The Trainee Genie.
Amy walked out the bank and immediately slumped on the bus stop bench. She had just been knocked back from her fourth successive interview in a fort night and wanted to get back to her flat to feel depressed about herself. The bus arrived late and she held up the queue by paying the bus driver in coppers. When she went in search for an empty seat she was met with mean stares by her fellow passengers. Amy found her seat and collapsed on it, trying to read the paper from the man sitting on front of her who just turned the page on an article that looked rather interesting.
The bus came to a halt at Amy’s stop. She got off the now near empty bus and made her way to her flat. The job seeker stopped off at her local grocery store to buy some dinner, frozen chicken curry again. She paid with it her overdrawn bank card and set out onto the street again.
As she approached her door she noticed a pile of boxes in the front garden. A curious Amy wandered over to the strange sight and peered into them. Shocked, she discovered it was her things. Pictures, clothes, books, even her dusty, rarely touched keyboard was left outside. On top of the boxes was a letter. Amy clasped her hands around it and read intently.
Dear Ms Gale,
You have failed to pay your rent for a third successive month. Since you havefailed to pay your bills you are here by evicted from the premises immediately. It is common courtesy to give two weeks notice but since one of my plumbersfound evidence of recreational drug use in your residence on the 21st of June during a maintenance check, your eviction will be immediate.
Good luck with your future endeavors.
She wept slightly and threw herself on the grass. What’s a bit of weed, she thought. After mulling over her homelessness for a few minutes she got a neighbor to phone her a taxi. As she waited she looked over her four boxes that contained her life. In her 22 years she had manage to fill four standard cardboard boxes, it was a depressing sight as Amy’s chicken curry started to thaw out. Once her taxi arrived and her life packed in the boot she made her way to a friends house.
She paid the driver with all the money she had left and made her way up the garden path and ran the bell, there was no answer. She tried again with the same result. Now banging and clawing at the door she saw people peer out from there windows observing her odd behavior. Again she found herself slumping to the ground. She took her boxes into the back garden and took residence in a green house to await her friends return. It was nice and warm and had a deck chair which was much more comfortable than the ground and started looking over her boxes. Torn boots, ripped clothes and ragged books made up most of her collection along with various photos and a sparse collection of paracetamol. She threw her belongings back in the boxes when she heard a curious clunk. Amy peered into the box to see what would have made such a noise. It was a copper kettle. Small, about the size of a mug, quite rusty and nothing much to look at, only thing did observe about it was that it did not belong to her. She took the lid off the kettle and inspected inside its emptiness. Already bored of her unusual find she started tapping it against her knee to a song she was singing in her head in a vain attempt to entertain herself. Looking out the greenhouse hoping to see a light come on from inside the real, comfy house all she saw was the neighbors taking the bins out. Amy started to tap the kettle against her left hand, letting it skim over the rusty surface, but abruptly stopped when bizarre noises erupted from its spout.
Amy dropped it and watched it eagerly as it vibrated on the ground, spouting smoke and whistling metallic sounds. Looking around to see if anyone else could hear what was going on she was suddenly thrown to the ground, the noises stopped and the smoke faded, but she felt a massive weight upon her as she lay face down in the soggy dirt of the garden. She looked up and noticed a man sitting on her back reading through a booklet.
“Get off me”, she screamed.
He looked down and stood up immediately. He was wearing a lime green suit with bright sky blue shoes, an odd golden neckerchief and a purple hat with a little silver bell on it.
“Oh my word, I am so sorry, I didn’t see you there”, He apologised, dusting himself off.
“What are you doing? You nearly broke my back, were did you come from!” she looked around and noticed the kettle and returned to its natural state, just sitting on the grass, boring.
“Well you called me here of course”.
“What are you...” she tried to speak but the man cut across her.
“Look miss, we genies go through this every time, someone always unwittingly rubs that kettle, which is my home by the way and it forces me out my humble abode to this world, where I grant you wishes, so if we can just get over the whole, ‘I don’t believe you’ and ‘prove it then’ nonsense here you go”, he puts his hands out and points to a plant pot, setting it in a purple flame to Amy amazement.
“Oh? So you’re like a genie then, this is unbelievable”, said Amy ecstatically.
“No not yet, I’ve only started this job a few hundred years ago, still a lot to learn before I become a fully qualified genie, I’m doing my apprenticeship just now, then I have to finish some paperwork for the next decades”.
“So I can wish for anything I want, how many do I get”, she blurted out.
“Well I can grant you three wishes but I’ve not got the authority yet to grant any old wish you know, only the fully qualified genies do that and they’re really rare, only three exist in the world and they live in random objects that even I don’t know there whereabouts”, said the apprentice genie.
“So I can’t wish for money”?
“Depends on how much you want”.
“One billion pounds”?
“A million pounds?”
“I don’t have the skills yet to summon that amount”.
“How much can you summon then”! She snipped.
“About £4.50” confessed the genie.
“That’s pretty shit”.
“Well it’s hard getting money out of thing air you know”
Amy sighed and sat on the ground cross legged and started to ponder.
“What was the last wish you summoned or whatever you call it”? She asked.
“Ahh It was to return a missing puppy as I recall, yes, Mrs Shirley, she lost her puppy In the market one day, it was a lovely little thing, small with a cheeky face and a cute white mark just up from its ticklish nose, such a delightful animal. It’s such a shame she died later that year, back then I was only allowed to give one wish you see”
“How did she die”? She asked, with a slight glumness.
“Oh the Great Fire of London took her”, remarked the genie.
“What the last wish you granted was to return a puppy over 300 years ago”!
“There’s a lot of paperwork to go along with ones wish. I’ll be up to my ears in documents and such once I’ve processed your wishes, what are they anyway” asked the genie, in a mid yawn.
“I don’t know, I doubt you’ll be able to grant any wishes that I actually want.”
“I wish to be a famous rock star.”
“Nah I can’t do that.” Said the mystical man shaking his head.
Amy huffed and sank her head into her hands.
“Well doing that would ask questions and change the future too much, people would wonder how you became famous so fast and you would be in a position to influence people in a way you could never currently do. Only the expert genies can do that.
Amy was about to speak before the genie interrupted her.
“And you can’t wish for an expert genie to grant your wishes”.
The frustrated Amy stood up and stormed over to the oddly clothed chap.
“So basically I can only wish for shitty things because I was lucky enough to be given a chance to change by life but I can’t, because typically I get the one supernatural being that’s shit at his field of magic”.
As she said this, the genie, as if hurt by her remark hung his head in slight shame, causing the little bell on his hat to give a faint ring.
“Well I’m doing my best, It’s not easy you know, doing magic, it takes its toll”, he started to weep.
“Aww for fuck sake”, said Amy, rolling her eyes.
The genie walked over to a deck chair in the garden and sat down, awaiting Amy’s wishes.
“Okay, I wish for a job”.
“What kind of job”, questioned the genie?
She sighed, “I don’t know, manager for HMV or something, something that pays well at least”.
“Really?” queried the genie, giving the wishing girl an odd look.
“Well I can’t fucking wish to be David Bowie can I now!”
“Okay okay, no need to bite my head off, I can do that wish.”
He pulled out an odd looking lighter from his jacket pocket and lit it. A green flame erupted from the lighter into the sky spreading amongst the clouds. Amy stepped back a bit and gazed in awe at the sight, when the flame retreated she looked towards the genie who was holding papers.
“Here is the information you’ll need for your new job, you start next week, just sign at the bottom and date it please”.
She did so and handed it back. The genie tore off the signature and gave Amy back the papers.
“Right what next” asked the genie, looking at his watch.
“I wish to be amazing on my keyboard”
“hmm, I don’t know if I can to that”
“I’m not wishing to be Gary Numan or anything. Just for me to be able to play like him.”
“Okay I think I can do that, but I’m afraid I can only make it that you can play wonderful music when your on your own, other wise we’re back to changing the future with your talents, in which I have no authority to grant, is that ok.”
“Hmm I suppose so. Yes actually, it would be a real treat to me! I really need one of those at the moment”, said the elated manager at HMV.
The genie took out his lighter and did the same amazing routine, again he gave Amy papers to sign and she walked over to her keyboard and turned it on and started to play Candle in the Wind flawlessly. She smiled and hugged the genie who gave her an awkward hug back.
Now employed and gift a literal god given talent, Amy racked her brains as to what her final wish should be.
After about 20 minutes are so she told the genie her final wish which he gave a smile and granted.
“Perhaps I will see you again some time”? Amy muttered.
“Unlikely, I probably won’t be returning to this world for another few hundred years. I’ve got a few exams to study for and then I’ll have to write all this up.”
“Aw okay … well thanks very much for everything.”
The genie smiled and turned into a plume of rainbow smoke which flew into the kettle which disappeared from the garden.
Now more aware of her surroundings Amy looked around and noticed a light on from inside her friend’s house. She picked her boxes and keyboard and went round the front of the house and knocked the door, after a few seconds her friend answered.
“Hi Stacy, I’m so sorry can I crash at yours for a wee while, I got kicked out my flat and I didn’t know where else to go”.
“Of course, come on in”, Stacy helped her with her boxes.
“When did you get that? Said a surprised Stacy?
“Oh only recently” she responded.
Stacy looked down to see a small puppy with a cheeky face and a cute white mark just up from its ticklish nose.
“It looks rather old”. She said looking to Amy.
“You have no idea”, smirked Amy looking into the sky.
© Copyright 2016 Jonathan McQuillan. All rights reserved.