Day 27 – Done by David Green

Done (from G is for Genies)

David Green

“Put some goddamn life into it. Feels like I’m fucking a corpse!”

Evan buried his head beneath his pillow and pulled the covers high. No matter how much he cowered and tried to block out the grunts and slaps, the wafer-thin bedroom walls meant he couldn’t hide from the sounds of his mother having sex with her boyfriend, Dale.

Evan used to hate him. Now it went beyond that. Dale treated them all like shit; he ate their food and watched TV all day in between hurling abuse at Evan’s mom and drinking beer. Then he fucks her, Evan thought, punching his mattress. He wanted nothing more than to sink his fist into Dale’s pig-like nose but knew that would be his last act. Evan stood up to Dale once before, and a trip to the emergency room with two broken ribs and a fractured jaw followed.

Evan’s mom watched Dale beat on him. Tears streaming down her face, hands covering her mouth as she did nothing to stop him.

I’m as much a fucking coward as she is, Evan thought, letting out a sob as the wall behind vibrated as his mom’s bed ploughed into it. And Dale knows it.

***

“Heard you moaning last night, you little fucking pervert,” Dale said. His mouth twisted into a grin as he stared over the rim of his steaming mug of coffee. “Listening to how a real man fucks? Your old man couldn’t screw Shelly like I can.”

Evan glanced at his mom. She worked in a local steel factory and had already dressed for work. She met his eyes, cheeks red, and shook her head. Evan didn’t know how to feel about her anymore. Pregnant at sixteen, she’d worked non-stop since Evan’s dad died just after he’d turned nine. For the last ten years, she’d done everything she could to put food on the table and give him things he needed. Evan tried to repay the favour; he decided against the cost of college and got a job collecting glasses at the Truck Pit, Renville’s local bar. Evan’s mom would pick him up after the night shifts, and that’s where she met Dale.

It’d been three years of hell.

Evan looked at the tired bags under his mom’s eyes and felt pity for her. She looked older than she should. He knew what she’d done for him, but everything changed after Dale arrived, and he hated her for keeping him around, as much as he loathed himself for getting trampled over every day.

“A real man?” Evan said, dropping into the seat opposite Dale at the kitchen table, his anger spurring him on. “Do corpses enjoy getting fucked by real men? Maybe if you were a ‘real man’, Mom would like it.”

A mug shattered on the floor, coffee flooding between the broken pieces. Evan looked at his mom, who stared back, eyes wide.

“What the fuck did you say, you dumb shit?” Dale growled. He sat still. Alarm bells rang in Evan’s head, but he ignored them.

“You heard,” he replied, tilting his head back in defiance.

Evan screamed as scalding liquid splashed over his face. He clawed it from his eyes as he heard a chair clatter to the floor. Squinting, he saw Dale standing above him, his fat fist rushing to meet Evan’s face.

His vision turned white. Evan clattered to the floor, his head bouncing off the kitchen tiles. He tasted the metallic tang of blood in his mouth before pain exploded in his stomach. Evan curled into a ball as Dale kicked him again.

“I’ll learn ya. You’ll speak to me with respect,” Dale spat. “Shelly shoulda fucked you outta here years ago, you fucking idiot dropout.”

Evan absorbed another blow as he sobbed on the floor.

“Mom, please,” he whimpered. Evan watched her flee through his tear-filled eyes as Dale set about his lesson.

***

Evan staggered into his bedroom. His stomach and ribs ached, blood gushed from his nose. He collapsed on his bed, body shaking as he wept. Evan wanted to beat at his mattress but couldn’t muster the strength.

“Why me?” he bit out between sobs. Evan rolled onto his back, tilting his head back to keep the blood in. Checking his ribs, he took in a deep, ragged breath. It hurt a little, but he didn’t think he’d broken anything. Evan tested the bridge of his nose with care, wincing as he did. Just bruises, he thought as he got his crying under control. Pushing himself up on his elbows, he caught his reflection in the fractured mirror on his wall. Evan gazed into it, recalling the time it broke. Dale had smashed Evan’s face into it when he wouldn’t give him twenty dollars for smokes and beers. Dale left the boy bleeding on the floor before taking the money.

Money, Evan thought, looking at his bloody face. His plain white T-shirt had turned red. He stripped it off and held it against the flow of crimson from his nose. If I had money, I could leave. Take mom away from that fucking asshole. Might as well wish to live forever while I’m at it.

Evan reached under his mattress with his free hand. The wage he made at the Truck Pit went to his mother to pay for bills and Dale’s needs. He kept the tips for himself.

“Two hundred dollars,” he muttered, counting the notes. “Not enough for anything except a bus ticket.”

Sighing, he stuffed the money back where it came from. He heard a bedroom door slam and winced.

“Come on, Shelly. A quick ride before work. My blood’s runnin’ somethin’ fierce, girl,” Dale shouted with a laugh.

Evan shot to his feet, throwing on another T-shirt and heading for the door. He didn’t know where he’d go but he didn’t want to hear Dale groaning and grunting over his mom ever again.

***

The heavy morning air did nothing to help Evan’s mood. He stalked the quiet suburban streets with nowhere to go; a loner’s life meant he had no friends to call on, and his shift at work didn’t start for hours. Evan pulled his cell from his pocket, checking to see if his mom had sent him a text or called after his beating. He resisted the urge to call her.

“Hey freak!” A voice echoed from across the sidewalk. Evan stopped in his tracks. He didn’t have friends, but he had enemies left over from High School. Marty Peters and his cronies leered at him. “Where’s that whore of a mother of yours?”

Evan turned and ran, figuring one beating to be plenty for any day. He didn’t care where he headed, he just wanted to put as much distance between him, Marty, Dale and every other person in Renville as he could. Sweat beaded on his neck, but he kept going. His lungs burnt but still he ran, head down, oblivious of his surroundings. At first, he’d heard cat-whistles and yells from Marty Peters, but they soon faded and Evan lost himself in the rhythm of his feet slapping against concrete.

He stumbled as a branch smacked him in the face. Breathing hard, Evan stopped and looked around. His town bordered on a forest, vast and wild, one that he visited at times, but only exploring places he knew as he feared losing himself there. Not that anyone would give two shits if I went native, he thought, hands on knees as he glanced around. He didn’t recognise a leaf.

“Fuck,” he muttered, looking behind him. Evan had no idea where he’d entered the woods, or for how long he’d ran. “Jesus H Christ. I’m a fucking idiot.”

He pulled out his cell, grimacing when he noticed the lack of reception bars. A prevalent silence dominated the trees, and Evan’s head felt fuzzy; his memories and thoughts came slow, as if he walked in a dream. He scanned the floor for tracks, for some sign to tell him which direction he entered the forest, but he saw none. The sun hid behind the canopy, and Evan shivered as his sweat cooled.

“Better get moving,” he said, just so he could make sure his hearing still worked. He took a step forward.

“Fuck!” he yelled, as the ground crumbled beneath him.

Evan slipped down a rockslide, his cries of pain as he scraped his elbows and knees on the loose shale echoing in the darkness. He slammed against something hard, and the breath left his lungs in a whoosh. Laying in the gloom, battered and bruised, Evan laughed. He peered up from where he fell, at the pinprick of light above him, as his body shook with bitter mirth. Beaten, lost and at the bottom of a shaft, he thought, tears stinging his eyes. Might as well stay here ‘till I die.

Evan felt something cold and metallic against his leg. He hadn’t noticed it at first as his body screamed in pain at him, but as his nerves settled, the stones he lay on made their presence known. Still on his back, he fumbled in his pocket and grabbed his cell. Evan pushed the unlock screen button and sighed in relief as it lit up; no reception, but by some miracle his mobile remained intact. Swiping the function screen, he thumbed the flashlight icon.

“A cave?” he said, gazing around. The stone walls appeared smooth and man-made. He peered up the way he fell and smiled; the drop wasn’t sheer and Evan reckoned he could scramble up it. The object he plummeted into stood to his left. An altar, about waist high. Evan aimed the light at his legs and gasped. “Maybe I’m fucking dead already… This ain’t real.”

A lamp pressed against his shin, one ripped straight from the storybooks. Small and made from copper, the lamp had a thin funnel and a rounded handle. Evan placed his cell on the ground, light pointing upwards, and took the lamp, holding it in front of his face as he sat up.

“It can’t be,” he muttered. “Though someone left it on the altar.”

Glancing around, in case someone, anyone, watched, Evan took a deep breath and rubbed the lamp.

“Evan,” he said, as nothing happened, “you’re a dumb sonofabitch.”

The lamp vibrated in his hands, and Evan dropped it. He scrambled backward and pressed his back against the cave wall. Purple smoke oozed from the funnel with a hiss, bright lights like lightning danced inside the fumes.

“This isn’t happening,” Evan said, squeezing his eyes shut. “I’m dead. Or I smashed my head on a rock and I’m having a seizure.”

The hissing stopped, and Evan counted to ten.

“You gonna make a wish or not?” someone rasped.

Evan’s eyes snapped open as his heart attempted to escape from his chest. A creature crouched in front of him, Evan’s cell lighting it from beneath. Hunched with claws for hands and feet, copper bracelets circled its wrists and ankles. The demon’s skin appeared cut from obsidian rock. Crimson eyes glowed above a wide mouth of yellow, razor-sharp teeth.

“Are you a… genie?” Evan croaked, his voice thin and weak. “In the movies you look like blue versions of us.”

“Why in the seven Hells would I want to appear human?” it growled. A forked tongue slid over its fangs. “And I prefer Djinn. Real life ain’t like your movies, human.”

Evan blinked as he gazed into the Djinn’s unwavering stare.

“You said wish. I get three? Is that the deal?”

“Yeah, and make it snappy,” the Djinn snarled. “I don’t exist to serve. Got my own life, and you’ve pulled me away from it. I have to live in that fucking lamp until I’ve ‘satisfied my master’s will,’ so do me a fucking favour and point me in the girl’s direction you wanna fuck, the big mansion you wanna live in and your mortal enemy and I’ll get to work. And you can’t wish for more wishes. Rules, we’re bound by them. You get three, and that’s it. No second goes, either. Once we’re done, we’re done, and I’d appreciate you dropping that fucking lamp into the middle of your deepest ocean so I don’t get hassled by another fucking human again.”

“Wait,” Evan said, holding up his hands. His head spun from the deluge of information, and he wondered if he smacked it too hard on the way down. “You have your own life? You don’t live in the lamp?”

“Kid, you’re a fucking idiot. Anyone tell you that?” the Djinn snarled, his red eyes glowing in the gloom. “Why the fuck would I live in a shitty lamp? Like I said, rules bind us. My magic came with a cost. I’m all powerful in this realm. When someone calls me, I’m bound here. After that, I go home. So make your fucking wishes.”

“Why’s everyone I meet such an asshole?” Evan muttered, rubbing his temples.

“Ever think you’re the problem, and you burden everyone else?” Evan scowled, and the Djinn laughed; a hacking, cruel sound that held only resentment. “Reckon that’s close to the truth. I ain’t got all day. You want me to kill someone?”

“You can do that?” Evan asked, eyes narrowing as his thoughts circled to Dale as he imagined all the ways the Djinn could murder him. I couldn’t? he thought. Could I?

“Sure,” the creature replied with a shrug of its hunched shoulders. Drool dripped from its fangs. “Only things I can’t do is bring someone back from the dead or grant you more wishes. So don’t fucking think about it. Bear in mind, there’s a cost to your wishes—a balance. If I make some broad fall in love with you, another chick will leave some poor saps ass. Don’t sweat it.”

“Where the hell did you learn how to speak? Do all Djinns swear like you?” Evan asked, buying time. The idea of ordering the Djinn to eviscerate Dale had parked itself in the forecourt of his brain, and he struggled to come up with something else.

“We watch you,” the Djinn replied with what Evan reckoned passed as a smile for the creature’s kind. Its lips peeled back and revealed a double set of bottom and top teeth at the back of its mouth. Evan suppressed a shiver. “You humans are fucking hilarious. All your wars, fixations on celebrities and obsession with cash. Great TV and movies, though.”

Money. A gong rang in Evan’s head. That’s it! I’ll ask for enough riches to last me forever. I’ll take Mom away from Dale. Fuck killing the sonofabitch.

“Djinn, I wish to be the wealthiest person in the world, always.”

The demon’s jaws snapped closed, and it narrowed its eyes.

“That’s a lot of fucking work, kid,” it growled. “Can’t I just give you a square amount? I gotta make sure you’ll always stay ahead of all the other rich assholes in this realm.”

Evan shook his head. He didn’t want to take any chances.

“The richest. Forever. That’s my wish, Djinn.”

The cave trembled. Dirt shook from the ceiling onto Evan’s head as he stared into the Djinn’s eyes.

“Done,” the creature whispered. “What else?”

“How do I know it’s worked?” Evan asked. The Djinn clicked its fingers, and a yellow lotto ticket appeared between its claws.

“Check these numbers when you climb out of this hole. Gotta start somewhere. I’ll invest the winnings, make some bets, that sort of thing.” Evan snatched the ticket and stuck it in his pocket. “Next wish.”

Evan shook his head.

“Gonna make sure this has worked, first. Do I command you to climb back in the lamp?”

Evan didn’t see the Djinn move. The creature’s snout pressed up against his nose as Evan pressed himself up against the cave wall. He stared into the Djinn’s unblinking red stare, felt its hot, stale breath on his face.

“Don’t fuck with me, human,” the Djinn bit out.

Evan glanced at the bindings on the creature’s limbs and recalled its words. It said rules bind it. His magic comes with a cost, he thought, swallowing hard. It’s a slave.

“No more wishes now, Djinn,” Evan croaked, wishing his voice sounded more commanding in his own ears. “I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

A guttural snarl escaped the Djinn’s maw as his form turned into purple smoke. Its red eyes were last, watching Evan with hatred as it returned to the lamp.

Letting out a blast of breath, Evan wiped the sweat from his forehead. He snatched his cell and lamp from the ground and ascended the pit.

***

Night had fallen. Evan shook his head as he gazed around. Didn’t think I spent so much time down there, he thought, tapping his fingernail against the lamp as if reminding himself it existed. The fuzzy, dream-like haze no longer seeped into his brain, and he noticed a footpath with tread marks leading to the hole behind him.

The earth groaned, and Evan let out a shrill cry as he jumped as the tunnel collapsed on itself. Evan nudged the dirt with the toe of his sneakers and stomped on it when it felt firm. He shoved his hands in his pocket, pulling out his cell and the lotto ticket.

“Still no reception,” he muttered, looking into the woods. The sky appeared lighter in the direction he faced, back toward town. “Let’s check these numbers.”

Evan jogged and soon found his bearings. He changed direction, heading towards where the forest would bring him to Renville’s downtown. Evan knew the electronics stores would have TVs displaying the news in their windows, and they’d announce the lotto numbers at 8pm; he glanced at his cell. Five minutes, he thought, noticing he had a text message. Should make it in time. Evan ignored the text and picked up the pace, the cuts, strains and bruises spread about his body and joints protesting as he did.

The lotto numbers appeared on the screens as Evan came to a stop in front of them. Breathing hard, he pulled out the ticket and held it up against the window.

“Three, nine, thirteen, nineteen, twenty-six, fifty-two,” Evan’s hand shook. The ticker at the bottom of the screen informed the winner would claim a triple-rollover. “No way. No fucking way. I’m rich! Fuck you Dale, you piece of shit.”

His cell phone interrupted Evan’s cries of victory. He pulled it to his ear without looking at the screen.

“Honey, where are you? I just picked Dale up from the Truck Pit and they told me you didn’t show.”

Shit, Evan grimaced. He could hear a drunken Dale calling him a cocksucker in the background.

“I’m fine, Mom. Something came up. Where are you?”

“Driving home, almost the—shit!”

Evan’s stomach dropped as he heard a metallic crunch before the line died. He felt a vibration by his leg. Heat pulsed from the lamp against his thigh. Evan ignored it and tore off towards home.

It didn’t take long to find his mom’s car; Evan heard the horn’s incessant honk as he approached. A tree split its hood through the center, and steam rose from the wreckage. He ran to the driver side. Vomit erupted from his stomach and exploded from his mouth onto the asphalt.

“Mom,” he whispered, wiping a hand across his mouth. Tears stung his eyes. “Please, no.”

He grabbed his cell, dialed nine-one-one, even though Evan knew he stared at a corpse. His mom’s head split as it struck the steering wheel. She lay there, lifeless eyes staring at him, a mask of blood dripping from the deep gash across her forehead.

“My mom,” Evan choked as someone picked up his call. “She’s in a crash. It’s bad. Corner of 3rd and 5th. Please come quick.”

He hung up and noticed the message icon flashing. Without thinking, he pressed it, not surprised to see his mom had sent it four hours earlier.

“Baby, I’m sorry. I’m gonna kick that asshole out. We don’t need him. I love you x.”

“I love you too, Mom,” Evan whispered, as his tears wet the screen. Metal scraped from the passenger side.

Sirens split the night as Evan circled the car. Dale lay on the ground; untouched, dazed and alive.

***

Evan sat on his bed, staring at the lamp. Two days had passed since his mom’s death, and Dale had left him alone. Evan had cried into his pillows until he felt weak, then sobbed some more. He wanted his tears dried out before her cremation the following day. Evan ran the police report through his head again.

“A cat ran across the road. Your mom saw it too late, distracted on her phone, and swerved. She lost control.”

Evan had no-one to blame but himself.

“You said you couldn’t bring back the dead,” he whispered at the lamp, “but I don’t believe you.”

Evan summoned the Djinn and watched it materialise from the purple smoke.

“You haven’t claimed the lotto numbers yet, ya dumb fuck,” the Djinn grated, hunched and hulking as it stared with its crimson orbs. “You know how difficult you’re making this? Fuck, what happened to you?”

“My mom died,” Evan said in a flat tone. “Not long after I made my wish.”

The Djinn shrugged. “I warned you: balance. Give and take.”

“You sonofabitch,” Evan growled. “My mom is dead! Don’t give me that shit. You said you can’t bring back the dead.”

“Correct,” the demon replied, unperturbed by Evan’s rage.

“Liar.”

“Believe what you want, kid,” the Djinn yawned, revealing the full extent of its hideous maw. “Death is final. There’s no afterlife. Can’t rewind time either, so don’t bother asking. You’re rich, enjoy it.” The Djinn clicked its claws. The lamp vibrated in Evan’s hands and grew warm. “If you won’t claim the lotto numbers, I’ll start the dirty work.”

“There’s no afterlife?” Evan asked. Since his mom died, he’d consoled himself that she’d departed to a better place.

“Nah,” the Djinn said. “Nada. There’re alternative realms, dimensions, like where I’m from. No big happy ever after in the sky though. Like I said, you humans are weird.”

“Then what? Where do we go?” In the background, Evan heard the house phone sound. It rang for a few seconds, then Dale answered it.

The Djinn cackled. It made Evan’s skin crawl and hairs stand on end. “The Great Void. It ain’t a pretty place. Many call it Hell, we’ve that in common. That exists, and you’ll wish it didn’t.”

“I wish I never die, then,” Evan muttered, before he realised what he said.

“That I can do. Done,” the Djinn said, his red eyes glowing. The demon clicked his fingers, before losing his form as he disappeared into the lamp, Evan’s mind springing into action. Am I gonna live forever? Evan thought.

“No,” he shouted, “I don’t want that!”

Evan jumped as his door swung open.

“Who are you talking to?” Dale asked, glancing around the room.

“Myself,” Evan replied, hiding the lamp under his covers. “My Mom died, and I’m sad.”

Dale took a step through the door, his face wearing a strange expression.

“You know, your mom didn’t have much. But she left me as your legal guardian in her Will.”

“I know,” Evan said, looking away. He hadn’t spoken to his mom for days after she told him. She told him as soon as he hit twenty-one it didn’t matter, but the law’s the law and Evan had no other family.

“So where is it?”

“What?” Evan snapped. Under his hand, the lamp’s heat surged.

“Your fucking lotto ticket,” Dale took another step forward and crouched in front of Evan. “Tried to keep it a fucking secret, huh? They just rang about the wire-transfer. Only problem is, you’re not twenty-one yet. That money is mine until you are.

***

Evan glared at Dale, his mom’s coffin between them. Dale appeared upset as he watched the flames beckon the casket closer, and it only caused Evan to seethe further. His anger stopped him from summoning the genie after Dale’s news; he’d only one wish left and wanted a clear head before he used it. He hadn’t thought through the first one and let dollar signs sway his mind. Evan used the second through careless words, though living forever didn’t strike him as an awful fate.

As his mom’s coffin disappeared from sight, Evan spun on his heel and stalked from the crematorium, bowing his head to make it appear he couldn’t watch. I’ve cried my tears, he thought, pulling his black tie loose. I need fresh air and time to think.

Evan knew he’d get his money, one day. The Djinn promised to make sure no-one stood wealthier than he, but it looked like he’d have to wait two years until he inherited the fortune. The idea of Dale spending his money in the meantime boiled his blood.

“Maybe I could wish for a shit-hot lawyer to get me what’s mine and remove Dale from the picture?” Evan mused, following the trail set by his wandering feet, lost in thought. Light rain fell from the sky, but he ignored it. “Could he make me older?”

“Hey freak!” Evan paused and balled his fists. Turning, he saw Marty Peters and his crew watching him. “Sad you ain’t got your mom to fuck, anymore?”

Evan’s vision turned red. His jaw hurt as he ground his teeth. Before he knew it, he stood nose to nose with Marty.

“What the fuck did you say?” Evan said, his voice quivering. His body trembled. He felt on the verge of exploding.

Marty laughed and glanced at his friends. He shoved Evan with both hands, who staggered. “I said, are you sad you can’t fuck your mom? Or won’t you let her being a mangled corpse stop you?”

Evan stepped forward and thrust his forehead into Marty’s nose. It crunched, and he felt the wet warmth of blood splatter on his forehead.

“You’ll fucking pay for that,” Marty snarled in between cries. He held his hands against his ruined nose, blood oozing through his fingers. He turned to his cronies. “What the fuck are you waiting for?”

The pack surged forward, and Evan fell under a hail of kicks, stomps and punches. He did his best to shelter his face as Marty’s crew pummeled him, but his body throbbed with each strike. Evan felt his teeth loosen and bones snap. Before he passed out, he wished he would die.

***

Evan limped into his room. He’d woken up alone in the rain, blood pooling beneath him, clothes torn and sodden. His body protested each step and deepened his hatred. He examined himself in the dirty mirror; swollen eyes above a flattened nose stared back. He peeled back his split and bloodied lips to find gaps that teeth used to fill. His jaw sloped to one side, and it hurt to swallow. Evan pulled his ripped jacket and now red shirt off; black bruises and angry welts lit up his chest and ribs.

“I can’t die,” he mumbled, his face aching as he did, “but I can fucking hurt.”

He tossed his clothes to the floor and flopped on the bed, pulling the lamp from under his pillow. Evan resisted the urge to throw it at his mirror and rubbed it instead.

“You look like fucking shit,” the Djinn grinned after it materialised.

“Got beat up,” Evan muttered. “I thought my life sucked before, but I’d give anything to go back a few days.”

“Careful what you wish for, huh?” The Djinn curled his lip as Evan spat blood on the floor. “We’re almost at an end here, hope the next person to summon me isn’t as much of a dipshit as you. You gonna wish for healing so we can put this sorry affair behind us?”

“No,” Evan mumbled. “I don’t know what I want.”

The Djinn growled. “I ain’t your fucking agony aunt. I’m here to grant your commands. How about you wish for a pair of fucking balls so you stop being everyone’s doormat, you soft shit?”

Evan surged to his feet, ignoring the pain coursing through his body. “Fuck you,” he snarled. His head swam as his temper blew his gaskets. “And you know what? Fuck Dale. Fuck Marty Peters and fuck every other fucker on Earth. I hate them all, and I wish they were fucking dead!”

“Done,” the Djinn purred, rolling his neck. “Gotta say, didn’t think you had it in ya. Proud of ya, kid.”

“Wait—”

The Djinn clicked his claws, and the ground trembled. “There ain’t gonna be anyone around to remind you, so don’t forget. You’re a dumb shit, Evan. Enjoy the rest of your endless life.”

An explosion rocked the house, and Evan heard screams from outside. He staggered into the living room as Dale entered the house.

“What’s happening out there?” Evan asked, pointing through the window.

“What the fuck happened to you?” Dale asked. Evan looked at him and blinked, remembering that he stood half-naked and pummeled within an inch of his immortal life.

“I got beat—”

Dale popped. One second he stood there, looking Evan up and down. The next, he exploded into a shower of gore, like someone had stuck a grenade in his stomach. Dale’s organs and bits of flesh splattered Evan, covering him from head to toe. A revolver dropped to the floor where Dale had stood.

Evan’s stomach heaved, and he vomited anything that lurked in his bowels. Doubled-over, Evan grabbed the gun as he staggered through the front door and out into the street. He heard cars crunch in the distance as people walking up and down the sidewalk erupted. Evan looked to the sky as roaring reached his ears. He dropped to his knees as a plane fell from the sky and swayed as the explosion rocked the ground.

“Fuck,” Evan whispered. He raised Dale’s revolver to his head and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked but refused to act. Evan fired again and a third time before dropping the gun to the floor. Evan’s body shook as he laughed in silence as his fate dawned on him.

***

“So you’ll never go to that awful place again, Daddy?”

The Djinn looked at his son, a miniature replica of himself and winked. “No, kiddo. See, Daddy’s clever, and fulfilled his side of the bargain so I won’t get in trouble from those who make the rules. The human will live forever, and he’ll be the wealthiest, as he’s alone. Daddy doesn’t need to lift a single claw. Which, believe you me, is a relief. Making someone the richest person in the world is a lot of work.”

The young djinn laughed and nuzzled into his father. “Wish I’d seen it.”

The Djinn patted his son’s head. “You don’t want to see that, son. Just remember, words are important. Always take care with what you say.”

G is for Genies is available for Kindle, and in paperback here. Coming very soon to Audible.

Check out David’s website for news and updates.

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