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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.