Ralph the Jinn
Ralph watched his co-worker vanish in a puff of smoke. Damn,
he thought. That was fast.
He removed the fez from his head, rubbing at the thinning hair beneath it. It was bad enough they were all made to wear outfits out of some bad Hollywood flick, but the overtime was starting to kill him. Ever since that kid showed up and found a way to repeatedly tap into the Jinn pool, things had been in an uproar.
Being a Jinn wasn't bad. Few people realized that the lamp wasn't merely the home for a single Jinn, but the key to all of them. The reason there was only one lamp was because they all rotated turns in the thing. Shifts used to run smoothly. A month of quiet in the lamp, grant the three wishes, then a century off. Ah, the good old days.
The new owner, however, figured out that his last wish needed to be that a new Jinn occupy the lamp. At least the kid was past wishing for things like money and cars. Paul had come back last week a total wreck. The kid was getting exotic now.
Greg poofed back in next to Ralph, his eyes wild. "Be very careful, Ralph. This one's good. Too good. He's got people helping him slaughter thousands, then making us hide him while an entire army's chasing him across some of the most unforgiving hills and mountains you'll ever see."
Ralph narrowed his eyes. "Really? What's his name?"
"Bin Laden. Osama Bin Laden." Greg's voice echoed as Ralph felt the pull of the lamp.
He came free in a puff of orange smoke. The cave was opulent by comparison to other caves he'd seen throughout his centuries. A man by modern standards sat on a pile of cushions, weapons and armed guards surrounding him. To Ralph, he was a boy with a very dangerous toy.
"What is your wish, Master?" Ralph uttered his least favorite line. His mind was taking in more than could be seen.
"There are some American soldiers who are too close to a compound of mine two hundred miles from here. I need those men to complete their training without interference in order to make my next attack. I wish for you to remove the threat."
Ralph hid his smile with the deep bow he gave to the man on the pillows. "As you command, Master" he intoned before disappearing back into the lamp.
The sound of artillery fire and the screams of the dying reached him in the lamp. Using the vid screen, Ralph watched with satisfaction as the one who had abused the lamp was led from the cave in handcuffs. It looked like he'd resisted the Americans quite a bit. It was within the scope of the wish given to him. Little Osama hadn't bothered to say where to send the soldiers, just away from that one camp.
Settling back into the plush cushions of the bench, Ralph grabbed the remote control. His shift rotation was back to normal, the lamp was buried under tons of rubble. Time to catch up on a month of 'NCIS' reruns.