Genie in a Wine Bottle

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Chapter 4

I stared at it, the more I stared at it, the smaller it got, “Pizza.“I said testing the word on my lips I was pretty sure I saw this word littered here and there. In Joe’s bin a lot, I leaned in sniffing it.

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Michael pulled over on the drive home picking up pizza saying that he didn’t have time to go shopping today and had work. “It smells good.”

Michael looked up, “Hmm?” He had on thick reading glasses that looked comical on him, they suited him but they still looked funny, “What?”

“Nothing” I tilted my head, so I was meant to eat this? Like now or later? I leaned in picking up a triangle, it was soft and warm against my hand, the base, and it was sinking from the wait of everything on top, I quickly popped it into my mouth before it pan squealing.

Michael look up, “Hawt!” I screamed spitting it back out.

“You don’t put the whole slice in at once!” I started coughing as he pushed his laptop and papers aside rushing to the kitchen. It was warmer than I thought and my eyes teared up, “It looked small.” But it wasn’t.

He passed me a glass of water and I gulped it letting the cold water soothe my burned mouth. I glared at it, I don’t think I even want to eat it.

I looked up as I waved my hand in front of my mouth soothing it, “What?” I asked seeing his face look at me.

“Nothing.” He said shaking his head, a little smile on his face that confused me as he sat back down grabbing his things, “So do you need help?” I asked.

“Not yet.”

“Did you think of another wish?” I asked.

“Not yet.” he sounded annoyed.

I frowned stretching my legs out, placing the lid back on the pizza and pushing it aside, I stretched on the floor laying on my back and staring at the ceiling, which I used to do so often in the bottle, “So what do you humans do to kill time.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I stare at the ceiling of my wine bottle and that entertains me, surely you must be bored in your life.”

“Why are you in a wine bottle, shouldn’t you be in a, I dunno,” I looked at him as he shrugged, “A lamp or something.”

“Well, I am meant to but-,” I stopped, I can’t tell him, “A story for another day.”

He stared at me, for a long period than one does and then shrugged going back to his laptop and I went back to staring at the ceiling.

“Can you do anything?”

“What.” I sat up.

“Like, can you grant anything?” he closed the lid of his laptop leaning forward, rubbing his hands together before linking them.

“No. There are some things even I cannot change.”

“Like what?” his eyes sparkled, and in that moment he looked so beautiful that that curiosity imprinted on his face and I smiled, humans were strange creatures. Their smiles and happiness was so infectious, but so was the bad in the world.

“I cannot heal an illness, I cannot bring back the dead and I cannot kill a person directly, I cannot grant you anything that is said to be higher than the gods, there are a few more rules but these are the main ones people always try and make me grant. I cannot.”

“You can’t bring back the dead?”

I shook my head, and I saw a faint simmer of sadness in his eyes, he sighed leaning back against the couch, stretched his legs and crossing them at the ankle, a hint of skin visible around his ankles. “That’s a shame.”

I wonder who he wanted to bring back? But I never questioned him, I knew I couldn’t do that and there was no point asking him and making him sad. “I can do other things.” I said.

He smiled, “I bet.” He stared at the ceiling, “did you just sleep between what do you call it, people asking wishes?”

“Before masters?” I asked, “Yes, sleep, sometimes I was awake and asleep with my eyes open watching the world go past. I didn’t mind, you don’t really know time in there. But I did this time, everything hurt from being still for so long. And for the first time I felt boredom.”

I frowned, I knew why, because it wasn’t my lamp. I looked at the human, would he help me? Find my lamp? But humans were selfish, they only wanted what they had and didn’t want to help others, i was possessive of my lamp. Genies always were.

Till I found my lamp I could never have my full peace of freedom, I can ever be released, and that thought made me sad.

I miss my lamp.

“Is it true that you can trap your masters in the lamp and take over?”

I nodded, “Some do, some don’t. There are different type of genies, some good, some bad. It depends who you get, you lucked out master.”

He chuckled, a pleasant sound I haven’t heard before, “Sure.” he grabbed his laptop and silence one again returned as he went back to work. I would know all about the different types of genies. I’ve been around a long time.

It was another long time before he spoke again, “We should go to sleep, I have to wake up early tomorrow.”

I nodded as he got up, placing his things away, “I have a guest room if you want.”

“I’m fine in my bottle,”

“That cannot be comfortable, I’ll show you the room.” he picked up the box of pizza and I watched him walk to the fridge placing it inside. “Come.”

I hesitated before I got up, my bottle was really comfortable, it was spacious. I followed him down a dimly lit corridor before he opened a door, “Here. My rooms across if you need anything let me know.”

I looked inside the vast empty room, there was one bed in the middle with a small cabinet beside it and that was it.

“What about my bottle, where is it?”

“It’s in a safe place. Sleep.”

Before I could say anything else he closed the door and I looked at the bed, walking closer towards it and pressing a hand against the mattress. I winced, it wasn’t soft at all.

I sat down, now it was too soft.

I lay down testing it out, hmm, it was weird. I rolled over, why was it so big. Or was it not big enough, what if I fell off.

I sat right back up.

I needed my bottle.

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