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Writteninsanity t1_j5lzpb7 wrote

The Genie had been on the mountain forever. In the early days, once humans discovered him, he'd been the one defining point of history. Wars, famines, droughts, even death. All problems were solved by the genie. Each adult got one wish a year, and people knew how to use them,

Years into the existence of the Genie, he had said his first no, and then the nos turned into a cascade. It turned out that the genie would never grant the same wish twice. This hadn't mattered when a small smattering of people were seeing the genie, but once you could fly from all over the world to see him, it was suddenly near-impossible to get a wish granted. Even the crazy or simple ones.

A billion people trying to come up with something, anything, that hadn't been asked for.

It didn't help that the Genie's rules cared about intent. To him, a million dollars was the same as a billion dollars, you were just wishing for money. Any love in the world was the same as another. All yachts were banned after the pirate Blackbelt wished for a grand white luxury ship in the 1600's.

The Genie was reductive, everything in the human experience was boiled down to simple concepts and categories.

In the early 1990's, someone was able to buy the deed to the Genie's land, and that had turned it into a business. Suddenly, it wasn't that everyone was allowed to wish from the genie, you needed to pay an exorbitant fee to get your shot. That changed things.

If it was going to cost hundreds of thousands to see the genie, you had to ensure that you did it right. That was where Djinnologists like me came in. It was my job to scour recorded history to create a timeline of wishes. Then Djinologists work with lawyers to craft the wording to and action the wish that our clients wanted.

In actuality, the list of wishes that we had no previous evidence of was staggering, partially because many wishes were functionally useless, and many others were impossible to track. There was no evidence of whether a woman had ever asked to be rid of her period cramps, but you had to imagine it had happened at some point.

Of course, most of the random open wishes weren't what our clients wanted. If our clients had a big enough trust fund to afford to see the genie, as well as enough money to hire us, they wanted a return on investment.

We hadn't provided this time.

Elroy MacEverill the 3rd, had been bought a wish with the genie for his birthday from his parents, a pair of shipping tycoons. We had offered Elroy options for wishes that would let him say 'I got a wish granted' but he'd constantly fished for something useful.

Between the lawyers and our team we came up with a wish that would translate to material wealth. As it turned out, the genie didn't care whether you wished to own a mine on earth, or on another planet.

Eroy MacEverill was now throwing a man-sized tantrum in the small heated waiting area that they'd built in front of the genie. I'd stepped out to get some fresh air, and sit beside the thing I'd spent my life studying. Afterall, we had an hour.

At this point, most people had made their wishes. One of the benefits from coming with a rich brat was that you could ask the genie for something after. Most of the lawyers and other Djinnologists wished for innocuous things to prove or disprove personal theories.

My favorite was that Alicia had wished for a naked mole rat who couldn't stop dancing if there was music around. It wasn't useful, but it was neat.

As I nursed my coffee that I'd clutched tight in my mittens, the booming voice of the Genie rang out behind me. "Do you have a wish my good man?"

"I think I'm good this year," I said. I had a list of options in my pocket, but none of them meant anything and I'd be back here in a couple months with a rich dick or a rich dick's daughter either way.

"No wishes?" he asked, "you people who study me are a peculiar group." I felt the mountain wind pick up for a moment as the genie moved his massive form closer behind me. "Tell me, do you ensure that you write about how handsome I am?"

"Of course," I lied.

"Good good. It's unfortunate I ended up here. I should be in the middle of the town square for ladies to admire," he trailed off, "or men. That was actually someone's wish. You can write that one down."

"They wished for you to be-"

"That's the funny thing, already was. Not that I can act on it but the magic that makes me also cares about some of my human traits."

I nodded.

"Luckily it doesn't let me get bored because hoooooo boy I would be a lonely little genie."

There wasn't much of my coffee left. "Yeah well. Kinda wish it was back like it used to be where everyone was allowed to come here and-" I stoppled. I'd just broken the one rule.



I spun to see the Genie swell to massive proportions, looming over the mountaintop like a raging stormbound. He brought his gargantuan fist down on top of the building on top of the mountain.


The Genie shrunk down back to his normal size. The building remained undestroyed under his fist. "I'm just kidding man it's chill."

"What the hell?"

"I just made it so any wealth transfer attempted to buy access to me would inevitably end up back with the payee. Seemed easier."

"Oh-" I took a deep breath. "Oh that's good," I stared at the building with all my coworkers inside. Thank God they were alive.

Of course, now I needed to explain that they were all out of a job...

/r/Jacksonwrites - edit for some grammar.


jeffh4 t1_j5m2z8y wrote

... or...

"Is it too late to ask for a fake ID and a ticket to somewhere off the grid?"

The Genie smiled. "1,835th time that's been asked. And you already had your wish.
Better luck next year."


Celebrinborn t1_j5n5xih wrote

That's... clever...

I did not see the twist until I read it then looked back and it was obvious in hindsight... That's a REALLY GOOD twist


Mulanisabamf t1_j5o3eis wrote

Very nice! Didn't see that coming.

One thing though:

>Tell me, do you insure that you right about how handsome I am?"

I think that's supposed to say "write "?


MolhCD t1_j5nc3lc wrote

Hey I kinda fucked up...


bibblode t1_j5om7nf wrote

In my opinion it is not a fuck up. Something like that genie who can only grant a specific wish once can't really be abused and everyone should have access.


Ignisiumest t1_j5ouv3h wrote

You only need to wish to destroy a concept like currency once.


Krayan_ t1_j5ns1sm wrote

Nicely written!

But it doesn't work, because the initial cost stays the same. Only people who already have the money then would attempt to buy a ticket. Which means all the rich brats get their money back, while the poor people can't afford the initial cost.


Writteninsanity t1_j5ns6dx wrote

Fair point, but I imagine the structures around it would break down as soon as it was literally impossible to collect profit from corralling the genie.


The_Almighty_Cthulhu t1_j5of4lo wrote

Yea I can imagine that. Eventually some rich activist or activist group gets some money together, and just offers to pay for anyone that gets to the genie, knowing that the money will come back.

Followed by them just no longer trying to collect money, cause what's the point now?


DBONKA t1_j5opd2l wrote

Then they could pay with something that can't be physically moved, for example real estate, instead of money.


Uticus t1_j5p3065 wrote

Sounds like a new consultant for the land owner to try and find a way around the genies rules.

In addition the wish consulting services will likely continue to exist as the rich will still want to be the "guaranteed" wish. Downsized yes but not gone


LucyFerAdvocate t1_j5o4fv1 wrote

I mean they're not really out of a job, if anything they have more money because there's more money to make sure the wish is granted rather then spending thousands on just making it


DodgerWalker t1_j5q6yuw wrote

If I was in that guy’s position, I would have wished for a device that I could tell a proposed wish and it would tell me whether it was still grantable- would make his job far easier. Plus it would block anyone else from getting a similar device so he wouldn’t have any competition in the wish consulting agency.


PersonalFeebas t1_j5ozq0y wrote

Awesome! It reminds me, in spirit, of Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny.


donaldhobson t1_j5rgnkj wrote

I wish you were no longer bound by the rule that wishes had to be unique.


LeviAEthan512 t1_j5p7kr7 wrote

Yup, 10/10, definitely classic Jackson

What I'd like to know, in the field of Djinnology, is how far does the reduction go? All numbers of dollars are the same, how about different currencies, or at what point is a resource liquid enough to be a currency? Or is it just intent like you say, so if you intend to wish for some weird shit just to sell it, it counts as currency? Would superpowers be divided into categories, or all together, and would enhancing normal abilities to naturally possible levels count? Does enhancing charisma with the intent to find love count as wishing for love? Maybe not, since you can wish for the means to acquire precious metals.

More importantly, did the MC just ban all ctrl Z wishes? Or perhaps discover that undoing things isn't reduced. Because that could lead to a quest to find the guy who wished that no wish could be granted twice, or that the genie is reductive, and the right wording to undo that wish. Maybe time travel to a time can't be done, time travel to a person can't be done, but using a different sort of anchor is fine.


NotAMeatPopsicle t1_j5qcvwj wrote

I would liken this to the classic lawyer-ish genie behavior of using whatever interpretation and loopholes the djinn wishes to use. In one instance bartering could be considered an intent of currency, in another instance the djinn would claim it doesn’t apply on matter of technicality.

The challenge is to word the request and attempt to gain the favor of the djinn while not expressly attempting to do so in a way that would piss off the genie or tip your hand that you’re attempting a manipulation. I wouldn’t want to be on the disfavorable side of a djinn that thought I was attempting to manipulate them.


Montalve t1_j5peaen wrote

Accidental wish so everything was like before, jajajaja good twist.


Oba936 t1_j5ltstv wrote

„I wish you weren’t so sad.“ The sentence cut through the silence like a hot knife through butter.

Wait. Did I say that out loud?

Everybody stared at me. First and foremost all the people who stood in the cue before me.

One wish per adult per year. Only granted if never asked before. Those were the rules. So people cued and went one at a time. Some friend of mine had jobbed here as crowdhandlers.

The genie actually never had set this system up, it just kind of happened as the ages went by, and no one had dared or cared to challenge the process. Well, at least until what just happened. Because of me. Oops.

In my Defense: I was not exactly in my best self. Having just turned 18 the night prior had left parts of my brain not quite up to the task.

„That wish has never been asked of me.“ the genie finally declared. With a smile.

Wait what?

My brain could not really comprehend what just happened. Did I just get my wish?! But that means …

„But we get like one wish each year?! No one ever asked you that?! How long have you been this miserable for?“ my hungover, still slightly drunk brain had no mind for the outraged pilgrims around me. This was my birthday, and if genie boy over there and I got along then I would make the most of it.

„I wish everyone who came for years, got multiple chances and never once thought about using a single one for you would lose their future wishes.“ I said with all the Sass I could bring up. Brilliant. Everyone looked at me like I murdered some Kittens.

Idiots. The lot of them. Everyone knows. One try per year. I already had my shot. Even my messed up head could not forget that one. I waved like some royal, turned on my step and left the stage.

Or tried to.

„That wish has never been asked of me before.“

I stopped dead in my tracks.



Shibbledibbler t1_j5mx8fl wrote

Oh damn, if he was born between the first and second wish then that'd work perfectly


idiot-bones t1_j5nko3q wrote

this reads like a paul jennings story!! brilliantly done


DueAnalysis2 t1_j5ok3gl wrote

I didn't get it: he asked for two wishes?


Oba936 t1_j5omvbz wrote

He asked a second one, and it at least looks like he got that one granted as well.
I'm going with the great Tarantino here for everything beyond that. ;)


Kizer_Sewze t1_j5opm1q wrote

I was really hoping after the second wish the response would be slightly different, like “The genie smiled as he spoke, ‘That wish has never been asked of me’”


donutguy640 t1_j6a3883 wrote

I find the ,,quote" method interesting. Also, was kind of wondering if the once/year bit was part of the system that the genie never set up.

Good show old boy! (young girl? middle aged naked mole rat android?)


aDittyaDay t1_j5lq8a6 wrote

"What did you wish for?" they would always ask, and I would simply smile.

It had been years since that day. Looking back through the memories of my life, I always marveled at the twists and turns my life had taken. Orphaned at only five months old. Foster parents murdered before I turned three. A solid decade of a downward spiral. Bad choices, the wrong kind of friends, drugs, delinquency. Court-mandated therapy that finally shook the grip of those early years.

Until I was seventeen, when Wit came back into my life. They had been the one who got me into drugs. They had been the one I first gave my heart to, along with my virginity. They had been the one who killed that crazy dealer who tried to drag me into an alley and rape me. They had been the one who left me for the cops to blame.

Wit had been everything wrong and everything right in my life, and they were back.

"Go to the genie," they told me, their eyes half-lidded in that try-to-make-me-care way. "Everyone does it. Go to the genie."

I knew it was a bad idea because Wit was the one telling me to do it, but I did it anyway. Therapy could fix a lot of things, but not who I was. At least, not fast enough.

The year with Wit hooked me with barbs. I said no to a god-damned lot. Said yes to a fair few. I loved Wit. I hated Wit. And the day I turned eighteen, I followed Wit up the mountain.

It had been years since that day. I now walk the world in freedom--free from my demons, free from my struggles, free from my past. When the petitioners at the base of the mountain saw the great beam of light shoot into the sky, they all marveled. They knew that the world would never be the same. For centuries, the genie had denied every wish. Every wish can only be wished once, they would always say, and so everyone left with nothing but the determination to try again next year.

But the beacon in the sky meant a wish had been granted. Whoever walked off the mountain would be famous. They would be hounded for all their life by those clamoring to know what wish had been so unique. It was a new era.

But I never told them. I could not lie, for I was bound to truth, and so every time they asked what I had wished for, I told them nothing. After all, I had not been the one to make the wish. I had merely granted it.

But Wit saw now that I was happy in a way they had never been able to make me. They knew something was up. And so Wit never gave up asking.

Even now, decades later, as Wit lay old and fragile on their deathbed, and I sat by their side as hale as I was in the days of our youth, they asked, desperate for an answer.

"What did you wish for?"

I simply smiled.


CatpainCalamari t1_j5lxgm6 wrote

I do not understand. Did she trade places with the genie?


aDittyaDay t1_j5m17f0 wrote

I reckon they either traded places or merged into one being. Either way, the character escaped their life


tossaway78701 t1_j5muij4 wrote

They outlived Wit. :)


SamuelVimesTrained t1_j5nsjtf wrote

I`m tempted to say that the Wisher was at Wit`s end...


aDittyaDay t1_j5osxu0 wrote

Love it haha. Hope you don't mind me stealing it to title the piece!


[deleted] t1_j5n8cj8 wrote



TenspeedGV t1_j5oeuee wrote

Bigoted comments are not allowed on this subreddit, full stop.

That includes transphobic comments.

Consider this the only warning that you will get.


[deleted] t1_j5p0eo8 wrote



TenspeedGV t1_j5p1974 wrote

You can use context to figure it out, it's really not difficult or confusing in the slightest.

If you'd like to double down here, please be my guest.


JammyThing t1_j5mwycu wrote

Lucan was in his room, getting dressed for the journey. Part of him could not believe the day had finally come when he could make the trip himself. When he could make "The Journey to the Genie.".

It would be a long, long trip to the Capital from the small town where he lived. He had never even been outside the town before. He had heard about the Capital though, oh yes. He had heard about how big it is...the mage towers there that reached up into the sky...the people, so many people that you could walk down the same street daily and always meet someone new.

Lucan packed clothing, dried food, a map of the route to the capital from his town...a small amount of coins he managed to hide from his father....lastly, Lucan packed his lute. Playing it had always made him feel better when life could too much. There were times when he thought about just running away and becoming a bard. It was always just a thought though. Lucan could never bring himself to actually do it. He was good at playing. He tended to practice when his father had passed out from drinking, he learned from a young age not to play it when his father was still awake. Now though... now the dream of him becoming a care free bard could become true. He only had to make it to the capital and make his wish. Then...then it might just happen.

Fully packed, and freshly dressed, Lucan felt ready. Almost ready. He put his hood up over his head, hiding his face. Hiding the recent mark on the side of his face. Oh to be a bard, to be free to go from place to place and just play music. Lucan centred himself and went to leave, when he was stopped by a voice.

"...Making the Journey are ya....?" The voice came from another room. It was cold and hardened.

Lucan Hesitated. "...I am, father. Yes."

"...and what are you going to wish for....?"

The young bard wannabe sighed. "...For....great riches upon this house, father."

There was a drunken, low pitched, grunt of approval. With that, Lucan left. He left the house he had grown up in, and when he got on the back of a slow moving, mull pulled cart, he gradually left the town. He left the only world he had ever known.

Over the next few weeks, Lucan rode many carts from town to town, all of which were pulled by mulls. These were neither quick, nor were in any way interesting. He soon learned that once you have seen one field slowly pass you by, you have seen them all. Still, this gave him time to practice his Lute, and to his surprise often delighted other passengers on the cart enough they would sometimes tip him. Though mostly in vegetables as many of the locals them had little coin on them.

Many cart rides later and Lucan was fast asleep. This wasn't an issue until he started snoring, louder and louder. It didn't take long for another cart rider to get annoyed and harshly nudge him. This snapped him back to reality. He was about to voice his annoyance at being so rudely awoke, when he noticed the Capital in front of him...or rather a very small section of the Capital, that looked extremely large. Lucan got off the cart, paying the driver with a large amount of vegetables that he was given at the last town. He barely blinked as he drank in the sight before him. The huge walls, the sheer amount of people, the huge spiralling towers. Then there was the hill. Right in the middle of the capital, visible...even from where he stood, was the Grand Hall of The Genie. "" The word slipped out of him.

"You! Boy! Here for the Journey to Genie are you?" The voice came from a heavily armed guard who was appeared next to Lucan. He said it knowing full well what the answer was going to be.


"Straight through the gate on the left there! There's a red brick path on the streets, follow it until you find a bunch of people queuing! NOW HURRY UP!"

Lucan wanted to ask a few questions, but the guard had already walked off and was half way through saying the same lines of dialogue to another traveller. Lucan then noticed the sheer amount of guards saying the same thing to tons more people who were arriving at the capital. With so many people, the queue to the Hall of Genie could take a while if Lucan wasn't quick. He darted in through the gates and quickly spotted the red brick path.

"Ok, that was easy, maybe this won't be so bad." He thought to himself. He followed the path around one street and soon found himself at the back of a queue of people. Lucan knew that there were many people who came to see the Genie, but the fact the Hall was still so clearly far away...after all, he was only one street deep into the Capital...and the Hall was in the very centre!

...The sun set on the Capital...and hours rose again. Lucan slowly stood up and stretched. He was tired. He hadn't slept, not really, just rested. He wished he could sleep though. If he were to sleep he would loose his position in the queue. Resting meant he was still awake, to some degree at least. Nobody tried cutting in front of him while he did so. The "Journey to the Genie" was taken very seriously, and armed guards patrolled the queue to make sure everything was in order. Lucan yawned and looked around him. The Hall of the Genie was so close now, it was only a matter of hours before he was in. That was little to do to pass the time. He tried talking to the person in front and behind him, but was quickly and rudely told to mind his own business. He spent part of his time watching the people of the Capital go about their day, and the other part studying the other members of the great queue. There seemed to be people of all walks of life hoping to have their wish granted by the Genie. Lucan had time to ponder them all. There were poor men, rich men... old and young. There were those who were clearly in love, and those who seemed spurned by a lover. There were groups in the queue who talked freely about how they wanted to change the world, some of the ideas sounded good, others sounded quite scary.

Another day had almost passed but Lucan had made inside the Hall of the Genie. Or at least the entrance of it anyway. There was still a large queue to the doors of the hall itself, outside which stood two armed guards who would open the door for the next person.

"....NEXT....!" Came a voice from behind the doors. The armed guards opened the doors, allowing the next person to enter, before closing them again. The voice from behind the door seemed to echo, though Lucan could have sworn that he never actually heard an echo. Time passed and he found himself stood right in front of the doors. He looked towards one of the guards and gave a nervous half smile. The guard ignored him and stared forward into nothingness.

"...NEXT....!" Came the voice. The doors opened and Lucan slowly stepped into the Hall of the Genie. The doors closed behind him. Lucan's jaw dropped at two things. One was the sheer scale of the Hall. Not only was it tall, but it was long. It somehow seemed even bigger instead than it did from the outside, the pillars that held up the ceiling were numerous and thick. The second thing about the Hall, was the Genie itself, a giant which sat cross legged at the far back of the hall. Even in such a enormous space the Genie seemed cramped, such was it's grand scale that it's head was pressed against the ceiling and it's arms trapped within the walls. Though it had the shape of a human, it's skin looked like light shining through water. Transparent yet bright and shimmering. It's eyes were large and pupil-less. It did not look at Lucan, but rather stared blindly and unblinkingly into a fixed point somewhere in the distance behind him.


...Continued below


JammyThing t1_j5mx4gm wrote

Lucan went to speak and found the words sticking in his throat. "...I...I want..." Images of him being a bard flashed before him. Crowds cheering as he played his lute, people tossing coins and girls calling his name. He smiled for a moment and then remember his father. He felt the mark on his face with his hand. He sighed and went to make a wish. He had barely opened his mouth when the Genie spoke.


Lucan tried to talk but nothing came out. He thought about what he wanted, what he really wanted. The dream of being a bard soon fell from his mind, his thoughts soon turned to his drunken father.


A mixture of emotions swelled up inside Lucan. " have no" He sagged.

"...Yeah...Yeah I do. That's what I want." It was true. Lucan had hated how his father was, he was nice once back when Lucan's mother was still alive, but that was many years ago. he was something else. Something Lucan hated.


Anger bubbled inside Lucan. He could hurt his father, the same way he hurt him, or worse! He felt the mark on his face with his fingers and thought good it would be to deal it back, tenfold! He could. He could do it...all he had to do was wish it and...."No." Said Lucan.


"Yes, he has hurt me...but that does not mean I want to hurt him back. There was a time, long ago, when he was kind and had love in his heart. When mother died....the pain was too much for him. It still is, all these years later. I hate what he has done, but I do not hate him...I feel sorry for him. I just wish there was something that could help him find happiness again, something to help make him the person I once knew him as.....I...." There was a pause and Lucan froze. He realised what it was he said, the exact words he had just spoken. He looked towards the Genie who merely stared into the distance.


"....NEXT...." Echoed the Genie.

As the doors to the side exit opened, Lucan felt his body sag, He had come all this way and blew it. He walked towards the exit and turned to look at the genie. For a slight moment, Lucan could have sworn that the Genie looked directly at him...that it's eyes seemed to shimmer a little more so.

"...Hurry up, I ain't go all day!" Bellowed the armed guard holding the door open. Lucan snapped back and mumbled an apology. He looked back to the Genie who was again staring into the distance.

The journey home was long. Though not long enough for Lucan. He would take the boredom of another cart ride over the dread of entering his home empty handed. He sighed and braced himself. What he wasn't expecting to find when he entered was a middle aged woman preparing food.

"Oh! Hello there love. Would I be right in guessing your Lucan?" She asked with a surprised yet friendly expression.

"...Ye...yes...and who are you....?" Asked Lucan.

She smiled. "Oh, where are my manners? I'm Margaret. I met your father a couple of weeks ago and, well, he seems such a nice man." She continued to chop vegetables.

"Mind you, he had a bit of an attitude on him when we met, but I soon put a stop to that!" she laughed as she chopped a carrot with a large, sharpe, knife.

"...Who are you talking to Margaret? Oh!" Lucan's father walked into the kitchen. He looked sober for the first time in a long time.

There was a long pause. It was broken by Margaret. "...Well? Are you going to welcome your son home after his long journey?" It sounded like a question, but really it was an order given with a warm smile.

"It's good to see you Lucan. Did you make your wish?"

"I..." Lucan was cut off. "Of course he made his wish, otherwise he wouldn't have come home. Now what were we talking about before....?" This was directly at Lucan's father.

"..Ah. yeah. Lucan...." He began. "I....I would like to introduce you to Margaret. She...she means a lot to me. If...if it's ok with you, I'd like for all of us to have dinner together tonight...."

"No drinks." Stated Margaret.

"...No drinks." Repeated Lucan's father. "...and...and maybe after we have eaten. Would it alright you play the lute for us?"

Lucan blinked a couple of times. " want me to play?"

"Yeah. I know...I know I've been a bit.....but I really...." He trailed off for second, then looked at Margaret's smile. "...your actually really good, son. I'd actually like to hear you play."

Lucan felt a mixture of emotions. In the end he agreed.

That night all three eat dinner together and enjoyed the music Lucan played on his flute.


AcheeCat t1_j5nfipx wrote

This was good. You made me feel both happy and sad, and when I read I love it when someone pulls at the heartstrings


JammyThing t1_j5nxd0u wrote

Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.


RootsNextInKin t1_j5o4b87 wrote


Until you hit me right in the feels about his mother having passed and his father not handling it well I was sure Lucan was going to wish for the Genie to tell him his story so he may herald his message in all the lands as a bard, but this was better! :D


NotAMeatPopsicle t1_j5qdsxu wrote

There are many people that I wish could get this kind of reception from their parents.

Damn onion ninjas. ;-)


donutguy640 t1_j6a0g6c wrote

Noice! I hope you don't mind if I save this to my computer! (sourcing and attribution included, ofc)


JammyThing t1_j6abaz8 wrote

I'd be quite flattered to be honest! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.


Scarvexx t1_j5n9ci9 wrote

The line to the cave was Loooong. There were people outside the cave of wonders with books like "How to phrase your wish" and "1001 Rephrasing Rights", the whole thing was kind of sad. All the good wishes were taken, immortality, ruling the world, perfect true love, big ol' dick. There were databases of known granted wishes, you could search it.

Al had been up all night doing just that. And it was shockingly exhaustive. Even the selfless stuff was taken, the condors saved, world peace and all that jazz. People would rather get a wish that did nothing for them than go home empty handed.

Al had a plan, everyone in line had a plan. But Al's plan was solid, no more ocean plastic, that shit had to go. It was killing turtles or something. And it was definitely still there. Sure soon after mankind would probably dump even more plastic in the ocean, but the island of garbage seemed like a problem worth fixing.

As Al got to the front of the line he saw a vendor selling Arayes, Al could eat. While his food was being cooked he struck up conversation, and since 18 year olds are idiots he meantioned in passing his wish. "Ah, it's been done" the vendor said casually "What!?" Al was shocked "Yes, the gentleman was very happy to have gotten his wish, I remember it clearly. Shame it didn't last." Sighed the vendor "I suppose the problems we make for ourselves cannot be undone by even a genie". Al was heartbroken, but that Arayes was fantastic, it made Al wish tipping was a thing in this country, but when he offerd more money he just got more food.

The line grew shorter and shorter. Al couldn't think of anything. Then the line was gone, and Al enterd the cave. An inmost cavern flled with glittering silver treasure, the twilight blue walls studded with white starlight gems. In the middle of it all, in golden manacles chained to the floor was her. The Genie looked at him, her eyes an oasis of light in the dark cave. She moved, and her blue skin swam with patterns of the cosmos. She was almost seven feet tall but looked small while bound to the stone. She was wonder itself, desire and majesty forever trapped. "What is your wish" she whisperd, but Al knew he would be able to hear it even if he had no ears.

"Do you want a Arayes?" Al asked. "They're good, and I got way too many" he said, sheepishly. The creature of fable and firelight nodded, Al walked closer than anyone should dare to hand her the food. She ate like an animal, ravenious and savage, but there was no mess, no crumbs, no smear across her cheek or grease on her hands.

"Wow, I can go get more if you're that hungry" Al said. "Make your wish" the feral goddess hissed. Al realized how close he was, and what a bad idea that was. His mind was totally free of all thought. "I wish..." and he cut iff, he had hoped to say something, anything, just for an excuse to leave.

The Genie looked at him, expectantly. Her eyes could wait forever, and she might because Al was still drawing a blank. "I don't know" he said. "I don't know what to wish for. It seems like everything good I could wish for would be rolled back by the same people who did it to beguin with, and the selfish wishes are pointless." he shruged.

The Genie crossed her legs and looked at him flatly "Why dod you journy to my cave then?" she ponderd. Al shrugged "It's just something to do, there's a shuttle right from the airport. The whole thing only costs $500, hotel included. Seems like a good thing to do for your birthday. See the last magical thing there is, try for a wish" he said meekly.

"A wish is not something you try. It's a hope, something you desire in your heart of hearts. It is a burning question only you can answer and only I can grant" she said. Al looked right at her "Geez no pressure or anything. So it's supposed to be totally unique but also an expression of myself? How can I do that. I'm Al, I'm the plain white toast of people!" he shouted at a cosmic goddess.

"Mortals usually wait until after I deny them to get this upset" she said. "Fine" Al said "I wish... I wish that... Why are you chained up?" he asked. The genie looked back at him "To keep me here, for the rest of time. All my kind left this world, starved of winder and magic, this poisoned world was abandoned. Now there is only me, alone, and serving the whims of creatures who hardly know what wishing is" she sighed.

"I'm sorry, that sounds horrible" he said. "I wis-" she put a finger over his lips "Don't. It's okay. I do not regret this. I have been here long, but I see that I have purpose, meaning here. Even if it is a small hope of a genuine wish" she said. "I can't make any other wish" said Al, "It's the only one I want. I understand now, what you mean about the heart". The genie shook her head "You cannot, others have tried, and failed, it is not a new wish" she said.

"I wish to meet you again, somewhere far far away, so I can show you the whole world outside this cave" he wished. And the genie looked at him a long time "This is truely your wish, I am forced to obey. It is granted." she said, and the wind whisperd through the cavern.


hindercloth t1_j5ncbtk wrote

I really liked this one! The descriptions of the genie are really good.


SereneRiverView t1_j5pwtcp wrote

Ah, so this could be a prologue to the far-future epic travels of Al and the genie.


Scarvexx t1_j5rzxt2 wrote

I think the important thing is Al left it in the Genie's hands, when and whence they meet. She could sit next to him on the plane home, visit him the day he dies, or meet in another lifetime. It's all the same to Al. He just didn't want to leave them there forever.


frogandbanjo t1_j5m9yuq wrote

"Atari," the genie said.

The genie was a total piece of shit, and I understood that. Everybody knew that. It was practically taught in kindergarten. I just stood there, looking like a dumbass, waiting for it to have its little moment. Thankfully, it didn't take too long. There was a line behind me, and the genie did have some bare minimum obligations.

With a final, theatrical sigh-and-eye-roll combo, it gave me the secret speech that everybody gets some time after their eighteenth birthday - you know, after waiting in line for months. Oh, there's backlog. It's a good thing we've got some wish mojo, because there's absolutely no way a society without it would be able to survive revolving around this rotten, absurd core.

"It's from an ancient game," it said. "It's the general principle that an alternating-turn stalemate is impermissible." It paused again, hoping I was as dumb as I looked. Disappointed - well, partially, anyway - it continued. "You can't wish for a wish that's already been wished, but okay, so, somebody wishes it, then somebody makes the wish that un-wishes it. Now jump to the top shelf. Somebody obviously did that with this little rule, didn't they? Somebody wished it away, then somebody else wished it back. That's that. It's locked in. It's forever."

"Geez, that second guy sounds like a real asshole," I said.

"Third guy," the genie corrected me agreeably. "But yeah, he was awesome."

"So why even bother telling me that?" I asked. "Surely at least some people would still waste their wishes on it if you didn't give them the speech."

The genie shrugged. "I get bored, man. Sometimes you gotta give a little to get a little. Shit, that's a good deal from where I'm hovering, don't you think?"

It was widely known that the genie was a butthurt piece of shit, specifically.

"So, who'd you piss off to get Atari-ed into this gig?" I asked.

The genie raised an eyebrow. It was an oddly non-cartoonish reaction, given his general appearance. The inky brushstroke of simulated hair mostly stayed where it would've belonged on a mortal face, rather than popping up past the forehead and into the air.

"Some other asshole in some other dimension," he answered flatly. "You wouldn't know her."

"Huh," I said. "You don't usually hear about an ex girlfriend who lives in Sandravika and goes to a different school and has different weeks off for breaks."

"Oh, you're a riot," the genie replied. He was back to the theatrics with his over-animated red mug. He huffed, folded his halfway-corporeal arms, rolled his eyes yet again, and then gave me the dead-fish paper-pusher look.

"Guess I don't get any more hints," I said.

"No," it replied. "You do not."

I took a breath and gathered myself. I entertained one final, momentary fantasy of taking a big risk. I suppose maybe I did take one, in a way? It's still so hard for me to decide, even after all these years.

The genie paused.

"Huh," it said. "Not bad, kid. Not bad."

"Not quite asshole caliber, though?"

It smiled. "No, not quite. But hey - know your strengths. Know your limits."

"So maybe I'll see you around?" I asked.

Its gaze darkened. "Okay, maybe I underestimated you."

I turned and walked away with a spring in my step. Outside the vestibule, the guards let the previous guy go, and I stood in the waiting area. Everybody wanted to know why I looked so happy, but rules were rules. Until I was completely outside, nobody else could engage. The guards were there to make sure nobody somehow managed to kill the goose - you know, the one who hadn't laid an egg worth half a green goose shit in thousands of years - and for literally no other reason. Our society couldn't survive without wish mojo, but it certainly can't survive just on it either.

The next guy shuffled out. I was formally released. He took my place in the waiting area. The next guy - a girl, as if it mattered - walked in to give it her best shot.

It didn't take long for people to figure out my wish. Opinions are divided. Thankfully, only a fraction of a percent of the population is really mad about it. Mostly, my world has come to appreciate me; it helps that they know I'll only be around for another sixty or seventy years. They can't take me for granted like that one immortal guy. I can't even call him an asshole. He's just sad.

There are lot of opportunities for me out here now - lots of free time; lots of potential customers, too - exactly where I know they'll be, now and forever.

Granted, they don't starve. They don't choke. They don't get sore. They don't get overly dirty, and their clothes don't fall apart.

They get bored, though. They get really, really bored. That's an angle, and I've learned how to work it.

You see, I'm the guy who doesn't wait in line.


Because I just don't feel like it.


Well, you know why.



meaty_sac t1_j5nawh6 wrote

Bro I'm dumb, what does the ending mean???


frogandbanjo t1_j5nj8z3 wrote

It means he wished to be liberated from his desire to keep trying to make a wish that would actually get granted - which, per the worldbuilding in the piece, is a huge chunk of what everybody in this world does all day, every day, because of the backlog.

Granted, the society has partially adapted to its purgatory-esque state. He's not literally the only guy doing anything besides waiting in line... but it's a pretty huge advantage.

The literal and quantifiable advantages aren't what makes it interesting, though, in my view. What's interesting is the trade he's made in terms of his psychology.


TheJ-WFinch t1_j5nla87 wrote

Victor had struggled to get to the top of the mountain. It wasn’t like he wanted to be here, but hey peer pressure was a hell of a thing. The worst thing was wishes weren’t kept secret. Specifically for the reason of keeping record of all wishes used.

Of course Victor did not make the journey alone. He came with a group of his peers. That group included, Misty, R.J, Bailey and Simon. All of them having recently turned 18. Though they had decided to wait to go so they could all make wishes together.

Misty was going first.

“I wish to be given just enough money from all the billionaires in the world that they won’t notice it’s missing.”

“Your wish is my command!” The genie replied, no one had asked that before.

Misty stepped aside as she checked her mobile banking app.

R.J was second.

“I wish to marry someone famous.”

“That wish cannot be granted at this time.”

“Damn it.” R.J muttered as he sulked away.

Bailey was third.

“I wish for my cat, Tumbleweed to be immortal.”

“Your wish is my command!”

“I knew being specific would work!” Bailey fist pumped with excitement as they bounced out of the way.

Simon was fourth.

“I wish my friendships will never end.”

“Your wish can not be granted at this time.” The genie replied. “I have only had one other person ask for never ending friendships. You must really love your friends. I am sorry i couldn’t grant your wish.”

“I do love my friends. It’s okay” Simon mumbled before sliding out of the way.

And finally, Victor was last.

Victor took a deep breath, before he opened his mouth only to close it.

“What is your wish, boy?” The genie asked.

“I don’t think it matters.”

“Why don’t you think it matters?”

“I’m sure a million people have asked for it.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I just feel like there are a lot of in my situation.”

“Ask your wish.”

Victor sighed.

“Please, if you do not ask, I can not grant it.”

“I wish my soulmate gets switched so I don’t have one.”

The genie looked at Victor. Seemingly speechless.


“Are… you certain?”


“Your wish is my-“ The genie couldn’t finish its sentence.


“I can not grant you that wish.”

“You almost said my wish is your command though?”

“I can not leave you soulmateless.”


“It’s a rule. Everyone on earth has a designated soulmate, platonic for aromantic or romantic for those who want romance.”

“What happens if someone dies, are they given a new soulmate?”

“Yes, as soon as one is available, usually it’s a quick turn around.”

“So why can’t my wish be granted?”

“You can not roam this earth without a soulmate.”

“I am not roaming for long.”

“You are wrong about that.”

“I am dying.” Victor muttered to himself mostly.

“No you are not. You are ill. Not dying. Death does not beckon you.”

Victor blinked. “How do you know?”

“I know a lot of things. NEXT!”

Victor frowned as he was made to walk away. He would have to contact a lawyer since there are a few who specialize in genie wishes.


buffbaker t1_j5o55il wrote

"Anomaly detected by probe fleet," chimed the ship's AI voice.

Peering over my eyeglasses at the blinking point on the ship's screen, I sighed inwardly. Anomaly is such an ambiguous word, I thought. What will it be this time? A white hole? Another remnant of some long-dead scientist's experiment in anti-fusion? Why must I spend these last precious moments before the heat death of universe researching these anomalies instead of finally starting the final book on my "bucket list": the Bible?

The Age of the Genie had long since past. Initially, in its prime, entrepreneurial individuals made pilgrimmages with selfish intent. Lusting after wealth, power, or eternal life, they would seek the Genie. But, soon, even the most creative permutations of their wishes would be declined by the Genie's reply of "wish previously granted."

Soon, more creative souls started using their wishes to expand the human race's knowledge of the universe. New knowledge led to new paths of wishes, as you were almost guaranteed that questions about previously-unknown science or technology would be virgin ground. Thus the Age of the Genie was also synonymous with the most rapid advancement that the human race could have imagined.

And then it was over.

Having reached the point where humanity had the tools to explore the universe and warp most fundamental aspects of the space and time that they inhabited, a radical sect of humanists concluded that the Genie was the biggest remaining risk to the human race. They were not anti-Genie, per se, they just didn't think the value of any additional wish would outweigh the risk of it somehow going wrong.

Staging a coup and sneaking into the Genie's chamber one evening, they whispered a final wish: "let the Genie disappear, only to be found when truly necessary."

And so the Age of the Genie was replaced by the Age of Enlightenment, a time of peace and wonder lasting billions of years. Humanity could overcome any disease, transmute any material, and even fold space-time at will. As more and more time passed, the Genie passed out of history into mythology, with most choosing to believe that it was merely a fable from previously unenlightened generations of human.

There was only one thing that had proved insurmountable. Despite their genius, experiments in creating net new energy sources had been unsuccessful for billions of years. Confidence soon eroded into panic, as the earliest stars winked out of existence. Later, as fleets of energy-harvesting probes returned empty-chambered, humans turned to mythology for their only hope of survival.

Fleets of probes were repurposed from their energy harvesting with a new mission: find the Genie.

The theory was twofold: first, if the ancient wish had been granted, the Genie would surely make itself known now -- for when else could it possibly be "truly necessary"? And second, if the Genie really did exist, it would be increasingly easy to identify its energy signature against the background of an increasingly dim universe.

"Anomaly detected by probe fleet," sounded again dispassionately in the background. Using the last of my ship's energy to fold space and time one last time, I traveled to the probe fleet's location.

"Warning: complete energy drain imminent."

I barely heard the warnings as my eyes were fastened to the viewscreen on the port side of the ship. I couldn't believe it. Just outside of my ship was the anomaly -- a blue entity staring right back at me, as if it had been waiting for me to appear. Shifting slightly, it somehow phased from its waiting spot into my ship, until it was hovering on the other side of the room.

"The end is nigh, human. Speak your wish," it prompted unceremoniously.

The best minds in the universe had prepared for the vanishingly small chance that this moment would occur. Histories of wishes were examined in excruciating detail, attempting to craft a wish that would minimize the chances of having been previously granted and therefore maximize the chances of being granted now.

Each Genie Seeker committed this wish to memory, including me. Many tattooed it on their flesh. Yet now, in the moment, I found that it escaped me. With trembling hands, I reached for the printed copy kept near my chair, and glanced down. "Ah, that's right," I thought. "That's how it goes."

"Let the universe be replenished with energy," I stated to the Genie, with as much authority as I could muster.

"Wish previously granted," came the Genie's reply.

It took a moment for that to sink in. "What do you mean?!" I cried, panic rising. After all that effort... the disastrous literal end of the universe would not be averted because the wording was wrong, after all.

"Under the rules of my wish-granting," the Genie spoke, unbidden, "you may make one wish per earth year."

In my panic, I queried the ship's AI. "Computer, what is the time and date according to Earth's calendar?"

"It is currently December 31st, 11:59pm. The new year will start in approximately one minute."

A sigh of relief was quickly followed by a renewed sense of panic. I have a second chance. I set the printed list of wishes back on my chair.

But all of the alternative wishes obviously assumed that the Genie, and the wishes granted, were from after the Big Bang. Based on the fact that this universe had already had its energy replenished once -- how, and by whom, were questions for another day -- none of the alternative wishes could be relied upon.

Frustrated, I sideswiped the printed wishes to the floor. I stared at what lay underneath. Could it possibly be...?

Convinced that it held as much chance of being right as anything else, I squared my shoulders, cleared my throat, and spoke my wish.

"Let there be light."


Ruadhan2300 t1_j5orkj2 wrote

"That wish has been previously granted"
confused and frustrated screaming


SNUFFGURLL t1_j5oai9f wrote

“A dragon.”

The Genie looked puzzled. He had never heard that before. Most people throughout history wished for the grandiose or for personal gain. There were a few wishes that seemed like they’d probably been wished before, but hadn’t. The wisher continued.

“Actually, no, wait a second before you do your magic thing. Dragons. Many. Specifically, taxonomically, they’re a subset of reptiles related closely to birds but not birds. Important distinction. I have a dossier of some possible appearance stuff, if you need specifics. And they’re super cool, and stuff.”

Nobody had wished for dragons before, but even weirder, the Genie never expected a wish in this vein, considering all who wished were adults, often with mundane lives and mundane minds, not filled with the joy or excitement that this wisher clearly possessed. They were very excited about dragons, evidently.

“It was a really hard choice, honestly. I was going to wish that animals were immortal or lived as long as their owners did, but that had too many complications when I wrote it all out. Then I was gonna wish for cross species communication, but the human race is already terrible enough to eachother, as much as I really want to communicate with my cat to ask what she wants from me all the time. But Dragons are something I’ve loved ever since I was a kid, and, y’know, I can always come back next year with another wish. If I have all the power in the world with the caveat that I can’t use it on something someone else has used before, why not make dragons real?”

The Genie flipped through the dossier, making noises of approval and mild shock at how detailed it was. Closing it, he prepared to make the wish come true, but before he could snap his fingers, the wisher intervened.

“Wait, wait wait! I’ve got an even better idea than dragons! Mythical creatures in general! Isn’t that so cool? I’m so smart for stopping you at the last second. Most mythical creatures are pretty taxonomically easy, too, so it’s less work. Unicorns are obvious. If you can’t make them magical, that’s fine, but I would prefer magic. Oh, oh, and-“ The babbling went on. The genie felt like this would last forever, but at least it was better than people trying to wish for wealth over and over.


FenrisGreyhame t1_j5oyzy5 wrote

Thousands of miles of desert had left me with blistered skin and cracked lips. My eyes were blurry and my legs could barely hold my weight. I was so thirsty that it felt as if every cell in my body was about to dry out.

I collapsed by the oasis and shoveled water into my mouth so hastily that I scooped lumps of sand up with it. The first couple of gulps, I didn't care. Gasping, I collapsed against a tree and let the shade cool me. It was only a few degrees cooler than the air in the sun, but it felt like someone had turned the air conditioning on.

At last. I'd found him. It would be worth it if only I could get this wish through.

After about an hour of passing in and out of sleep, I hauled myself up and staggered over to the plinth holding the lamp.

I paused. This journey had nearly killed me multiple times. I'd been mugged at two different ports. I broke a leg and had to recover in a hospital in Lebanon for over a month. I'd lost over ten kilograms in weight and developed tremors in my left hand that seemed likely to be permanent. All of that could have been for nothing if I simply wasn't the first person to have thought of this. I swallowed, an errant grain of sand scratching my throat on the way down, and rubbed the lamp.

A wild cackle sounded from within, and the lamp glowed pink, red, and purple as the genie materialised before me, looking mildly put out.

"Never fails," he said. "You finally sit down on your meditation cushion, and there it goes, the rub of the lamp."

He looked down at me, and his face softened.

"Hey there, pal. You look like death itself! Been the first time in a while that someone came here the old-fashioned way. I respect that. Let's fix you up for a second."

A wave of his hands, and my ailments were gone.

"That's better! Now. You know how this works?"

"If someone has wished for my wish before, I stay here and have to travel back the hard way. If no one has wished it before, I will be returned home, and it will be done."

"Exactamundo, mi compadre! Although, in your case, I'd be a cruel spirit to not at least send you as far as Riyadh if your wish is a bust. Sound fair?"

I nodded graciously and thanked the genie as politely as I could.

"Aw, aren't you just the sweetest little thing? Go right ahead," he said.

"I wish that people would see their own actions the way that everybody else saw them."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

The genie smiled and said, "Good one, kiddo."

In an instant, I was home, just as the sun was rising for a new day. I noticed how quiet it was. How peaceful. How serene.


Awesome0Sauce t1_j5oa78o wrote

World peace had been achieved. Starvation was barely a memory. The earth had blossomed anew, global warming had ceased, polution was a thing of the past. There were no leaders, no foes, only neighbors and friends. Everyone lived forever, and there was somehow always enough space and resources for them. The stars had been explored, new species discovered (or created), and everyone had superpowers.

"What more can your kind ask for?" The genie inquired. He was gnarled and old, and despite the milky white clouds in his eyes, I could sense he saw much.

"Freedom," I replied.

The scowl that he'd worn since I'd entered fell. He turned his ear towards me and put a hand to it. "Pardon?"

"I wish for your freedom."

A smile crept slowly across the genie's face. "Child, what makes you think I am a prisoner?"

"You've lived here for centuries granting mankind endless blessings, and not one for yourself."

"If I had the power to free myself, don't you think I would have?" He asked.

"Then why haven't you?" I could see the pain that suddenly swelled in his chest, yet his smile remained.

He chuckled. "You're unlike your brethren. Even the purest who come here wish for selfish things. To fly, to end war, to live when they should not. All of these things I have done." The genie stands and stretches his skinny legs. They crack and crinkle and pop before he steps toward me. He was easily 4 feet taller then I was. "If I go free, I take these blessings with me. Would you truly wish that for you and your people?"

I knew this would happen. We all learned about the genie as children, and how capturing it brought us our fortune. "I cannot live soundly in a world built upon the labors of the chained," I said.

The genie looked genually surprised now. He put a hand on my shoulder, tears welling in his eyes. He pulls me into a hug as chains of smoke materialize. Shackles around his wrists and ankles kept him bound to the cave by a bridge of chain links to the back wall. One after another, the links popped and shattered, dissipating until all were gone.

The genie breaks the hug and looks me in the eyes. Tears streamed down his cheeks now. "You have my gratitude, child of man. For so many years I have longed to see the sun again. I will taste the rain and feel its coolness. I will live, not only by being alive. And for you, I will grant my boon. Enjoy the wishes of humanity, they now survive in you alone."

With that, he stepped out of the cave's mouth, and disappeared into the beaming rays of sunlight.


AGDude t1_j5olox2 wrote

Good stuff. Reminds me of Omelas.


Talalol t1_j5o2fm1 wrote

Squish , squish. My boots were fully engulfed in the mud. Every step forward took extreme effort. I kept my eyes fixated on the genie.

The genie had an apple in his hand , it was rotting away. I had to reach him before it was gone, or I would never see him again.

Barefoot. My boots were lost to the mud. I powered ahead with only one thought in my mind , my wish.

As I reached the genie , I saw he had only a couple of seeds in his hands , a look of disdain on his face. Real bad customer service tut tut.

But my name was not Karen , so I puffed my chest and looked at the genies starry eyes.


The genie looked surprised , he clicked his fingers and vanished. Wow , I thought , I would finally be able to buy a RuneScape GF.

Woosh , a sound was getting closer and closer , I looked around me and saw nothing except the wet marshes and mud.

I looked up , and there is was , a heavy iron safe the size of an elephant hurtling towards me.

My last words were 'shit'. Amazing right.

For every wish granted a new genie is born.

And here I stand before you , ready to grant your wish. With disdain in my eyes for human greed. Freedom awaits for me for any wish I cannot grant. Utter something said before. Come stupid human , I wish to be free.


Valhallabbq t1_j5pk3g0 wrote

Lol, a safe. Why not a letter containing a passphrase and adress appear in your pocket?

I guess it would have ruined the ending though. Good stuff!


DatShazam t1_j5p9pss wrote

"Hold up, you're pulling my tail right? That's your wish?"

"I did not misspeak."

"You wish that I tell your girlfriend that you don't like when she takes too much of the blanket while you two are in bed?"

"That about covers it."

"No it does not. You really want me to grant that wish?"

"That shouldn't be too hard for you. Or if it is, maybe I could--

"No, no I can certainly grant it, but, have you seen what you did to get here? You slew the Undead Army of Fred."

"Piece of cake."

"Passed through the Hallway of Axes that Sway."

"Just a walk through the park innit?"

"Defeated the Mech Dragon from Heck!"

"You know while I was fighting her, I was questioning what's with all these trial names that have lame rhymes in them?"

"Shut up. Poetry is my latest hobby. What I question is why you would go through all of that but you can't just ask your girlfriend for a bit more blanket?"

"Well, it's because...I'm afraid things will get a bit awkward."

"Be real with me, you're not getting abused are you?"


"No blackmail or anything?"


"No one pressuring you to man up and face the cold?"

"My mates are supportive actually."

"Then what's the problem?! Why did you risk death to wish for this?!"

"I told you al--look, can you grant my wish or not? I could always go to the Genie of the East."

"Already done. Her reply is: 'But I get cold'."

"I was afraid she would say that. Okay, well...I'll see you next year with my reply."

"Oh for the love of me."


cheltsie t1_j5ocan0 wrote

Once a year, every adult the world 'round was given a week's life leave. It was between-times and between-spaces. It affected the outside world only in that minds had time to rest and think, and bodies had time to heal. But you still had to travel to a genie and back in those times, using whichever between-means you had. If you were to visit one of the many genies.


Most people didn't. Someone at some point had wished that life-leaves could be taken in small pieces of time, and most people were quite happy with that, and took tiny chunks of life-leaves throughout the year. Even though there were hundreds of genies, and a new one sometimes found, there were far more wishes than the biggest number any person could wrap their minds around. Besides, chaos came with wishes. We were taught young to just say no to drugs.... but run screaming from the person that might just encourage you into trying for a wish. There were severe consequences to wish-encouragementation.


"What will your first wish be?"


"Wishes cause chaos." I shook my head, "I'm not using my first life-leave to try. You care for me more than that, don't you?"

"More than all the riches and all the powers in the world."


"Humph. What are riches, and what is power? A thousand genies and a thousand wishes a day. Riches and power and history can't be known."


"Except mine own." The words were mocking, sneeringly stated. "Is everything you say a repetition of someone else's words? Have you ever had a thought your own? A desire just for your own whims, of your own heart and mind?"

"Besides, it's worse than a drug. If I wish right now, on my 18th birthday, I could be lost forever in the wishing webs! Do you want that for me?" I waved away Dad's question with irritation, playing off as if he was some dumb older guy. In truth, I doubted that anyone ever could be all that different, but I didn't want to say so aloud.


"Ah, you've heard the old tales of family holders, have you not? And treasure hunters finding newly formed genies?" My dad leaned in, all content half-smiles again. His eyes danced with mischief and delight. "What if I---"

"---told me about the basement below the basement with the hidden door guarded by Fairy Critters? Yeah, I found that."

"Always ahead!" Dad clapped his hands twice, entirely delighted with my snooping. He didn't even try to pretend that there weren't any Fairy Critters in our home, "So, tell me, what will your first wish be, when you finally turn 18?"

"You're making me feel like gargoyles are tracking me, Dad!" I waved my hand at the computer. "It's almost the 25th, today, the 24th, is my birthday, Dad!"

"They wouldn't dare. And you're not there yet, and when you are, you will go. What'll it be?" The first sentence was dark and angry at the idea that a fairy critter would consider touching me. The second sentence was became gentle, then excited and alive with curiosity. It was like the first time I'd done anything big, really. His vicarious excitement and protectiveness had been everything from a haven and comfort to an annoyance and embarrassment for me.

Today it made me wriggle, feeling four and afraid of giving that big three-line monologue in the preschool play.

And then I knew the time, down to the second, that my 18th year finished. And I understood. Someone, somewhere, had wished that all the firstborns of a genie's lineage would always have their first wish. Then someone, somewhere had wished that they'd be compelled to wish within the first minute. And someone else had demanded that they live sceptics up until that moment. And... it was a long line of wishes to suddenly understand, with only 60 seconds to figure out a genuine wish without too much chaos attached.

"I wish for more time!"

My dad's delighted laughter became all encompassing, rattling into my skin and bones, as he granted the wish - beyond what I meant, but to allow as much life leave as I'd ever want. It was a very kind interpretation. And one I found I certainly needed, as the ancient genie was all to eager to show the world to his firstborn and see it through my eyes.


Phenoix512 t1_j5plm8c wrote

The fools Journey they called it for the last 1000 years. For a 1000 years no one has had a wish granted and so what used to be a bustling town with people sleeping for a week along the road. Waiting their turn to get to the Genie.

Now the path was mostly empty and so when the protagonist approached the genie they found no line. "What do you wish?" "I wish" "sorry already been done" the protagonist cleared their throat "let me finish before you pass judgement" the genie shrugged "I wish to be the protagonist in a badly written short story on Reddit"

The genie didn't waste a second "So it is" writing down another wish they would never have to grant again.


Spiritual_Lie2563 t1_j5pxuuq wrote

Another year of dealing with all these fools.

I mean, how can I deal with them? Thousands of years young and don't look a day over 18. Rich enough to make every billionaire look like a pauper. Never seen without the hottest celebrity of the year on my arm. Some use yachts, I have naval fleets. Some have sports teams, I have leagues. I could buy and sell any country on earth fifty times over. Even comically rich joke people in cartoons ain't got shit on me.

I'm awesome. And that's why I come here. I see the pilgrimages- my parents took me back when I was a wee lad, and I saw it. I remember seeing the fireworks display for a successful wish granted. Others forgot about the moment- but to me, it's the single most important memory in my entire history. A young lovelorn man wished for his sweetheart to return his feelings, the genie rejected him. The man kicked a rock, and said "one year wasted, I wish I didn't say that." The genie nodded, and the fireworks went off. No one knew the wish, but they saw the man make another wish. It was nothing major- an ever-blooming bouquet of roses, presumably to try and give to his lady-love. They thought it was the bouquet, it went down as the bouquet. I knew once and for all what it was. No one says you can't make multiple wishes, all it says is the wish had to have never been used before...but if the wish was never used, someone else conceivably could make additional wishes as long as they count. Maybe they don't let it go because someone could just keep going until they drop dead waiting.

I couldn't tell anyone what I just saw. I was nice. I tried hinting it to my family. That year during the Super Bowl, I made a point to say 'Father, isn't it interesting how with the instant replay rule, if the coach is successful at their challenge they get an additional challenge?', but my father just thought I was a football fan and paid it no mind. This is the weakness...plebians can't think of the overarching nature, the doers can. I had to take it and wait, and bide my time.

Then, the moment that started my lifetime trajectory. I got to go myself when I turned 18. I made my way through the people, and I got through to the front of the line. Then, I sweetly said my words, and saw the genie get pissed- but every word I said afterwards got fireworks, one after the other, in a great day.

Now, it's my time this year. I waited through the line. I ended up seeing the face of the genie, who was angered at having to deal with me again. "What do you want now?", the genie said, as I smiled and said the words I always started with:

"I wish to reset your list of wishes."


donaldhobson t1_j5rfwpc wrote

A slip of paper telling you the answer totally fails to materialize. Clearly you will enjoy figuring it out more than being told the answer. But that can wait for later. You step out onto the peak of Olympus Mons, ignoring the laws of physics that keep different places different.

"Granted" replies the genie, with a swirl of light. On a deep metaphysical level, reality twists. The laws of ethics become as hard to break as the laws of physics were. The laws of physics become as easy to break as the laws of ethics were.

"Really, that worked" you mumble. "Has no one in the world got the least bit of imagination? You just have to phrase your wish to do what you want, while also squeezing in some random password. Actually how come no one asked for anything that world changing before? Am I the only person with any imagination? "

A slip of paper telling you the answer totally fails to materialize. Clearly you will enjoy figuring it out more than being told the answer. But that can wait for later. You step out onto the peak of Olympus Mons, ignoring the laws of physics that keep different places different. With a whim, ski's appear around your feet. Untroubled by temperature or atmospheric composition, you begin to ski.


Novelorange4 t1_j5polmb wrote

I looked upon the stars and saw

That night and knew

Arcturus was displayed above

My star placed the day I bloom

The day couldn't come too soon

My mother's back was broken

My father complained the rain

Would leave another monsoon

Our village was in deep

My sister's couldn't sleep

Grandpa knew a pain

My brothers would repeat

The celestial clock was here

I must go alone

To take our boat and commandeer

Away from home

The lake had led to the stairs

Three hundred steps less

Three hundred thousand disrepaired

I set

The mountain was as still

As ever

As I paced my way

In September

The rain would have me

Washed away

And my knees

Would have me stay

I pressed on

I don't know what day it was

It was always so dark

When id thought I'd had enough

The clouds came to part

"Hello my friend"

I hear from the wind

"Stop where you stand

And start listening

I am no genie at all

But your wish will come true

Your body's washed away

Into the monsoon

If I could

I'd give you twenty

For the wishless many

You've left too soon

Arcturus is yours

Go and have your claim"


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Shite_Eating_Squirel t1_j5n435e wrote

I wish for exactly $100,000,846,925.38


rednproud524 t1_j5pj3bv wrote

I was going to say, it seems like it would be pretty easy to get a very specific amount of money, especially with large numbers like that. Doesn’t make for a great story though lol.


Affirmed_Trout t1_j5nue5z wrote

I wish that my third toe's toenails can grant me infinite wishes


AnderHolka t1_j5o01vk wrote

Fuck yeah, all my towels are now mint green 😁


Endulos t1_j5pbfa2 wrote

Wouldn't this be very easy to game?

Sure, you can only wish if it's never been wished for, like "I wish for a million dollars", or "I wish my mom wasn't sick" might be blocked as they would have been wished for in the past.

But it seems like you could game it by re-wording your wish and adding a modifier.

"I wish that I, John Doesmith, had 1 million dollars" Or "I wish that my mom, Jane Doeson, wasn't sick"

Technically, they're both wishes that have been wished before but adding it to add you or someone else, turns it into a different wish as you're specifying someone else/yourself.


hogw33d t1_j5spypy wrote

Yeah, especially with a yearly attempt to adjust your strategy.


wojtekpolska t1_j5ofhvu wrote

I want to get (starts a random number generator between 100 and 10000 million ) USD


Sefera17 t1_j5p2n3z wrote

I’ll settle for “I wish I {listing out my full legal name} had the powers of Meta Luck, Science-Magic Lordship, and Freedom, inherent to myself and as they are defined, on the Superpower Wiki; as of this time {listing out the date and time, down to the second}”.

I’ll then turn around and grant the genie it’s freedom, if it doesn’t already have it.


FalconMirage t1_j5p0mwu wrote

I wish for the guy whose reddit username is FalconMirage to win the lottery the first time he plays it in 2023