A dry, wide desert as far as the eye could see. I was in an old cargo truck, similar to a WW2 personnel truck. Pedal is hitting the floor, the warm air hitting my face, which is half covered with a scarf wrapped around my head and covering my mouth and nose.
The truck was difficult to maneuver, but luckily nothing was in sight, except for the rolling hills of rocks and sand that eventually lead to a large mountain in the distance. At the base of the mountain, sat a hidden cave. And I was planning to head towards it.
The soft hum of the engine and the occasional howl from gust of wind filled the air. As I drove, I fell into an uneventful rhythm. However, that peaceful trance did not last long. Out of nowhere, I heard a ear-splitting pop. I cautiously brought the truck to a stop and climbed out of the front seat. To my right, I disappointingly saw that my tires had been destroyed by a few razor sharp rocks. After inspecting the tires, walked around to the front of the truck, standing in front of the hood of the car. Tufts of smoke rose from the rickety hood and the excess heat from broken down truck radiated around me like a big, but unwelcome hug.
I began to search my truck for the tools to fix the tire and hopefully a spare replacement, but to no avail, I could not find any of the necessary items. With a mood of disappointment, I began to gather my belongings and prepare to set out into the barren landscape.
Hours of walking in the uninhabited desert seemed to take one hundred times longer than it should take, but I couldn’t tell if it was because of my dehydrated state. I could feel the sweltering sun beating down on my back. Beads of sweat rolled down my forehead and my tongue sat uncomfortably in my dry, parched mouth. I turned my head and peered into the distance, only spot the remains of my old cargo truck I had just came from.
The ominous presence of the mountain seemed to grow as I trekked closer to the cave. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the swelling luminosity from the moon that contrasted the sharp jagged edges of the peak in front of me, or if all my senses seemed to be heightened by the emptiness of the barren desert around me. But nevertheless, I arrived at the cave, which seemed to carry all of the secrets of the world.
Upon entering the cave, I noticed skeletons littering the shallow corridor. There was evidence of booby traps all over. Dust coated every visible surface and spiderwebs dangled from the craggy walls. No one had ever made it this far. And then I saw it. The lamp, perched on a pedestal, glimmered with a light out of the darkness of the cave. It wasn’t any ordinary lamp; I could tell it had the ability to do more than just give light. It possessed an aura of mystery. I rushed up to grab it, not even thinking of any traps that could be placed on it. The room shaked and moaned as I picked it up, but everything seemed to be safe. I used my scarf to rub the shiny surface of the lamp, when the cave suddenly went dark, and a bright yellow light radiated from the spout of the lamp. Orange and blue smoke quickly followed and a being appeared before me.
He looked normal and wore a tan tunic, and seemingly more modern pair of jeans or pants
“Um-” I barely managed to get out. The being turned toward me and grabbed a flat cap from his pocket and putting it on.
“Hello there!” he said, with an accent I couldn’t identify. He smiled at me, he knew exactly why I was there.
“You have travelled far, you have been through a lot, and finally you have found me.”
“You’re going to say genie, yes I am.”
“Do I get wishes?”
“Two? I thought I got three”
He walks over and leans against the column in the center of the room.
“Look at you, you’ve done your research. Even though is incorrect. I get to decide how many you get.”
“You’re messing with me?”
“I gotta have some fun in this, yes?”
“I guess so. So, do I just make the wishes? Or-”
“Yeah whatever you want, how about I give you as many as you can think of, however,” he appeared on my right grabbing me, and pulling me close, “if you attempt to wish for something, that maybe is against the rules, I will decide if we continue.”
“Okay, so can I make a small wish first?”
“Anything you want.”
“I want to go home.”
Everything was suddenly engulfed in light and then, my eyes opened and we were standing in my house.
“Well,” he said to me, heading to the fridge grabbing a beer, “What next?”
“Are you drinking a beer?” I said, confused.
“Well, yeah. I haven’t been let out of that lamp for 20 years. I like to enjoy myself.”
“Yeah, you said that.”
“I want her to love me again.” The words just came out of my mouth, no hesitation.
“I can’t make her love you. To make someone love you would have dire consequences.”
“Can I wish for her to forget everything I did?”
“To do that would take away from her character. You made your mistakes, and you tried to fix them. But to remove the mistakes, you would not be who you are, she won’t be who she is.”
“Can I wish for her happiness?”
“As long as you can accept the fact that, her happiness may not include you.”
“Okay, I want her happiness. And I want my happiness too.”
“If your happiness is to have her, I cannot give it to you. I can’t force her to do anything. And neither can you. So you must choose. Her happiness or yours?”
“That’s impossible.” Tears began to flood my eyes as I sank to the floor. The genie came to my side also sitting on the floor. His arm draped around my shoulder.
“Nothing is impossible, being difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.” He said.
“But if I make this choice, I’m stuck with it.”
“Yes you are. So what’s it gonna be?”
I woke up. In the same bed I fell asleep in, feeling no different than the night before.