A young man inherits a genie's bottle, and its genie is a beautiful young woman.
My name is Thomas August, and this is the story of how I met the love of my life.
You may think this like other stories of the sort, I met some girl in high school and after a few bumps we eventually got married and lived happily ever after. Well... you'd only be half right. This story actually begins at a funeral, specifically my Great Uncles funeral, my family and I were attending the reading of Great Uncle Seamus Patrick O'Brien, he was a rich man, when I was a kid I liked him but as I got older I disliked him. Not as much as Grandpa but still, I loathed the guy. Anyway my family, consisting of me, my younger sister Rebecca, my dad Robert, my mom Amber, and my Grandfather Walter, sat down to hear the reading of the will.
The lawyer had a giant mustache, this made up for the fact that he was a lawyer. "To my Grandnephew, I give this," the lawyer produced a bottle from the desk. "This is my most prized possession, and despite our growing distance between each other, I have decided that you should care for this. It has been the key to my wealth, it was found along the coast of Israel. As I am sure that you all know, I have never been to Israel. To make a long story short, I stole this lamp to sell it on the black market to help my family (which includes you, Walter). But instead I kept it; it has given me nothing but luck to my financial well-being ever since." The lawyer said.
It was a fairly normal looking lamp. Sort of like the one on 'I Dream of Genie'... what? There are worse shows to watch then supernatural sitcoms from the dawn of colored TV. At any rate, at the time I thought that the lamp was just some manner of curiosity. Though it did strike me as odd that he would consider something lucky, I mean he's Irish but that's a whole other matter, but he was more than a little skeptical about most things. I did think that the bottle looked pretty... though I did feel cheated as the lawyer continued.
"To my dearest niece Amber, as I have no children, and you're my brothers eldest child you'll receive my vast wealth, and to my son-in-law Robert I grant you control of my holdings, my brother Walter shall receive my estate. You've told me nonstop how much you hate that home you were living in, so now that I'm dead you'll be free to live in it."
"It's about time that lazy half-wit gave me something!" Grandpa Walter said, interrupting the lawyer.
"And to my sweet granddaughter Rebecca, I'm giving you my late wife's collection of porcelain dolls. I know how much you loved them, and I've never really had much use for them since my dearest Rose passed. Just be careful with them, they're extremely fragile." The lawyer said, and on the ride home after the will was read any admiration for the bottle pretty much disappeared.
Dad gets Grandpa's businesses, mom gets the money, Rebecca got those dolls, (I didn't much care for them in the first place but that's beside the point) and Grandpa got the mansion, but me...? all I got was a dumb decanter! When we got home I was just furious, so out of spite, I kept that thing out of my sight. Things were fairly normal until my mom asked me to clean my room. Now I normally I keep a tight ship in my room, the point is I don't do much in the way actual cleaning. So I went about dusting... and my OCD went nuts when I noticed there was a smug on the lamp.
"And for the big question, when was Rebecca in here to get chocolate on this thing?" I said to myself as I took a cloth to the smudge... then my life was forever changed as the lamp shook, and smoke shot out of the top. Eventually, the magical chaos from the bottle stopped... and on my bed sat a girl. She was clad in what could best be described as a blue belly dancer outfit, she looked about my age, had dark brown skin, black shoulder length hair, and blue eyes.
"Alright kid, I suppose you're my new master. My name is Lazuli, and I'll be your genie." She said bluntly, I was a bit put off. Not only by a pretty girl sitting on my bed but... well, she just said that she was a genie. That kind of raises some questions.
"I... what... who... when... I have no idea what is going on here!" I said.
"Really...? wait, what happened to that Shamus guy? Who are you, and how did you get my lamp?" The genie asked suspiciously.
"WHAT ARE YOU-?! My-my name is Thomas, and I inherited this thing from my grandfather!" I said as I picked up the lamp.
"Is that true? I was wondering why that old paddy wasn't bugging me about magical lore for the last few months. Not a day goes by where he doesn't pester me for knowledge on how to get more wishes." The genie said.
"Wait... if you're a genie, and grandpa Shamus said in his last will and testament, that the lamp gave him good luck. Does that mean-"
"That he used me to wish for fortune, luck, and a couple other things. Yes, that he did." The genie said sardonically.
"I... this is incredible! Magic is real! I..." I said in awe as I tried to grasp the situation before me.
"Dude, take a deep breath and calm down, do you have any wishes you'd like to make? Or are you going to keep stammering out questions?" The genie said; it took me a while to calm down.
"So... you grant wishes?" I asked.
"Yep, pretty much anything you would want." The genie said.
"How many wishes do I get?" I asked.
"Just the three, though I've heard of a few that stick to just one." The genie said.
"Okay... is there any catch I should know about?" I asked.
"Well, there are a few things you can't wish for. Not because I can't of course, but more because of ethics and because our wish-granting powers can be a bit... imprecise." The genie said.
"Like what, that I can't wish for someone to fall in love with me, to kill people, or bring back the dead?" I asked... well yes, Aladdin was the first place where I thought to ask about it.
"Well... that's kind of the problem... I don't know what to wish for." I admitted.
"Well take your time... I could use some conversation that doesn't involve wishing. Maybe get out of that blasted lamp, and stretch my legs for more than a few minutes a day." The genie said.
"Thomas, are you done cleaning up there? Are you skipping out on cleaning so you can watch videos online?" My mom said from downstairs.
"N-No mom, I'm just... talking to myself!" I said.
"So you don't want your mother to know about me, ashamed to have a genie about?" The genie asked sarcastically.
"Okay, now I got an idea for my first wish. I wish there was a plausible reason for you to live here that my family will accept. You're an exchange student and that as far as they're concerned you're a completely normal teenage girl!" I said.
"Really...? a chance to live a normal life again. Very well, your wish is my command master." The genie said, she then snapped her fingers. She then disappeared in a puff of magic smoke.
"Thomas! There's someone new that's going to be living with us." My mod said.
"It isn't Aunt Loreto and Uncle Terry again is it? I only just now got their hair out of the bathtub drain." I said as I left my room and went downstairs. There at the front door was the genie, still wearing her belly dancer get up.
"No, her name is Lazuli. She's an exchange student who will be living with us, and she will be starting school with you next year." My mom said, apparently oblivious that the girl was wearing a belly dancing costume.
"Oh... nice to meet you... Lazuli, was it?" I said awkwardly to the genie.
"Likewise, now where will I be residing?" The genie asked.
"Well, Thomas's room has plenty of space. You wouldn't mind, would you?" My mom asked.
"Yes... I would not mind having her sleep in my room." I said awkwardly.
"Now son don't be- wait what?" My mom said in surprise.
"What? It'd be nice to have someone my own age around... and whom I'm certain is a fairly normal person. Want to come up to my room?" I said.
"Don't see why not." The genie said as she followed me upstairs.
"Okay, how doesn't mom notice that you're a belly dancer?" I asked.
"Magic... really not that hard to understand; besides it was part of your wish, so as far as your family is concerned I don't look any out of the ordinary." The genie said.
"Okay... but will others notice?" I asked.
"Well yes, of course, you didn't wish that no one at all would notice. Please tell me you're not going to waste a wish trying to correct the holes in your first wish? I've had far too many masters who wished to correct a wish before the third one." The genie said.
"No, no that's fine, I don't know about you, but I want to save my wishes... preferably not on something like make people think you aren't dressed like a belly dancer... why are you dressed like one anyway?" I asked.
"It's standard for female genies. Though I don't know why trust me I asked around and I've never once got a straight answer." The genie said.
"Well, then there are two things I've got to say. We need to get you some new clothes and your abs look quite magnificent... seriously! I bet you could grate cheese on those abs of yours!" I said, noting the genies midriff. I'm not even joking, her abs look like an Olympic champion.
"Why is that the first thing people note in regards to my midriff? Even before I was a genie, now what do you suggest on getting clothes?" The genie asked.
"Not really sure, you might have to talk to mom about that," I said.
"Your mother's name is Amber, right? I'll go and talk to her. Though... why haven't you already burned through your wishes? Almost every master I ever had burned through the three wishes as soon as meet me." The genie asked.
"That's... I don't think that's an easy question to answer." I said nervously.
The truth of the matter was that... I don't have much in the way of friends. At least not in person, but that isn't really my point. While I'm certain that you think that I found Lazuli attractive... and you'd be right, but I wasn't in love with her, not at first. Heck, I barely thought about her romantically when I first saw her. I was just amazed that magic was real. It was just nice to have someone around who I could rely on... even if she was apparently an ancient magical being that could warp the fabric of space and time on a whim.
Anyway, I think I'm just rambling. It wasn't long before my mom and the genie returned home from clothes shopping. "Well, it took longer than I thought. But, I got some up to date clothes." The genie said.
"Well... where are they?" I asked the genie then snapped her fingers and her belly dancer costume was replaced. Specifically, she was now wearing, a grey shirt, dark blue leather jacket, jeans, and boots.
"Wait... can't you just use magic to make clothes from thin air?" I asked.
"You'd think so, but anything that currently exists on mass and can be bought... well, it can also be magically stolen, and eventually, that theft would be traced to me. Or more specifically you as my master, and besides, this is the first time in decades I've had the chance to acquire my own clothes!" The genie said with a happy look on her face.
"What's the other set?" I asked, the genie then snapped her fingers and... well, let me put it this way. She would not have looked out of place... at a discotheque anyway. It was all I could do to not fall down laughing with tears.
"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up; Shamus thought it was hilarious too." The genie said in resignation as my sides started to ache as I howled with laughter at how ridiculous the genie now looked. "I swear, I express a mild interest in disco and that old paddy never lets me live it down." The genie said bitterly as she snapped her fingers, returning to her modern clothes.
"I-I'm sorry, it's just... that has to be the most absurd thing I've ever seen!" I said as I got to my feet.
"Changing the subject, you want to make another wish? Or are you going to wait like you said?" The genie asked.
"I'm going to wait, you have my word. For now... let's try to have some fun." I said, thankfully (though not for my uncle) it was the beginning of summer vacation. So we had about three months to enjoy ourselves, and let me tell you it was great!
The first thing we did was play video games. Though showing Lazuli how a controller worked was a bit... time-consuming. "So, you jump with this button?"
"And I use power-ups with this button?"
"That everything I need to know? It seems simple enough."
"Well yes, for now. Let the games begin."
And thus began our time playing video games. It was a simple enough game for us to play, and we played that game for most the week in fact... not all at once of course. Then we spent another week playing a different game, and it sort of went on like that for at least a month. It was pretty fun to have someone to play a video game or two with... that wasn't my sister, and I'd spend the entire time trying to get her to not goof around and effectively sabotage the actual fun.
Then we went out to see a movie one night, just me and Lazuli, the two of us alone. "So, this is how courting works these days?" The genie asked.
"What, you thought this was a date?!" I asked in surprise.
"It wasn't...? oh well it was a good movie anyway." Lazuli said, and then we were caught off guard by an armed mugger.
"GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY!" He shouted; Lazuli quickly disarmed the thug.
"Oh, you'd like more than that wouldn't you?" Lazuli said bitterly as she magically conjured up a sword.
"LAZULI...! no! We do not kill!" I said.
"What? I wasn't going to." Lazuli said as the mugger shrieked and ran into an alleyway.
"What was that all about?" I asked.
"I... may have lost a master or two to craven criminals a long time ago. And I was not going to risk losing another master like that again. Besides, I really like you kid." Lazuli said as she dissipated her sword and we continued on home. We told mom and dad about what had happened, but replaced, 'created magic sword' to, 'Lazuli has extensive knowledge of martial arts'.
"So... anybody interesting that you've had for a master?" I asked as I got ready for bed. As a genie Lazuli obviously didn't really need sleep, so she spends most of her nights meandering around town... this wasn't one of those nights.
"That's a bit of a personal question to be asking." Lazuli said.
"I'm just curious," I said.
"I'll bet, doesn't mean I'm going to tell you everything about everyone who's ever had my lamp." Lazuli said.
"Can you really blame me?" I asked.
"Not really, first time you've ever actually asked me about former masters." Lazuli said.
"Well, I want to know now," I said.
"Well once upon a time my first master was a king who I loved very much, even before I was made into a Genie." Lazuli said.
"You used to be Human?!" I said in surprise.
"Yep, when that was and who that king was I'm not going to say a word." Lazuli said.
"Well... anyone else?" I asked.
"Not really worth going into detail. Some were half-way decent, others were bad, and some squandered wishes as soon as meet me on dumb stuff. Seriously, one of my masters wished for a sandwich... three times, with three separate wishes. Not even the handful of children I've had for masters ever wasted wishes like that." Lazuli ranted.
"Huh... well, goodnight Lazuli. See you in the morning; maybe pester you further about former masters tomorrow." I said.
"Yeah... you remember that we're going to Shamus's beach house tomorrow right?" Lazuli said, I had completely forgotten about that, that we were going to stay at Great Uncle Shamus's beach house. The next day we were there.
"Oh come on, surely you can have fun outdoors Mr. Grumpy," Lazuli said as she pinched my cheeks.
"It's just... the beech is really hot, and I'm not fond of salt water." I said.
"You can't swim can you?" Lazuli asked, I just sheepishly muttered yes.
"Well I can help you, if not to swim, then to at least enjoy swimming," Lazuli said supportively.
"Thomas got a girlfriend! Thomas got a girlfriend!" My sister sang teasingly... she wasn't wrong. I mean we were effectively dating anyway. It just wasn't official... not even sure how having a genie as a girlfriend would work anyway. I mean, could that even be done in the first place?
Well anyway, shortly after we arrived Lazuli were in the sea, with Lazuli helping me to keep my head over the water. "You know you can wish that you can breathe underwater. That's within my power to do... and even if my back is technically non-corporeal. You're surprisingly heavy in the water." Lazuli said.
"No, I'm fine, REALLY," I said as I struggled to get onto Lazuli's back.
"Come on! It's just that simple. Just say something to the effect of. 'Genie, I wish I could breathe underwater.' Something like that... please... it's getting harder to hold you up." Lazuli said... that was when the fins jutted over the water's surface. "Oh good... sharks and today was going so well." Lazuli said.
"Okay got to keep it together, the-There not inherently dangerous animals. Sharks aren't as dangerous as they're made out to be... doesn't stop them being dangerous all the same." I said nervously, then we got a better look and saw that they were Great Whites... and they had blood around there faces, that really meant only one thing.
"Okay... as long as we do this calmly. They won't harm us, just need to fly out of the water, and hope you don't fall." Said Lazuli as she slowly floated out of the water and dragging me up.
"Well... now I have another reason to avoid the ocean." I said as we flew to the shore.
"Come on, it was at least a freak occurrence." Lazuli said.
"You... fly?" Said Jenifer... who was standing near where we had landed, and looking perplexed.
"What? Flying? That's just crazy." I said.
"Alright, you figured it out kiddo... the secret is out. I'm actually a powerful Vampire, and we're actually all immune to sunlight. In fact, I made your brother a Vampire, weird isn't it?" Lazuli said lying through her teeth. Then she ran back to the beach house screaming.
"I've been wanting that kind of power over her for years!" I said.
"Yeah, kids are really easy to lie to. Of course, you have to be careful with what you lie about." Lazuli said, over the next two weeks the time at the beach house went by normally... well except now Jennifer was trying to prove to mom and dad that we were Vampires.
So from then on, that summer followed a pattern for me. Lazuli and I played video games, and go out and see a movie. Put simply... it was nice to have someone to hang out with and do things with. Rather than attempt and fail to do things with Jennifer that just leave me infuriated.
Yes, my summer with Lazuli was one of the best of my life... but as I'm sure I don't have to tell you. Summer Vacation doesn't last forever. It was a tense affair as we were both being registered for High School. "So it's been centuries since I've been exposed to an education system. Got any idea what we're in for?" Lazuli asked.
"No idea... though I can't help but feel terrible." I said frankly as we were getting our ID cards made.
"Don't worry about it... you could just wish to not have to go." Lazuli said.
"No... no this is something I need to do. If I really want a wish, it'll be for something unique." I said. Thankfully the matter with the ID cards was a brief matter. And then the fateful day came... and it was an exhausting nightmare from the first class. By the time we got home, I was burnt out, and it took all my energy to get to my bedroom and fall on my bed.
"Thomas? Are you sure you don't want to make another wish? Like something that makes High School easier?" Lazuli suggested.
"I don't know... I don't want to wish for anything selfish. Besides, why are you so anxious for me to make more wishes?" I asked.
"That's... a fair question. You remember that movie we watched, the cartoon one with-"
"Yes... you have great power, but you're bound to your bottle, and you can't really use the full extent of your magic unless it's granting wishes. You can't actually use your powers for your own benefit. I said that I'd use my last wish to free you." I said.
"I know... but it's more than just that. Look, how about I do your homework tonight; I'll magically transfer the information into your brain?" Lazuli said, I just mumbled something under my breath. I then heard her mumble something about someone named Solomon. Anyway, the rest of the week went by in a blur. The only things I can really remember is that I ping-ponged back and forth between blind rage and depression.
"Okay... I think I'm ready for that second wish." I said Friday afternoon as we returned home.
"And what would that be my master?" Lazuli said.
"Well... I want to turn into a dragon. But I have no idea how that would turn out if I just ask for it. Will I be stuck as a dragon forever? Will I be forever a giant reptile? Will I only be able to breathe fire, or other elements and powers?" I said in exhaustion.
"You mean... you want to BRAINSTORM A WISH?! It's been so long since I've done that! I'll draw up some parameters to your wish!" Lazuli said, and thus we began to brainstorm my dragon wish in further detail beyond, 'I wish to turn into a dragon', and possibly have it unintentionally backfire on me.