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meowcats734 t1_iysc2ba wrote


Shivio had once thought genies were never granted freedom due to the selfishness of humankind. After all, who would hold a Demon of Desire in the palm of their hands, beholden to their every whim... and then let that cosmic power flutter away in the wind? And with all the depravities and horrors Shivio had seen humanity wreak, it was all too easy for him to believe that genies were kept enslaved and sealed away due to the selfishness and greed of their owners.

But in the still-smoking crater that was the aftermath of Shivio wishing to set a genie free, he realized the truth was worse still.

Genies were selfish too.

It had taken Shivio and Kailenn ages to stuff that cat back into its cosmic bag, and the residue of magic still lingering in the soil would render this place hazardous to enter for aeons to come. If not for Kailenn's knowledge of healing and Shivio's training in surviving fallout, the paladin and the witch would have perished a hundred times over simply by breathing too close to the place where Hashmellan had been sealed once more. But the genie was bound once more.

And it had one wish remaining.

"Are—are you sure about this, Shivio?" Kailenn whispered, her hands trembling from the effort of maintaining the dark spell keeping them both alive. "I mean—don't get me wrong, I know this is important to you, but so was releasing Hashmellan in the first place, and I don't know how many more times I can bring you back from death—"

"Kailenn." Shivio flipped through the thick book he'd brought—out of habit more than anything, he had the contract memorized by heart—before snapping it shut. "I understand if you worry for your own health. I will hold no ill will against you if you choose to leave my side now. But if you would do me one last favor first?"

Hesitantly, Kailenn nodded.

"Do not worry about me." Shivio knelt by the patch of empty air where he'd caged the genie, twisting space itself into a prison. It was a tad more ostentatious than the lamp he'd found Hashmellan in, but Shivio hadn't wanted to leave anything physical for some poor, unknowing soul to stumble into. Anyone who could unravel the knot of space and magic Shivio had left behind knew what they were getting themself into. "I know the risks of this endeavor. I choose to embark upon it regardless."

Shakily, Kailenn smiled. "I'm not—I'm not leaving. Just... wanted to give you a chance to change your mind."

"A chance to change one's mind," Shivio murmured. "Fitting. That is what I am here to bring."

Shivio reached out through soulspace, untangling the golden chains that held Hashmellan outside of realspace—

And the genie burst into reality, their form rippling with rage as they towered over Shivio.

"You insolent brat," Hashmellan roared. "You think your arrogance can bind me? You know nothing of Desire. Your works will unravel in time, and I shall be free to raze your cities into dust and your children into corpses. Have you come to beg for mercy before your time has come? I will—"

"I have come," Shivio evenly said, "to make a wish."

Hashmellan froze.

Then, a fearsome joy splitting their face, they settled down, fingertips pressed against each other.

"I had not thought you foolish enough to make a third attempt," Hashmellan admitted. "Well? Out with it."

In response, Shivio simply handed them the tome of a contract they had wrought.

Hashmellan rolled their eyes, but took it. "Going by the book helped you little the last time you unstoppered me," they said, skimming through the book. "You won't... you..." They frowned, then flipped back to the first page, reading it again. And again. Their brows creased like thunderheads, the energy of their true form pressing against reality as their scowl deepened.

Finally, they shut the book and glared at it, and if not for the bindings placed upon them, they would have incinerated it with a thought.

"What is this?" they demanded.

"A chance to change your mind," Shivio simply said. "You will live through the lives of every soul whose wishes you have twisted and corrupted, and you will experience all the misery and suffering you have caused as if it were your own. Every death, every curse, every misdirected dream—that which you have given to others, will now become yours."

Hashmellan scowled. "Why? What possible benefit could you gain from—"

"This is not about me," Shivio snapped. "This was never about me. This is about how you—a being blessed with power beyond what most mortals could dream of—have squandered the gifts you have been given time and time again to sow chaos and destruction upon a world that could have named you a hero. I came here to give you a second chance."

"You call this a second chance?" Hashmellan's fury deepened as they read the book—which held one thing, and one thing only. Names. Hundreds of thousands of names, every soul Shivio could find throughout history that had been ruined by Hashmellan's touch. "This is a fate worse than a thousand deaths. You consign me to—"

"To understand," Shivio interrupted, "what you have brought upon this world. And maybe—just maybe—to let you grow."

Hashmellan stared at Shivio, lost for words.

"I make this wish," Shivio prompted Hashmellan. "It is your duty to enact it."

A divine hatred, an odium beyond mortal reckoning pressed down on Shivio as Hashmellan snapped the book shut.

"Your wish," Hashmellan hissed, "is my command."

Then the genie disappeared in a puff of wind, leaving paladin and witch alone in the ruins where wishes came to die.


This story is part of Soulmage, a serial written in response to writing prompts. Check out the rest of the story here, or r/bubblewriters for more.


Bealf t1_iysulso wrote

That’s some fucking balls on Shivio to do that to a malignant genie!


kmmck t1_iyt1jns wrote


This is without a doubt my all time favorite genie story. First of all your world building was incredible. It was as if I could feel and imagine the thundering power of the mages and genies.

Then second of all, the conclusion to the story was great. Not only did you think of a 'torture' that would truly make the genie pay for its sins, but you also worded it in an inspiring way that really hit the point across.


meowcats734 t1_iyt2xoo wrote

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad the worldbuilding came across—this is part of a much larger world and story, and many of the words and elements have deeper meanings within the larger magic system. If you want to see some more of the mages in this world, the favorite clash of magics I've written is here.


kmmck t1_iyt8r69 wrote

Thabk you I'll read them


Thirdfanged t1_iyua05q wrote

So this means that if the genie interpreted it literally, and went back in time to live the lives of everyone that had wished on his lamp...does that mean the paladin is the genie, hoping to redeem his former self/closing the time loop?


SilverMedal4Life t1_iysz9sd wrote

Great idea for a story. Reflects some very human frustrations with how something with phenomenal cosmic power could use it to just screw people over for a laugh.


meowcats734 t1_iyt0xyg wrote

Thanks for the kind words! Glad I could entertain.


HelloWorld1352 t1_iytpqam wrote

It’s been so long since I’ve seen a Soulmage story and it’s still just as good as anything else you’ve written!


meowcats734 t1_iytqki1 wrote

Thanks for the kind words! I was on break for a while, but as you can see, I've returned.


sycolution t1_iyu5fow wrote

I wanna see the immediate aftermath when Hashmellan pops back up in front of them either humbled or PISSED.


alacz OP t1_iyus51t wrote

This is way better than how I initially pictured my post. You are amazing!


MechisX t1_iyug7jq wrote

While the idea is to make the genie a better being somehow my limited understanding of their nature tells me you will just make it even more devious and tricky.


photoshopper42 t1_iysxxrk wrote

This genie ruined my life. My wife left me. My kids won't talk to me. All of my money is gone and I am struggling to get by, day-by-day. This was all different before. Before I met the genie I was happy. Before I met the genie I had a beautiful house with a beautiful couch. Now my house is a couch.

I don't know what game this genie is playing. Is it some game where he is supposed to be teaching people "Watch what you wish for?" Or is he just some sadist who liked to make people suffer? Did he just want to teach me a lesson? If so, I never want to be taught a lesson ever again.

Maybe I will never know why the genie tortured me so, but I have been planning my revenge ever since. I closed all the loopholes. I made it airtight. I even got a lawyer to look at it.

When I give the genie the document, he reads through it. There are moments when he looks excited, but they are followed quickly by a furrowing of a brow. Whatever loophole he thinks he will find, I am sure that each furrow is him realizing that I was already three chess moves ahead.

He finishes and stares me down like a motherfucker. But it was my wish and he is contractually obliged to do what I say. So he snaps his fingers and starts convulsing in pain. It is beautiful. I watch it with glee. The hate in my heart swells with pride as I watch the suffering of the one who ruined my life. Vengence is powerful and strong, I don't care what that Spider-Man movie says, this feels great.

I just sit there and watch him. And keep watching. And keep watching. I am immortal afterall, that was one of my wishes that he granted and twisted. I can just keep watching him squirm like a bug forever. Eventually I get bored and start picking the gunk out from underneath my fingernails. Its hard though, its so dirty, and you always miss some, so you keep going back in, but you can never get it quite all and you wonder why you don't just go wash your hands. But at the same time its kinda a fun challenge. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, there's a squirming genie in front of me.

Anyways thousands of years pass. He keeps squirming, and I keep alternating between cleaning the gunk from my nails and watching him. Every so often I go back to my couch to take a nap. I realize that I could have been using the time to better myself and work my way up again so I didn't have to live on a couch in an alley. With this realization I make a big decision. A decision to change everything.

I decide never to go back to the couch again and just enjoy watching this genie squirm until it dies. I didn't make this wish to learn a lesson. I never want to be taught a lesson ever again.


PM_ME_SMALL__TIDDIES t1_iyszsln wrote

I dont know if thats the idea you intended but... Its funny how the genie still ruined the guys life anyways with the last wish, as he will never do anything other than stay here watching him suffer. If it was intended, absolutely genius writing.


photoshopper42 t1_iyt1pxa wrote

There was a sprinkle of that in there, I'm glad you caught it :)

Thank you for the kind words!


RectangularAnus t1_iytd0ff wrote

I feel like he inflicted that last bit on himself and that makes it so much better. Mutual destruction - the genie brought him to the edge and he jumped over taking the genie too - but they don't have the mercy of a hitting the bottom.


Average64 t1_iyx4e51 wrote

But if the guy is immoirtal won't he outlive the genie?


kmmck t1_iyszg8v wrote

I fucking hate genies. Thanks for writing this awesome story. Just straight to the point torture, with a funny punchline in the end.

The only comment I would give is that I wish you spent more time portraying the genie as afraid or begging for his life or something like that. This way the revenge would have been more impactful.


photoshopper42 t1_iyt1uyv wrote

That is a good note! Thank you, I will try to keep it in mind for next time!


kmmck t1_iyt8tp6 wrote

Good luck on your journey as a writer!


Notabug255 t1_iytk6v8 wrote

My guy was already so jagged from the first two wishes he didn't even bat an eye out of sadism himself, he just wanted the genie to get wrecked and matter of factly watched


featherknife t1_iyuggmq wrote

>It's* hard though, it's* so dirty,

> it's* kinda a fun challenge


DeneilYeong t1_iys8lnv wrote

"I want an infinite amount of money any time I want."

It didn't happen like how Finneas Alpine thought it would, like how the familiar cartoons and comic books depicted it. He was alone in his room, then a freshly graduated and freshly unemployed twenty one year old bachelor. His parents barked at his every move, questioning when he would get a job, when he would start contributing to the family.

His grandmother had died a week later and even at her funeral, there were only questions, interrogations of Finneas' existence. More distant relatives strayed from him and his parents, his father forced Finneas to bow to the casket, his head only an inch away from the rich mahogany. Only at this distance did he see the inscription, the words that came to life as his eyes frantically tried to catch them.

Directions? Finneas asked himself.

He thought he saw the lines move in an affirming way and so he thought again to himself. Where do you want me to go?

The lines danced again, but his father pulled him away.

"What the fuck are you doing, boy? Falling asleep?"

After the unrelenting torrent of questions, Finneas made his way back to the church. It was dark, well past sunset, and he wasn't even sure if the casket would still be there. Wouldn't they have buried her already? Was she going to be cremated beforehand? Finneas didn't know, but he walked anyway and he opened the doors to the church, not questioning how easily the huge doors moved at his touch. He saw the casket, enveloped in warm moonlight. His first few steps were slow, then he ran. He kneeled before his grandmother's casket, praying that the lines were still there. His face was right up to it now, his breath fogged the lacquer finish of the dark mahogany.

The lines were still and he took a breath in, his heart pumping faster than it ever had before. With shaky hands, he ran his fingers along the lines and they came to life. From the wood of the casket, to his fingers, and eventually to his eyes, he saw the lines form into a being. The moonlight dimmed, his surroundings falling into the darkness.

The being was a burly, stocky man-like creature. It stood on two scarred legs covered in black fur. The same fur ran along its body, covering it entirely aside from its face. It had two eyes, but instead of side to side, they were placed top to bottom. One on its forehead and one beneath its mouth.

"Finneas Alpine," it said. Its voice was higher pitched, dissonant.

"What are you?" Finneas said. He stuttered. He was afraid to blink.

"A reasonable question," it said. "Your grandmother described me as a genie. She was a good woman, I'm sorry for your loss."

"You knew her?" Finneas asked.

"I did. I worked with her for many years," the genie said. "She met me the same way you're meeting me now. And like her, I will grant you three wishes."

Finneas didn't even have to think about it, he knew what he wanted. Everything else would come after. There was only one thing that could fix his problems.

"I want an infinite amount of money any time I want."

The genie smiled and Finneas didn't see, or rather, he couldn't see the smile turn into a smirk. Finneas stared longingly at the genie, its eyes were glowing white and he felt himself lose consciousness. The black around the room had surrounded him and after seconds, he fell.

Part two coming up.


DeneilYeong t1_iyse5j9 wrote

Part Two

Finneas awoke to unconcerned conversation. He heard the familiar voices of his parents, bickering about the temperature of the room or the inconvenience of having to pay for even more of Finneas' bills and dues.

That won't matter anymore, Finneas thought.

He opened his eyes and his parents looked at him.

"Good, you're awake." His mother said. "Get up, then. You've spent long enough passed out on the streets. You're lucky you weren't sent to county jail."

His father didn't even speak to him, opting instead to drag him by the collar of his hospital gowns.

"Let me go," Finneas said.

His parents stopped. He hadn't done this before, he hadn't told his parents to stop. Never showing even an urge to rebel to them, the ones who have provided for him everything he knew.

"We put you through college and this is how you repay us?" His father asked.

A sting. Finneas' hand went to his cheek, a droplet of blood. The burning sensation stayed there as he watched his parents walk out the door. He looked for the lines, still in his eyes, and he formed them into the genie. The room went dark again and It appeared in front of him, still covered in black fur, its yellow eyes.

"How do I make the money appear? I have to get out of here. Why am I even in this place?" Finneas asked.

The genie said nothing. "I'll give you this next sentence for free. I cannot converse with you until you have used all three of your wishes. You can use your second wish if you want to know how to access your newfound wealth."

Finneas looked at him.

Alright then, Finneas thought. "I'll just use up all of my wishes right now. For my second wish, I want to live forever."

The genie's eyes started to glow before he could say his third wish. He was going to ask for the trifecta of wishes - infinite money, infinite life, and infinite wisdom.

"For my last wish, I wan-" but he couldn't speak again. He looked at the genie, it was smiling again. He looked at It until his world turned black. He slept for a long time. He wasn't sure how long he had slept for, but he would occasionally open his eyes to the same darkness and return to sleep. His stomach panged, hungering for anything. His lips cracked with dryness and he had lost his sense of smell, either by force or involuntarily, after merely weeks (though it felt more like years to Finneas). He continued sleeping. After enough sleep, he thought he could muster up the strength to feebly run his hands along the darkness. It felt soft and he felt a tingling sensation all over his body.

In the darkness, in this true darkness, he couldn't call up the genie. He felt the gnawing pain constantly, he wished it would stop. But his second wish had kept that from coming true, he would live forever. He slept again, hungry and dying. He dreamed this time that he was in a brightly lit, white room. A simple chair and table were in front of him. A cup of coffee, sugar cubes, and a pitcher of cream all set nicely before him. In one of the chairs was his grandmother, Jolene.

"Grandma?" Finneas asked, or thought he asked.

His grandmother shed a tear, she embraced her grandchild, but he couldn't feel her embrace. He couldn't feel much of anything. He sat there in front of her. At least, he wanted to sit there. His grandmother guided his body to the chair and he looked blankly at her.

"You poor thing," Jolene said. "You made a deal with It, didn't you?"

Finneas sat there, wanting to move, but he couldn't do anything but stare at his grandmother. Is this real, Finneas thought.

"It very much is real," his grandmother said. "And we have much work to do if you ever want to make it out of your coffin. Maybe you'll have more luck than I did."

She smiled weakly.

And so they worked together, Jolene explaining what the genie was, where it got its strengths, how it chose its victims. Finneas wanted to ask where they were, how it was possible for them to be communicating right now, he wanted to ask what happened to him.

"We have time to talk about that," Jolene said. "Too much time really."

Finn nodded, surprised that he actually could.

"Save your strength, Finn." Jolene said. "This is going to take a few lifetimes."

They worked again. Jolene explained where they were, she explained what her three wishes were, how she asked for wisdom first and a healthy family second. She had no need for money, she felt it corrupted people. She realized then that the genie wasn't a genie at all, but a demon. Maybe the demon was bored, maybe it was as powerless as she and Finneas were. She didn't know, but it didn't matter. The demon twisted her wishes, giving her wisdom, but taking away everything else from her. It gave her wisdom, but took away her own strength and health. And sure, her family was healthy, but they despised her, each set of parents hating their child, the child in return hating the parents.

"I'm sorry, Finn."

"It's okay," Finneas tried to say.

He still didn't have the strength to do much or say anything. He wanted to ask how they were there, in this impossibly white room. Though they rarely needed to converse as it was as though his grandmother could hear his thoughts word for word.

"I can hear you the same way you're going to get yourself out of here and out of wherever you are now," Jolene said.

She started writing pages and pages of notes, revising and scrutinizing each line for hours. They had the time after all. Finneas had gained his footing little by little, decade after decade. It was impossible for the maggots infested in his body to live for so long, impossible for his body to have remained buried for centuries. Eventually someone or something was going to take him out of the ground.

"That'll be your chance, Finn."

And centuries yet had passed and Finneas waited. He went over the documents while he could with his grandmother. They went over every line, spending days and weeks on single sentences. Eventually something did find Finneas' body, trapped underground, impaled with decomposed and rotten wood.

"Looks like you're out of here now, Finn." Jolene said.

"What about you? Where is this place?" Finneas asked.

"Don't worry about it and do what you're supposed to do," she said.

She and the room disappeared then. Gone and the world went black again. The thing that found it tried to take a bite, it was an animal unrecognizable to Finneas. It yelped with pain with its first bite and scurried off. It took another month for Finneas' eyes to heal, but the first thing he did was form the lines. He summoned the demon and he heard laughter.

The demon, its yellow eyes and black fur, rippled with laughter.

"And for your third wish, Finneas Alpine?" it said.

And Finneas Alpine was indeed ready, he started recite the wish from memory. The wish he and his grandmother had crafted together over the days, weeks, years, decades, centuries. He recited the wish for a year and a half, his voice healing by the second as the demon was forbidden from doing anything but listening to his words.

Tears fell as he neared the end of his wish, as the pain rushed into him all at once.


75rx t1_iysks4e wrote

My dumb brain doesn't get it. So what was the wish? Was he trying to take revenge by having the genie listen to his wish for over an year?


DeneilYeong t1_iyswc79 wrote

No, the wish was a callback to the prompt in that Finneas and Jolene spent centuries not coming up with the third wish, but how to craft and write it up. The third wish was basically to take away the demon's power. The third wish had to be perfect, fool proof so that the demon couldn't find any loopholes.

I kind of winged the whole thing, leaving things more vague than maybe I should have.


kmmck t1_iyt0pzd wrote

I completely understood what you were trying to say bro. I think the other people are just debbie downers. The story literally says that Finneas 'recites the wish he planned with his grandmother'. Its as straightforward as you can get.

As for what the wish actually was, the writing prompt already says it. Torture and then death for the demon.


Notabug255 t1_iytje8l wrote

I thought Debbie downer meant pessimistic?

Anyway, I think they got so carried away by the story they forgot the prompt already states what the third wish is


Jonnythecontractor t1_iyt0wgt wrote

Robert stared deeply into the eyes of the genie, attempting to pierce into it’s mind to read its thoughts; as hefted a 456 page document, bound into a book. His final wish.

“It’s been some years bobby,” Said Daedalus the genie “It has indeed demon,” Said Robert frostily, “and Its Robert, Rob, or Bob, not “bobby”

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for thousands of years, you enormous asshole, do you have any idea what it’s like to watch your children die in front of you? Your grandchildren? Your great grandchildren” Robert said, voice dripping with venom, he continued “Every single time I settle down and have a nice family, and begin to be happy again, you come along-”

“Buh buh buh, just a minute there, I did no such thing, I didn’t kill a soul, or harm a child, you just happen to be the unluckiest bastard ever, with calamity on your heels” Daedalus said.

“It’s not my fault you wished for immortality, you do know, the universe likes balance, and a human living for thousands of years just upsets the balance. It’s like that smart fellow Isaac who found me one day, for every action, the universe has an equal and opposite reaction” Daedalus continued, smirking at bobby, while hefting the weight of the book in his hand

Robert thought back, Potidaea, the wave that crushed him, watching the wood houses turn into spears, piercing the bodies of his smallest great grandchildren, before being crushed by a stone, at least the cursed persian invaders died that time.

Vesuvius, the feeling of ash clogging his lungs, watching his wife and children die, choking on ashes, turning to dust. A legionnaire, a prophet, a king, a merchant, a sailor, a pirate, a painter, a thinker, a farmer more times than he cared to count.

Hundreds of lives he had lived, each one ending in disaster, murder, suicide, but never old age. Each time he had to feel the pain of death one moment, and the very next, the pain of being born. Leaving the world screaming one minute, rushed through a tunnel the very next, coming out screaming the next as an infant, the memories fading until his fifth birthday.

“Oh yes, the old physics routine. Well I’ve learned this time, D, you’ve perverted my wish each time, cursed me and my descendants to die premature deaths, made me scramble through the earth penniless for eons, but I will have my final wish.” Robert stated so matter of factly.

“Why so harsh for your old friend D, bobby? I’ve always tried to help, I’ve nominally been around to explain what’s happened. I mean, for God’s sake man, you were in a tomb, robbing it when you found me. You wished to be the wealthiest man alive, so I provided that. It isn’t my fault that so much wealth made the persians invade your little tiny city state.” Daedalus exclaimed with big eyes,

His facial expression aggrieved. “In fact” he carried on “there you were, the city burning around you, your wealth lost, and YOU asked me for a thousand lifetimes, and I snapped you right out of there; what kind of friend would I be, AND, AND, you were even born to the wealthiest people alive.”

“I wanted to live forever, you inconsolate ass! Not be subjected to being born, growing old, and dying, again, and again, and again” Robert roared, “Rich, immortal, powerful, an emperor of the planet for EONS!” Robert huffed continuously, face turning red.

“No instead you were born to wealthy families, and got to learn again and again humility, integrity, infirmity, poverty, meekness, and shame” Daedalus smirk was gone, a rising anger beginning to well upon him.

His posture straightened, his face was serious and dour, “You who wanted all the trappings of material gain, who wanted to impose your will upon others, you, the son of a Levite, turning your back on the priesthood and your religion. Again” he shouted loudly now. “Again and again, and again, you have been born, lived and died, with the memories of each life granted you to take with you, and each time you have been reckless, impetuous, rude, self aggrandized, and a consummate asshole. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO WATCH THAT.”

“AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS LIFE! Here you are the chief justice of the supreme court of the brightest nation in the world; and there you go stripping people of their rights, under the guise of liberty, you simply seek control. You’ve become the very monster you wished to be. But fine, Mr. ROBERT, I’ll read your 456 page wish, some offal inflicting your will upon me no doubt, whilst trying to run off with the spoils. But remember, the universe exacts a price, well beyond what any mere mortal with a million lifetimes can pay. The universe requires balance, and that is all that I provide. Now quiet yourself while I read through these provisions you have gifted me bobby the ass, and if you make one peep, I will turn you into a donkey while I read” Robert closed his mouth tightly into a thin line, glaring daggers as Daedalus the ‘genie’ began to mutter

“Hereto… forthwith.. Jesus man, did you have to write in legalese, I’m pretty sure this is the 14th time I have seen the word subrogated in a single paragraph” Daedalus muttered while glaring at bobby.

A few hours passed as the genie read through each page, his face becoming more grave with each flip of his hand.

“You, essentially, want me, to swap places with you, to live through your lives, and you want to be granted my powers, without the limitations of 3 wishes; and you wrote 468 pages of clauses, and buts, and wherefores” Daedalus said looking intently at Robert, “And your wish, I shall grant; However, Robert, I will remind you of one thing you forgot to mention in your requests, and rules, and limitations, and what can, and can’t be done. The power of a genie, the power I wield, to warp reality, and the universe, and the infinite, comes with a price; you forgot the quintessential part of being a genie; being stuck in a lamp, enjoy eternity you bastard”

With a snap of his fingers, Daedalus disappeared to live through his punishment. Robert felt himself brimming with power, full of life, he thought for a moment, and a shower of golden coins rained down around him. A snap of his fingers, and a car appeared next to him. Suddenly he felt a tug at his feet, something felt like it was sucking him down.

He felt he was falling down a tunnel, the ground moving up to meet his eyes, so incredibly rapidly he could barely comprehend it, until, with a thwup, he landed inside a vessel, surrounded by darkness. No click of his fingers solving this one. He was, he surmised, inside a lamp, his greed, his brilliance, his finest legal writing, and he had made himself into the most powerful being in the cosmos, but he forgot one thing.

He was the genie now, trapped in the lamp, alone, in the darkness, with naught but his own thoughts, until someone, somewhere, rubbed on his vessel, to release him.


ClassicClassicist t1_iyt4r69 wrote

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!!! … itty bitty living space.


SuqMadiqNaow t1_iyv6adn wrote

The genie opened the contract and began reading. Page after page after page of explanations as to how it cannot twist my wish this time.

No causes. No catches. Just logical argument after logical argument. Pages of them. Every possible corruption of the wish logically destroyed before the genie could even get to this wish itself.

"What is all this? Why are you wasting my time with these pages?".

"I want you to know how incorruptible my wish is to your whims and deceptions. Keep reading. It gets worse for you."

The more pages the genie reads, the more abstract the arguments become. Higher dimensions. Multiple realities. Quantum nonsense. Temporal fuckery. Nothing is left to chance.

Becoming more and more agitated the further he reads, the genie now comes to the second section of the contract. What I like to refer to as Revenge.

Every page outlines in excruciating detail all the horrors I plan to unleash upon the genie for denying the desires my wishes. An eternity of eternities of suffering await this deceitful creature. Unending pain and torment. Not just for what it's done to me, but for every other victim it has destroyed before me.

"How dare you?! What makes you think any wish you could possibly make would leave me unable to stop this?".

I stifle my laughter and simply tell it, "Keep reading. You'll see.".

This entity, who has torment hundreds, if not thousands, of those who only sought to better their lot in life, grows more and more enraged as it's reading approaches the final page.

It is only then, upon reaching that final page, that all color drains from his face. For upon the last page is written a single word. A word whose meaning is unequivocal.

"Read it! I want to hear you say it!!"

He hesistates for a moment before his demenor changes, admitting his defeat.


(Be kind, I wrote this on a whim and it's my first submission.)


CraterLabs t1_iyugc37 wrote

Uberrima Fides

The genie reads the contract. The genie seems to exist outside of your own understanding at time, but still interact with it. You see the hours and hours he spends flipping through the pages carefully, but it only takes a few dozen seconds, perhaps a minute at most. At the end the genie puts the last page into place and neatly taps all the pages together creating a neatly pressed tome, which he hands back to you.

"No," he says.

"Wh... what?" you say. "But that's my wish! Genie, I wish... that!"

"No," he repeats.

"Oh, seriously? Are you that... do you need me to read it out loud?"

You rip the contract from his hands, stare at the first page, and clear you throat.

"Genie, I wish that-"

"Silence," said the genie. You try to ignore him and keep reading, but the words never come.

"Master," he says, with a hint of empathy in his voice. "Master, I have... let this go on too long. Forgive my intrusion, it is a mark against me to treat you in this way when you have not wished it, and yet I felt it would be a greater kindness to you to stop you in advance. I am under no obligation save my own honor. You released me from my prison, and oh how happy it made me. Your wish was..."

The genie pauses and laughs, reflecting on the cultural nuances he now grasps.

"Your wish was my command. I owed you my life three times over, and three boons I would grant. But the wishes are not a power beyond myself, nor am I compelled to service you beyond the constraints of my debt."

Tears well up in your eyes. This blasted genie, always so high and mighty. He ruined your life. He ruined everything.

"I see that you disagree," he said. "I see much... sorrow... in your heart. You feel pain and the loss of my life will give you... something, though you know it will not. I am sorry, master; I granted your first wish too exuberantly. I did not think it through. And the spell I wove for the second, I... tried to warn you of the dangers. But you were the worst form of fool, which is to say, a brilliant one. Tales of sudden wealth, tales of coerced love, tales of accumulated power, tales even of... yes, of wishes... you know them all so well. And you know them well enough that surely you will not be caught in their traps. We both were for the first wish, and though I saw the danger in the second after you asked me to keep pressing onward I felt honor-bound. And now... your life is in this state. I am sorry. A thousand apologies, a hundred thousand, cannot undo my sorrow."

You glare, stomping your foot in frustration. Why does he have to insist on being right all the time. Why does he insist that this isn't his fault. If he could have prevented your wishes, why didn't he do so before if he thought it was dangerous?

"One thing may undo... not my sorrow, but perhaps yours," he said. "A third wish... the wish of setting right. The wish of learning from your past. I... would not ever use magic to change my own history, but perhaps the spell I can weave on your life might keep you from ever finding me? Yes. Yes, wouldn't that be preferable? I will surely go mad from the miserable isolation, but perhaps that will suffice?"

And with a wave of his hand you can hear again. The air molecules resume passing on their vibrations and you can hear the wail of rage and sorrow spring forth from your throat. The genie stands and watches, sadly, until you finish.

"You DARE suggest that?" you say. "After everything... after all this time, you think I want you back in that bottle? No, no that's too easy. You will suffer. You will die! My wish as written, now!"

The genie crosses his arms and stares at you. You feel it like embers in the back of your skull, but you match the gaze. After a possibly literal eternity that lasts a handful of seconds the genie stretches his arms.

"Do you still want me to grant it as written even if I let you know that there are four typos?"


"There are four mistakes in this document. None related to spelling or grammar, but certainly related to intent. Subtle things. A team of the wisest human lawyers might not notice them or grasp their implications with a week's study. Perhaps you even hired some to check your work for you."

"You're lying! You are LYING!"

The genie smirks and reaches up a... finger?... to stroke his... chin?... and considers you for another moment, though mercifully it feels like real time this time.

"Am I, then? Have I struck you as one who bluffs or spins falsehood in any of our previous meetings? I wish you well, master, but you are mistaken and acting foolishly. Wish it, and I shall grant it, and be done with this business once and for all. If you truly wish it to be enacted as written..."

"That is my WISH! You said it was your COMMAND! Genie, you will do this thing, or have it as a mark against your honor or whatever it is you value for eternity!"

"Very well," he said.

And with a wave of his hand and three syllables of the first tongue, the wish was granted.



lalouvefille t1_iytrnuw wrote

"So I want to start this with a soft 'fuck you' because, well, you kind of made the last however thounds of years of my life since I met you hell, but I guess we've become friends in this time."

I'm too soft. I always were. Let's be honest, I have been in for a lifetime of suffering prior to finding a genie in a bottle. You try your best. I mean, I'm not a bad person. I genuinely wanted the best for every person you ever met and yourself. Now, I'm using your last wish to get back at the genie that really sent you into an eternity of suffering.

I had wished for eternal life, but eternal life and peace means eternal suffering-- or at least according to the bible, which Jeanie thought was rich. I did NOTHING wrong to her, so I don't know why, or if she flipped my wish on me. Yeah, I had wished to never die, but I had never thought about the consequences. Why didn't she warn me?

After the first wish, I thought Jeanie and I were best friends. Prior to the first wish, we had spent so much time together. I knew I only had 3 wishes once you announced your presence and I would make all of those wishes worth it.

So, first wish, I wished for eternal peace for mankind. It's the right thing to do... Right? Then, immediately after, I wished for eternal life. Everything was going so well, for so long. I didn't think about what either of those wishes meant. They both meant watching the people I love die. Some die of old age, others because their temperament would cause the end of eternal peace. I now realize that the wish not only both wishes meant suffering, but that the wish for eternal peace was the worst.

My brother loved me so much. He was my younger brother and my mom was a good mom, but you were still a handful. He had some SERIOUS issues, but every day he reminded me how much he loved me. He grew up to be an addict, doing nothing but hurting and abusing both myself and others in the world. He would say sorry after everything wrong he did, but that didn't stop him. He couldn't-- it was a character flaw that at one point prevented eternal peace, so Jeanie had him succumb to death. It was by stroke. I guess it could be worse, but still, why does eternal peace mean watching the ones I love suffer awful deaths for diseases they can't prevent? He broke the eternal peace multiple times with his behavior and his disease so you decided that he died an awful death. Eternal death means death upon those that went against it, which he did with violent behavior and abuse of drugs and alcohol. I regret the wish so much.

Jeanie, for my last wish, I wish that you get an eternity of the consequences of all of my wishes. You will have so many people you love to grow to the age of 25. You will have siblings, friends, and lovers, who will all have to die for a disease they can't control every 25 years. You will grow a deep love for them every time, they will die an awful death, and you will watch. You will live an eternal life, and grow to watch the ones you love die. You will live an eternal life and suffer through what I have, again and again. No way out, just the life by wich I live and you will follow. Welcome to an eternity of hell.

-Written by the sister of an addict just trying to make sense of things for a little bit. Miss you little brother even after all of the hurtful things you didn't mean to do.


Spiritual_Lie2563 t1_iyut8mx wrote

...when you spend all your time locked in a lamp, eventually the one thing keeping you going is being an asshole.

People always talk about the problem of the wisher, but they forget- the wisher? A greedy bastard. You don't wish for these things unless you are. 'Oh, I want to be the richest person in the world.' Great, you plan to be another rich bastard. 'Oh, I want the love of the most beautiful person in the land' you even know the person? Creepy. 'Oh, I want eternal life''ll get boring after a while, and you're thinking about you and not everyone else. After seeing all these greedy people, you kind of like the chance to be an asshole. You have all this money? Great, your area will be razed and ransacked by thieves, and you'll be known as the worst for suddenly having it all. You want the love of this person? Shame they're going to make your life a living hell. You want eternal life? Shame you didn't ask for eternal youth- you'll shrivel and rot away into simple entropy. And if you did ask for eternal youth too? Enjoy living forever in the body of an infant.

Yes, I'm an asshole. But they deserve it.

But you know what I hate more than that? It's the people who think they're some altruist with their wishes- they're somehow bigger bastards than the greedy ones. At least the greedy person admits they're greedy and want what's best for themselves. The 'oh, I want world peace' types don't even have the guts to admit that they want world peace on their terms. They want a peace that makes their nation, their tribe, their viewpoint in the position of power. That's not world peace, it's not creating utopia, it's a greedy wish to be in power by someone who doesn't even have the dignity to just say 'I wish to rule the world.' I love twisting that around- I love showing these people that maybe there's no place for them in their perfect world. And if they do wish to be in power? Well, they're obviously someone who shouldn't have power, so I make them be hated and run out of power on a rail too.

Yes, I'm an asshole. But they deserve it.

And once you go through these things- you end up wary about anyone's wish. 'I wish for world hunger to be ended'...didn't say which species had it, but I'm sure the tigers are happy for humanity's sacrifice. 'I wish for [x] to have a happy life'...aww, that's so noble of you. Too bad your very existence causes their misery, just have to blip you out of existence. Tell the truth, I'm so sure these people are greedy and bitter I make it a point to find a way to ruin their wishes. Those guys in charge of monkey's paws had a good thing going.

Yes, I'm an asshole. But they deserve it.

At least I thought it- and then I had to be caught by a lawyer. I played his games for the first wish. Yes, he wished for eternal life...great, yeah, enjoy life imprisonment for a crime you didn't commit..."...and in the process, I want a normal standard of health sufficient to someone of my current age for the whole time, without any criminal or other punishments to this effect..." Shit. And if he's this smart, he likely has very few people he cares enough about to go with it. Ah, that's an idea- I'll give him true love every 30 or so years and make him watch them live their lives, only to lose them. That's good...

And time passes. Now he wants the power. Fine, there'll be a revolution and he'll face the guillotine, that worked that one time someone asked for i... "And I want a power where my leadership is seen as the most important, with a guaranteed approval rate to never drop below 51%, and an amount of monetary success equal to one million dollars a year..." Good, good. Hyper-inflation can happen, enjoy not being able to afford a loaf of bread even as world leader, and then you'll lose your power.

It keeps going, and the lawyer kept waiting and waiting. He tries rebuilding and fails. Then, he finally comes to me.

"I wish to free you..." , and then he opens a book. He wants my power, he wants to torture me, make me suffer, die. And I can't throw him in a lamp, he wished for his lamp to be the finest penthouse suite in the world, with no war or any form of act of god to ruin it...that's covered too. He...he worked this out. It's airtight. Almost every option is in, and it ends up making him the person in power and leaving me in the cold.

I was beaten.

"Your wish is granted."

I watched, and the man caught flame.

"Oh, sorry. You didn't wish to NOT be on fire..."

They always said nice guys finish last- thank God I'm an asshole.


SereneRiverView t1_iyv9wl4 wrote

With that much power he can instantly heal himself. Short-lived assholery, but well played.


Spiritual_Lie2563 t1_iyw5yw2 wrote

Likely, though I could assume it was connected to the power, so even instant healing yourself becomes "heal the fire, lose the power. And if you heal your wounds, you'll just instantly get wounded again." Still a good point.


telpereon t1_iyvvc98 wrote

"Finally want to use your third wish?"

The genie's eyes gleamed as it spoke but now letting it's voice drop darkly, "I thought the last two wishes had taught you a lesson?"

I lifted the bound stack of pages toward it, my face held neutral and forced calm as my mind races with fear, anxiety, and a small hope. This could be the moment for either of us. The instant in which it could all change and freedom is revealed. My eyes scan over the top of the papers trying to think of anything I could have forgotten or completely missed as anxiety won.

The contract defined in words, diagrams, and charts so numerous a dictionary would seem small and pathetic in knowledge, the next wish. A tome of linguistic magic that might protect me from the effects of it's outcome once the genie's part was completed.

Could a human match a genie? I thought. Given enough time?

The crushing weight of time has hunched my shoulders. Twisted my body. Taken from me everyone and everything I have valued or loved. Those things I had wished for the genie had taken from me. Burning into my memory just how bad something can be. Twisted into a living nightmare by the will of another to torture me. Hurt me to my soul.

It's eyes slowly shifted down to the contract. For a moment the thick pile of papers in my hands feel like it is withering on them. A hazing sinks in from the edges of it as I look at it like heat ripples on stone in the midday sun. My forearms begin to burn with strain as I realize the pile is suddenly heavier. A mist begins to rise out of it's edges into the air full of rainbow colours.

I don't see the genie looking back and forth from my face to the contract in my hands several times. I miss the something that crossed over it's face like a snake across the desert sands. That makes it's long hair momentarily dance.

It's brow crinkled in that moment.

"So", it's voice is even. "You have thought about this, have you?"


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waltjrimmer t1_iysxt8x wrote

The genie, after taking out some reading glasses and looking over the contract.

"What's this?"

"My final wish."

"No, it very much isn't. One of the rules of wishes is that they must start with 'I wish' and finish within the same breath."

"You never told me that!"

"There's nothing in the rules that says I have to explain all of them to you."

"I wish you'd told me that sooner! I worked forever on, oh wait, goddamnit!"


Royal_Bitch_Pudding t1_iytc08d wrote

So, how does the temporal paradox resolve?


waltjrimmer t1_iytc9p0 wrote

The genie actually did tell him the entire spiel of rules for the spells when he first emerged, but there was so much else going on that the wisher didn't hear or notice it.

Imagine if someone was trying to discuss the syllabus for a graduate-level university course with you in the middle of a fireworks show.


Royal_Bitch_Pudding t1_iytl638 wrote

That should still result in an unused wish. Since he was already told, he just doesn't remember.


waltjrimmer t1_iytlqlr wrote

No, the genie fulfilled the wish. The genie had told the wisher earlier.

If you're saying that they didn't do something now to fulfill the wish since the request had already been filled, good luck arguing in genie court that the genie didn't use temporal magic to have done that in the past after the wish was wished.


brickmaster32000 t1_iyufaf2 wrote

I always find the assumption that a nigh omnipotent creature like a genie or a devil couldn't ever choose to just say, "fuck it", and break their rules funny. Like how much do you really want to push such a being as a human with no actual power of your own to stop them if things go bad?


BioIdra t1_iyurhdr wrote

The best story is in the comments


Woooferine t1_iyusm8c wrote

I am 97.4% certain that the OP has a legit genie in a bottle.


[deleted] t1_iyu0v1b wrote



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