Monday, March 4, 2013

Three Wishes (Part 4)

            After a long day at work, the last thing Irene wants to do when she gets home is deal with the Djinni in her shopping bag, but she also has little choice in the matter. With a sigh she sits in her still packed bedroom and closed the door. Placing the lamp on the floor in front of her, she observes the object for several minutes before slowly sliding onto the floor to sit before it. It was still just a tarnished brass lamp, discoloured with age and mistreatment, Irene contemplated cleaning it, but was not sure if the smell would bother Aasifa.
            Thinking of Aasifa she sighs and reaches forward to rub the lamp the world lurches as before, small sounds she had not even noticed until the disappeared ceased in an instant, the colors of the room became distant, some fade and appear more muted while others jump to seem more jarring. Any motion of her head creates an effect like paint being dragged across a picture or spinning around quickly in a circle. A small puddle of mist leaks from every part of the lamp and shapes itself into Aasifa.
            "Hello Lady, so good to see you again." He proclaims giving Irene the impression of a relieved smile.
            "You didn't think I would summon you again?" She asks him.
            "One never knows. Wishes don't always work out as the wisher intends, it takes some practice from the wisher I believe to phrase them just so, and I never know if it will go horribly wrong until you summon me again." Aasifa says with a hint of a bow.
            "Horribly wrong? Even from one little shopping bag?" Irene exclaims, the only thing that went wrong with her was Emma's suspicions, which was easily soothed.
            Aasifa shrugs without moving his ephemeral form, "I never know."
            "I would like to take this opportunity to practice my wishing skills." Irene declares, "My first wish is for you to make me feel fresh, like I felt immediately after I woke up."
            "You have used your forth wish to feel as you did immediately after you woke up today, you now have unlimited wishes." As Aasifa declares this, Irene feels a grogginess settle over her, the aches in her feet and back disappear, but are replaced with a stabbing pain in her right shoulder and neck. A desire to curl up in her bed and go back to sleep seeps through her body and Irene studies her bed longingly.
            "I wish to be mentally alert and to reduce the pain in my neck." Irene re-actively wishes to change what she has created.
            "You have used your fifth wish to become mentally alert and reduce the pain in your neck, you now have unlimited wishes." Before Aasifa's announcement is complete, Irene feels awake as if she has drunk four cups of coffee and the pains in her body have decreased away, however, her desire to crawl back into bed has not diminished.
            With a sigh she changes tactics, "I wish for you to put me back in the physical and mental state I was in when I summoned you."
            "You have used your sixth wish to be restored to your previous state, you now have unlimited wishes." Irene feels her daily aches and mental fatigue returning and sighs.
            "How do I get the wishes right? Everything does not work as I imagine it will."
            "Language is an imprecise thing and I cannot read your mind. You must find a way to more precisely communicate your intentions to me, but do not despair, humans are never very good at this." Irene glares at the Djinni after this comment, but sits in silent contemplation for a few minutes debating her course of action. She should simply wish for him to take his lamp and turn himself in to ITG, but the allure of the wishes as the challenge of phrasing them just so that they will create in the real world what she imagines in her head is overwhelming. Such an invigorating prospect that she skips ahead of herself and plans a wish for something bigger.
            "I wish the boxes containing my possessions were unpacked, the furniture put together, and the contents and furniture organized as they were in my previous apartment. I realize that the place has a different layout and space, put the items in the room which they would correlate to in my previous apartment and if things do not have a space based on this plan, do not place them, leave them and ask me where they ought to go.” Irene thought she must have covered everything with that.
            "You have used your seventh wish to have your belongings to be unpacked and placed as they were in your previous residence, you have unlimited wishes remaining." As Aasifa speaks, several of the items from Irene's boxes and furniture rearrange themselves, but about half of the items stay where they are.
            "Okay, that sort of worked." Irene observed and Aasifa chuckles at her until she glares at him causing him to cut off and seem to shrug.
            "I could have told you it wouldn't really work." Aasifa comments in response.
            "What's in the rest of these boxes?" Irene asks him and Aasifa lists off their contents and why they were not put away based on the previous wish. Irene uses several more wishes to unpack everything before realizing that it probably would have taken less time and energy to just unpack manually, but at least she now has more experience phrasing wishes for the Djinni. Okay, she thinks, I can do this. Make a wish that will benefit the hospital without resulting in completely unintended consequences.
            "I wish you would restock the medical supply closet on the third floor, north wing of South Shore medial hospital with exactly one identical item for every item already in the closet. Place the items next to their twin, the new item should be full, even if the currently stocked item is almost empty." Irene rattles off, hoping the wish will be specific enough to garner the intended result.
            "You have used your twenty-first wish to wish for an identical, but unused, item to be placed in the third floor medical supply closet of South Shore Hospital, you have unlimited wishes remaining." Aasifa announces as always.
            Irene cannot see the immediate effect of her wish, but knows this is the floor and wing were Rita is working tonight and sets about making some dinner for herself (with wishes) to wait for her roommate to return. Any totally unintended consequences should be reported back to her in about two hours. After making an eatable dinner through wishes alone Irene sits down to wait for Rita and notices another unintended consequence of having the Djinni around. From the time she returned home until the time she dismisses the Djinni and sits down for dinner only five minutes have passed.
            She mules over the Djinni's warning that spending too much time in his world can be bad for her as she considers the benefits of having her own ability to stop time. She could save lives, Irene realizes, in those moments at the hospital when seconds count, she could step in and ultimately save a human life. Delusions of grandeur begin to spin around Irene's head, if only she can get the wishes to come out right, she will be able to change the world.
            After eating, Irene sits down to type of a report to Amy McAdams, the paranormal chronicler at ITG, but deletes the report a few paragraphs in. Irene desires to spend more time the Djinni herself and besides, she rationalizes, her report is not due for a few more days anyway and she might learn a bunch more useful stuff about the Djinni and how to control him. She contemplates bringing him back out to talk with, but concludes it will be better to simply let time flow normally and wait for Rita, so Irene does the dishes by hand and sits down to watch TV.
            Rita returns home an hour late and collapses into a nearby armchair, "I've had the most awful day." She complains without provocation.
            "Oh?" Irene asks a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, "What happened?"
            Rita throws her arms up in exasperation, "I can't even tell you rightly, you'll think I'm completely insane. One of the supply closets is... broken. I don't know how else to explain it. Someone found it over flowing with stuff like someone had grossly overstocked it and anytime you took anything out a new thing would appear and you didn't even have to take the item out, it could just fall out and a new thing would appear. Anyway there's no way to keep track of all those medical supplies, they had to put someone to guard it. It was half way through the shift before someone thought about guarding the guard, who it turns out had swiped about twenty bottles of Vicodin, and no one would have noticed them missing if we hadn't set a nurse to check in on him and she happened to see him pulling one out."
            Irene felt like a deflated inner tube, her wish had gone wrong and even though her intentions were good the potential for miss-use of the end result was so glaring she wondered how she didn't see it in the first place. Immediately she began contemplating an exit from her conversation with Rita to return to the lamp and set things right with the Djinni. Rita was in such a foul mood that she barely even registered Irene excusing herself hastily.
            Once inside her room, Irene summoned Aasifa, "I wish to undo my previous wish and to return the supply cabinet to its prior state." She commanded.
            "You have used your twenty-second wish to undo your twenty-first wish, you have unlimited wishes remaining." Aasifa announced before Irene dismissed him back into his lamp. At least it had only been a few hours she thought, the damage must be minimal.
            The next day at work, however, Irene learned differently. Even such a small interference had led to disastrous results. Her twenty-second wish had resulted in the materials from the supply closet being mysteriously recalled as if they had never existed in the first place. This meant that any medicine which had been administered to the patient was removed from their system and caused massive disturbances and was implicated in at least one death.
            Irene finally decided she could not control the Djinni or wield the wishes to do her will and turned the lamp over to ITG later that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment