The Second Wish
After thinking it over for a few minutes, you decide you want to return to your ‘area,’ which you assume somehow means the city you came from. But then, you do feel for the genie - the way he speaks makes it seem like he’s trapped in this location, and you kind of wish for him to come along with you.
‘Tell me something, genie,’ you say. ‘Am I able to use my second wish to allow you to come with me?’
The genie is, again, quite surprised at this. “I… believe so, yes. But, Master, surely you wouldn’t want me to come along. I am not a human - I am an interloper, a creature with a vastly different sense of morality compared to you and those you live around. I don’t know why you’d want me with you.”
You would shrug if you could. ‘I know you may not be this genuinely benevolent being, genie, but, you’ve been very fair to me so far. You didn’t curse me with any big twists and turns, and you actually gave me some advice. So, I would be fine with you tagging along. Plus, it’s better than being stuck here until I return for those other two wishes, isn’t it?’
The genie is silent, thoughtful, and after a moment, he sighs. “You make a good point, Master. A point I never thought I would hear from a human - but, I respect it. Yes, if this is your second wish, then…” He pauses. “You must word it correctly, however. I still have the rules I must follow as a djinn, you know.”
You ponder this. That’s right. The genie said the only wishes he grants must be transformative in nature. But as you think this over, you note that, well, there are ways to get around that. And since the wish would be beneficial to him more so than yourself, perhaps that might be enough to avoid any sort of tricks or loopholes - you feel he might stick to that, after all.
You choose the words, and this time, you iron out a good phrasing internally.
‘Genie, I wish for you to become my personal, genuinely helpful guide for anything I struggle with or need help with, and with you possessing the ability to come with me wherever I go, but also the freedom to go wherever you want unless I specifically ask you to stay with me, at which point you will resume being that guide until I relieve you of your duty.’
The genie falls quiet for a moment. Then, he gives a jovial laugh. “My, Master, you are very fast on the uptake when it comes to phrasing. Ensuring I am free enough to go where I please, but also specifying ‘genuinely helpful’ for the guide portion. In other words, you give me the favor of being able to leave you, with the caveat being you can summon me back should you need me.”
You say nothing, and instead wait, and listen.
The genie floats over to hover in front of you. He has his arms crossed, and is still the small size he has been since you first took flight. He smiles at you.
“You are showing a selfless nature by gifting me freedom,” the genie says. “You still have me as your genie for a third wish, and, given the wording, you seem to wish me to be your personal guide even after that. I do not know if I will remain, to be quite honest. But, I do like you, Master. I appreciate the consideration you’re giving me - a vast amount more than I’m used to.”
His hands begin to glow, and he again shoots you with bolts of energy. You feel the same warmth, though this is briefer.
“Your wish is granted, Master,” the genie says. “I will sincerely guide you to the best of my ability when you ask me to. Though I could spin things in a way to better benefit myself, I will instead simply invoke a loophole into your phrasing: the nature of that which you might ‘struggle with or need help with’ must be severe enough to require my assistance. I will not guide you for a mundane action, or a simple decision, Master, only one where you genuinely need me.”
You can’t really see a reason to argue with that logic, mostly because, well, you don’t exactly know that you’d need a genie’s help for anything normal anyways. The only thing you have to wonder, though…
‘How exactly do I… go back?’ you ask.
The genie smiles. “Simply fly back to the shop where you found me. Find that, and it will be a matter of following the path you took. Do remember that you are timed with this, Master - you cannot revert back to human until two hours are up.”
You blink. ‘How will I know when the two hours are expired? And… erm. When I turn back, my clothes will be…?’
The genie pauses at this. He appears thoughtful. “Regarding your clothing, you will regain what you were wearing. That wasn’t specified, mind you, but, I am kind enough to ensure you don’t reform into a human naked.” He smiles and winks at this. “As for the time… that is something to consider, I suppose.”
You are a little… unsure about that one. You hadn’t thought about asking that when you made the first wish, nor did you consider it with the second. And with one wish left, you have no idea if you’ll need that wish for something meaningful or not…
The genie gives a small sigh. “But, as this is considerably severe enough to require my help…”
He gives you a look, and you know what he means. You’re relieved, internally, at this. Thus, you don’t need to worry, and now, you simply need to consider whether or not you wish to return to the shop, or if you want to keep flying in this area. Back where you were before, but, with answers to help ensure you have less to worry about. So. Now to decide what to do…
Written by Hollowpages on 15 April 2020