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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1843538
A man stranded in a cave finds a lamp with a genie and just can't get what he wants!
“You have three wishes, sir.”

“Wow! How fortunate! I’m stuck in this cave, my phone’s signal won’t reach out, and no one knows I’m here!”

“Um… yes. That’s a very nice recap. Now, please, your wishes.”

“What’s the rush?”

“Don’t you want to be free?”

“What for? I’m unemployed, my cat died, and I can’t stop buying cigarettes.”


“Yeah. They’re addictive. I was lighting one up when I fell down here. Now I can’t climb back because I get winded.”

“Sir, your wishes.”

“Again: what’s the rush? I wish for you to get me out of here—”

“Are you certain?”

“What? No! I’m not wishing! I’m just telling you that if I had that wish granted, what kind of life would I be going back to? No job interviews, no litter box filling up with cat feces...”

“That drag implies that it’s being filled with another kind of—”

“And I’m addicted to my smokes. The way I see it is I get out of here, but can only solve two of my problems and be forced to live with the third.”

“Maybe you can wish for a traveling job?”

“Maybe I need to talk to Sophia.”


“Sophia, from The Golden Girls. I’m unemployed, so I watch it a lot, or whenever my parents aren’t home.”

“You’re forty-six, aren’t you, sir?”


“That’s depressing.”

“See? We both need to talk to Sophie. She was so wise on the show. And I hear that Estelle Getty was an amazing woman. I bet she can help us out.”

“Help you out.”

“I wish to speak to Estelle Getty.”

“Sir, please… Is this really your wish?”

“You betcha!”

“Okay… done.”


“Who the hell are you?”

“My name is Estelle, but my friends call me Stella.”

“Well, Estelle, you’re not who I want. Genie?”

“You asked to speak to Estelle Getty.”

“Yeah! This ain’t her.”

“I, like, just got my license. It has my name on it. But I do not weigh a hundred and thirty pounds. The woman wasn’t listening good.”

“Okay, this is Estelle Getty, but obviously not the one you want.”


“Didn’t you see Aladdin? Genies can’t reanimate the dead.”

“That’s one of my dad’s favorite movies. ‘A whole new world! A whole fantastic point of view!’”

“Stuff it, blondie. Genie, that’s just a movie.”

“Based on real facts, bud. No dead people. I stopped telling people the rules because, time after time, people were rude and cut me off with their know-it-all attitudes.”

“So I’ve wasted a wish on bringing this stupid girl here?”

“Hey! I made a high-C on my last semester of algebra.”

“Yeah, go drink some Hi-C. Genie, how do we fix this?”

“You have to wish yourself, and her, out of here.”

“Will that count as one wish or two?”

“It’ll count as one. I promise.”

“Okay. I wish for Estelle Getty and myself to be out of this cave.”


“Oh, wow! That was weird. Where are we?”

“Looks like the genie dropped us off at the mouth of the cave.”

“Yeah, I figured that, genius. I mean, where are we. I have a curfew.”

“Oh. Phoenix.”


“Wow. What’d you make in geography?”

“I have to get past algebra first. You can’t jump classes.”


“Here’s the lamp. You left it.”

“How am I getting home, sir?”

“Genie, why didn’t you put us in our homes?”

“You just asked to be out of the cave.”

“Oh, you genies are sly folk.”

“And you only have one wish.”

“You used your first wish to bring a girl to you in your hour of desperation? Are you one of those predators my mom talks about?”

“No! I wanted to talk to Estelle Getty, from The Golden Girls, because I need advice and she’s the wisest sitcom star! But now I have to wish you home and then I’m back where I started: unemployed, catless, and craving a smoke…. What’re you doing?”

“I rub here?”

“Yes, ma’am. You now have three wishes.”

“I wish to send this guy back in time to a point when he can speak with Estelle Getty—the real Estelle Getty. And you know who I’m talking about. No tricks, Genie. Send him. Now.”

“Oh! Thanks Es… Stella.”


“Ugh, oh, oh man. Did the eighties always smell like this, Genie? And why aren’t you with Stella?”

“I am, now look alive: Estelle Getty is walking towards you. She used to walk in this park.”

“Oh, wow! Estelle!”

“Who’s asking?”

“I-I’m a huge fan, and—”

“And what, ya bum? You want a hand out? You got a script? Forget it! Go to hell! You fairies need to stop hounding me! Popping up left and right, and for what? You want advice? Sober up and get your own damn life. Leave me alone!”

“…Wow. Hard words to hear, but I needed that. You’re right, Estelle.”

“I have a gun.”

“Okay, okay. I get it. I’m leaving. Have a pleasant day… and thank you for the obscene gesture. Genie, I know what I want.”

“That’s good, because if you don’t wish yourself back to the present, you’re going to be stuck in 1986.”

“B-b-but… Can’t I make a wish that encompasses both time-travel and advancement in my own life?”

“Not grammatically, no.”

“Fine! I wish to go back to 2012.”


“Whoa, that was fast. I know I have to get home to Vermont, but I don’t know what I want my third wish to be. What do you think, sir?”

“Stop calling me ‘sir’. I’m not a ‘sir’. I’m old enough to be your—”

“Dad, yeah. But, you’re right. My mom’s boyfriend says I should call him ‘sir’ and he’s much younger than you.”

“Go home.”

“Yes. Genie, I’d like to be sent back home.”


“She dropped the lamp.”

“I’ll take it to her. Good luck, sir.”

“Thank you, Genie. I already feel better about my life. At least I’m not stuck in the eighties.”

Word Count: 999
© Copyright 2012 Than Pence (zhencoff at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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