John stood before Claire, the girl two flights down that she had had a crush on since moving into this apartment three years ago. The girl the Genie had never dared to ask out, despite, at one time, being a wizard of some power. The girl who moved now lived with her fiancee. And now Claire held John’s lamp and life in her hands.
Claire was a stunning girl of medium height and cherry blonde hair and black framed glasses. She always wore sandals, if the weather allowed, and clothes that seemed to defy in all the rules in that they were 1) comfortable, and 2) totally sexy. She looked at John with wild, amazed eyes and her mouth hung open, as she didn't believe what she had just seen.
And then John started to speak, but not because she wanted to. Instead, she had an unstoppable urge to speak, and she did so with a quiet feminine voice and made slow arm gestures as she spoke.
"Thank you, oh generous and wise Master, I am the Genie of the lamp you hold in your hands. I am bound to it and the servant to whomever holds it. Oh great Master, for releasing me from my lamp, I shall grant you whatever your heart desires."
The speech surprised John, startled her, even. She had no control over what she said or how she said it. The words were just there and needed to be spoken, as if to further affirm that John was a slave. Not just to her Masters, but to the Lamp, and her own Genie instincts. For she did feel grateful to Claire, even though she had only been in the lamp for scant seconds. The speech, too, seemed to have a calming effect on the woman, who now looked between the lamp and Genie with curious eyes.
"Anything I want?"
"There are a few small restrictions to my powers, Master. For instance, I cannot bring things that have died back to life, nor may I grant knowledge that has not been discovered, nor cast spells upon multiple people with a single wish. Lastly, my wishes cannot affect another Genie or their Lamp."
"Interesting," Claire said. "Can you go back into your lamp for me, Genie?" The way her Master said Genie told John that she did not recognize him. Moreover, in her own way, Claire just told John that she did not care to know anything about her Genie, not even her name.
"Of course, Master." Genie said, nodding and turning back into smoke and dust, swirling back into her lamp. Back again in the curved golden walls and pillows, Genie could not understand why her Master would do that to her, but such thoughts not for Genie's to have. She was to serve and obey, not command and question. It was truly frightening to Genie how much she was becoming a Genie. And then, while pondering these thoughts, she felt another urge. Her Master called again, after just seconds. And Genie obliged her Master, returning to the world and bowing before her.
"Hello again, O Gracious and Wise Master, how might I serve you?"
"That's so cool!" Claire said with a giggle.
"Now, about those wishes. How many do I get . . . what counts as a wish. . . what happens when I'm out of wishes . . . " she said, rattling off questions as quickly as she could think of them, and Genie began to answer them automatically, and she started to learn exactly what being a Genie would be like.
"As for your first question, Master, I shall grant you I shall grant you five wishes," Genie said, momentarily puzzled by that. Weren't Genies always supposed to give THREE wishes? Another thing Genie should have been puzzled by, but wasn't, was the fact that she was no longer thinking of herself as John. That name no longer existed for her. She couldn't even remember it. She still remembered her life as John, but she could only remember her name as being Genie.
"Five, huh? Wow, that's great," Claire said, obviously pleased. She already had a few wishes in mind.
"As for your second question, you must use the words 'I wish' before saying what you want."
"That seems obvious, I guess."
"And when you're finished making your five wishes, I will be transported back into the lamp to await my next master. At that time, Master, you may touch the lamp and try to summon me all you like, but I will not come out. Not for you," Genie explained. "Now, what will be your first wish?"
It surprised Genie just how quickly her Master responded with her wish. So many people would have still been flabbergasted at the sight of a woman coming out of a bottle that they would have not been able to wish. But Claire knew already what she wanted, and she made her command to Genie clearly.
"I wish my fiancee and I could settle on a date for our wedding."
And just like that, Genie bowed deeply to her Master, and she spoke again to the woman, "A wise wish, Master. I shall have it done as you command."
The world seemed to open up for Genie. Time itself wove around her pinky, winding around it like the ribbon of a cassette tape. She could choose any date for the wedding, and Her Master would accept it. She would have to. Genie knew that her Master did desire a wedding very soon, but also that Genie wanted to extend her time with her Master. First, because the warm, broad smile of her Master had always set Genie's heart fluttering. Second, because she needed time to get herself free. The scrolls had warned such a thing was impossible, that a Genie could never be freed. But Genie was not ready to accept that, and hated the thought of going back to her lamp. Who knows what would happen to her then? Perhaps Genie would be trapped in a Cave of Wonders for a thousand years.