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Short Story: Wish Me Well
Wish Me Well
By Blaine Derrick
Every man has a story to tell, and like any story it starts just like any other day. I was alone in my office, working late with a bottle of scotch, drinking myself hopefully into a coma. That’s not just an ordinary day for you? Well, the way my life had been going it was for me. My wife kicked me out of the house for overworking, just never being there for her or the kids finally got to her, I guess. Starting at a new law firm takes time and effort though, and none of mine seemed to have paid off because I got laid off that day.
It was never how I imagined my life to turn out, but there I was, packing my office. I finished packing by throwing an old hour glass my best friend Mikey had brought me back while touring Iraq. It was a ratty old thing, and I never understood why he brought back that of all things for me. Yet, I packed it anyways, and after I threw back the last of the scotch in my glass I grabbed my things to head towards the parking lot.
Almost to my car, I tripped and the contents of the box I had packed spilled across the empty asphalt. I lifted my head to see the damage, but I couldn’t see anything. Smoke surrounded me in a thick fog. When I got to my feet, I could see a faint light through the smoke. I walked towards it to see the hourglass shattered on the pavement, the sand inside spilled over the floor, and glowed white hot. A gust of wind almost knocked me off my feet, lifting the sand into a whirlwind. Suddenly the sandstorm was set ablaze, and a figure of fire stood before me. I fell backwards, taken by complete surprise and confusion. Never in my life had I seen something so amazing. The figure stood over me and spoke in a sinister voice.
“I’m a jinn of the desert, and I’ve been trapped in that accursed hourglass for centuries,” he said, leaning in closer, and opened his fiery gullet to speak again.
“I’ve been watching your miserable life human, and for freeing me I will grant you three wishes.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but seemed lost for any words. I must be dreaming, but I stood at my feet and gathered my thoughts. I had so many questions. However in my greed I didn’t want to waste any time.
“Gold!” I shouted above the blowing wind.
“As you wish” he said, and with a snap of his molten hands there was a flash of light.
I was confused, everything seemed the same. Then I screamed. The pain in my mouth was excruciating. My teeth began to fall to the floor. When they all finished falling, I picked one up. It had turned into solid gold.
“You tricked me you bastard!” I screamed in fury at the jinn. He merely chuckled.
“All you humans are the same, so dim-witted! I gave you exactly what you wished for, just not in the way you expected.”
I had two wishes left, but it seemed I had to be careful with this devious spirit. I thought long and hard about what to use my next two wishes for, and I finally thought of the perfect wish.
“I'm tired of having to deal with the constraints in my life. I wish for freedom, jinn!” I shouted against the wind
“As you wish,” he said, and with a snap of his molten hands there was another flash of light.
I felt strange when the light passed, and when I looked to my hands I could see why. I was watching my body break down before me into sand. The wind was carrying me away, piece by piece. I could see I had once again been tricked. What could I do though? He was a powerful spirit, and I was nothing, just a mortal human.
So, before my final remnants were cast into the wind, I shouted at the jinn:
“Give me immortality, so that one day I can repay you for this favor!”
“As you wish,” he said, and with a snap of his molten hands there was yet another flash of light.
With that, I was nothing more. Merely sand in the breeze, waiting for a way to undo what was done to me. You don’t believe me? Look at the very air around you, and remember to always be careful what you wish for.
Blaine Derrick is a writer living in Tomball, Texas.
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