Genie in Training

Probably a bit predictable but I will add more later and get to the ABDL stuff.

Chapter 1: Al

“Man, you are so old,” had been Travis’ comment when Jace had told him he was going to the flea market to look for an old-fashioned oil lamp. But it was Travis who had complained that Jace kept the lights on too late at night reading his books. Jace had decided to be a considerate roommate and find another way to read at night. The clip on flash lights never quite worked for him, so an old fashioned oil lamp seemed like just the thing.

Of course, now that he was at the flea market with a bunch of 60 year-olds and octogenarians he was wondering if Travis had been right. Of course, there were others too, but he was certainly he the youngest.

He had already picked up a few old books – not that he needed more. He had found a guy who looked like he was in his late 30s or early 40s selling his old Magic cards, and he had bought several for what he considered a good deal. The guy’s wife had probably told him it was time to give it up.

What Jace had not found, however, was the lamp. He had done half a dozen laps of the market, searching and searching to no avail. Now several of the merchants were closing up shop, and it seemed like he would have to go back to the dorm empty handed.

But on his final go-around, a man, probably in his 70s, called to him, “What are you looking for? Maybe it’s your lucky day.”

Tired and ready to be done, Jace nearly passed right on by the man, but something told him to at least stop and talk. “Hi. I’m looking for a lamp, something to read by at night.”

The man grinned. “I’ve got just the thing.” He pulled out what looked like a very fragile oil lamp, “This what you had in mind?”

Jace was impressed the man actually had it, “Yeah” he said, started to get excited, “How much?”

The man laughed, “Oh, this is a special lamp.” There was a twinkle in his eye, “I’m not sure its for sale.”

Jace groaned. Maybe he should get a cheap bedside lamp from Walmart on the way back and call it done. His RAs would probably appreciate that it didn’t require an open flame, no matter how small. He was about to get rude with the man, but then the man continued, “But I’d give it to you for free, if you’re the right man for it.”

Jace was confused. That was an odd way to talk. But a free lamp would be cool. “Okay, so how do you know if I’m the right one for it?”

The man laughed. “Well, let me ask you a few questions. How old do you think I am?”

“Um, sixty-five?” Jace figured the man was at least seventy-five, but wanted to be polite.
The man laughed, “I’m a lot older than that, but thank you. Let me ask you another question: Do you believe in the spiritual realm?”

Jace had grown up in church, but was confident that this was not what the man was asking, “Um, what do you mean?”

The man paused, “Do you believe in magic?”

Jace laughed. “You sound like Disney. But uh, no, I guess not.”

The man smiled. “Sorry young man, I’m not sure you’re right for this lamp. But if you ever change your mind about magic, come back and find me. I’ll be here.”

Jace couldn’t believe he had let himself get suckered into this conversation, but tried not to let it show. “Well, thanks for talking anyway. What’s your name, by the way, in case I do change my mind?”

The man paused again, “You know, in the several years I have been here, you’re the first to actually ask my name. I’m Al.”

“Well, Al, nice to meet you,” Jace was about to turn and head on to Walmart.

“Wait a second. Maybe you could use this lamp after all,” Al said.

Jace turned back around and Al continued, “Like I said, it’s a special lamp. I’ve gotten all the use I can out of it, but maybe you can put it to good use.”

With that, the man handed the lamp to Jace. Jace said a simple “thank you” and turned around to head back to his car. When he turned his head again, Al was already packed up and gone.

Chapter 2: Introductions

Jace had the dorm to himself that weekend. Travis had gone to visit his girlfriend. So Jace thought it was a good time to try the lamp for the first time. He got the lamp all set up, turned off the lights and grabbed his book, and then lit the wick. It gave just enough light for him to see his page.

At first.

Soon the room started to fill with smoke. Jace wondered if he had done something wrong. But the lamp itself seemed to be fine and the smoke alarm didn’t go off.

Then to his amazement, the smoke seemed to gather in the middle of the room. And then it began to take shape. And then the smoke was gone and standing in front of him was a young girl, no older than he was.

“Um…” was all he could muster.

“Hi!” the girl said.

“Umm….” Jace replied.

“Not too talkative are you. It’s okay. Maybe you’re not too smart either,” she giggled.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jace asked.

The girl said, “You started up an old lamp, and now a strange person is standing in your room. What do you think I am?”

Jace finally realized what was going on, why Al had been so cryptic. “You’re a genie?”

“Yep!” the girl said, “Well, kinda.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m a genie in training.”

“In training?”

“Yeah. The first a thousand years of being a genie is training. Then you can actually do the whole three wishes thing pretty well. You can actually help those who need it, and be a trickster to those who only want three wishes for bad stuff.”

Jace was still in shock. “So, you can’t give me three wishes? And why do you look like a cute girl? I thought genies…” he couldn’t finish his thought.

“Oh I can look like whatever you want me to, but I thought this form would be the best choice.” Jace nodded as she continued, “And I can give you three wishes, with all the usual limitations about no wishing for more wishes and not being able force someone to love you. But let’s just say I haven’t worked out all the side effects yet.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you met Al, right? He was my last master. He wished for immortality as his third wish. He got it.”

Jace was impressed. “Okay, so what was the side effect?”

“He was thirty when he made that wish. He instantly became that old, and hasn’t aged a day since.”

“Oh.” Jace wished he could say something more eloquent, then laughed. Good thing this genie couldn’t hear his thoughts.

“It’s different with each person. I never know what the side effect might be.”

Jace asked, “What about like wishing for your freedom as the third wish?”

“Oh, please don’t do that! I love being a genie. You get to meet all sorts of people. Like I said, I can help those who need it, and trick those who don’t.”

“How do you know which I am?”

“That’s part of our training, figuring out how to tell all that.”
“Well, should I just call you Genie, or do you actually have a name?”

“Jean works just fine.”

“And um…”

“Don’t worry, no one else can see me. I can follow you around and see what you’re like, and when you’re ready you can make a wish. But remember to be specific, or it’ll come back to bite you.”

“You’re gonna follow me around all the time?”

“Of course. Don’t worry, you’ll have your privacy, I don’t peak into the bathroom or anything.”

“Oh okay.”

Jean giggled, “You’re really surprised by all this aren’t you, Jace?”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it. It just takes a little time.”

You have a unique take on a genie story and I’ll be interested in seeing where it goes. I eagerly anticipate your next chapter.

Well, based on this I’m definitely interested in seeing what comes next. Magic stories somewhat frequently end up being a bit too convoluted for me to follow, in terms of having rather weak cause and effect relationships.

So far I haven’t found any out-and-out contradictions in your story logic, but there are definitely some things that could use explaining later on.

Jean tells Jace that Al made his immortality wish at the age of thirty. Al tells Jace that he was well over the age of sixty-five. Is Al talking about his appearance, or his actual age? If it’s the former, it has been at least “several” years since his last wish was granted. If it’s the latter, then Jean must have been with Al for over thirty five years after he became immortal. Why is that? When she told Jace not to wish for her to become a human, she explained that she enjoys being a genie, since she can reward good people and punish bad. There’s a separate issue here I’ll get to in a minute, but the point is that she evidently wants to keep doing her job. So why didn’t she want to find a new master as quickly as possible? Was she trying to assist in ridding Al of his aged appearance? Was she taking a nap?

It seems that during this time, Al was on a quest to find a person “worthy” of being the next master of the lamp… but based on Jean statement that judging the morals of the lamp’s owner and acting accordingly is a part of her job, I’d say that “worthiness” isn’t a factor Al needs to consider, unless of course it is possible for an evil person to still be considered worthy. All in all, it seems like Al could’ve probably handed it to anyone as soon as his last wish was done and it would’ve been okay. And eventually it seems like that’s what he did anyway, since the only evidence of Jace’s worth is being interested in an oil lamp and asking Al for his name.

The other big sort of issue that I see is that Jean says that she likes punishing the wicked and rewarding the virtuous. She also says that her magic can have random side effects, most likely since her training is incomplete. Taking these together, it seems like she’s capable of accidentally rewarding a wicked person or punishing a virtuous person. So the whole thing may as well be luck of the draw. To me this makes unforeseen consequences of a wish equally likely to be because the person asking for them is a terrible person, or because she messed up. She says Al’s age changing was an accident. So, under Jean’s moral system, which would inherently have some degree of subjectivity, he was a good person. How did she determine this? I don’t think this is apparent from the wish itself; I think most people would agree that immortality is an inherently selfish idea. So she must have determined this by observing his other actions as well. But Jean’s novice status as a magic user seems to be superseded by the rules governing wishes. She can’t give you immortality without messing up, but she can stop you from getting more wishes or making someone fall in love with you. First of all, given that she takes the lamp holder’s character into account when interpreting wishes, and that granting wishes is essential to become a better genie, I see no reason to hop on the “no wishing for more wishes” bandwagon. If she can find a morally good master, then I feel like granting them endless wishes would be perfect for both improving the condition of the world in general, and also improving her skills. That is, so long as the wishes don’t warp that master’s morality. And even if they did, given her broad range of wish interpretation, I think she could deal with it.

Lastly, is it just me, or is it weird and sort of a massive tease to find a genie that can’t make anyone fall in love with you, manifests itself as a girl your own age, and doesn’t want to be human? From the perspective of Jean, if you see your new master is a young man, who is presumably both heterosexual and single, and you can’t make anyone fall into love with him, and you want to remain a genie, that form would be the worst possible one you could take…

Anyway, please continue writing. As you can hopefully tell, you’ve gotten me very interested. The overall character dynamics of this story so far kind of reminds me of “The Girl in my Closet”, which I’ve been a big fan of for a while.

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Been a while since I’ve read a genie story. Can’t remember the last one to enter the realm of AB/DL. I’m looking forward to this.

Ch. 3 The First Wish
Jace hadn’t made a wish yet. He wanted to be careful, not messing it up. Jean had followed him around, and as far he could tell, she had been true to her word and given him privacy when he wanted it.

But she was anxious for him to make a wish, and so he found himself back at the flea market talking to Al:

Al grinned when he saw Jace, “Back already?”
Jace nodded, “I figured out why your lamp was so special.”
“He thinks I’m special?” Jean giggled.
“Wait, you can’t see her?” Jace asked.
“Her? Oh, you mean John. No, only the current master can see the genie.”
“And you wished for immortality?”
“Yeah. I was 30. I got it. I haven’t aged a day since then. But I also instantly became this old man you see in front of you.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of, I don’t want to mess up my wish.”
“Smart young man. But I can’t help you. Each wish for each person is different.”
“Remember, the genie is always judging you. You have to prove your worth.”
“What if I just wished you were back to your original age?”
Both Jean and Al said at the same time, “There would be side effects.”
“What do you mean?” Jace asked Al.
And again both Jean and Al spoke, “You can’t undo a genies magic.” Al continued, “If you try, things just get weird. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll just say I learned it the hard way. Anyway, it’s time for me to pack up again.”
“Can’t you give me any advice?”
“It sounds like you’re stressing over the whole thing way too much. I found you worthy, remember? And that you want to be careful proves that all over again. Just enjoy having the genie around.”
And with that Al turned around and the conversation was over.

Jace rode quietly in the car on the way back. Jean was still there, smiling.
Finally, Jace had to ask, “Okay, so obviously if I say something like, “I wish I was rich,” then you couldn’t just turn me into a guy named Rich, or have everything think that was my name.”
Jean laughed, “Yep, I’ve had several of those from my former masters. You have to be more clear.”
“But if I say, I wish I had a million dollars,” then it could be that I have a million because I robbed a bank or something. Or someone in my family died.”
“And you can’t tell me if I’m worthy or not?”
“I’d trust Al, but no I can’t.”
“Ok” and Jace was quiet again.

The next day Jace got out of class, and as he walked out, he paused to try and speak to his crush, Dani. Dani wasn’t the “sexiest” girl at the school, but she was very pretty. She was kind and smart and as far as Jace could tell, had a good sense of humor. But at the last second he lost his nerve and simply headed back to his dorm.
“Aww, poor thing,” Jean said from beside him as he walked, “Can’t talk to the girl of your dreams?”
“I know. I’m a wimp.”
“You know I could change that.”
“You said you can’t make someone fall in love?”
“I can’t, but I could give you courage.”
“I think I’d only have courage if I knew she would say yes.”
“Well I can’t do that.”

Jace kept on thinking. What could he wish for that would guarantee that Dani would say yes?

It took three more days, but finally he had it. “Alright, Jean,”
She turned to him and smiled, “You’re finally ready?”
“Yes.” Jace got a piece of paper from his desk, “I wish… I legally, tax-free, and without undo suffering of others, had multi-million dollars in my bank account.”
Jean grinned and replied, “Nothing about Dani?”
“I figure if I have that money, I can plan a super fancy date that she wouldn’t say no to. Even if she says yes not liking me, I still have a date with her and can win her over.”
“Then you’re absolutely sure?”
“Then its done.”

Jace opened up his laptop and logged into his checking account. Sure enough, there was 10,000,000 sitting in it. He picked up the phone and called his bank too. “I just want to confirm that is the right amount, no errors.” The lady on the other end simply said, “Well of course, Mr. Newman.”
“And I have access to that at any time?”
“Of course, Mr. Newman.”

The first thing Jace did was pay off his loans. Then he paid off his car, and his parents home. He donated some to charities around town, and took Travis out to eat at the fanciest steak restaurant in town. When Travis asked how Jace got the money, Jace just smiled and said, “Magic.”

Then he started planning his date with Dani. He purchased a nice suit, rented a limo, made a reservation at a nice Italian restaurant. He made sure everything was going to be perfect.

The night before he was planning on finally asking her out, he was relaxed, content, and at peace. For a while, he had wondered what the side effects of his wish might be, but since nothing had happened so far, he was starting to think he had just made the perfect, fool-proof wish.

And that’s when it happened. He woke up with a start. Something wasn’t right. It took him a minute to figure out what was wrong. And then he recognized the sensation, something that hadn’t happened to him since he was eleven. He had wet the bed.

He climbed out of the bed and went into the bathroom to shower. As he was showering, he spoke out loud, “Jean?”
She appeared on the other side of the curtain: “Yes? Getting bolder already, inviting me into the bathroom with you.”
“No peaking, okay, but did you do this?”
“Do what? Make you wet the bed? I don’t know. Remember I’m not in control of the side effects. Maybe you just had an accident.”
“I haven’t had an accident since I was eleven.”
“Maybe you’re just nervous about your big date?”
Jace wasn’t sure what was going on. He got out of the shower, dried off, and took the sheets to the laundry – it was probably time to change them anyway. If Travis asked, he could simply say, “I couldn’t sleep and decided to get some work done. That would be true, mostly.”

Jace tried to get that work done, but he couldn’t focus. Was this a one time accident? Or was he a bedwetter again? And what did bedwetting have to do with his wish to have money? And would he still ask Dani out?

He decided he would, and so after class, once he again he tried to approach her. This time his nerve didn’t let him down and when her friends had moved on, he simply said, “Are you free Friday? I’d love to take you to…”

But before he could finish, she said, “Sure. I’d like that. I’d been wondering when you’d ask me.”
Jace was shocked, “You knew I liked you?”
She nodded, “Travis told Kristen, who told me.”
Kristen was Travis’ girlfriend. Jace would have to have a conversation with Travis about confidentiality. But right now he didn’t care, “How does picking you up at 6 sound?”

When Friday came, Jace was anxious. He wanted everything to go right. He had bought flowers and chocolate, and made sure that there would be no wait time when they arrived at the restaurant. When the limo pulled up in front of the girls dorm, several of the other girls eyes got big and they giggled and smiled as Dani climbed into the car. She was wearing a simple blue dress, modest but attractive all at the same time, “A limo, really? You must really like me.”

Jace nodded, “Yeah. I’ve liked you for a while.”
“Well, lead on.”

As the limo pulled out onto the road, the two of them proceeded into the traditional first date small talk. Soon Jace was able to relax. Well, almost. He could still see Jean sitting on the other side of the limo, silently watching.

By the time they got to the restaurant, Jace was hungry. Fortunately, the table was ready and the waitress was prepped and ready to go with the specials of the day. Dani started out, “I’ll just have a salad,” but Jace said, “No judgment here, order whatever you want.” “And if what I want is expensive?”
“My treat, and no expectations,” and she changed her order. Things seemed to be going well.

On the way back, the conversation flowed naturally and Jace forgot he was supposed to be nervous.

When they arrived back at the dorm, Jace got out first, went around the car, and opened the door for Dani. He walked her back to the front door of the dorm – as far as he could go according to the college’s rules.

“I had a great time tonight,” he said.
“Me too,” Dani grinned.
“So, maybe we could do it again next week?”
Dani opened her mouth and was started to say, “Yes, that sounds good.” But all she got out was “Ye-“ before she paused.

Jace panicked, “What’s the matter? Did I do something wrong? Is it something I said?”
Dani’s eyes widened and she said, “Um. No, I had a great time too, it’s just, uh”
Dani replied, “Your pants are wet.”

Hmm, I’d be lying if I said there was a whole lot I found interesting in this particular chapter. Taking such pains to ensure a straightforward interpretation of his wish seems pretty meaningless when there’s no evidence indicating that Jean thinks he’s a bad person and there’s lots of evidence saying that there will be random side effects regardless of what he wishes or who he is.

I mean, I understand that the plot needs to progress and that hijinks need to ensue, but I’d also like to see more characterization and logical thinking from the characters.

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