Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A story

A woman was taking a much-needed vacation to Florida, after enduring the break-up of her marriage, the loss of her job – since her ex had been a friend of the boss – and a number of other miseries.

Strolling alone on the beach one morning, barefoot in the sand, comforting herself with a Capri Menthol and contemplations of better days, she spied a brass lamp ahead of her, half buried above the surf line.

Not being a woman who passed up opportunity, she scooped it up and gave it a rub. A rather odd-looking genie appeared. He appeared forlorn rather than feisty. Much like herself.

“This is a non-smoking beach,” the genie said, jerking his purplish thumb towards the woman’s cigarette.

“Your lamp might make a nice ashtray,” she warned, not in the mood to take guff from another man, especially a purple one.

He thrust his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Okay, okay, keep the smoke. But I can’t wish away the fine if the warden catches you.”

“Warden?” she snickered. “You are one confused little genie. Wardens hunt for poachers, not smokers.”

The genie threw up his hands again. “So sue me. I’m a foreigner.”

“Ah, you don’t look as foreign as some of the university freaks I’ve seen around here,” the woman said, taking another drag of her Capri.

“I will take that as a compliment,” said the genie.

“It wasn’t meant to be,” said the woman.

“Look, I ain’t no ordinary genie,” the apparition said.

“Is there such a thing?” the woman asked, exhaling a stream of smoke purposefully at him.

The genie coughed and said:“Yes, there is. Most of us grant three wishes. You know the drill.”

“You can give the coughing routine a rest,” she said, “since you are made of smoke anyway. You men are all alike. Playing your head games.”

“I could say something about you dames, too,” the genie grumbled.

“’Dames’ hasn’t been in the lingo since the ‘40s, genie,” the woman said. “Who taught you English, Al Capone? Just run the wishes routine and get lost. I’m in no mood for men right now, of any kind.”

“Sheesh, what ingratitude,” the genie said. “Like I tried to tell you, I ain’t no ordinary genie.”

“Ain’t isn’t proper English,” said the woman. “So what makes you special, Archie Bunker Genie Boy?”

“I don’t grant wishes, I grant curses,” the spirit said. “Just one, please.”
The woman sighed and sat down upon the sand. “Figures. Men and curses, a natural pair.”

“You don’t get it, lady. I grant you a curse on someone else, anyone. The ether of the universe has sensed the injustice that you have suffered and wishes to balance the cosmic scales.

“You may wish upon your enemy death, poverty or a debilitating disease. You may curse him to be the victim of identity theft. Or to hear Muzak constantly in his head. Or to have chronically irritated bowels, incurable flatulence, bad breath, insomnia or a lazy eye. Or to be impotent, unemployable, itchy, annoying to all who meet him. I assume, since I have been sent here, that you DO have an enemy.”

The woman took a long, thoughtful drag on her cigarette, staring off into the distance across the waves.

“Yeah, I do,” she said, finally.

“Well, what shall it be then?” he asked. “I could give him horrendous heartburn. I could make a harpy fall in love with him and drag him through hell. The real one. Not the metaphor.”

“Care for a drag?” said the woman, extending her cigarette.

“Don’t tell no one,” said the genie, gingerly taking the Capri from the woman. “But thanks.”

He blew a perfect ring that danced away over the ocean and wiggled itself into the shape of a fish, ducking down into the waves and disappearing.

“Nice trick,” he said to himself, since the woman said nothing.

The woman sighed deeply.

“For my enemy, a man who once claimed to love me but broke all his vows, I wish …” she said.

The genie rubbed his purple hands together.

“… I wish him no evil but one,” she said. “I wish for him to have a conscience.”



Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Very nice. I like it. The curse of a conscience. Hmmm. Exactly the kind of creativity you would expect from a woman.

Misfit in Paradise said...

i don't usually read stories on blogs but I loved this one!

Janice Thomson said...

That was a perfect wish! If only our conscience was around to keep us out of a lot more trouble...