I Dream of Jean
(first appeared at fictitiousmagazine.blogspot.com 1/21/2013)
I would start this off by telling you her name but it’s right there in the title so I guess I’ll start it off by trying to decide what information about her is pertinent and what details are superfluous.
Or perhaps I’ll just dive in and let you figure that out as you go.
The one thing that I’m absolutely certain of is that when Jean opened that flask she did not expect what happened next.
Had she known she was the subject of a story she might have had some inclination that it was coming but until that point in her life she had just been one of billions of unremarkable people so buying an old dusty flask at an open-air market in Yemen was completely in keeping with her unremarkableness.
Except that it wasn’t.
Back at her hotel she opened the flask and immediately her breasts swelled to a full C cup and a front row ticket to an Ani DiFranco show from 2006 was sitting in her front pocket. The opening of the flask wasn’t subject to the fanfare you’d expect given the mythology behind magic lamps and Genies and such, but be that as it may the shimmering Djinn sat in front of Jean just the same … and he had some explaining to do.
But first let me fill you in a bit about Jean.
Your first question might be why she was in Yemen. Before you leap to the conclusion that she was part of a large package tour that was traveling around the Middle East looking at ancient artifacts and ruins let me correct you. She was not. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Jean would rather have had hot lead poured into her eye sockets than be part of a package anything.
Ok, enough about Jean.
The Djinn looked at her in amazement. Despite the stories to the contrary, the three wishes granted to anyone who acquires and opens a flask containing a Djinn doesn’t allow them to make them then and there. The Djinn actually grants the last three wishes the person had made to themselves before opening the flask.
Bigger boobs. Concert tickets.
Exactly what the Djinn was wondering to himself. He had never come upon a mortal that had only asked for two things throughout the course of their lifetime. Jean was remarkable after all.
Of course, Jean didn’t know this and sat terrified and unaware of her larger breasts and the ticket in her pocket. All she was aware of was this large imposing man in the turban floating in front of her. Flesh-colored for those of you who care about such details.
So why was Jean in Yemen? She liked to travel despite the fact that she hated to get in cars or on planes. She would immediately become all too aware of just how many things needed to go right for a combustion engine to function or just how many things could go wrong and send an airplane plummeting into the drink. You would think that the smarter a person was the more they could take comfort in the technology and the warm fuzzy math of probability.
Jean did not. Hovercrafts were right out.
This dislike of putting her life into the hands of car and airplane manufacturers was second only to her dislike of ever having to meet and have a conversation with one of those workers assembling the aforementioned. Or the salesmen or accountants who work for the manufacturer.
Or anyone else for that matter.
To say she was a loner was pretty much spot on. A loner of the highest caliber.
So she was alone in Yemen just like she’d been alone in Switzerland, Japan (among many other places) and her home in Denver, Colorado.
Does this help explain her first two wishes? Probably not. Well, maybe the Ani DiFranco ticket but certainly not the C cup. I’ll end the suspense right now: she was 13 when she made the wish and clearly when you’re 13 you don’t think 31 flavors will suffice.
She asked the Djinn for an explanation. She made it clear that this was a request and in no way should be construed as a wish. He was under no obligation, magical or otherwise, to answer.
He complied anyway and in no time at all things were cleared up between them. The only outstanding issue was her third wish. As the Djinn had never been in this situation before he was a little unclear on how to proceed but Jean felt certain that she was still entitled to a third wish.
After checking with the boys upstairs, and by “upstairs” I mean in the parallel universe in which he originated and by “boys” I mean the collection of angels and demons that reside there, he could find no fault in her logic and agreed to provide it.
Anything she wanted.
Jean went over the ground rules and found out that indeed a Djinn can twist a wish to make it a bad thing if they choose to. It depended heavily on the wording of the wish and the disposition of the Djinn. She was careful to be clear about the former and felt no overt concern about the latter. It appeared that she had stumbled upon a rather nice Djinn as Djinns go. She even asked him his name but he seemed to bristle at the question so she let it drop.
She asked a few questions about eternity and what the Djinn did in his seemingly abundant free time. She made inquiries about the difference between magic and science, flying and physics, and, inevitably, about Barbara Eden and herself.
And that’s how a new Djinn came into existence in Yemen. Again, the story might not have the fanfare you’d expect but sometimes the most spectacular things happen in unspectacular fashion.
As for the happily ever after, with a lifespan of less than a hundred years I don’t really think mortals are qualified to answer that.