that? I’d had that. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. People are stinkers everywhere you go, rich or poor, young or old. And they turn their back on you and blame you for everything that goes wrong. “I’ve got it. My second wish is for a true friend, just one true friend. Forget romance and beauty and all the other crap. One true friend.”
    The seagull tilted one red eye at me. The blue spot on its beak reflected the blue of the brightening sky. He nodded. “And your last wish?”
    Okay, now I had to be careful. This was maybe the last wish I was ever gonna have. Maybe I should wish for something that I could see, something that would prove this was really happening. Like a car, or a tricked out bike or something. Then everyone would look at me and say, ‘hey, that’s one lucky stiff.’ But then, people used to say that about me all the time. I used feel good, the warmth of people’s envy. But it wasn’t warm at all; it was cold as a park bench in December. And it was damned cold this morning. My toes felt like rocks pilled inside my shoes. Three of my fingers were always purple these days and they hurt. Maybe if this was going to be my last wish, I should wish for something personal.
    “Okay, here it is. I wish I was always warm enough. Don’t trick me and make it so I am always hot and sweating. And don’t like put me in jail so I always get three squares and a bed. I want to still be free, but I want to be warm enough, so I can feel my toes, but not sweating. Warm enough so I’m not cracking my teeth from shivering, but not too hot neither. “
    The seagull tilted his head, looked at me out of his other eye.
    “Very well. As soon as you let me go, your wishes will be granted.”
    I carefully reached in and untangled his foot from the liner of my bag. He calmly bowed his head three times, and spread his wings . But before he lifted off, he snatched one more time at the sandwich and managed to grab it in his beak. He flew away with the stolen food, out over the water into the dawn.
    I opened my mouth to yell, but a screech of outrage came out. I took a few steps after him and found myself amazingly light, and the lightness filled me with exhilaration. I spread my arms wide like a kid, the aches and fuzzy head from the night before gone, replaced by a wonderful sensation of warmth and capability. The wind lifted me and my body answered as if I had had wings all my life. I chased after the magic gull laughing through the air, leaving my once precious baggage scattered on the ground. I knew he had answered my wishes and added one thing more: I was free in a way I never dreamed of being free before.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This was very poetic in a way. A freedom to fly, what a wonder. Your description of the MC is heart-breaking and yet the reader is thrilled for his chances. I waw afraid the seagull would leave him in the dust and not help but you turned it positive. Can you imagine someone being so miserable, they would wish for warmth. That’s the part of your story that grabbed me the most. how he could arrive at such a plight.

    2. jhowe

      This was great. What a great character that seagull was. I loved the concept of the wishes and the perfect solution. Jonathon Livingston Seagull has nothing on these two.

    3. cosi van tutte

      Hi, snuz!

      It’s great to see you back over in this side of town. I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting my Andrew Barnes story. I keep getting side-tracked by one of my other stories. But I will work on the next part and e-mail to you guys as soon as I can.

      This story was a perfect blend of reality and magic. I liked how carefully your MC thought out his wishes. I wondered how the seagull was going to grant them. I fully expected something bad to happen to him. I really liked the solution.

      And that whole last paragraph was breathtaking and just plain magical.

  11. thejim

    I have always loved to write. My favorite is with a blue medium pen, preferably a Bic. Those things that will turn most people off when they write always give me an inner peace and comfort. I love the red mark on my fingers where I grip the pen to hard. The thick buildup of ink on the roller ball that makes your writing splotchy gooey, the letters not as clean and perfect as it was when you started. The slow ache in your wrist that makes the words harder to read the more you write.

    I dreamt of being a famous writer, being obscure enough to walk peacefully down the street but recognizable for people to wonder who you are. I recall my first advance. The words flowed out of my favorite blue Bic for that one, it was if it knew what to write and I was along for the ride. Made top 10, but not number a one bestseller. For my first novel, I was pleased, and so was the publisher. The next advance was huge with a contract for three novels.

    Then my pen seamed to run out of ink and refused to write. Whatever I did write was rejected. After a year or so with no novel to show they wanted the advance back. That was long spent; I had no money and was sued by my publisher for breach of contract. My wife left me, I lost the house and car, now my home is a dirty hotel in Westmont, LA.

    “So you’re saying you can make my wishes come true, I mean anything I want?”

    “That’s right; you just let me know what you need.”

    “I’ve never seen a genie before,” I held up the magical bottle. I looked up at her, there was a shimmering glow around her head and she seemed to be floating above me.

    “Come on get up and walk and tell me about all your dreams.”

    We walked out into the night, I could feel the wet grass on my feet as we made are way across the park. My legs felt week and wobbly, I suggested we sit on a park bench across the path.

    “Can I have three wishes?”

    “Sure you can, why not.”

    I thought of all the things I would love to have, fortune, fame, money, cars, my wife back, peace on earth my dignity. Maybe a new life, I started to cry the tears slowly escaped my eyes.

    “Hey now come one none of that, I will give you the first one free then you’ll have to pay for the other ones.”

    With a moment of clarity, my magic bottle was a bottle of Jack and my genie was a lady of the evening just trying to make a buck, the wishes she granted came with a price. I heaved the bottle across the park my feet were cold and wet because I lost my shoe some were back on third street. I stood up and made a vow right there.

    “I don’t need a Genie to grant me wishes. What I need is to get myself back. Thank you, you helped me realize this is not where I want to be. I have been looking for a magic pen to get me free from myself. No one can grant me wishes and make my life right. I brought me down this hole and I will get back out.”

    “That, in a nutshell, is how I came up with the title to my new book,
    Genie in the Bottle of Bourbon
    I thank you all for helping make it a New York Times number one bestseller!”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I thought this was very tender, full of emotion, discovery and hope. It certainly is inspiring to me. You really zinged this one, thejim. The descriptive journey across the wet grass was very realistic.

  12. jhowe

    I consider an enactment of serious bodily harm on myself after squandering the second wish. The first wish was understandable. I didn’t believe she was really a genie. So I wished for the usual thing a young, virile man with only marginal success with women would wish for. Now the twelve inch tall pianist plays Chopin on his miniature baby grand in the corner. Apparently she doesn’t hear so well.

    So, getting to the second wish. To begin with, the genie isn’t as glamourous as one might expect. She’s frumpier than your stereotypical magical being, with thin wispy hair and a shapeless housecoat covering an even less shapely figure. As a fan of vintage television, it’s understandable I would conger an image of Barbara Eden in her harem outfit. All I did, I swear, was to think about how it would be nice if the genie looked like that.

    Now she calls me Master with bright blue eyes and a bouncy demeanor that is more than appealing. I could have wished for riches or fame, but no, now I have a gorgeous genie with only one wish left. She even voiced her opinion on my poor implementation of proper wish management.

    “What would you have wished for?” I ask.

    She hugs herself and twirls. “Oh my, what abs I have,” she says.

    “Well?”

    “I can’t answer questions about protocol Master.”

    “Why not?”

    “I don’t know really. It just seems I shouldn’t.”

    “What will happen to you after my third wish?”

    “I will become imprisoned again until my next Master releases me.” Her smile fades and a tear forms in the corner of her eye.

    “What if I release you from captivity?”

    “Yeah, right.”

    “No, seriously.”

    “I’d be eternally grateful.”

    “Can I bundle a few things with my wish.”

    “You can try, but it likely won’t work.”

    “Ok, this is a question, not a wish,” I say.

    “Shoot.”

    “If I wished for you to be free and to love me, what would happen?”

    “She scrunches her cute nose. “Hmm, I don’t think I can make someone love you. I’m almost certain.”

    I take a big breath. “Okay, that’s my wish.”

    The next day we walk along the banks of the river and she takes my arm. “Master, I’m so thankful you set me free.”

    “But you don’t love me?”

    “Not yet, but I’m working on it.”

    “Thank you for saving the costume. I really like it.”

    “I’ll wear it again tonight if you like.”

    “Only if you really want to.”

    “Oh, I do,” she says. We walk and she takes the twelve inch pianist from her coat pocket and he stretches his tiny arms. “What’re we going to do with Dick?”

  13. writer_sk

    I was a total football jock and was happy about it or as happy as one could be. I wasn’t exactly cut out for acedemics so right now, football it was. The university had proven to be much more difficult than I’d ever imagined so the solace of the football field was a welcome distraction from my slipping grades. Romantically, things were going well with Rebecca and I even though my parents wouldn’t want me to come home from college engaged to a Jewish woman. My parents wanted a nice Latina girl with whom they could speak Spanish. My mom never had a daughter and I knew she wanted an Hispanic daughter in law. The whole situation was ridiculous. Practice was long and hot. The icy bottle of water I drank was heaven. Life was good in this moment but I still hadn’t told Rebecca or anyone else about the thing behind the barn at the farm I worked at. That night the bed felt cold and uncomfortable. I longed for Rebecca to be there with me. The kids in my dorm were having a party and I got up and chugged a beer with them. I sat out front looking out at the campus green – it looked foreboding in the moonlit haze from the mixture of pre-dawn dew and muggy September air. My calves ached from drills. My head hurt from doing basic math earlier, neglecting to eat and drinking a beer. Fog and unseen spirits pulled me up and projected me forward, not aggressively but coaxing, calling. The wind dared me to go to the barn. Rebecca’s engagement ring felt right in my pocket but burned in my throat as I tasted my mother’s religion and cultural bias. Upon reaching the barn, I dug up the object from where I’d buried it. Muscles from push-ups and pull-ups flexed, I ripped it out and spewed the ugly, selfish wishes: I wish I was smart! I wish I was Jewish! I wish I had a million bucks! Silence fell. I had sold out. The magical box disappeared, spirits poured into the heavens and my simple football-guy life changed forever.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Hmmm, you’ve described a dilemma lots of folks have encountered, without a magic lamp, and I’m not convinced your MC “sold out”. He made a tough decision, that he will live with, but hopefully with Rebecca at his side.

  14. Penney

    Grant me three wishes? That would be great but pessimism would surely get in the way. What’s the catch? There is always a catch. I want money. Not all of it, that’s stupid. Enough to take care of existing debt, my debt (the families debt), remember semantics, there’s a catch. You see if it was my debt then that leaves my husbands etc. Why you ask? You’ll just get back into debt. Maybe but, I’ve never experienced it to see if I could get out of it and stay out of it.

    “Okay so what’s next?”

    This is bad, I don’t feel right.

    “How do you mean?”

    Three wishes are like being granted omnificent power. For this one moment in time I can do anything and the impact of it is on me too. There are effects to these things.

    “So, who cares? Just make your wishes.”

    Well, I’ve seen Aladdin so I don’t want all the power or magic in the universe, sorry Genie, keep the cuffs.

    “Humph!”

    Come to think of it, I don’t know.

    “Come on, everyone wants something.”

    Now wait, of course I do but this is a scary thing. I’m feeling very tested right now. I’ve read this somewhere. You’re not a Genie are you? Magic was done away with a long time ago. We’re not supposed to practice it. You are something totally different.

    “That’s silly. This is a great opportunity. Let’s go, wish, I need all three before I can grant them. Then…”

    Wait a minute, then? See, see, I told you, a catch.

    “No, no, that’s not what I said. I meant to say, and then your life will be fulfilled.”

    Can you show me what it would be like after the wishes are granted? Give me a peek first?

    “That’s a wish, then?”

    No, I just figure if you’re magic and this is so important to you that you’d make it more appealing by showing me if I’m choosing wisely.

    “No, can’t do that. In that instance I guess it is a test, to see what you value. To see how greedy or selfless or whatever else you are. In that instance I guess that’s where I get my gratification; your feelings.”

    This is harder then I thought it would be. The worry of the whole thing is making me sick, just sick.

    “We could fix that. How about eternally good health?”

    No! That’s like living forever. Absolutely not, I’ve seen that movie too. God, I don’t know. All I can think about is what do I pray for at night? No nuclear wars, ever. My family or, forgiveness for my everyday screw ups? But those wishes (promises) are already mine. So what’s the point?

    “It’s not though. I can give you all that and more. Your student loans, the house, kid’s college? The roof and, windows? Your sex life back, or to be skinny again? What about your mom, her pain. You could stop her pain. Remember at Denny’s when she cried just trying to bend to get in the car? I can stop that, just say the words.”

    How, how did you know? No, this is wrong. I need help, you need to go away. Stop.

    “Are you sure? Just one more. Anything. Travel? Time travel? A do over?”

    No, go, just go. God! Help me! Make him go! You, you are not welcome here, you’re bad. Stop tempting me, please. God, Help!

    “He won’t help.”

    Yes, yes He will, He does! I was wrong. You are no longer welcome. Go! I pray with all my heart, I fight you with all my being! I accept whatever God gives or takes, GO! God gave me all I need, he died for me he gave me the ultimate wish. Jeeze this is the hardest thing. Why this? God? Are you there? Help me, I give this to you. I’m not looking, my eyes are tight, my knees are bent. I remember.

    “Do you feel me again Penney?”

    Oh, yes, yes God, I feel you. Thank you. I’ll never stray again! I swear.

    “Yes you will, but that’s okay. I’ll be here always, just call me. He’s gone now but when he shows up again, and he will, just call me.”

  15. jeanettelee

    Of course I rubbed it. As if anyone wouldn’t! It looked interesting and might have had some food in it. You never can tell. But then a person popped out! Well. That was unexpected.
    The genie looked at me with wide, blue eyes (so like my own!) and asked for my wishes in a silky, contralto purr that made me sigh with envy.
    So, I asked for her voice.
    Now, when I sing the competition weeps. Even the moon will pause, hovering on the cusp of dawn, to hear one more canto under the stars. It can’t get enough of my singing and neither can I! Oh boy, you betcha I love it.
    And the boys. Whoo! They can’t help themselves.
    They follow me everywhere like those cute baby ducklings gotta follow their mama. In love with me and helpless to do anything else. Yeah, just like that.
    The genie waved to get my attention. That’s right, she couldn’t speak anymore. Probably wanted to ask for my second wish. But I was having too much fun dancing and singing for the boys and scaring off any female that even thought about trying her luck. Ha!
    Eventually, I did get a tiny bit tired and flopped down next to her for a rest. The genie didn’t say anything (duh, no voice), but she was still pretty as anything, standing there with the sun glowing on her golden, blonde mane.
    So, I asked for her hair.
    I warbled a new tune as I minced down the street. Proud as proud could be. Beauty, talent, what more could a girl want? You thought the boys liked me before? Hoo boy! Look at me now!
    The genie appeared quite glum. Dunno know why. I felt fabulous. Everything was marvelous. I strutted and posed for the admiring crowds. I let them get close, closer. So close I could smell the tuna sandwich on one guy’s breath. Then I jumped up and ran away before they could touch me. Ha ha! There was nothing, just nothing, that could top this.
    The genie stared silently as I danced along the shore of the lake. Those blue eyes opened and closed slowly. Blink. Blink. Like a semaphore telegraphing a question.
    –Your wish?–
    Oh right. The third wish.
    Hmm.
    I really couldn’t think of anything more except … my eyes opened wide. Oh my. Oh yes. That would be perfect. I made my demand of the mute, wretched creature. She hung her head for a moment, as if praying, and then nodded.
    Just like that, every cow in the world came up dry in her farmer’s hands. Next to me, the lake filled with stolen milk. And filled. And filled.
    I heard someone say a nearby town was drowned, flooded out by wave after creamy lactose wave.
    People say a lot of things. Too many, if you ask me. None of which mattered as I squatted down, purring, and began lapping up all of that wonderful, wonderful milk.

  16. igonzales81

    “Just three wishes?” I stall for time, racking my brain.

    “Just three,” the genie says, glancing at his watch. Since when did genie’s start sporting Rolexes and Armani suits?

    “And I can’t wish for more wishes?”

    “No. Could we hurry this along. You may not know it, but I do have better things to do.”

    Like what? As far as I know, this guy’s been stuck in an old brass lamp in my great-grandfather’s attic for at least a hundred years. And I still can’t think of what to wish for. I want to say something altruistic like peace on Earth, but I can just imagine that sparking a pandemic or alien invasion or something; I’m a glass-half-empty guy. “Well, what would you wish for?”

    He glares at me. “A little consideration from the people who rub my lamp.”

    That’s no help. I guess I rubbed him the wrong way… never mind. I go back to thinking.

    “Any time now,” he says, rocking back and forth.

    I have a laundry list of things I want, like more money, a flashy car, a smoking-hot woman. I hate living in the lower middle-class, working a nine-to-five, supporting a family, and always asking myself how things got this way. But I can just see all the problems that would come from having what I want. How would I explain it? Would it really make my life better, or would it just give me a new set of problems?

    “I’m sorry,” I say. “I just wish I knew what to wish for.”

    He gets this funny look on his face, goes all still. “Now, that’s a new one.”

    I pause in my deliberations, go back over what I just said. “Hey, that kinda makes sense.” The more I think about it, the more I like it. “Okay, I’ll go with that. I wish I knew what to wish for.”

    “Okay,” he says, still giving me that look, like I’m that two-headed calf and he doesn’t know what to make of me.

    Suddenly, I know. I just know, and the words come tumbling out. “I wish I had everything I need.”

    He smiles; he actually smiles. “Done.”

    I look around. Nothing has changed. I don’t suddenly know that I own a Lamborghini and I live in a mansion in Hollywood and I’m dating a supermodel. Same place, same stuff.

    “Didn’t change much, did it?” he asks, still smiling.

    I open my mouth to complain, but suddenly I know what I’m supposed to say next. “I wish I was happy with what I have.”

    The genie’s mouth drops open; he closes it with a click. “Now that… that makes all the difference.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Very profound indeed, teaches a moral lesson that everyone needs to read. I really enjoyed it but somehow do you think the genie could slip in the red-hot woman without ruining the whole idea?

        Well, I guess not but it doesan’t hurt to asl anyway, does it? Oops!

  17. cosi van tutte

    I died today. Got ran over by a Burger King bus. How does that happen? I mean, since when does Burger King have busses? But I’m getting off topic. Sorry.

    So, I died today. Big tragedy. Ruined my day. And guess what? I came back as a genie. I don’t know how I missed the whole turning into a ghost thing, but apparently I did.

    Is it reincarnation? Is it evil, evil karma?

    Well. Whatever it is, I want to kick its sorry bottom. You can’t even imagine how many people I’ve bumped into today who’ve rubbed my lamp and asked for three wishes.

    See? The whole wish granting thing could be fun and wonderful if done right.

    No one in this one long day has done it right.

    They keep asking for stupid things like golden eggs, endless supplies of Reeses’ cake bars (whatever that is), endless wishes (I can’t even grant that one. It’s against the whole genie code. So I don’t even know why people keep asking me for that one. Huh. I just realized that this is a very long parenthetical statement. I better stop it now and get on with my complaint.) There.

    So, yeah. Stupid, stupid stuff wishes. One person even asked me to create a zombie apocalypse so Andrew Lincoln could save them. There are no real words for that level of dumb stupidity.

    Oh, stuff a burrito and throw it into the ocean! Someone just bumped into me again. And there they go! Touching my lamp!

    Oh, great. They’re rubbing it.

    *sigh* Looks like I’m off to grant someone else’s lame wishes.

    I really should avoid the subway from now on.

    1. Bushkill

      I enjoyed this. I think your Genie and Igonzales MC from his short could have a good time with each other. Share a beer afterwards … maybe with a flame broiled burger.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Cosi, I really enjoyed this. “Run over by a Burger King Bus.” Really now! Burger King should be ashamed of themselves. They need to stay in doors and try to make a burger like “What_A_Burger” Maybe a wish would help. Your genie needs to find a second genie, so they could wish each other into paraduse, Maybe Miami Beach on Collins Ave. Or Wolfie’s Restaurant on 79the Street.

          1. cosi van tutte

            Hi, Kerry!

            Just so you know, your comment cracked me up.

            When I wrote the line “run over by a Burger King bus”, I honestly had no idea what that even meant. (Is it a shuttle bus to take people to Burger King?? Maybe??) But I really liked the sound of it. So, I decided to just roll with it. 😀

  18. ReathaThomasOakley

    Three wishes, for right now, an Annie story is in the works.

    1. I wish I knew how comments from 2012 and 2014 got posted here along with new ones.
    2. I wish I knew why a word like c0cktail blocked a story of mine a few weeks ago and why a word like sh#t made it through one of the earlier posts.
    3. I wish I’d had more time the past few weeks to post and comment.

  19. Pete

    I tried to get creative with this prompt. Went for dark, but might have gotten corny instead. Oh well.

    It started with the holidays. The cold, unforgiving loneliness. The empty television flashing against the dark. The hum laughter of strangers and mindless chatter in the hallways.

    Each day it was more desperate. I’d never been good with women. I found them aggravating, the way they discarded me with within a blink. Yet lovely to watch from afar, with their delicate chins and slender necks. But mostly I found women terrifying. Wielders of bewitching smiles that triggered the heat on my face. Controllers of my heartbeat.

    Even as I child I felt imprisoned by shyness. My Mom thought I’d grow out of it. Twenty years later I needed a pardon. I needed a release.

    I found her ad on a website. I sent an email. Later that night I received a text.

    All I had to do was confirm.

    I’d never thought it would come to this. But the thoughts, the desires, the pervasive darkness in my head. How else would I ever touch such soft skin, kiss those slender necks, run my fingers over full lips.

    My hands trembled as I punched in the confirmation. Jeanie.

    I took a shower, trying to think of what I’d say, what to wear. Who to be.

    The shadows of the bar did little to blunt her Hollywood smile, the shiny auburn hair. She was as beautiful as promised, and my body was up to its normal tricks. Sweat. Heat. Rapid breaths.

    Before I could back away and run she turned and smiled. It was that easy for her to pick me out. She tilted her head and I pressed forward to the bar and took my seat with a shaky smile.

    “Hi Jonathan.” Her voice was soft, almost maternal. She said my name like it was wonder people traveled from all over to see. My own voice took off running, like a little boy in a corn field. I had to roam through the stalks, and when I found it, it was scratchy, curled up and scared.

    “Hi.”

    She sipped her drink. A purplish swirl of something she licked from her lips. I thought about all the places those lips might have been. Her straw slid gently across her teeth with her smile. “Have a drink.”

    She carried the load of our conversation. I drank a beer and she tilted her head back and laughed at things I couldn’t hear. She looked at me the way I’d wanted every girl since middle school to look at me. After a while she lowered her voice and spoke in my ear.

    “What are your wishes, Jonathan?”

    “Wishes?”

    “Hopes, aspirations. Wildest fantasies.”

    I saw her in a wedding gown. Her hips filling the dress as she slid down the aisle. Her toned shoulders, her adoring eyes on me the way they were now. “I, I don’t know. I’ve never…”

    “Take your time. This is your night. Anything you want.”

    Did she spend her time with men like me? In random beds with boys who clutched pillows and murmured to nothing and no one in the darkness. She couldn’t have known what I wanted. She wouldn’t be sitting there–so calm, so confident–if she knew all my pervasive desires. My wishes were awful things.

    “I’m afraid I can’t do this.”

    ***

    That was two years before my trial. Before death row and before the interviews. I saw her once, on television. She looked lovely as a blonde, recounting our date, tears streaming as she spoke of how lucky she’d been. But luck had nothing to do with Jeanie. I would never hurt her. But sometimes, in my cell, I think about what could have been. I think of my hopes and dreams. Of Jeanie sliding down the aisle.

    My wish come true.

  20. Kerry Charlton

    THREE WISHES

    I wasn’t particularly thrilled to leave San Antonio for Key West. August pleased giant mosquitoes, land crab, scorpions and Coral Snakes in the keys. One of which was deadly, the second took a razor blade to your flesh and a drop of ammonia to quell the sting. The other two were plain nuisances. I had already used wish number one granted me by a genie, never thinking she had the power. After all I could have won the Hemmingway Writing contest if I tried hard enough.

    But Hemmingway’s cottage, his desk and typewriter were magical as I unpacked my laptop. Three weeks I had access to the house, his study and his many six-toed cats. So I got busy and stared at the blank page when I was blind-sided with inspiration to write. My fingers flew across the keys, but the words were those of Ernest. New of course but dark, brooding, and blood curdling.

    I obviously sub consciously wished for his talent as my second choice but not having lived the life he had, the sea, the booze, the willing women at his feet, movie stars and celebrities fawning for his attention, had turned his stories to evil. So intense, I dared not have anyone read his words. My fingers tried to stop but I had lost control and they continued dancing across the keys at eighty words a minute.

    Into the second day the fingers still flew as if my hands belonged to someone else, I had no doubt about whom. When finally they stopped, a two hundred page manuscript lay page by page across his desk. Writing so strong, so vile it turned my stomach. So this was the man, I had always admired. I asked myself why?

    Were people blind to sin and vice and so hardened by reality, they just didn’t care about evil? Where was love, passion, understanding, forgiveness? And God of course, his writings I produced denied God, angels, rightness. The return to a ‘might was right’ germinated the writing I produced. I shunned it, tried to burn the manuscript but the paper wouldn’t light.

    The second day passed to night. I went to Hemingway’s favorite bar and drank a quart of whiskey in three hours. No one seemed to notice my drunkenness and vile comments. I fell to the floor, they carried me to the open door and threw me into the street. I hit my head hard and could feel the blood oozing down my chin and falling to my chest. I couldn’t stand and passed out from the pain.

    When I awoke I staggered back to his cottage, threw my lap top out an open window and watched as six cats clawed at it viciously. My third wish, I remembered and spoke the words clearly and fell in bed to nothingness.

    The sound of mocking birds awoke me, the bed was soaked in blood and my head ached as I walked to the shower, but my fingers, my fingers didn’t quiver so my third wish did work. For three days I walked the streets of Key West, met some of the natives. They were fascinated by my thoughts, my wisdom and my knowledge of WW I.

    On the plane back to San Antonio, I wrote this short story to illustrate to you, the folly of the three wishes. If you want to write well, it takes hard work, diligence, a sense of humor and pride in the human race, whether good or bad. I wouldn’t accept anything for my experience but neither would I wish to repeat it. Let history judge Hemmingway and let the present judge myself.. . .

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you igonzales. I read enough biography on him, I think.he fought the devil most of the time. One of his short stories, To Have Or Have Not, in it’s orignam format was as frightening and gritty as they get. it’s a good thing the movie studio changed the ending.

    1. Bushkill

      Its hard to stare into the eyes of the beast and not be changed. Hemingway invited the beast in and spent time doin’ shots with him. that had to leave a mark. Great story about the wishes without actually calling them in to the limelight.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      An absolutely wonderful, and thought provoking, story. It made me wonder what Hemingway wished for, and the price he, and his family, paid for it.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Reatha. I think.his family was sorely neglected. I don’t think.it could have changed, the way his personality was. But a genius the writing was because he married the written word to his character’s faults and good sides.

  21. Bushkill

    Three Wishes

    The rain drove into me sideways soaking everything I wore. I rushed from storefront canopy to canopy trying my best to stay dry, but the rain followed like some malevolent poltergeist. The neon glow of my favorite watering hole drew me like a moth to a flame, though neither would have fared well in the torrent I was dealing with.

    I skipped over a puddle and landed with all the grace of a water buffalo on ice. I reached for something to hold onto and by the grace of God found a lamp post fortuitously placed near the puddle.

    It was soaked. My hand slid down the cast steel frame of the old gas light and I felt my world tilt. A moment before I hit the ground a hand caught me and jerked me to my unsteady feet. A squarishly built woman stood next to the post frowning at me as water pounded about us. Her face was all right angles and her hair held a very tight edge. Her gaze fixed with me with a piercing strength that unsettled me and I promptly stepped back into the puddle I had so artfully leapt over a moment before.

    “Mother loving rain! I wish it would just stop. This twice cursed typhoon nonsense is for the birds… or rather the fish.” I chuckled at my own wit, but caught the smoky, gray-eyed glare of my rescuing damsel and redirected the rest of my tirade onto an inner monologue.

    A mist moved over her eyes, or maybe it was the water in my own, and the rain started to ease. In a moment of unparalleled bravado I asked my guardian gargoyle to join me for a beer.

    She stared, unmoving and unspeaking.

    “Please? I really wish you’d let me buy you a drink. The least I can do for keeping me from doing the backstroke out here on the sidewalk.”

    She smiled, not an altogether pleasant experience, and took my arm while leading me into the bar I had been angling for. Most people saw us and got clear out of the way. Eyes darted to and fro and I began to get the feeling that she knew this dive far better than I. When we got to the bar two drinks waited, a double shot of bourbon in one glass and a martini in the other.

    She took the bourbon. That suited me, I have a thing for martinis in the afternoon.

    The silence between us edged on awkwardly. My conversation starters died like the allies at Gallipoli.

    “I wish we could spend more time together, you’re such …”

    The world flashed and I was inside the gas light on the sidewalk. I beat my mothy wings and dove at the seductively dancing flame, the floor of the chamber littered with other moths. The flame, more square than it should be, grew brighter.

    A voice exploded in my mind, “Come play with me, my dear.”

    I dove into the flame.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Bushkill, Lord this gave me goosebumps this morning. She rose like an evil, dumpy siren like in Greek mythology, eternal death thru the flame. Gad what an experience. Boy, I need a shot myself and it’s been raining straight here for four days, flood watch. Now I’m afraid to go outside!

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      The wonderful details at the beginning prepared me for a different story, then the twist. Great writing from beginning to that powerful last line.

  22. Sugarpine

    “I wish I had a loving mother, not someone as sickening as you!” I yelled on the top of my lungs between sobs as I walked up the staircase. There she was, my mother, standing at the bottom looking up at me. I could smell her stench from all the way up here, her eyes were droopy and she was drooling. She was drunk as usual.

    She missed Christmas again, she didn’t let Santa know where our house was. She didn’t leave him cookies, she told me he was a lie. I didn’t want to believe her, but deep down I did. I decided to give it one last year, one last year, and he failed me. My mother failed me, my beliefs were a joke.

    “Be careful what you wish for.” My mother replied, this caught my attention as I looked back at her. “Most of the times wishes are granted with a price, a catch.” She smiled an grinning drunken smile. It didn’t frighten me as much as it made me curious.

    “What are you talking about?! You’re making no sense!” I replied before storming my way to the top of the stairs. I could hear my mother sigh, I ignored her telling myself she was just delusional, drunk.

    -Years later-

    That memory flashed before me as I held up the bottle, she died a few years ago. “Fuck it.” I said and smashed the bottle onto the ground. I was pissed again, work was being a bitch, boss was being a bitch, co-workers were being bitches, everyone was being a bitch.
    Just as I guessed a genie came out of that dusty old bronze lamp. He was fat, round and the color of an apple. I gasped seeing him form out of the bottle.

    “Hello Ma’dam.” He greeted with a jiggle of his belly, he oddly remind me of Santa Claus.
    “Hello.” I replied back to him with a small wave.
    “Thank you for setting me free from that cramped bottle! I must now grant you three wishes in return to show my gratitude.” He said with a cheerful smile, oddly like Santa.
    “Oh, there’s no need.” I said politely, deep inside I knew this was my chance.
    “Nonsense! Its the least I can do, I have claustrophobia you know.” He replied stroking his grey unkempt beard.
    “Okay then, well my first wish is to,” I thought for a moment, smiled, nodded and then took a deep breathe “To have enough money to quit my job and be rich.”

    The genie smiled and snapped his fingers, the world flashed. I opened my eyes to see me in front of a huge check, score! Although my old building wasn’t there. It was on fire, thousands of people were outside coughing. “What just happened?” I asked the Genie, he looked at me with sorrow in his eyes.
    “When you quit your job you used fire. You sent your boss a cake saying that he can ‘kiss your ass’ and the cake had candles on it. You threw the cake onto his desk and it splattered everywhere. The candles got into the trash before you left and caught fire. You got out before it was too late.”
    It then hit me, I wanted them dead. These wishes don’t just grant what you say you wish for, they grant what your thinking, you cannot lie your way out of this. It was a curse, I realized.

    “What is your name?” I asked him.
    “Nicholas.” He replied looking down at the ground.
    “So you are Santa..” I huffed out.
    “Yes, this is what happens when you get cursed.”
    “Cursed?” I questioned.
    “Its what the heavens said would happen to me if you stopped believing.”

  23. Cheyenne Rench

    (I know super late commenting, but I just found this site and wanted to start from the beginning of the prompts.)

    “I wish you’d leave me alone!” I screeched from the top of the stairs, down to my mother. I poured my heart into that church project. She looked at me with pure disappointment, almost disgust.
    “Be careful what you wish for, Evaline, one day you just might get it.” She flipped the dishcloth over her arm and hurried away; I slammed my door.

    After forty minutes of crying, I started to think. What if my wishes did come true? Life would be so miserable without Mother’s cooking. Without her hugs, her love. I vowed to never make an awful wish like that again.
    – – – – – –
    Fast forward nineteen years.
    – – – – – –
    I was waiting for the elevator, my ride up to my apartment, which was taking an unusual amount of time. Coulda been up there by now, I’ll take the stairs. I scampered away, annoyed. I knew the cat was probably already sitting by the door, waiting for me to push it open, waiting to greet me and wrap itself around my feet, purring.

    “Evaline, please, hear me.” I heard as I reached the second floor. An unfamiliar voice, sweet as could be, I turned to see a woman I didn’t recognize. “I am here to grant your three wishes. Anything you’d please.” I chuckled, noticing her very serious face, but I spun around and continued on my path up to the sixth floor.

    She greeted me again on the fourth floor, begging once more to grant my wishes. I couldn’t help but feel infuriated. How did this crazy lady beat me up here, and why does she keep insisting on this?
    “Look, I don’t do this whole genie-grant-wishes crap. Leave me alone.”
    “What a shame. I truly can not leave until you make your wishes, so the sooner you ask, the sooner I can be on my way.” She stated. Her face never changed. Both times I had seen her, she just looked so serious, so ready. I contemplated whether or not I should just say three wishes, get her to leave. My mother’s words from so long ago replayed in my mind. Surely, this lady can’t just stay with me. I ignored her.

    I unlocked my door, expecting Puddles to swarm my feet. Instead, he had found a new friend to pester. Her. Fear should have ran through my body, but it didn’t.
    “I wish for world hunger to go away. All those children, the adults, nobody deserves to starve.” She blinked.
    “I want world peace. Please, no more fighting, please.” Again, her lashes collided.
    “I want to have children. I feel so empty, just Puddles and I.” Just like that she was gone. I didn’t think much of it anymore that night, although I should have.

    I woke up this morning to the sound of children playing and calling for “mommy”, eight of them. I have no recollection of how they got here. I don’t even know whose children these are. Apparently mine.

    I turned on the news to see that prices for food and beverages had supposedly gone up once more. $8.96 for a gallon of milk. Supply and demand, they say. I turned the channel to learn that there were no more flights to be taken out of the country, as we were now at world peace. The United States had declared peace from everyone, by discontinuing any communication to or from any country, other than Canada.

    “Be careful what you wish for, Evaline, one day you just might get it.”

    1. Observer Tim

      You had me scared for a moment there, Cheyenne. I had the dread feeling that those wishes would have been satisfied by having everyone but her (and her children) end up dead. Extreme xenophobic isolationism isn’t much better, but the body count is much smaller. 😉

      There were a few nicks and scratches in the grammar, but otherwise a great tale. Welcome to the site!

      1. Cheyenne

        Thank you for reading this one, as well. It’s funny that you mention that it could have had a more sadistice tone. I seriously considered it. The genie almost ended world hunger by cannibalism and world peace by a short nuclear war, leaving only North America and a few select other countries, and having her kids end up being weird little children. But it seemed cliché, like I set the story up for that and I wanted a twist somewhere. Thanks again, I truly didn’t expect anyone to read this one being so far back. 🙂

  24. orion1991

    It was late. I had to pee. I crawled out of bed and walked down the hallway, running my hand along the wall like I’ve always done, and I bumped into somebody.
    I’ll admit it. I screamed and shuffled backwards away from the collision. Terrified of this unknown intruder, I asked, “Who are you? Why are you in my house?”
    To which a soft female voice purred a return
    “I am a genie you see,
    and you are in need of some wishes; three.
    I am here to grant them.”
    At this point I was sure I was dreaming, and I tried to wake myself up to no avail.
    I flicked on the hallway lights and there she was. Seven feet tall, she had no feet, and her body seemed to be made of smoke. Her skin was covered in a fine, clear, hair. She wore no clothes. This was proof enough to me.
    “I’d like my dream house”
    Poof, a cloud of purple acrid smoke burnt my eyes and my lungs. I was coughing violently, my eyes were on fire, tears were streaming down my cheeks and my skin burned. I made my way into what I thought was bathroom tile, and I fell into a pool. The pain stopped instantly, and when I broke the surface of the water the genie was floating above me like a ghost.
    “I have began the wishes three,
    there are two more that now must be.
    I am here to grant them.”
    I thought long and hard about my final wish as I swam uncomfortably under the “legs” of this giant floating female.
    “I’d like financial security for my entire bloodline”
    Poof, the room was lost in a cloud of acrid purple smoke. Again it burnt my eyes and my throat, the skin of my face was burning, but I dunked my head under water and when I broke the surface the smoke was gone. I was floating in the same house, my dream house. I had no anxiety towards my finances, I didn’t have to worry about paying bills, none of these things were a concern to me anymore.
    “I have granted two of the wishes three,
    and you now have one to ask of me.
    I am here to grant it.”
    After this wish I got out of the pool and found the bathroom. The genie followed me into the room and as i shut the door for some privacy she began to seep through the wood grain of the door. It looked like sap bleeding out of a tree, but it was purple and smoke.
    I said, “I’d like some privacy, please.”
    Poof, the bathroom was filled with acrid black smoke, I felt around for the door through fits of painful coughing and tears. The hall was thicker with smoke than the bathroom had been and I heard the water in the sink running. I felt around and remembered the pool was a few paces ahead. I fell into the pool and the pain and burning stopped. As i broke the surface of the water I realized I didn’t wash my hands. I got out of the pool and looked around for the genie, who was nowhere to be found, I went into the bathroom to find that the sink was in fact off. I went to a window, but all I could see was darkness. I turned the lights off and in the distance I could see the unmistakable whiteness of surf crashing on a beach. I was alone on an island.
    Could have turned out worse, I guess.

    1. orion1991

      At first I thought “dang it i submitted a typo” and then I thought to myself. no, I like it saying the second wish was his final.
      In the words of the great Bob Ross: It’s not a mistake, it’s a happy accident

  25. Observer Tim

    Steve smiled sheepishly at Yasmina, the Mediterranean beauty sitting across from him. He wasn’t sure why he’d asked her out, or why she’d accepted, but that didn’t matter. He was here, she was here, the burgers were here, and most importantly she was here. A while later he would be spending time in a dark theatre with a romantic movie and her.

    “I wish I knew what I said to make you go out with me. I figured you were totally out of my league.”

    “I am. I’m going out with you because you wished it. You were granted three wishes as a birthday gift, and that was one of them. This explanation is the second.”

    “I have wishes? I wish I’d … never mind that sentence, okay. So is this all fake then?”

    “After a fashion, yes. Your wishes can manipulate actions, not emotions. Even genies have their limits. You’re a nice guy but I usually don’t date ephemerals; you’re literally not in my league.”

    “So if I wished to live forever …”

    “Don’t. Immortality sucks. Everyone who asks for it leaves out some important condition and ends up in eternal misery. Consumer goods work best, as long as they’re not too ridiculous.”

    “And you’ll stick around until all three wishes are made?”

    “Yes, but you only have three days to make all three wishes.”

    Steve smiled at that. Clever ideas were not really his specialty, but he’d just had one.

    * * *

    “Are you crazy, Jenny? Giving Steve three wishes is like giving a nuke to a five-year old!”

    “Calm down, Tim. I’ve known Yasmina for years. She won’t let him do anything too stupid. Anyway, he used his first wish to get a date with her and his second to get an explanation. How bad can the third one be?”

    “Knowing Steve, pretty bad. I’m surprised he didn’t wish to get her in bed.”

    “He didn’t have to. Yas thinks he’s cute in a mortal kind of way, and she’s definitely old enough to choose her own partners. Anyway, he only has until seven tonight to make his third wish. He’s managed to string this out the full three days; I’m impressed.”

    * * *

    “Steve, it’s 6:55 p.m. You only have five more minutes to make your wish.”

    “What happens if I don’t make that third wish?”

    “Then my supervisor comes down and hits you with a monkey’s paw. It’s like a wish but it ALWAYS goes wrong in a brutally ironic way. You don’t want to go there.”

    “Oh.” So much for the clever idea; time for the backup.

    “Do you like me, Yas?”

    She suddenly looked dubious. “Ye-ess. You’re nice, and I have to admit I’ve enjoyed these last three days more than anything in a century or more. Why?”

    “I wish I had a perfect memory of everything that happened, that I felt, from when I first met you until 7:00 pm.”

    She tried to acknowledge him, but her lips were busy until 6:59 and forty-eight seconds.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Nice one Tim and especially clever. I’ll keep it in mind if Myrna Loy pops back into my life and gives me three wishes slthough I might skip through the formalities.

  26. MCKEVIN

    This was some “Wizard Of Oz” shit. I’d wrapped up a long week of work. I cleaned my house and decided to empty the garbage Friday night instead of the next morning. I walked to the alley, lifted the lid off the off the bin and released a puff of white smoke. I ducked.
    “Hello, I’m Zebbra, you have released me from the container of death, I must grant you three wishes. Whatever your wish is my command.”
    I stood cautiously. Where I live there are no genies in bottles in trash cans. I thought, maybe even wished she was an illusion. I was dog tired but I believed her. She didn’t look like your stereotypical genie. She was bald, plump and had greenish skin. My thoughts said, go for it!
    “You’re telling me that I can have anything?”
    “Anything.” She said.

    I hated to look a gift in the mouth.
    ““I need lifelong good health, both mental and physical.. That way I can deal with any and everything.”

    She snapped her fingers and suddenly, I felt a peace I’ve never felt before. The air smelled different, I felt lighter and I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove.

    “It is done!”

    With skeptical eyes, my mind wondered, why should I be so lucky?

    “You have two more wishes. Whatever your wish is my command.”
    “I wished my family mental and physical health and financial security.”

    She raised her hand and snapped her fingers again.

    “It is done!”

    I believed if we all had our health and was of sound minds, we could work world wonders having financial security. I’d buy a home and pay for it outright. I needed to own something of my own before I left this earth.

    “Your last wish is my command.”

    “I need to forgive people and move on with my life. Life is too short to carry baggage.”

    She paced back and forth silently thinking. Finally, she said,,,

    “I can give you riches beyond your wildest dreams. The one thing I can’t give you is internal peace. I cannot live your life for you. Tangibles I can give you and your wish is my command.”

    Suddenly, having a genie wasn’t all it cracked up to be.

    “I don’t want you to do It for me. Tell me how?”
    “You must choose to be happy and if forgiving someone will make you happy, just do it!’

    I reviewed everyone I needed to forgive. Doug, Rose, Kerry and Mom and Dad and others came to mind. I decided they were people who just did the best they could with what they had.
    I blamed them for my past but I can’t for my future. It was hard. Something somewhere in me said,
    “Forgive out loud and give it a voice.”

    And I did! It still hurts but I know change is on the way. Release. I choose to be happy. Release. It is done.

    “It is done!”
    She left as quickly as she came

  27. Morgan Dragonwillow

    I understand about fears around writing. I have had many. The key is to keep writing and find other writers for support and encouragement. I recently discovered several groups and tools that are helping me quite a lot- #Row80 which is A Round Of Words in 80 days- You can find them online as well as on Twitter #row80, and Facebook. If you use twitter and know about hashtags, the one that is helping me the most is #wordmongering. It is the best thing that I have ever done for my writing by joining this group of fabulous writers and doing daily #wordmongering oh and morning pages on 750words.com. I am writing more than ever and loving it.

    I know what it is like to feel isolated and thinking about writing all the time but afraid to take any risks. Don’t let your fear hold you back from doing what you love.

    As for your poem – I don’t read much poetry but I enjoyed this. It made me curious enough to keep reading and you obviously have a love for writing. Keep writing.

    All the best to you,
    Morgan Dragonwillow

  28. holdonwinter

    Brandon is skulking around the library’s basement. He occasionally tends to adventure. He is a 22 year old undergrad. He has a very handsome appearance, but barely passing grades. He rarely misses a chance to explore places he should not, and a basement reserved for faculty and staff only seemed like a delightful place.

    While edging through storage clutter towards to an armoire, he rubs up against a brass dish. “What the hell is a gravy boat doing in the library?” is his first thought. Suddenly he is interrupted by a burst hazy vapor. “Holy shit!” He yells, and falls backward into a cardboard box filled with foam peanuts.

    A strange visage slowly forms, and it appears to be…sexy?

    “What are you?” Brandon asks, eyes glazed over.

    “I’m the ghost from Christmas present,” the busty visage replies.

    “I must be dreaming. Are you serious?”

    The apparition sasses back, “Of course I’m not serious, you stupid kid. I’m a damn genie! What the hell did you think I am?”

    “A genie? Give me a break! You’ve been down here the whole time? You are a gorgeous woman. Are you going to nark on me for being down here?”

    “I don’t care where you are or where you go!” The genie retorts. “Yes. I am a genie. What did you expect? Robin Williams? What else would emerge as a vapor from a lamp?”

    “First off, I did not expect a genie at all,” he replies, “and that so-called lamp looks like a gravy boat to me!”

    A flash of insult appears in the genie’s eyes, and just as quickly it disappears. She says, “Before you ask, Yes. You get three wishes. Lets have them. I don’t want to spend as little time as needed with a stupid kid like you.”

    Brandon is frustrated, and responds, “How to I know that my wishes will not backfire into some demonic curse? Besides, where else do you be, besides here with me? I don’t see any rush for you to steam back into that gravy boat. I need time to think, and I’m going to wish for your freedom either! Your body may be every man’s dream, but you attitude is crusty.”

    Her voice squeaks back at Brandon. “Crusty!? Ha! For your information, when I go back into that lamp, I go back to paradise. It’s a beautiful world inside my lamp, unlike here in this dusty dungeon. I don’t need or want you to wish for my freedom. Being a genie is the good life. I get so tired to being compared to Disney movies. F.Y.I — I grant wishes exactly as you dream them. I already know what you want, you just have to ask. And don’t try to get me to do any mind reading stunts. I don’t have time for that shit.”

    “Okay then,” Brandon concedes, “I wish for a million dollars in legitimate American cash, in a bag, right here in front of us.”

    A breeze suddenly flows through the basement and the brown paper bag appears, filled with money.

    “Next!” The genie urges.

    Brandon starts thumbing through the bag in amazement.

    “Come on!” She drawled.

    “I wish… to be highly intelligent.”

    “Done! Now your last wish!”

    “I don’t have anything else I want, Genie,” Brandon declares loudly into the dank air, “I WISH YOU FREE!”

    “But I told you,” the genie cries out, “I do not WANT—”

    A breeze interrupts, sweeping through the room a third time. The beautiful genie is stuck in this putrid basement with this kid for good.

    “Hey, Genie, cheer up.” Brandon suggested. “Come on. I’ll show you around town.”

  29. jody222

    My wishes and why by Ms. Flinn

    I’ll tell you them all as my face shows a grin

    It’s a funny thing to think of a dream
    when I work all day, everyday
    and am always just shy of a scream.

    The first thing that comes to my mind,
    the one thing I would like to have more of
    is TIME.

    Time to see the kids off to school
    To make a good meal
    To snuggle up with my man
    And to read and write like a crazy fool

    The second wish I could come up with was silly
    I’d like to spend a few weeks somewhere
    that is not so chilly

    A hot day on the beach digging my toes in the sand
    With my man next to me holding my hand
    What’s a holiday good for you might shake your head
    But for years now all we’ve gotten for rest was a few hours in bed

    Now wish number three must be careful and calculated
    We all know you can’t ask for more magic
    A bunch of money or
    Something R Rated…

    So if I may
    be so bold to ask
    I’d like some feedback
    that might put me to task

    I’m afraid to put a single word in front of a reader
    You’ve read this now
    and might agree
    I need my third wish
    I need my third wish the most of the three.

    1. Margaretvnd

      Sharing what you write is the bridge between writer and reader. Bridges are made to cross. If you keep going over that bridge it will become shorter and less high.

      Your wishes triggered many old memories. Been there, had them all!

      Wishes are goals. May you goals turn into granted wishes!

  30. Margaretvnd

    I bumped into a genie standing in my driveway this morning and she granted me three wishes. I asked for her credentials to make sure she was genuine. Proof of her powers convinced me to go for it. This was a once in a life time offer!
    There were rules. There are always rules! I had only sixty seconds to reply and could not take her picture with my 8 pixel android camera.
    Wish #1 – I want to see my articles published and make money from them. She caught me on this one. Only one wish at a time so I dropped the money making. I will take fame over fortune!
    Wish #2 – Cure my lower back pain so I can jump out of bed in the morning without grabbing the window ledge.
    Wish #3 – Place my cat in the pet carrier so I can take her for a claw trimming.
    Thanks genie!

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