Gage smiles as he takes the key to the storage locker he just bought. His high bid being only 45 bucks. He always loves to find these kinds of deals. He had all his apartment furniture from a storage locker he bought for 10 dollars. He couldn't think of anywhere else he could get leather couches and recliners, a refrigerator, a new mountain bike and boxes of old books for only 10 bucks.
Gage takes the history of the payments from Mr. Gamble, the owner of the storage warehouse. As he scans the monthly payments that ended abruptly six months ago he unlocks the door. He folds up the paperwork and stuffs it into his back pocket and slides the steel door so he can see what his money just bought him.
He steps in and picks up the only content of the huge empty and dusty room, a black velvet box with a gold lock on the side. He flips the little slip lock and opens the lid. Gage sighs audibly when he sees the jade decanter, safely cushioned in black silk. He slams the lid shut and tucks it under his arm as he walks out thinking, win some lose some.
He climbs into his old Dodge and makes his way home. An old warehouse converted into loft apartments. It was old but wide open. He loves open spaces, lots of room to move around in. After moving in he realized there was a vaulted ceiling and decided to remodel. Now he had an upstairs bedroom that overlooked the livingroom and his desk. It's cluttered surface, covered in work he still needed to get to soon.
He sighs sitting down at his desk. His laptop beeping at him incessantly as he lays the box on top of a pile of print outs of code he still needed to go through. He looks over all the work he still needs to do and lays his head down on the desk, banging it a few times to knock some sense into his mind.
He leans back in his leather executive chair, rubbing his forehead where he hit it too hard once and lifts the box off his desk, turning it over in his hands. He looks over it, for any kind of hint of something worth the forty-five dollars he spent on it. Gage opens the little gold lock and lifts the Jade decanter out of it's contoured prison. He sits it up on his desk and turns it this way and that, looking at the intricate design over the surface.
He shrugs and puts it in his kitchen, figuring he can use it when he gets a date one day. It might look nice with some red wine in it, he thinks, as he tosses a few dirty dishes into his already over-flowing sink.
He wipes his hands off on a dirty towel and tosses is over his shoulder, tipping the bottle over, the top popping off. The sound makes him swing around in time to catch the bottle before it falls off the slanted counter top.
There's a slight shaking in his hand and sits the bottle down thinking it must be the adrenaline starting to pump at how fast he had to move. He braces himself with one hand on the edge of the counter and the other on the front of the fridge as the whole apartment starts to shake.
"Earthquake? In Michigan?" he asks aloud to no one.
Gage's eyes track the bottle as it floats up to hover just at chest height and levitate there. He slowly reaches out a trembling hand and grabs a hold of the slender neck. All the shaking instantly stops and a blonde haired woman in a sweat suit stands before him, smacking gum, and generally looking annoyed.
"You're... You're... You..."
"Yeah, Yeah," she sighs out rolling her eyes, "I'm a genie. You get to make one wish." she drones out in a monotone voice but stops abruptly raising one finger in the air right in Gage's face.
"ONE! And No wishing for more wishes. It's against the rules."
"Rules?" he asks confused, thinking that genie's didn't have any rules.
"Yes, Rules. You know things you're not allowed to do." she replies sarcastically as she spits her gum out onto his floor.
She begins once again in a bored voice rolling her eyes, "Rule one, Now that I'm out of my bottle, virtually homeless, you have to put me up until such time as you make your decision. Just keep in mind that I will pop up from time to time in the most of inopportune moments."
"Rule two, I can't bring people back from the dead. It's messy and I don't like doing it so DON'T ASK."
"Rule three, I can't make anyone fall in love. I'm a genie not Cupid. If you're looking for love call him and leave me alone."
"Rule four, you can't wish for more wishes. Only one wish, per master."
"Rule five, you have exactly," she looks down at her watch that is counting backwards,"23 hours and 54 minutes to decide on your wish. If you haven't made a decision by then I will pick one for you. Ok, those are the rules. Now, do you have a toilet I can use?" she asks, looking around the apartment.
"Yeah, over there." Gage mumbles, pointing towards a closed door.
"Thanks." she replies, walking over to the door and opens it, scrunching her face at the interior.
"I think I'll hold it, another few years won't kill me." she mutters, closing the door and plops down at his desk instead.
"Ok, let me get this straight. You're," he points to the blonde rummaging around on his desk, shuffling already scattered files, "a genie and I'm your Master. I get to have one wish, no matter what it is."
"Not." she goes to interrupt.
"I know, the rules. Ok, so almost anything, and I have one day to decide what it will be."
"You got it, Master. Now, you got any money? I wanna go get a pack of smokes.Three years without a cigarette was too much for me." she asks standing up and holding her hand out.
"Wait, why should I give you money? You're the genie here, just," he waves his hand in the air, "make some appear."
"Who do I look like Seigfried and Roy over here? Do you see any white tigers around me? Umm, No. I can't grant wishes for myself only Masters, ok? So give me ten bucks and point the way to the nearest store."
"Damn, I don't believe this..." he grumbles, taking his wallet out of his back pocket and fishes out a ten dollar bill.
"Thanks, now where's the nearest store?" she asks, snatching the money and slipping it inside her pants.
"About two blocks that way." he instructs point to the south.
"See ya in a sec." she snaps her fingers, vanishing.
"Somebody slipped me something and it's just now taking effect. That has to be it. I mean, a genie? Come on, next thing you know I'll be talking to myself." he says out loud, plopping down in his chair that's still warm from when she was sitting there.
Suddenly his arms were full of his genie, her legs over one arm and her back pressed to the other. Her hands holding a beer, open, and a pack of Marlboro reds. She finishes chugging her cold beer and looks at his shocked face.
"Oh, sorry." she excuses herself and rises from his lap, to stand in front of him.
"So, you got a name or do you want me to call you Master?"
"Um... It's Gage, Gage Jefferies." he answers holding out his hand to shake.
"Nice to meet you GageGage Jefferies."
"No, just Gage Jefferies."
"Oh, sorry, in my line of business you tend to meet some people with weird names. But yours is nice. It suits you. Not like Alahendro, man talk about a jackass. He was the kind of man who made a rat look good enough to kiss."
"Um, I hate interrupt your trip down memory lane here. But do you have a name or do I call you Genie?"
"Oh yeah, Name's Rachel, but you can call me Genie if you want, go by both actually.There have been some masters that rename me after their girlfriends and that kind of thing."
"You don't get out much do you?" he cuts into her rambling again.
"You could say that. What year is this by the way?"
"It's January 2001."
"Man, really? 2001, huh? Well I guess I lost that bet." she mutters flipping open the pack of cigarettes. She tosses it into the air and catches it in between her open lips and lights up.
"How did you do that? Some kind of Genie trick?"
"Nope, it's called a thousand years with nothing to do. Then I got hooked on daytime TV. I never should've granted Martin's wish to take Another World off the air. Two and three o'clock just haven't been the same since."
Rachael walks around the loft touching things as she goes and finally sits down on the leather couch, stubbing her cigarette out into a dead potted plant beside the phone.
She rolls her eyes slowly, pursing her lips and drumming her fingers on her knees.
"So... what do you wish for?" she asks tilting her head and eyeing the man sitting at the messy desk.
"I don't know. I mean, there is so much I'd like to have and do. I just don't know."
"Hey, don't sweat it. Take your time. Well, don't take your time, you know what I mean."
Rachael nods her head as she looks around the loft. His unmade bed in the corner, with floor to ceiling windows on either side. A dresser and chest of drawers against one brick wall. A few paintings of this and that hanging in no particular order.
"How about a house?" she suggests looking back at Gage, still at his desk.
"Nah, then you have property taxes and insurance. Not too mention neighbors."
"O-kay." she murmurs drumming her fingers on her thighs again and yawns once.
Gage watches riveted to her breasts as she stretches her arms above her head and yawns one more time. He leans forward with her as she bends down and removes her tennis shoes and curls up on the soft black leather couch. He steps over to the edge and lays a quilt over her sleeping body. He sweeps a few tendrils of curls out of her face and whispers, "Good night"
He decides that he needs to clean this place and sets about finding the mop and bucket. Once the kitchen is done he tackles the major job of his bat...