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Ms. Jini


This was not how I wanted to spend my day.

Zach owes me big time for this. We were at the magic shop looking around for the perfect “trick”.

“Zachy! Can I get this hat? Please?” Lizzie squealed as she waved the piece of junk around.

It was a regular ‘magicians’ hat. There was nothing special about it. It looked like something you would find at a lost and found.

“Lizzie, I can get you that at the dollar store. Find something else.” Zach whined. Zach declared that if he was spending his money on this, the item had to be good. I couldn’t argue with him on that. Most of this crap is what you could find at a dollar store or a dump.

“No Zachy! The lady told me it has magical powers once I place it on my head!” Lizzie drawled exasperatedly.

All three of us looked at the cashier woman. She gave us a deer-caught-in-headlights-look and a sheepish smile. Guess she was looking for an easy sale.

Zach glared at her and turned back to Lizzie.

“Put it back. I am not buying it.” Zach ordered.

Lizzie’s smile melted into a glare.

“And why not?” Lizzie snapped.

“Because it’s ridiculous. We can find that at the dollar store!” Zach snapped back.

After arguing for five minutes, Lizzie went to look for something else. But not without throwing the hat at Zach’s face. I laughed at Zach’s scowl. Sometimes Lizzie can be a feisty one.

Twenty minutes later, I was done standing around the shop. I needed to move around.

“Dude, this is taking forever. I’m going to walk around the shopping center. This is taking too long.” I complained to Zach. Before he could protest, I walked out the door.

I wandered around the shopping center. This was SO boring. After walking to the end the shops, I spotted a sign out of the corner of my eye.

Mystic Charms and Signs

I raised my eyebrow but a sense of curiosity raises through. I never saw that sign before. Did this store just open? Maybe it will help Lizzie and we can leave sooner. I made my way to the entrance. As I opened the door, a bell rang, signaling a customer entered- which was me.

As I get inside the store, I looked at my surroundings with wide eyes. It looked almost like an indoor garden. There were plants and herbs hanging from the ceiling, books were scattered all over the place. Bottles filled with strange liquids were organized on shelves. It was pretty dusty in here too. Isn’t this place supposed to be new?

Maybe that’s why I never noticed this deadbeat store.

“Hello?” I called. No one was here. Shrugging, I looked around. Nothing seemed that fascinating in here. It all looked like random junk from a garage sale.

“Find anything you like?” I jumped at the voice and nearly knocked a shelf over. I put a hand over my racing heart. Did they plan to give me a heart attack? I turned to the intruder.

In front of me was an old lady. She reminded me of Betty White. She wore a conservative flower dress reaching all the way to the floor, her gray hair in a nice ponytail, and a smile on her barely wrinkled face. If you took one look at her, you would’ve thought she would be somewhere nicer like a classy golf club. Not this...place.

“Sorry dear, I’m Ms. Jini. It’s fascinating to see you here in my shop. It has been years since anyone has stepped foot inside. Only the needed come to this place, and I guess fate has called you here. How may I help you today?” Ms. Jini asked sweetly.

Only the needed what? Well, I guess I need help. Zach was my ride home. I told her of my predicament.

“I’m looking for something to give a little girl. She wants antique magic tricks. Do you have anything like that?” I asked politely.

Ms. Jini examined me and looked straight into my eyes. It was like she’s searching for my soul. I squirmed uncomfortably. It was unnerving. What in the world was she doing?

“So sad and so confused. I’m sorry child,” she said sadly. “You need to understand the real meaning of life and joy, my boy. To do that, your life needs a little something. I think I may have what you need.”

What the hell? I didn’t ask for a fortune cookie. I brushed off her little speech. She’s old, what is she going to do? She doesn’t know anything.

Ms. Jini wobbled to the back of the shop. I heard a bunch of rummaging until she came back with an old designed box.

“I just received this a few months ago. I think this will solve all of your problems, Nathaniel.” Ms. Jini said with a smile.

I stared at her in shock and a bit of fear. I never told her my name.

Ms. Jini laughed at me.

“Don’t fluster yourself, you just look like a Nathaniel. And I guess it means I was correct.” She smiled with a twinkle in her eye.

I relaxed somewhat. It felt like she was just teasing me now.

She gave me the box.

“Now, don’t open it until you’re ready. Now off you go. Your friends are waiting for you outside.”

I reluctantly take the box. I guess this is what I’ll give to Lizzie?

I thanked the lady and asked how much. She told me it was on the house.


I walked out of the store with a weird feeling. Ms. Jini gave me the chills.

I met up with Lizzie and Zach, who are at the front of the magic store.

“Find anything?” I asked.

“Yes! I found a hoop thingy!” Lizzie squealed showing off two rings attached together.

I looked at Zach and he just shrugged.

“What do you have there, Nate?” Zach asked, pointing at the box.

I held the box tighter. For some reason, I didn’t want to tell them about the box. I may not know what’s inside, but I don’t want to reveal it to them. Like it’s too precious.

Screw giving this to Lizzie.

“Just some lady gave this to me. It’s nothing man” I said nonchalantly.

We all walked to Zach’s truck and we get home. Once we park in his driveway, I said goodbye and walked to my house.

I ran to my bedroom and locked the door.

I placed the box on my bed and stared at it.

What am I supposed to do now? Ms. Jini told me to open it when I was ‘ready’. What did that mean? She spoke in too many riddles. Can’t I just open it now?

Wait a second? Am I actually considering her words? An old lady at a worn down store gave me a box for free. Does that not sound suspicious? What could the hell be in here?

I reached for the box, but I hear my mum call me. I looked at it one more time before I leave the room.


“Want some tea, Louis? I have green tea!” I offered and held out the kettle.

Louis flapped his wings excitedly. I giggled and poured some into a bowl. I placed it on the floor and he eagerly laps it up with his tongue.

I get some for myself in a cup and placed it on the table. I went to pick it up until I saw the tea ripple. The cup started shaking along with everything else in the lamp. I began to worry until I sensed footsteps coming nearby.

Outside of the lamp.

I gasped.

Someone was near the lamp!

I jumped up and down. We’re getting out soon! I looked at Louis excitedly.

“It’s almost time! Hold on to something, Louis. The lamp is about to move soon.”

I felt someone pick us up and move us. The tea spilled all over the place, but I ignored it. I felt the lamp placed in another person’s hands. I heard muffles of a conversation, but couldn’t comprehend what they were saying.

After a few bumps and swinging around, I felt nauseous. Furniture began to move or drop from the harsh movement and I dodged a wardrobe that was about to slam into me. I signed in relief and held my bedposts tightly. I hoped we stopped moving soon.

Finally, about thirty minutes later, the lamp was placed down on a still surface. I was relieved.

I checked on Louis and spotted him wet with his bowl on his head. I giggled.

He glared at me and steam started to come out of his nostrils, showing me he wasn’t amused at all.

“I’m sorry about laughing. But Louis- it’s happening! I hope our new master is kind to us.” I said dreamily.

I cleaned up the mess with a snap of my fingers. Everything in my lamp moved to be settled in the right place.

Louis was content again, being dry again. He ran to my bed to take a short nap before we had to make an appearance.

I looked at the spout entrance of the lamp. There was no light showing through the lamp, meaning it’s either nighttime or we were in some sort of confinement.

I sighed, rubbing my hands together.

I was ready.

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