I know I'm still working on the final re-write of "Of Monsters and Men," the sequel to The Divine World, but that doesn't mean the "writing curse" hasn't made me start a new story. Your Xmas gift is the first three paragraphs of initial rough draft of my next short story/novella/novel. Enjoy:
The Three Wishes
Some people call me a genie. Others, a djinn. But, yes, I can grant you three wishes. Not that I have any choice in the matter, though. If you have the bottle, just open the thing up and I puff out in a cloud of smoke or a flash of light or, if you like, I can just suddenly be there. Most people get tired of the smoke and light show early on and ask if I can just quietly materialize. Doesn’t matter to me, I don’t know what any of it looks like, although from time-to-time somebody will show me a recording he made with his 8mm camera/video recorder/digital camera/cellular telephone.
People always ask me what it’s like in the bottle. They imagine there’s a little apartment set up in there, with a bedroom, a kitchen and a living area. Some people guess I spend my time smoking a hookah and drinking alcohol. Others muse that I must pass the time by painting, reading or playing the sitar. People are always asking if I “keep up with the times” by miniaturizing modern conveniences and taking them into the bottle with me.
But I have no idea what it looks like inside the bottle. When I’m in the bottle, I don’t exist. There’s no thought or dreaming or passing of time, there is only not existing. And then someone opens the bottle and poof!, there I am. Could be minutes or years or centuries, but it’s all the same to me. One moment I’m granting someone’s third wish, the next moment I’m somewhere else, watching someone clap their hands to their cheeks in astonishment that they have a “magic genie bottle.” If there’s time in-between the events, I don’t notice it. I think I’d like the time off in the apartment with the miniaturized conveniences, though.