Out of the Bottle By Louder
'What's this?' Daniel asked his wife of 20 years as he stared at the rather gawdy bottle decorating the breakfast table.
'Oh, just something I picked up at one of my yard sales.' His wife, Janet, answered proudly. 'Do you like it?'
'Hmph? Oh... like it? Yeah, sure. It'sssssss ummmmmmm different isn't it?'
'I thought so. And no one has anything like it!'
Daniel figured he knew WHY no one had anything like it, but kept quiet not wanting to hurt his wife's feelings. He had other things to worry about. He hadn't hardly slept that night. He couldn't, thinking of the stack of bills that was waiting on him. His job as an accountant wasn't paying as well as it should. Although he felt he deserved a raise, he didn't dare make waves fearing he'd be next to see the unemployment line. He continued writing checks hoping that the balance would stay in the black. Every envelope he opened was another bill. His hand started to tire from all the checks he was writing.
'I'm gonna be late for work because of all these damn bills! Would you please ~try~ to watch the credit card debt?' he pleaded as he continued writing checks.
'Oh... we'll get by! Besides it's not THAT much!' she replied not realizing how fast the debt could pile up.
Daniel shook his head and continued sorting the bills. One pile was due immediately..the other was due yesterday! Janet went into the master bedroom to straighten up the room. Once by himself, Daniel sat back in the seat and took a deep breath. Staring blankly ahead, he picked up the bottle and examined it closer. He wondered what his wife could see in such a tacky item. It was only when he got it closer to his eyes that he noticed what appeared to be writing in the glass itself. He picked up a napkin and began to wipe the glass in order to decipher the strange writing. To his surprise a pink mist began floating from the bottle!
'Ahhhhhhhh what is it?' a rather annoyed young woman asked, looking exactly like Daniel's idea of a genie!
'I've lost it! I've finally lost it!' he said.
'Puh-lease! Get on with it. You rubbed the bottle....You get three wishes. I grant 'em and back I go. And I was sleeping pretty good so I'd like to get back to my dreams!'
'Three wishes? I get three wishes?'
'Yes...Aren't you the genius!'
'Aren't you supposed to call me 'master'?'
'Damn TV! OK, is that your first wish? To call you 'master'? If it is you have to say 'You wish!''
'NO!.... I just thought...... it doesn't matter...let's see....three wishes.....hmmmmmm'
The genie rolled her eyes in dusgust. She really didn't like this part of the job!
'I guess money. Lots of money. But not from Life Insurance! I've seen how that wish works on TV! Nobody dies for me to get money! OK? I wish for money.'
'Granted!' she said.
'OK, so where's the money? When do I get it?'
'Look in your checkbook' she told him.
He glanced at the balance in his checkbook. He flipped through the entries. They now had extra zero's!
'Hey! This says I've got over 300,000 dollars in there!????'
'Your wish was for money. You got money. Deal with it!'
'I'm not complaining. This is great and I have two more wishes!'
'Yes..... 2 more. You had 3 and used 1. Sooooo that leaves 2! What a genius!'
'You really have an attitude for a genie' Daniel told the genie.
'Is that right? And how many genies do you know?' she asked sarcastically.
'OK...none...' was his sheepish answer.
'I wanna get back in the bottle, so how about getting those other wishes outta the way?'
'Ok, let me think.......whew.... this is hard!.... ' he looked around and then smiled wickedly 'How about a beautiful young wife? But I don't want anyone...not ANYONE thinking anything is wrong. I don't want the police looking for my missing ~old~ wife! And not TOO young. I want her legal. I'm pretty good at this! Yip.... I wish for a beautiful young adoring wife!'
'Sheesh..... whatever.... Granted!'
Daniel glanced hopefully around.
'Patience!' the genie orderd. 'Your ~trophy~ wife will be here shortly!'
In the bedroom, 45 year old Janet was busy tidying up. A chill touched her. Suddenly, cleaning didn't seem so important. At first she continued. Her robe seemed to grow loose as she worked. She looked down to tighten the loose sash. As she did her hair fell loose and cascaded down. It began to shine with a healthier glow. She brushed it back from around her face. Then her glasses slid down her nose. She pushed them back but then realized she could see better without them. She sat them on the dresser and continued dusting.... although with no enthusiasm. She looked at her hands as she dusted. They looked so dry to her. She put her duster down and grabbed some lotion. By this point her looks were much more important than her dusting. She looked in the mirror. She admired her long full blond hair but was worried about the small lines around her eyes and mouth. Being 30 years old she knew that she was losing the battle with time. She immediately applied some cream to those areas. Amazingly, the cream seemed to make the lines vanish almost as fast as she could apply it! As she dabbed the last of the facial cream on, she was happy that her 25 year old skin didn't really need the treatment. But she figured it was good prevention!
Janet then went to the closet and tried to find something to wear. She didn't like much of what was there! Most of it was too large and rather conservative. Being 22, she liked her wardrobe to be a bit more more revealing. She finally found a skirt that was boxed away with some other items. These items looked much more in style to her. They were very 'retro' she thought! Very cool! She knew no self-respecting 21 year old would ever wear some of the things that were hanging in the closet. 'I gotta get rid of this stuff!' she said making a mental note.
She had laid out some hose but decided against them. After all, her 20 year old legs were very toned and tanned. She was proud to show them off! She put on the short skirt and tied her blouse in a knot in order to reveal her flat stomach. After tossing many pairs of shoes aside, she settled on some sandals from the box.
'I'm waiting...' Daniel told the genie.
'Me too...on your last wish!'
'One at a time..OK? Where's my young wife?' and at that moment a young woman entered the room.
'Danny, honey? Can you help me with my necklace?' a voice from behind asked.
Daniel spun around. The voice sounded familiar. But younger.... Upon seeing the much youthened Janet he nearly fainted!
'Y...Y...You're ~YOUNG~!??? I mean practically a kid!' he stammered.
'I'm good aren't I?' the genie stated smugly.
'Yes you are! VERY!' Daniel told her.
'Hey? Who are you, like, talking too?' the teenaged Janet asked.
The genie stopped Daniel before he could speak. 'She can't see or hear me. I'm ~your~ genie. Better watch what you say.. ..you know? With that talking to yourself she might have you committed!'
'Ummm I was talking to you...' he told the teen.
'But Danny, you said, like, our age difference didn't matter!???' the young Janet answered surprised by Daniel's reaction.
'Ummmmm No... it doesn't matter.... I just meant so young and.... BEAUTIFUL!'
'Ohhhh you're so sweet' she cooed as she ran and kissed him on the cheek. 'Can I have some money to get some things?'
'I'm not sure. I really want you to watch your spending. What kind of things?' Daniel hoped he could retrain the teenaged Janet and change her spending habits.
'Gee, I dunno. I wanna get, like, a new two piece for laying out and some shorts and stuff for summer. I ~really~ need to get some new stuff!'
'Oh... hmmm ... I suppose... sure.' Daniel said as he handed her his gold card and imagined his young wife in her new clothes.
She planted a kiss on his lips and bounced out of the room.
'Bubbly little thing isn't she?' the genie asked.
'Yes...but really cute!' he replied. 'So how old is she.... 20?'
'No... you said younger wife and legal. That is 18. Really, it could have been 16 in this state but I figured 18 would be good enough since you didn't specify.'
'18!???....hmmmmmmm 18...' he said as a smile brightened his face 'My wife is 18!...I can handle that. Wait until the company picnic and I show up with my own Miss Teen USA. I'll be the envy of every guy there!'
'And a swine in the eyes of the women! But whatever... one more wish ~Danny~. What's it gonna be?'
'I'm going to wait! Think it through. I'm pretty happy right now. I don't want you to trick me and so I'll just wait until I can use my last wish properly!'
'OH... ~whatever~' the genie said as her voice oozed with sarcasm.
Daniel arrived at work. Most people were pretty quiet that day. He went about his day's business and dreamed of his upcoming night's fun! He could hardly wait for the day to end. He hoped that Janet's shopping included a trip to Victoria's Secret in the mall. As the close of the day neared, his boss buzzed for him to come to his office. Curious, he hurried there.
'Yes, Mr. Cruthers?' he asked.
'Dan, we need to talk. There's been some money come up missing. Mostly from your accounts. And always from accounts that you have access too. We hired a private investigator. He checked on you and got a copy of your bank records. That young wife of yours is rather high maintanence and you also have some pretty large deposits. Now, I don't know how you could have done it. I'm actually hoping that you have an explanation but I think we both know that it is not likely. Now, assuming you don't have an explanation, I'm willing to ask the prosecutor to go easy on you IF you return the money. All of it...'
'The ~prosecutor~?' Daniel asked. Daniel knew that the genie had tricked him!
'Yes. We're talking a lot of money. I can't ignore this...but I like you... If I get the company's money back I'll do what I can to get the prosecutor to lighten up. I know times are hard for you and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. Obviously, with this on your record you'll never get another job with this kind of a temptation again.'
'But...accounting...it's all I know.... I could never get another job at my age..... and jail? No....please' he begged.
'I'm really sorry but I also have to set an example. I can't have others think that they can do this and if they get caught just return the money! ....So do you want to talk or not?'
Daniel was stunned. His heart raced. 'Sir...I'm sorry... I wish I'd never picked up that bottle!'
'Granted' a voice said seeming from thin air.
'Honey, wake up. You'll be late for work!' Janet pleaded with her sleeping husband. His head was resting on the stack of bills.
He looked up and the realized the time. He had to hurry or he'd be late for work. At his age he didn't want any bad marks on his record. Without saying hardly a word, he was out the door in record time!
Janet, holding the bottle, watched him run out the door and hurriedly drive off.
'Well, I'm certainly lucky that he fell asleep or else he might've discoverd you first!' Janet told the genie standing before her.
'Yes.... you are a ~ lucky~ one!' the genie said throught a large grin 'OK... Two wishes down, Young husband and money.... You have one more. What's it gonna be?' the genie asked.
'Hmmmm I don't know' she said staring at her reflection in the window 'I think I really would like to be young again....'
......... The end?