SNAFU

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ah, the famed three wish story. How will this one end?

The year is 2020 and the dreaded Corona Virus seems to be at it's peak.

Along with thousands of others, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Candlewick have passed away.

The funeral was brief, attended by the Candlewick's two children, Jack and Candice, an uncle that the children had hardly ever seen, and a few people from their church; social distancing was evident.

Candice was not emotionally up to joining in the property distribution process, so she ask Jack to contact the lawyer and sell everything that was sell-able; then send her a check for her half, minus Jack's time and the lawyer's fees. She trusted her brother, besides, she really didn't need the money; she had married a well-to-due banker and they were doing very well, indeed.

This had not been a good year for Jack, it was like there was a black cloud hanging over his head and no way to get out from under it.

But the loss of Jack's parents might bring a change he was waiting for, at least, he felt things couldn't get any worse.

You see, the payments on a loan for half the sale price of Jack's parent's house would have been less per month than the condo Jack was renting. So Jack saw this as a turning point from the bad luck and took out a loan on the house. The loan would pay his sister for her half of the house, plus furnishings, and their parents car; Jack needed a better one than the heap he was driving, and the parent's car was nearly new.

As for the furnishings in the house, Candice didn't want any of it, but Jack said she should take something for her half, so she came up with a $1,000 figure and Jack was agreeable as long as that included the things stored in the Attic; he had stored his old comic books up there and he wasn't sure what they were worth.

So all was agreed on, papers were signed, and it was an easy Probate from then on.

***

Six months have passed, Jack has moved into his parent's house, sold his old car, and paid off some bills.

Then he painted a few rooms and gave away some furniture that didn't fit his lifestyle.

But on this particular afternoon, we find Jack Candlewick sorting through some of those things that his parents had stored in the Attic. Much would go to the Good-Will store, but there was a few antiques that might fetch some always needed cash.

As Jack sorted boxes, he ran across a box that had a big question mark drawn on each of it's four sides, the top and bottom were void of any writing at all.

As Jack looked inside the question-marked box, he could have sworn he saw something twinkle.

Jack shook his head, rubbed his eyes, then he said, "Oh great, I've been at this sorting stuff too long; I'm seeing things."

So with that said, Jack reached in the box and pulled the object out. It was a Coachman's Oil-Lantern; possibly European, and defiantly Brass and handcrafted glass.

"Ha, another one of Dad's collectables. He sure had a thing for oil-lamps and candle-holders. But this isn't his usual colonial and my guess is it is much older than that era. Ah well, I'll put it on E-Bay and see what happens."

So Jack set the lamp aside, in the "Sell on E-Bay" corner of the room, and went on with his sorting. But the more he thought about the lamp the more he wanted to know if it still worked.

So Jack took the lantern downstairs and found a half-empty can of charcoal lighting fluid in the cabinet next to the patio barbeque.

"This should do the job," Jack told himself, "let's try it and see if it still works." And surprisingly enough, even as old as the lantern seemed to be, it worked as if it were new.

Jack dawned a big smile when the lamp lit-up, then he said, "Wow, it works great! But what's with the Green Glow? The glass isn't tinted. Huh, must be that old lighting-fluid causing the odd colored flame.

Well, the sun was just setting beyond the hillsides so Jack took the lamp downstairs and out onto the patio. Once there, he sat down on a lawn chair and admired the lantern from a distance.

"I like it," Jack said a-loud, "and I think I'll keep it! --- Thanks Dad.

 

As Jack watch the flickering flame, an image started forming from the greenish smoke rising above the lamp. Eventually the smoke formed the body of a young man in a coachman's outfit, the clothing design was very old, very old indeed.

As soon as the figure was fully formed it introduced itself, "Good Morrow, kind Sir, I am Twindelfoot, the Lamp Guide. You are of good fortune on this day, for you have given light to my lamp so I am duty-bound to grant you three wishes; anything your heart desires shall be yours."

Jack just sat in his lawn chair and stared at the young man, unable to speak.

"Ah, I see that the cat has your tongue," Twindelfoot stated as he smiled, "I shall return it!" Then Twindelfoot snapped his fingers and a feeling of calm came over Jack.

After a moment or two, Jack said, "I have questions."

"Of course you do," Twindelfoot replied, "only the fool jumps in the pond before knowing the depth. So ask what you will and I shall answer as best as I am able."

"Why aren't you a Genie?" Jack asked somewhat sheepishly.

Twindelfoot laughed and then replied, "But I am, however, I am not of the type you imagine. As the four winds blow, as the season number the same, Genie's so differ; each has a different name.

There is the well noted Genie of the Lamp, Valhalla's Torch-bearer, The Night Searcher's Candle, and The Coachman Lamp Guide. We all come from a different age, a different place, but we all grant three wishes that can not be undone. So ask what you will, and whatever you ask shall be granted!"

Jack thought for a few moments, then said, "Well, to tell you the truth I've thought about this before. That was a long time ago and after reading the book about Aladdin and the Lamp. And it's always the same old thing. Something always happens to leave the person with nothing to show for their good fortune. But I believe I came up with the perfect solutions to the problems associated with sudden wealth, and that is not to get rich suddenly. So my first Wish is to have the ability to pick Stocks that are going to rise steadily, and remain solid investments over many years; that is my first wish.

"It is done, just look at a stock list and you will see what I mean," said Twindelfoot.

Jack brought up stock streaming on his I-Phone and sure enough, ever so often he saw a newer stock that looked hi-lighted, yellow, green, or red.

Then Twindelfoot said, "If the stock symbol glows yellow, then that stock will rise slowly with lots of ups and downs in the market, but it will rise over time and will never fall very far.

Green means a solid growth with a steady stream of dividends for years.

And Red means that the stock will skyrocket, but never hold a red stock after it's price triples.

Jack smiled and then said, "For my second wish, I want good health. I never want to get sick for any reason."

Twindelfoot laughed and said, "What an excellent wish! What good is wealth if you are too sick to enjoy it? The second wish is granted!

Then Twindelfoot asked, "Now, as for a third wish, will it be fame you seek?"

"No, not fame," Jack said. Then he stated, "I want to be indestructible. What good is good health if a truck runs over me and leaves me paralyzed? "

"Good point," Twindelfoot said, but I have to tell you that you can not have more than your natural share of time on this earth. I can not extend your life in any way, I can only make it safer."

Jack thought for a moment, then asked, "Well how many years have I got?"

Twindelfoot laughed and then said, "I cannot tell you exactly, but let us say, with your other wishes in place you are going to live to a ripe old age."

Jack smiled and said, "Well, OK then, I want to be indestructible!"

Twindelfoot smiled back and replied, "It is done!

And as Jack looked on, Twindelfoot and the lantern disappeared from the patio.

Jack leaned back against the back of the chair and looked out at the night sky. It was a beautiful moonless night and the stars seemed to blanket the heavens.

"I'm set now," Jack told himself, "And I think I've covered all the bases.

Then came the blinding lights and the mushroom clouds, everywhere. And when the missiles stopped falling, all that was left was Jack.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

05-31-2020


Submitted: July 30, 2020

© Copyright 2022 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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