Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Calendar of Tales: October

Way back in 2013, I was inspired by Neil Gaiman's A Calendar of Tales to write my own tales using the same inspirational quotes. I did not read his stories before I wrote mine, but I did read them after, and they are all awesome.

 “What mythical creature would you like to meet in October? (& why?)”
A djinn. Not to make a wish. But for the very best advice on how to be
happy w/ what you already have.”

It was made of blue fire. The light and shadow formed a face, but the rest of it was a blue blaze. Jenny took a step back from it, but it didn't get any farther away. No heat or odor came from it.

“There is no need for fear, Master,” it said. “I am here to serve you.”

“ a...” It hovered impassively as she stammered. She cleared her throat and said, “What...exactly...are you?”

“I am a djinn.”

“What, like a genie?”

“Basically, yes.”

“I thought genies lived in lamps and granted three wishes to anyone who rubbed...”

“It doesn't have to be a lamp. I am bound to that ring you just put on.”

“This was my mother's. She never told me--”

“I never appeared to her.”


“Never. She was frightened.”

“How could she be frightened if you never appeared to her?”

“She needed a very ordered life, and didn't believe in the possibility of me. As soon as she put on the ring I ceased to exist, constrained by her will.”

“You died?”

“No. I simply did not exist while she wore the ring.”

“How can that be?”

“It is my nature.”

“What is your nature? I mean, there are many legends of genies being evil tricksters, teaching people to be careful what they wish for.”

“My nature is a reflection of my master's nature. If an evil trickster wears the ring, I am an evil trickster. If a generous, kind person wears it, I am generous and kind.”

“You can see into people like that?”

“I can know anything applicable to my master's needs.”

“Then you already know what wishes I would choose?”

“No, because you haven't decided yet. You feel you still need information.”

“I...guess I do.”

“I will help you. Ask me what you will, and I will answer.”

“Will it count against my wishes?”


“And I get three?”


“Do I have to write up a contract for these wishes in order to avoid loopholes?”

“I will grant the spirit of each wish. You don't have to think of which consequences you'd prefer to avoid. Because I reflect your nature, I will naturally avoid them.”

“And I get three wishes?”


“Okay. Hm. I don't know. What would you wish for?”

“I have no will of my own. You are my master. I exist only to help you.”

“What about those stories about the genies who want to be free?”

“Just stories. If I were freed I would cease to exist forever.”

Jenny gasped. “Oh, no!”

The blue-flame face smiled. “I appreciate your concern for me. I would like to avoid that fate, also.”

“Because I would?”

“Of course.”

“What about after my wishes? What happens to you then?”

“I no longer exist until someone else puts on the ring.”

“Oh!” Jenny said. “That's terrible! Wouldn't you rather exist all the time?”

“Of course.”

“And you can know anything?”


“What happens after a person dies?”

“Their body decomposes.”

“That's not what I meant.”

“I know nothing true about an afterlife. If I had to supply information about one, I would, depending on the faith of my master. You claim agnosticism, but have no belief in an afterlife, so I have no need to prevaricate.”

“Here's what I propose, then. I will disconnect you from the ring, and rebind you to my blood; you will serve me and then my oldest living descendant. You will exist continuously. After the three wishes are made, you will continue to exist as an adviser. I...never want you to be evil, so...remain a reflection of my nature, as it is now. I mean...I don't think I'm evil.”

“You are a very compassionate person. I would be proud to have your nature permanently.”

“You're just saying that.”

“No, I mean it. I've been reprehensible. Is this official? One wish for this, and then two others for later?”


“Your wish is my command.”

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