(Wet) Wild Hearts II
Obviously, the notion of keeping what abilities you’ve been giving is a strong one. You don’t want to lose either, since, they are quite useful - and while Akam has given you no reason to question him, there is still that little voice in the back of your head that makes you pause to think it over.
And yet, you also have to admit that you are curious what sort of ability you could gain in return - and as you stand there, still dripping wet, you end up choosing. Your rumbling stomach makes it quicker to go ahead with it, too.
‘Okay, Akam,’ you say, and you nod. ‘I would rather keep the ability to see time if I had to pick between the two.’ You glance at the fish, then back at Akam. ‘I trust you. I will give back the ability to see auras, Akam, in exchange for whatever it is you’re offering.’
Akam smiles and nods to this. “Very well, Master. One moment, please.”
He reaches a hand toward you and covers your eyes with that hand - there’s a bright flash, and your vision blurs. After a few seconds, your vision returns, and Akam’s hand is back at his side.
“Now then, you have given your ability to see time,” Akam says. He nods as he says this. “In exchange, I shall gift you a new boon. Again, one moment.”
Once more, he reaches his hand out toward you, and after another flash, his hand is gone. You blink and glance around - nothing seems out of the ordinary, and you don’t ‘feel’ anything new. You wonder what sort of gift the genie has given you, and, more importantly, you wonder how it will help you with the whole ‘eating a raw fish’ part.
‘So, uh.’ You blink once more and give the genie an odd look. ‘What did you do?’
Akam chortles. “The ability I’ve granted you is not a massive one, nor is it remarkably all that impressive. However,” he gestures to the dead fish lying on the ground before you, “look at this morsel and envision something you enjoy eating, Master. It can be any type of food. Just think of an edible substance you like, and, you’ll see.”
You find yourself a bit confused by the remark, but, you end up doing as he says.
You turn your gaze onto the fish and envision it not as a fish, but as something else - you aren’t a super picky person by nature (or, you try not to be, that is), yet the thought of food has you thinking of diners and restaurants and grills…
‘I could go for a cheeseburger,’ you think to yourself.
In a flash, the fish on the ground morphs its shape… into an actual cheeseburger! The burger is literally sitting there, steam wafting off the patty - it’s on a bun, with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup: the whole shebang.
‘What… in the world…’
Akam chortles again, as if he is trying to hold in his laughter. “A good choice!”
You blink a few times and approach the apparent cheeseburger that has manifested out of thin air. You sniff it. The sweet, sizzling smell fills your nose, and you smell all the components. The cheese, the sesame seed bun, the veggies, the ketchup, the meat itself. Your mouth waters, and without even thinking about it, you open your jaws and snatch the burger up.
As it enters your mouth, you taste only burger. It’s delicious!
It fills your gullet, and as you chew it down, bits trickle down your throat, filling your throat with the flavors. There is no fish taste, no fish flavor. No sign that this thing was a fish moments ago at all, let alone any sort of wetness or salt from the lake.
When you finish, you swallow what remains. The flavors linger on your tongue.
You lick your lips. Your stomach feels MUCH better now that you’ve eaten a literal hamburger. Yet now, as you stand there, you feel confusion once more. You turn to eye Akam, and find the genie laughing silently to himself.
“Oho, Master,” the genie says. He’s beaming. “Forgive my bout of mirth, but, I can’t help myself.” He snickers and, after a moment longer, he sobers up and clears his throat. The genie floats to land in front of you now, that smile still wide and bright. “Seeing you gobble that cheeseburger in one bite was quite frankly a sight to behold! Especially after you were so hesitant and tentative with devouring a live fish. But, I digress. How did it taste?”
‘It… it tasted fantastic,’ you reply. You’re still a little gobsmacked. ‘I don’t get it, though. Did… did I turn the fish INTO a cheeseburger? Or was that a clever illusion or something?’
Akam strokes his chin in thought. “A little of both, I would say. Though, I suppose if I were to be honest, it was more the former than the latter.”
He winks. You continue to gawk.
“The gift I have given you is the ability to transform items with your will,” Akam says after another pause of silence. “Meaning, Master, you did indeed transform the fish into another thing entirely. However!” He holds up a finger. “Be advised that with this ability, there are rules, similar to the rules of your transformation.”
You are still a little gobsmacked, but, as your brain processes all this, you find yourself feeling both excited and curious. ‘What rules might those be?’
“First and foremost, it does not work on people,” Akam says. “Nor will it work on vehicles, or certain breeds of creature. You can use this boon on inanimate objects just fine, and, you can also use it on deceased creatures. Smaller animals are also a possibility.” He nods along to this. “And second, you can only use it three times per hour. No more.”
‘I see,’ you remark. ‘So I’ve used it once, and I can use it two more times in the same hour?’
“The hour time limit will begin when you use it a third time,” Akam replies, a little glimmer in his eyes. “That way, you can’t ‘cheat,’ as it were.”
‘Okay,’ you reply. ‘That’s fair, I suppose. And really, really neat. Thank you.’
Akam nods. “My pleasure, Master.”
The feeling of a full burger has alleviated your hunger considerably. You then turn your attention back to the lake, and after a couple minutes of relative silence, there’s a mighty splash. Ali comes trotting out, soaking and with the remains of a half-eaten fish in her teeth. She stops in front of you and shakes the water off. She’s grinning wide and bright.
‘Hot damn,’ Ali says. ‘That… was entertaining.’
‘Did you actually manage to catch something?’ you ask, feeling quite amused.
‘Yup,’ Ali replies. She grins even bigger. ‘Caught and devoured three fish in the lake. Took me a bit, but--’ She belches before she can finish, and a chunk of fish plops onto the ground. Ali blinks, snorts, and shakes it off. ‘They were mighty filling.’ Then, she eyes you. ‘Did you get anything?’
‘Yes,’ you say. You decide not to spill the beans on your newfound ability… yet.
‘Good, good,’ Ali says. ‘Well then. Now we rest, and…’
She pauses suddenly and her nose wrinkles. She sniffs the air a few times.
‘What is it?’ you ask.
‘Something smells funny,’ Ali says. She turns her head to the side. ‘And no, I don’t mean a stinky smell like us or like the fish. I mean… something else. It’s close by.’
She frowns and takes a few steps, and she gazes across the lake.
‘It’s coming from over there,’ Ali says. She turns back to you. ‘Do you wanna investigate it?’
You frown and breathe in deep - you can smell the lake, the ground, the trees and the grass, and both you and Ali, smelling like wet dog. Yet there IS another scent that doesn’t seem to be apart of that, and it catches your interest.
Shall you investigate?
Written by Hollowpages on 18 November 2020