Genies don't work at all like you'd think.
When I first knocked over the antique bottle in my mother's junk shop, I figured it'd be just another five bucks deducted from my pay. This wasn't the first time, you know?
The smoky orange glass splintered across the wooden floor boards as the musty old cork spun in place. When I returned with a broom, I noticed a yellowed slip of paper had at some point appeared amid the wreckage.
"Thank you for releasing me! As a reward, I leave you with three wishes. Simply speak your wish out loud, or write it out. I wish you all the wealth and happiness you deserve!"
What an odd conversation piece, right?
Still, I kept the paper while I disposed of the glass. If nothing else, I figured it might be worth something if it was actually something old. After placing the broom back in its closet, I returned to the dusty and outdated cash register.
"Damned thing," I growled, slapping the machine hard against its cold metal side, "I wish it would work the way I want!"
It opened with a bell chime. The tray was full of cash. More than I had put in there, and I could immediately see that. In my mind, I could hear a booming voice mutter the word, "DONE."
I took the cash out - all of it - and laid it out on the counter to see how much had appeared. Without so much as a second thought, I slammed the tray closed again.
The same bell chime sounded as the tray re-opened... once again full of money.
I laughed, cheered, and let out a few profanities - but in a good way. After a moment, I turned the "CLOSED" sign out on the front door and locked myself in.
I emptied that tray nearly a hundred times, growing the pile of cash larger and larger. I threw it in the air, sat on the swelling stack, and just for the Hell of it I burned a hundred dollar bull simply to see how it smelled!
The wish had worked. I was rich.
Then, an awful thought hit me. I wasn't rich at all - my parents were. This was their shop, their register... I was THEIR son. Anything of mine was automatically theirs anyway.
That's how I ended up slaving away in the shop, by the way. "You're MY son, and you'll do what I say!"
But hey, I had two wishes left! I could turn the endless string of Grannies who came to the shop into a horde of bikini-clad super-sluts. I could make myself President of the United States, and legalize a few... things... for my own benefit.
I mulled over my problem for a while.
I'd had enough arguments with the family, enough scuffles with the old man, to kill off all but the slightest glimmer of hope for their well-being. I could have wished them dead, and I'd suffer only the slightest pang of guilt.
Buying a small island, I thought, would put to rest that nagging feeling.
"An island!" I snapped my fingers as a thought occurred to me, "I don't need to kill them. I just need to... postpone them... until I turn eighteen."
They were already out on the boat. Dad's boat. I could easily send them a little off-course, making them a bit late to come and check up on how the store was doing.
"I wish..." my eyes moved to a poster of Hawaii on the wall, "I wish my parents were lost at sea, safe and sound, until my eighteenth birthday!"
I heard a rush of water. It was a phantom sound that came from nowhere I could see. In my mind, the same voice once again muttered, "DONE". I knew that my wish had begun to take effect. Now I was wealthy, on my own, and I hadn't really done anything WRONG to get what I wanted.
However, I only had one of my "gifts" left. What would I ask for? A thousand wishes? Would that work, or is that cheating? Maybe I should have immortality... although that could end horrifically if the Earth itself ended some day. I'd just be a very rich teen floating in airless space. Forever.
No, I knew I had to think this over and pick the perfect thing for my last one.
Now here I am, writing this. I want you to help me out. We can brainstorm a bit and maybe you can help me figure out what I want. It has to be the ULTIMATE thing, something that can't backfire on me.
Oh, and don't get too bent out of shape about my parents. They'll be okay, because I wished it - they'll just get a little scared and bored, but honestly they probably deserve it. Douche bags.
Man, they're probably arguing about whose fault it is right now! Mom's threatening divorce, and Dad's saying, "Go ahead then, storm right off the boat!"
I wish I was a fly on the wall for that!