I Wish 1

‘You remember the other week that I told you I found a genie?’
‘Yeah, I remember that. Bunch of bullshit, eh?’
‘No, not at all — he was a straight up genie.’
‘So what worldly riches and amazing powers did he give you?’
‘Well, it seems that he was slightly deaf.’
‘Yeah — I mean, does impotence sound like omnipotence to you?’
‘And instead of sixth sense I got six cents.’
‘Not much use, eh?’
‘No, not really.’
Dave smiled at his friend — Jerrold looked so down in the mouth but surely it couldn’t be that bad. If he understood the rules with genies correctly, and there was no reason to suspect that he didn’t, then wasn’t it true that genies in fact gave you three wishes?
When Dave brought this up thinking that he was helping – believing himself to be offering up an opener to a conversation where he might be able to give practical suggestions that Jerrold might be able to act upon. It didn’t seem to be working though — Jerrold looked sheepish; like he was ashamed of something: as if he had been caught out doing something that he shouldn’t be.
‘Well,’ he started ‘you’re right, he did indeed give me three wishes.’
‘Well, there you go then — you can use the third wish to undo the first two.
‘I wish …’
‘Be careful.’
‘No, what I mean is I wish I still had that third wish to use.’
‘So, what did you do with it? How did you fuck up the last wish? You might as well come clean. I mean it can’t be that bad can it? Can’t be any crapper than the other two.’
‘You’d think.’
‘Come on, spill the beans. Tell me what you did.’
‘I wished that I could hang out with you all the time.’
‘Good one — you almost had me going for a second there.’
‘No, I’m dead serious.’
‘You’re telling me he misheard every wish except the one you made by accident?’
‘That’s about the truth of it.’
‘So you mean when I remarked to you that I hadn’t seen you come in through the door, and it was as if …’
‘I had just popped into existence beside you. Yeah, well, I just …’
‘Popped into existence beside me.’
‘Jerrold, you are a fucking idiot — this is going to ruin my life. Are you telling me that everywhere I go I am going to have you tagging along?’
‘I’m afraid so.’
‘Man, that means I can’t ever use a public restroom again. Shit, I will never get laid again.’
‘Dave, that’s not true, there are some kinky women out there who won’t mind me watching.’
‘This isn’t a laughing matter. How the fuck do we find this stupid genie?’
‘We don’t. Granting my wishes freed him from his curse, so he’s gone.’
‘No, that can’t be it — there has to be someone that can help us.’

Else City – Part 2: Grave Talk

He wasn’t exactly sure what he was expecting the doctor to do in order to revive the body but the implement he produced looked simultaneously arcane and futuristic. He brandished it with a flourish and a grin that nearly skinned O’Halligan. Too bloody theatrical — that, he thought, was his problem with the whole bloody place: full of drama queens and amateur dramatics enthusiasts. He was not going to fit in here and that pained him because God knew how long he was going to have to spend here. These dimensions had weird rules about death and the existence you spent here.

‘And that is?’

‘The Lazarus Redial.’

‘Jesus, give me a fucking break.’

‘What?’ said Forbes’Let him have his fun. You try doing what he does on a daily basis and not feeling the need to spice it up by giving things crackpot names. The Doc is one of the more normal people you’re going to meet so you should savour this while you can.’

The doctor turned that manic grin on him again and spinning the the device around his fingers, paused briefy, then like lightning pushed the needle that sprang from it’s end into the flesh of the corpse.

There was a loud farting noise and a sigh.

‘What was that?’ asked O’Halligan.

‘The body on the slab just farted.’


‘Excuse me,’ said the body sitting up ‘Didn’t expect to find myself back here, what’s going on? Goddamn, it hurts.’

‘You were killed by something and we were wondering if you might be able to provide us with some information as to what exactly did it.’

‘And you are?’

‘Detective Forbes, Else City Police Department, Homicide Division. Your name please, for the record.’

‘Langston Through. I worked in real estate — I was showing a house — you’ll forgive me but I can’t recall where but it should be in my diary — anyw-a-a-y we distu-u-u-rbed a ne-e-s-t.’

The corpse’s eyes rolled back in its skull and it slumped back onto the slab.

‘Well, that was interesting,’ said O’Halligan sparking up ‘A nest? So we just call the exterminators, eh?’

‘He’s funny, eh, Forbes?’

‘Rib-crackingly hilarious, Doctor. We’ll run a check on Langston Through — shouldn’t be hard to find; real estate isn’t big business out here. If you can k-print him and snap me some aura pics that would be a big help.’

‘No problem. Good luck, O’Halligan.’