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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #2167693
What happens when a Genie's bottled up anger is uncorked?
"Character Flaws Contestco-win. August prompt: a Genie with anger issues. 5/22/19 Drama Newsletter Editors Choice.

“Hi. I’m Genie and I have anger issues I’ve bottled up for far too long.”

The little fellow with the smokey gray eyes stood up daring anyone to get in another word. The anger management group stirred, a few growled, but at a warning nod from their leader they subsided into silence.

“Welcome to the group, Genie. Is that some kind of therapeutic aid you brought with you?” Maddie Pane, this weeks greeter, pointed at the ornately shaped exotic jug the nervous new member had placed by his knees.

Genie blinked warily, his feet moving protectively closer to the object as if it were imbued with magic properties only he understood. “I figured it was time to come out, that’s all.”

“No drinking allowed, Sugar, not even using my chocolate milk addiction.” Shelly Mann muttered almost under her breath. Her eyes stared at the bottle-shaped jug with a handle on one side and some kind of jewel looking stopper screwed on the top. She licked her lips, forced her eyes to rise to Genie’s and twisted her lips into a smacking sound. “Drinking only hides what we need to deal with.”

“Thank you, Shelly.” Jonathan Maybee turned the comment into a silky command to be quiet. “Go on, Genie. Tell us your story.”

“I know what your secret wish is but you are rubbing me the wrong way.” Genie’s voice grated with renewed force as Shelly gave a shiver, licked her lips like she was dying of thirst before turning her face away into a silent sob.

Genie seemed to grow larger as he took a deep breath and prepared to address the group. “I worked in the service industry … you may have heard of it … make a wish?”

“Admirable, I’m sure. And this caused your anger issues or was it something earlier in your life?” Prompted the social worker.

“The job is all I’ve known.” Genie shrugged off talk about his childhood and how he’d started his occupation. “I’ve not been overworked. Those I grant wishes to have been rather randomly selected on a rare basis. Stress has not been an issue.”

“You’ve thought a lot about this. That is good.” Suggested Jonathan, stretching his legs a little and sipping from his coffee cup.

“The thing is? Once I grant a wish it seems it is never what the person really wanted after all. They often botch it up by making things worse for themselves.” Genie dared anyone to disagree with him. His hands twisted into tight fists that clenched and unclenched.

“Steady, man. I know this hard. Talking about it often releases emotion that is difficult to control. Don’t lash out. Breath deep. Let it go.”

“What's that?” Shelly still had her eye on the bottle. “It isn't a bomb, is it? You are so angry you are going to blow us up.” Smoke seemed to be rising out around the edges of the jeweled bottle cap by Genie’s knee.

“Someone is calling me.” Genie mopped at his suddenly sweaty brow. He gritted his teeth, snarling out at the room. “The next dude or 'dudess' who tries opening me up is going to get more than they wish for. Be forewarned.”

Smoke blurred his image. Angry shouts turned into alarm as people dove for cover. Chairs overturned, hot scalding coffee flew into the frenzied air causing more consternation. Fists swung, cries turned into anguished shouts of revenge. It became a free-for-all of unparalleled proportions.

Out of the gray cloud swirling around everyone came Genie’s voice. “I have to grant what you say, exactly what you say, not what your hearts yearn for.”

“Just get out of here.” Yelled anger management leader, Jonathan Maybee while gnawing on an unknown assailant’s fist.

As the mist slowly cleared people lay groaning everywhere. Everyone but Shelly Mann, who raced out the door screaming, “It’s mine,” while holding Genie’s trapped bottle to her breast. She was already wishing for another drink.

Genie was nowhere to be seen but his angry muttering could be heard echoing from under the jeweled and smoking top of Genie’s bottle. HIs time would come to out himself again at the proper moment. A Genie's wishes should rarely be trifled with.
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