If you could win a lifetime supply of anything you choose, what would you choose?
I stared in awe at the effervescent being hovering over me. Their essence trailed into the silver vase in my hand, my stunned face reflected perfectly in the spot I had been trying to shine for that purpose. “Who dares summon the great Wendell the Generous from his centennial book club meeting?”
I cleared my throat to keep from laughing. Wendell? “Uh, sorry, I was just trying to check my hair. I didn’t realize the vase was… inhabited?”
Wendell’s ghostly form changed colors, from deep red to pale blue. “Oh. Well, I suppose that’s all right then. Sorry for shouting at you.” He seemed disappointed.
“No problem,” I answered, completely baffled by the whole situation. Wendell continued to hover, wringing his opaque hands like he had more he would have liked to say. I hate uncomfortable silence so I tried to make small talk. “So, are you, like, a genie, or something?”
“Oh!” He shifted to a pastel pinkish hue. “Yes! I am!” He flew in a tight circle above me and did a flip in the air. I applauded as he “landed,” stretching his arms out to his sides. “I can grant you a lifetime supply of one thing!”
I raised an eyebrow. “What’s the catch?”
“No catch!” he rushed to assure me. “Unless taking your whole supply at once counts as a catch. I suppose depending on the size of the thing, you might have trouble finding room for it. Oh, and you can’t just keep rubbing the vase for more wishes of course. That’s Genie Law 101.”
“Uh-huh,” I said. “Don’t genies usually just grant three wishes?”
Wendell turned a bright yellow as he guffawed. I couldn’t help but grin as he laughed. “Every genie has their own shtick,” he explained. “Robin was the one who granted three wishes but he also broke Genie Law when he kept leaving his silly lamp in obvious places for humans to find. It’s because of him you lot even think to wake us.”
Just how many more genies were there? I shook my head. I definitely didn’t need to know. “So then, if I don’t wish for anything, will you be forced to stay with me until I do?”
He deflated a little bit, turning grey. “The Contract is invoked when the vessel is awakened. I would be bound to you until you made a choice.”
“Well I dunno man, a lifetime supply of a thing is a lot. I can’t just blurt out any old thing without thinking of the consequences.” He nodded as though he’d been through this before. I found myself feeling sorry for him. “But I already activated the Contract or whatever without thinking so it doesn’t seem fair to hold you to it while I figure out what to do about it. I’d hate to be the reason you missed your book club meeting.”
His hue brightened back to yellow. “And they call me the Generous!” He did another joyous flip. “So? What can I grant you?”
I grinned. “Notebooks.”
“All the notebooks. I never want to buy another notebook.”
“As you wish!” He spun in place, his colors changing quickly and vibrantly. The colors blended until they flashed white. There was a loud BANG and I tentatively opened my eyes for a second time in that afternoon.
Towers of notebooks of all sizes and colors and patterns filled the room. Each one was filled with infinite possibilities. Each one was a potential story. My cheeks ached with my ever-widening grin. Just maybe, one of my stories would find its way back to Wendell’s Genie book club.
Notes: Not so much “winning” here, but I digress. Other ideas included Kraft blue box mac and cheese (“Wow, that’s not as much as I would have expected.” “Well you see, eating this much blue box will kill you young.”), generic money, riches, fame, etc. or any other food item, often with a similar ending to the Kraft plot in which it’s not as much as expected but with a dark humor title of “Lifetime Supply – Or How I Learned I Had a Terminal Illness.”
I had another darker idea where the genie or wizard or whatever came to the protag stranded on a desert island, where a lifetime supply of something would come in really handy, and they have an empty gun that they need to survive. The genie only grants them one bullet. The implications vary of course, but none are light or fun. I think my benevolent notebook-granting genie was much more fun.
That does it for this week! And it’s a holiday weekend here in the States so I am pumped for a 3 day weekend! Gonna be so productive. (Narrator: She was overly optimistic. She would very likely wind up playing video games all weekend.) Have a great one! See you Sunday with another list of prompts!