Surviving Temptation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ah, the old "Genie in the Lamp" fable. Well, it started out that way, BUT...

Submitted: December 17, 2018

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Submitted: December 17, 2018



Frisco Bayside was the love-child of a rebellious Hippie, her chosen name was Starlight; also know as Sharon Ann Culvert.

Frisco was born at the end of the Hippie movement and set out on his own when his mother died. He was about 17 years old, at the time of her death.

And even though Frisco had two loving grandparents that he could have lived with, wanderlust had a-hold of him. So off he went to see the world.


Years later Frisco returned to California, via a cargo vessel. He had hired onto a cargo ship while he was in Shanghai and stayed with it until it reached the United States.

For some reason, at the ripe old age of 45, he had a sudden longing for a place to call home.

California was the place where his fondest memories were born so that is where he headed.

Frisco was born in California, in his Grandparent's home, high a-top a hill that overlooked the San Francisco Bay.

Frisco's Grandparents had both passed-on, and by the time Frisco arrived their house had been sold along with everything else.

Frisco received a small share of the estate and after lawyer’s fees, escrow costs, taxes, etc., Frisco was handed a cashier's check for $10,674.22.

He was also given the Title and keys to a 1968 VW Micro-Bus; this was his mother's vehicle.

Frisco's Grandfather had taken a liking to the VW-Bus after his daughter had passed away, so he kept it and kept it in good working order. (Word was that he liked tinkering with old cars, but others say that it was an emotional connection to his dear departed daughter.)

Frisco hoped that the money would be enough to tide him over until he found a place that he wanted to settle into. Once there, this Jack-of-all-trades would look for a job.

So Frisco bought supplies and headed for the coast.

"I will head north, along the coast," he reasoned, "and I will look for the perfect place to settle in."

Frisco traveled north along the winding coastal highway, stopping to camp in various places.

Frisco's soul was drawn to the forests like no other places that he had ever experienced. Yet, he felt that something was missing, so he pressed on.

When Frisco reached the town of Ferndale, just south of the city of Eureka, he found a beach access road and decided to camp for a few days.

The town of Ferndale is a heritage town and has been the setting for two major films. One was a movie with Dustin Hoffman. It was about a town taken over by the military due to some sort of viral outbreak. 

The other movie was "The Majestic", with Jim Carry playing a Straight-Roll. 

These were not big box-office money making movies, but both were good movies for their day.

The beach was not too far from the historic old town and it was a pleasant area with very few people around. And that suited Frisco because he likes his solitude.

The next morning Frisco decided to gather some seaweed to add to his vegetarian breakfast, so off to the waves he went.

As Frisco was about to dive into the water he noticed something being pushed around by the incoming waves.

The object on the sand was a curious sight, so Frisco had to investigate.

"Well I'll be," Frisco exclaimed, "I think it is an old oil lamp!

I saw a few of these in Baghdad, but this one has seen it's better days.

With all these barnacles on it, it's hardly worth bothering with. But still, it might be fun to see if it is silver, which would be worth the trouble.

After breakfast and an enjoyable swim, Frisco dug out his grandfather's tool-box from the VW and went to work on the lamp.

He chipped here and pried there, until the surface was finally exposed.

And when he was ready to test the surface to see what it was made of, Frisco thought out loud, "Hmm, I wonder if a Genie will come out of this lamp when I polish it?" Then Frisco laughed loudly.

And after a hardy laugh he stated, "With that many barnacles on a lamp, it had to be in the ocean for a very long time, a lot longer than any Genie could survive." Then he laughed again as he took some steel-wool from the handmade tool-box.

"Well it does look like silver," Frisco said as he rubbed the lamp with the steel-wool.

"Of course it is silver," said a very large and boisterous voice, "solid silver to be exact!"

Frisco dropped the lamp and staggered backwards, away from the hulk of a man that stood beside him.

Frisco just stood there with his mouth opened and an expression of disbelief on his face. Then he asked, "Where did you come from?"

"I came from the lamp, of course! Isn't that where Genie's are supposed to come from?"

Frisco replied, "Are you kidding me? How could you fit, let alone survive, in that lamp for, --- for."

The Genie finished Frisco sentence by saying, "For a thousand years?"

Then the Genie explained by stating, "Genies can live forever, but only if they wish to; I know that is not mentioned in the books about us, but it is true.

And besides, I do not live in the lamp. The lamp is just portal, a doorway of sorts, and when someone rubs the lamp it is like knocking on my door. It would be rude to not answer."

Still looking bewildered, Frisco asked polity, "Is this a joke, or something?"

"No, this is not any stretching of reality. I am a honest to goodness Genie from the bottle and I will grant wishes.

Frisco smile a little and asked, "Is this one of those storybook, three wish, lamps, or are the rules different now?"

The Genie laughed and stated, "Yes indeed, three wishes it is!"

Then Frisco questioned, "How big can each wish be, and are there limits?"

The Genie thought for a moment and replied, "No death and destruction will I do, --- not for past masters and not for you.

So ask away, ask away, to your hearts delight, as long as it kills no-one --- then it is alright."

Frisco laughed and replied, "Then I want this world to be free of human suffering!"


The Genie thought for a time, as if wondering how to solve such a complicated request. Then he waved his arms, in a bowing motion, and he stated that the wish had been granted.

After it was said to be done, Frisco questioned, "How do I know that you did what I ask?"

"Come," said the Genie, "I will show you."

The both of them were whisk away to city after city, town after town, hamlet after hamlet, and nowhere was a human to be seen.


Frisco was very upset, and asked, "Where are all the people?"

"I sent them away," the Genie replied, "you said that you wanted this world to be free of human suffering, so I relocated all the people to another place. After all, people will always be like they are, so the best way to do what you asked was to make this world without people; no people, no suffering.

Frisco became angry and stated, "Well that isn't what I wanted! They should not have to leave their lives, their homes, just to fulfill my selfish desire. Put them back where they belong!"


"That will be your second wish, you will only have one wish left," the genie stated.

Then, again, the Genie waved his arms in a bowing motion and he stated that the wish had been granted.


And once again, Frisco questioned, "How do I know that you did what I ask?"

"Come." said the Genie, "I will show you."

Then both of them were whisked away, and sure enough all the people were back where they belonged.


After all was done, Frisco asked, "Where did you put all those people? Did you transport them to some lamp?"

The Genie smiled and said, "No, not at all. I put them on a continent just east of that place where humanity began. It is called Eden.

No one has used that planet in ages, so I thought it would be a good place to put them. You know, returning them to their beginnings, so to speak."

Frisco replied, "I thought that Eden was just part of a fable, or maybe a parable."

The Genie smiled and replied, "You thought that I was just a fable too. Well, you learned two something’s today."

"Frisco still had his thinking hat on when he asked, " What is Eden like?"

The Genie replied, "It was the prototype for earth. Did you know that?"

"No, I had no idea," Frisco answered.

"Well it was. And it is pretty much like this world except it has no people and no buildings; everything is in its natural state. There are plants, animals, birds, fish, etc.. 

Then Frisco asked, "Could I go into Eden to live?"

The Genie thought for a goodly amount of time, and then replied, "I don't see what harm it could do. Like I said, no-one is using it.

"Are the rules still the same," asked Frisco, "No Eating the Forbidden Fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden."

"Well, no, that is not the only rule. But is the Big One, you know, the Rule that was written down; all other rules are implied."

Frisco scratched his head and asked, "What kind of Implied Rules?"

Then Genie explained by saying, "Like the fact that all the animals are very friendly and they only eat fruit, plants, and the seeds from plants; they don't eat each other. So the implied part is that you don't kill and eat any of them."

Frisco laughed and stated, "That is not a problem, I am a vegetarian and have no desire to eat meat.

Besides, I get along great with animals!"
Then the Genie's face grew dark and he stated, "But you must understand, the tree in the midst of the garden is enticing, and the fruit it grows is very hard to resist. If you should eat from it, well, you would be whisked right back here, to earth."

Frisco picked up his rather long and cumbersome tool-box and stated, "I understand. Now Genie, send me to Eden."

"What's the tool-box for?" ask the Genie.

Frisco stated in a matter-ah-fact way, "Well, you never know when I might need to build something, or whatever."

For the very last time, the Genie waved his arms in a bowing motion, and then he stated that the last wish had been granted.


After Frisco's departure, the Genie decided to hang around Ferndale to see the sights; the county fair was being hosted by that town and it was about to open.

The Genie had made the VW Micro-Bus his home and no-one seemed to think a thing about this big man, in a Arabian garb, hanging out at the fair; or even in the town, for that matter.

They may have thought that he was a fair employee.

Anyway, time got away from the Genie and he ended up staying long after the fair had closed. It was a very pleasant place for the Genie to vacation, and vacation he did.


Well, one day the Genie noticed that Frisco had left a screwdriver and some pliers behind. And being a good Genie he thought that he should return them to Frisco's tool-box, where they belonged. So off he traveled.

As the Genie arrived he heard singing coming from the middle of the garden, so he went to investigate.

Well, wouldn't you know? When Genie arrived in the middle of the garden he saw a freshly built log cabin.

And on the porch of that cabin was Frisco sitting in a rocking chair, playing a guitar, and singing this song to a gathering of critters.

"If the Tree of Forbidden Fruit is a problem

And the thought of eating some has crossed your mind

Think about the outcome --- that you face

And treat it --- as if it were a crime.


Take heart, and be the stronger person

The answer --- was never so profound.

Grab your ax --- and eliminate temptation,

Cut it down, cut it down, cut it down!"



D. Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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