Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chapter 12: What Would You Wish For?

    "What is your wish, master?"

   That old lamp had been sitting on a shelf with the other treasures his mother had gathered from the sea for as long as Kai could remember, and apparently no one in the family had ever bothered to dust it off in all that time.

     "You're a genie, right?" Kai asks, "Were you aware of what was going on in the house all that time while your lamp was on the shelf? That must have been incredibly...frustrating."


  "It was more entertaining than the thousands of years where my lamp was sitting on the sea floor. I did rather wonder if any of you were ever going to summon me, however. And here, at last, you have. Now, master, what is your wish?"

     "You can just call me Kai," Kai says, "The whole 'master' thing is a bit much for me. So, you really grant wishes?"

     "Your wish is my command," the genie replies with a slight bow.

     "Wow. A real genie," Kai murmurs to himself. He's read a few stories about them, of course, being a fan of fantasy and fairy tales. And so he knows how tricky the business of wishing is. You need to know exactly what you want, and how to word it in a way that won't backfire on you horribly. Magically granted wishes are always completely literal, giving no more and no less than exactly what you've wished for. "Can I take some time to think about this?" Kai asks.

     "Of course master -- Kai," the genie responds, "I am bound to you for all eternity, until you make your wish."

     "I'll try to make it quick, then," Kai says, not wanting to keep the genie bound to him for longer than necessary. "What's your name?"

     "I am Bahir Nejem," the genie says, "I will await you in the lamp. Just rub it when you are ready to make your wish."

     Kai slept on the decision, but awoke with no clear idea of what to wish for. Wealth, health, happiness...he already had those, and his other goals in life, like professional success, would lose meaning if he didn't earn them through his own efforts. 

     "Please don't play with the hamster, Kai," Julian says, glancing up from the report he's writing for the Stark Center, "He's an experimental subject, not a pet."

     "But he's cute," Kai protests, even while putting the hamster, who he's secretly named Gibson, back in his cage. "Can I ask you a question, Dad?"

     Julian stops working to give his son his full attention. 

     "If you could make a wish, and it was guaranteed to come true, what would you wish for?" Kai asks.

     "There are no such guarantees, son," Julian says, "You have to work for what you want in life. Wishing won't make it happen."

     "I know that, Dad. But, hypothetically, if, say, a genie or fairy were to offer you one wish, what would it be."

     "As tempting as that might be, I'd steer clear of anything offered by genies, fairies or any supernatural types. Magic is a force best left alone."

     "Okay, Dad, thanks," Kai hugs his father warmly, not too disappointed with the non-answer he got. His father is a scientist after all, and Kai didn't expect this to go much differently.

     Joining his mother for lunch after her workout, Kai asks her the same question.

     Jillyan sighs wistfully. "There are so many things I'd like to say to my parents. And I know they'd love to meet you and Dylan. My Dad would be so happy, so proud. I guess that's the only thing I regret," she says, "I didn't get to say goodbye."

     His mother had become quite nostalgic since they'd moved to Cape Garner, reminiscing about her childhood and the family she'd left behind. Whenever Kai would ask direct questions about her memories, though, she'd get suddenly vague and dodgy about it. With enough prodding he deduced that her parents were criminals of some kind, and assumed that that was why she and his dad had moved to remote Isla Paradiso to start their own family. But that was all he'd been able to put together; whoever her parents were, they left no trace, no records he could find in any searches.

     "Would you wish to see them again?" he asks her, "To go back home?"

     Jillyan shakes her head, "No, you can't change the past. This is home now. You guys were born here, and it's been a great life. I wouldn't want to do anything that would mess with that."

    Kai leaves his mother with no better ideas than what he got from his father.

    The weather is foul and rainy, and Grizzly's is empty save for the bored bartender when Kai meets up with Alex there.

     After a game of pool and a couple of drinks, the couple head back to Kai's place.

     "If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?" Kai asks him. The only unfulfilled wish Kai had was to have Alex by his side all the time. But there were too many ways for a wish like that backfire, like having Alex with him all the time, but one or both of them miserable, or sick and in need of constant care. He could spend days trying to word the wish, but if he failed to see one possibility, failed to ward off one bad, the risk was too high, and Kai would not put his relationship on the line like that.


     "Is this a serious question?" Alex asks him, "Or are we playing a game?"

     "Serious," Kai says, "What would you wish for? It can be anything, anything at all. And it's guaranteed to come true."

     Alex sits quietly, looking at him, pondering. "I'd wish that you were happy. With me, as I am," he finally responds.

     Kai mouth gapes open in shock, "But, I am happy, Alex! I love you. More than anything," he protests.

     "What would you wish for then? To change me, so that I wouldn't be such a loner?" Alex asks, his tone more hurt than accusatory, "I know I disappoint you. And I wish I didn't."

     "Baby, you don't disappoint me," Kai says, getting on his knees to kiss  Alex, "I'm sorry I've made you think that. I wouldn't change what we have for anything. And I would never, ever change anything about you."

     The next day, Kai summons Bahir, ready to release the genie from his obligation.

     "I don't want to wish for anything," Kai declares confidently. "You're free. I release you."

     "That's it?" Bahir asks, "You don't want wealth, or power?"

     "I have wealth. And with power comes great responsibility, which I definitely don't want. I've got everything I want, so, you're free."

     "It doesn't work like that. You have to use your wish."

     "Okay, then, I wish for you to be released from service and to be free to do as you please."

     Bahir rises from the ground, a glowing vapor forming around his ankles, and shining from his eyes and mouth as he intones a chant in his language.

     "Oh, wow, cool," Kai breathes as the magical sparkles twine around his wrists. "So, it's done? You're free?"

     "Unfortunately, no," Bahir answers, "There is still the matter of the lamp. You must destroy it."

The first two steps for destroying the lamp include chilling it in the refrigerator and then heating it in the oven.

     And then the third and final step is bringing it into the town's mausoleum.

     It's a harrowing experience, fraught with danger, and Kai makes a mental note to suggest a mausoleum dungeon to Junior for the game they're working on.

     Once he's back in the safety of his game room at home, Kai summons Bahir for what he hopes will be the final time.

     The mystical chains that bound the genie break apart as he materializes.

     After long centuries imprisoned in the lamp, forced into the service of anyone who summoned him, Bahir is finally free.


  1. Holy moly! Kai is going to become Spiderman! :) (I can't help it - I've had to watch Spiderman way too many times. I couldn't read "with power comes great responsibility" without picturing the genie turning into Spiderman!)

    I totally thought Kai was going to wish for a baby! He went through a LOT to free the genie! Way to go, Kai!

    Loved it!

    1. Ha ha. I'm a big comic book nerd and I frequently abuse the great power/great responsibility line. And with Kai being a big nerd himself, I thought it would be appropriate for him.
      It's funny, because Kai did roll a wish to wish for a large family from the genie. I think that just gives them the fertlity treatment reward thing, but I honestly don't know.
      I've already got plans for the future babies, though, and it won't be from wishing. =)

  2. I'm really glad Kai was smart enough not to go the route that forced Alex to be near him. I can see a lot of people, if ever having the opportunity, to just rush into wishes and it backfiring horrendously...

    I'm assuming Bahir is the "help"? I'm hoping that all those years of solitude have created a very dry witted character, who takes things a little too literally (cause, you know, wish loopholes need exploiting).

    Either that or he's super sassy.

    1. I think it was a good learning experience for Kai, too. Maybe he still would like more from Alex, but he's realized how goodhe does have things even if it's not 100% perfect.

      Bahir is the help. He has the 'Diva' trait, so I'm leaning toward super sassy. I'm still getting to know him though, but I'm hoping he'll be fun to have around.

  3. Spider-Kai, spider Kai....Just had to throw that tune out there. He is such a nerd it's awesome. Great story.

  4. Spider-Kai, spider Kai....Just had to throw that tune out there. He is such a nerd it's awesome. Great story.

    1. Thanks, Melissa!
      Being kind of a nerd myself, I love having nerds like Kai to play with.

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  6. Awesome story! You're just a Sims Scheherazade, aren't you ;)

    1. Ha ha, thanks.
      I'm a little worrued now though, since Scheherazade was under threat of death if she didn't tell a good enough story every night. No more hiatus for me...

  7. A genie as the help---how fun! I can't wait to see what you have planned for him! He's pretty cute too.

    Kai seems to be pretty level headed, since he didn't wish for the obvious things (which always backfire--have you ever seen Bedazzled? Love that movie, lol) and instead decided to release Bahir from his lamp. I loved the scenes where he went to his parents for help, there is so much they are saying that he doesn't quite understand, lol =)

    1. I really have nothing planned for him, I'm just rolling with it. I did have in mind that I was going to have my heir get a genie as the help when I first rolled it, though. Because I really wanted to use the genie lamps Jill was finding while diving.

      I've never seen Bedazzled, but genie wishes (and fairy wishes and boons from the gods.other supernatural types) have a tendency to backfire in stories. Kai has certainly read enough stories to know that too.
      I enjoyed having him ask his parents and them talking about stuff that he wouldn't know about their pasts.

  8. I really expected Kai to wish for a baby, but maybe that will come later. Good for Kai being smart about it and not just jumping on the first thing he thought of.