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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