A Fifth of Djinn

by Russell Hoisington

Tags: Ma/Fa, Magic, Fiction, Genie,

Desc: Genie Story: What good is getting your wish if you can never remember it?

© Copyright 2004

This is an erotic fantasy. The characters and the situation are purely imaginary, and this story is NOT intended to be a guide for actual behavior. Any similarities between this story and actual people, or between this story and actual events that you should be ashamed of, are purely coincidental. If it is illegal for you to access and read erotic fiction, or if you don't like sex stories, then stop now.

I tell you, it was far worse than my other two hangovers. While my right hand fumbled the light switch, my left kept my head on. I used it to turn my face to the mirror. I winked a leaden eyelid at the same exquisite face now before you. I had more trouble than usual getting out the words, "Morning, handsome," because of the five pound sweater on my tongue.

I tried to lower my boxers, but for some reason I wasn't wearing them. I glanced around, slowly so as to avoid any sudden head movements. There they were, lying in a wadded heap at the side of the bed. I eased myself onto the toilet seat. I wasn't there long enough to sense its temperature. I tripped over my own feet getting back to the mirror to gape at a perfectly tanned, clean shaven mid-to-late twenties visage with the strong jaw and sparkling blue eyes under a perfectly combed, full head of shining jet hair.

Where was my face?

I know, I know. You think this is the face you've always known. Believe me, or at least humor me while I explain, it isn't.

I was too hung over to still be drunk. I blinked vacantly, trying to comprehend. The stranger's face blinked, too, but he looked-well-manly. Certainly not hung over.

Who was this guy? I felt my crown, and the stranger did the same. It was thatched, like my chest with its now-rock hard muscles. And my gut had shrunk and hardened, too. And below that, well, "The Little Guy" certainly needed a new name.

A splash of cold water in my face did nothing to remove the stranger from my mirror or to return my face and body to me. I needed desperately to sit and think. Fortunately, I was planning something similar.

The answer seemed apparent when I finished: delirium tremens. After all, I discovered as I glanced sideways, the boxers were now high-dollar, pastel-colored, silk jockey shorts, the kind you have to pay just to window shop for, lying spread out neatly on the floor. Out there was further proof: the outline of me still sprawled under the sheet and sleeping.

Sleeping! I was going to be late for work! I lurched over and pulled down the cover. Mercy, had I changed again. I looked just like Vyvica Kesselsen, that gorgeous red-headed singer at the Starlight Gazebo Jazz Lounge. You've been there, haven't you?

Yes, I know, but just listen and I'll get to that.

I/she was sprawled face down, which wasn't an easy trick with those magnificent bazooms of mine/hers. I/she lay with legs slightly apart, giving me a great view of what Ernie Houston calls "the ass most designed to stop traffic" and of my/her crotch that every man in the Lounge would give his eyeteeth to share. My/her red thatch was glued down in a sodden mass, and the sheet below it was wet and shiny. I shook me/her.

She/I opened a red eye, looked at me, and moaned in a petulant, little girl whine, "Not again, Butch, please? I need some sleep." The eye closed and the breathing became regular. Not again? For several seconds I tried to compute. Then her third word cut through the fog.


That was my fantasy name for myself. Uh, you know. Pretending I was like Elvis Presley, a handsome stud popular with the women who-who looked just like the guy in the mirror. My word, I thought, I couldn't go to the office like this! Who would understand? How could I explain to them what I couldn't explain to myself? I called in sick.

"No problem, Butch," responded the boss. You could actually hear the leer on his face. "If I'd left with Vyvica Kesselsen, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed today either."

Butch. I hung up the phone out of habit. The boss hadn't been at the Gazebo. Just the four other accountants, celebrating my fifteenth year at Consolidated Fenestration. Ernie must have told him, no doubt out of honest, sincere jealousy.

A few brain cells dried out enough for me to suspect the answer to my questions lay in the deft black hands of the head bartender and two-thirds owner of the Gazebo, LaRoche "Lemon" Janes. Lemon wouldn't open until four. Having nothing else to do, I decided to crawl back in beside Vyvica until the tornado inside my head subsided. As I snuggled next to her I discovered that wet spot extended out beyond her side, and now I was lying in it. I hoped those memory cells were only stewed, not killed. It had obviously been a night to remember.

I awoke a little after five, feeling splendid. The hangover was but a vaguely unpleasant memory. Vyvica had left a note saying she couldn't believe I still had so much "vitality" left this morning, and she "didn't dare risk awakening" me again before stepping out. She needed some time to "take care of the arrangements," whatever that meant.

I didn't require a shower but I needed one. I craved some familiar activity, some island of stability in this stormy new sea. I dried my new hair vigorously, marvelling that my head now felt as clear as ever, without a trace of pain or dizziness. I knew then I'd suffered my last hangover. I removed the towel and watched in the mirror as every hair fell into perfect alignment. And there wasn't even a hint of five-o'clock shadow.

It wasn't until I stood before the closet that I wondered how I'd get my clothes to stay on my new body without glue. Wasted worry. Everything was perfectly tailored.

There was a pattern was forming here. I wrung the shirt tail with both hands; one hundred percent cotton, but I couldn't wrinkle it. I threw on some clothes; they wrapped me impeccably. My tie normally resembles a cross between a hangman's noose and mating cobras; it came out perfect.

At the apartment door I suddenly had inspiration. I whipped out my work ID and checked the photo. There it was above the ever-rumpled collar: the round face, the ever-present hint that I needed to shave, the thin crop of blighted hairs struggling to remain rooted in an arid crown, the graying side remnant from my youth which even then defied the ordering effects of any comb, any hair tonic, or even butch wax. I let out a whoop as I turned to the hallway mirror.

And followed it with a moan. The stranger's face formed a question at me. I looked at the badge again. Butch now beamed through the lamination.

I forced myself to walk, not run screaming, the three blocks to the Gazebo. Lemon hovered behind the main bar, that marble and walnut one, carrying on three independent conversations in that rich voice and mixing a different drink with each hand.

I grabbed a seat under Jungle Joe. The brass monkey statue. You remember, the one holding the Last Call bell? Yeah, well, he's called Jungle Joe for a reason, and I was about to learn why.

Lemon worked his way down the bar to me and tilted his head back to get my face into the proper zone of his new quadrifocal lenses. I knew they were new because I moonlight as the accountant for his optometrist.

"Well, good evenin' Mister Danmark." It was really him: his dentures faintly whistled the 's' in 'Mister.'

That was somewhat of a relief. I wasn't sure what I'd have done if he had called me "Butch." He wants everyone to call him "Lemon," but he never addresses anyone else, even his wife, by the first name when he's working.

"Lemon," I said, "I need to talk to someone. Bad. You may be the only one who can help me."

"Ah!" he said. "Ain't working out right, is it? Lemme get Al to cover me. You can wait in my office. Here, take this. I guess you need it." He pushed a shot of cognac across the bar to me.


I froze halfway through his office door. Not working out? I paced ten miles in forty-five seconds.

"Mister Janes..."

"Lemon, remember? Sit down." He waved me to the couch. "Here, I brought you another cognac."

I swirled, sniffed, and sipped while he took his chair. "Lemon, how long have I been coming here?"

"Oh, um, I reckon 'bout thirteen year now, Mister Danmark. Just before I bought out Mister Lowenstein's third of the partnership."

"Do you notice anything different about me?" I asked.

"You wearin' a sport jacket tonight," he said. "You normally wear your suit, comin' from your office an' all."

"What about my face?"

He shrugged. "It's the one you was wearin' when you left last night."

"What about the one I was wearing when I came in."

He leaned back in the swivel chair and crossed his arms over his small belly roll, the only fat on him. He nodded slowly. "You don't remember nothin' of what happened, do you?"

I slammed down the liquor. A thought struck me. "I don't drink cognac."

"No, sir," Lemon admitted. "You drinks gin rickeys. Butch drinks cognac."

It turned out the darkness was caused by the wet cloth across my forehead and eyes. I removed it and saw Lemon standing beside the couch. He had a gin rickey in one hand and a cognac in the other.

"Wasn't sure which you'd prefer," he said.

I preferred both. They gave me the nerve to ask.

Lemon eased onto the couch with me, a little stiffly because his back had been acting up recently. I knew because I also moonlight as the accountant for his chiropractor. He hesitated like a man seeking a way to beat around the bush. Unable to find one, he brought out the chain saw.

"You made a wish and the genie granted it."

"Genie?" I'd heard mice with a deeper voice. He was serious, so I considered his words. In a way, he made sense.

Look, it's easy for you to say, "That's silly. Nobody'd ever think that." That's because you've always woke up wearing your own face.

The wrinkles in Lemon's brow deepened. "Excuse me, Mister Danmark, but do you remember anythin'?"

"I remember coming in. I remember Artie bought a round. Then Ernie, Charlie, and Luis. Then Ernie tried to get Vyv-Miss Kesselsen to kiss me, because it was my celebration. But she just looked down her nose and muttered a polite excuse. I-I think I ordered a round. That's it."

With a grunt Lemon rose to retrieve another gin rickey and a cognac from an end table and hold them toward me.

"I'm going to need these?"

"I reckon you might." He sat down again and tilted me into focus. "When you ordered a round, I had to open me a new gin bottle. There was a genie in it, a woman genie this time. Now, it was your celebration, and you was buyin' the round, so legally the wish was yours."

"Yeah?" I said.

A smile of hope split his face. "Exactly! Yes sir, that's exactly what you said! 'Yeah?' you said. I explain to you that lamps changed but genies didn't. Lamps what they like ain't around much no more. Flashlights and light bulbs replaced most of them, and flashlights is metal. Genies can't live more'n a couple of hours in no metal container. And light bulbs get too hot and bright, and they ain't got no openin' anyway. So genies live mostly in bottles these days, and they move often. And with cans startin' to replace bottles these days..." He shook his head.

"But they used to live in metal lamps."

"I aksed one about that once. He told me they only lived in stone lamps then. Or ceramic or terra cotta. Metal lamps is only in fairy tales and cinema movies."

Why not, I thought. "So, what were my three wishes?"

"You don't get no three wishes, Mister Danmark. That's a fairy tale, too. Rules is, you only get one. You pondered on yours a while and aksed to look like the kind of man what could get Miss Kesselsen to fall for him. And you got your looks you wearin' now. You was lucky you didn't make no smart-alecky remark or speak without thinkin' first. Two year ago Mister Joe was told he had a wish comin' and said, 'Well, I'll be a brass monkey.' His exact words."

I waited for him to continue. He didn't.

He couldn't mean... "You mean that monkey holding the Last Call bell?"

"You see? I reckon you could of done a lot worse."

I reckoned I could have. Listen, I had to believe it or go insane.

"But how did the others take that?" I asked. "I didn't hear 'Man becomes monkey' on the eleven o'clock news."

"Nobody noticed no difference, Mister Danmark. That night or last night or any other night. Soon as it was over they just thought things was like they always was. Your own mother, God rest her soul, wouldn't think nothin' was differ'nt about you unless she'd first been offered a wish herself, and that's a proven fact.

"Rules is, once you seen a genie and been offered a wish, then you always remember, no matter whose wish it is. But never before."

I was beginning to feel a slight buzz, though I knew it would never become more than that as long as I was Butch. "My word, Lemon, surely I'd remember something as important as seeing a genie after it happened!"

He held up the gin rickey and waggled it for emphasis. "I suppose we understand why you don't remember that one last night, but what about them other two?"

"What other two?"

"You was here the night Mister Joe became Jungle Joe and the night Mister Tyson became a millionaire."

"Tyson? The guy who had his wife killed for her insurance?"

"Before the wish he didn't have no wife. Then, poof: he was a rich widower bein' arrested by the police."

"That doesn't prove anything, does it? I didn't know him or this guy named Joe."

Lemon looked pained and handed me the gin rickey. "Actually, Joe was his first name. His last name was Danmark."

I didn't know there was another Danmark family in this area. I wondered about his expression and why he'd handed me the drink... "Oh, my word."

"He was your brother. He's the one what got you hired away from Dinkel's as his replacement when he got drafted for the Korean War. You two was regular Friday night customers for ten year, startin' the night he come back. I ain't never seen two brothers closer'n you and Mister Joe."

"Oh, my word." I gulped the rickey. "So what happened with your wish?"

His eight hundred dollar smile was perfectly aligned marshmallows in cocoa. Yes, I moonlight for his dentist, too. We're a close-knit, family neighborhood in this corner of the city.

"Offered, Mister Danmark. I never accept. Not from an evil genie. Ain't no such thing as a free lunch. No sir. I'd think an accountant would know that." The warm smile said he was being neither critical nor sarcastic.

"You see, my cousin in Detroit tol' me one of them what got a wish in his bar was the designer of the Edsel. And I hear tell from Washington that President Johnson beat Mr. Goldwater by wishin' to be remembered for 'sweeping changes to society.' The way things is shapin' up over Vietnam, I reckon I know how that's goin' to turn out."

You can imagine I didn't like the sound of this. "What's the bottom line on my ledger, then?"

The smile melted to a pained look of genuine sympathy. "Well, sir, my guess is you spent a vigorous night with Miss Kesselsen and don't remember one moment of it. That's the way it normally works with your wish."

"Well, yeah. Apparently. I don't remember anything."

"Mister Danmark, you can spend ever night with her for the rest of your life, but the moment you fall asleep you will forget all about it. Evil genies don't like followin' no rules, so they don't give no more'n they have to."

I gulped the cognac. What good was it if you couldn't remember? I wanted to cancel my wish.

"You only got one wish from her, Mister Danmark, and you used it. You don't get no more, and you can't cancel after delivery. Cancelin' a wish is the same as makin' another one."

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Story tagged with:
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