Crabula pulled at her hair, gritting her teeth in frustration. The little brat just wasn’t listening.
“I don’t wanna!” her twelve year old charge screamed.
“Well you have to! I’m the babysitter, and I said so! Now turn the tv off!” Crabula replied. He wards mother had demanded tv be turned off by 8:00.
“I don’t care if you’re the babysitter! I’m twelve years old! I don’t need a babysitter!”
"Well maybe, but you’re certainly not acting like a twelve year old! Clearly your mother hired me because you weren’t mature eno
ugh to be left on your own all night, and now you are proving her right! You are acting like a baby!" just as she said it, she knew it was the wrong thing to say. Her ward, Jessica, a small blond haired girl wearing jeans and a blue shirt, had been acting up all night. Crabula herself, a medium built brunet in jean shorts and a t-shirt, hadn’t wanted to be cruel to the young girl, no matter how spoiled she acted. However, there was no going back now.
“A baby! I’ll show you!” Jessica tried to grab at Crabula, but Crabula just held onto her wrists.
“That’s it,” Crabula said, “I’ve had enough. Go to bed now!”
“WHAT!? Its only 8:00! Mom said I could stay up until ten.”
“Yes but she also said I should send you to be earlier if you are acting up. Do you want me to have to tell your mother you weren’t listening?”
The girl pouted. “No….”
“Then off to bed,” she said sternly, pointing toward the stairs.
“Fine. But you’ll regret this.”
“Oh I’m SOOO scared…” Crabula said sarcastically.
She watched as the girl walked up the stairs, went into her room, and shut the door. She had to admit, she was a little surprised the girl responded so quickly.
Now finally having time alone, Crabula returned to the living room. There was a large flat screen tv, a black leather couch, and several book shelves. She sat down on the couch and turned on the tv. That rule had been made for Jessica, and since she was in bed, she saw no reason to enforce it for herself. As she watched, she turned on her laptop and ran through her school files, checking if her grades had come in. For the most part, she had done well, and a list of Bs with a few As came up.
A few hours later there was a knock on the door. She got up to answer it, and saw Jessica’s parents standing there. They were a fairly young couple, mid or late thirties, and both tall. The father was brown haired and wore a suit, while the mother was the same blond as her daughter and wore a long green dress.
“Oh! Hello Mr. and Mrs. Smith. How was your night out?”
“It was amazing. Thanks so much for coming in on such short notice for Jessica. I hope she wasn’t too much trouble…?” Mrs. Smith asked.
“Oh it wasn’t a problem to come in” Crabula tried not to sound sarcastic. Getting a call with less than an hours notice was bad enough, and even worse on a Friday night, even if it was summer. “As for Jessica…” she knew she shouldn’t be trying to get revenge on a twelve year old girl, but couldn’t help herself. “To be honest, Mrs. Smith, she was a perfect little brat. She complained about everything, refused to turn off the tv, and generally acted like she was half her age. She even tried to push me! I had to send her to bed early.” She left out the part that Jessica had, in the end, gone to her bed without much of a fight and had been quite all night. She told herself it simply wasn’t important.
"Oh really!? Well, I’m sure we will have to do something about that tomorrow. Thanks again, Crabula Mrs. Smith sounded generally surprised, though this was fairly common with Jessica. Crabula took the money for the night, said goodbye, and left.
As soon as she was out the door, Crabula let out a huge sigh of relief. She got on her bike, a large red Airbourne mountain bike, put on her helmet, switched on the lights and began riding. These nights were getting more and more stressful. Not many of her babysitting charges exactly liked her, and to be honest, the feeling was mutual. Crabula was constantly shocked at how rude and immature they could be. Was she really that bad at their age? She couldn’t have been. Perhaps she was a bit stricter then the other babysitters, and more willing to give punishments, but they needed it, it was how she was raised, and frankly she just couldn’t deal with it all. She only kept going because she REALLY needed the money to save for college. But between babysitting, school work, household chores, and the million other things she needed to do, she was more than worn out. She just wished she could have a break from it all, no responsibilities, no work…
Suddenly her bike jammed and she felt herself flip over her handlebar. She landed with a thud on the ground, and felt her bike land on top of her.
“OOPH!” she said. She began rubbing her shoulder and head where she had landed. Thank god for her helmet.
She looked back at her bike. What had caused her to crash? She saw something on the path, half buried. Her tire must have hit it.
She bent down for a closer look. To her surprise, what she found was metallic. She picked it up, and realized she was looking at a very old lamp.
She almost laughed out loud. It was just like the ones she had seen in old stories and the “Aladdin” movie. It was made of bronze, with a handle, a wide body, and a long, thin neck. Almost as a joke, she began to rub it…
And was surprised to see something come out. A long stream of red and gold smoke poured out of the neck, collecting into a massive cloud. She watched, stunned, as the cloud condensed into a being with red skin a broad gold bars wrapping around it. The world around him seemed to change, with colors flowing randomly, things bending and twisting, and everything feeling as if it was a dream.
“I am Yasafar, the red genie. I am here to grant you three wishes, whatever they may be,” the being spoke in a deep, powerful voice that shook the ground.
Crabula, still sitting on the ground, was to shocked to speak.
“Well?” it said.
“Is… is this real? Did I hit my head in the fall?” Crabula began rubbing her scalp, feeling for any bruises.
“Yes, this is real, and no, you didn’t. If it is your wish, however, I can give you a head injury.” The being began to raise its massive, muscular hand.
“No no, that’s ok. Please don’t.” Crabula sunk down to the ground and raised her hands to protect herself.
“Well then I must insist you come up with something. I have places to be you know,” the genie said.
“What? Aren’t I supposed to be your master or something? What do you mean places to be?”
“He listen lady, I have a life outside of work, ok? Not everything revolves around you.”
“What? What things? What kind of genie are you?” she couldn’t believe it. Even having wishes granted was turning out to be stressful.
“Look, I have a job to do like everyone else, and frankly, you aren’t exactly helping me do it. I happen to be a VERY GOOD Genie. I have many satisfied customers to prove it, so I don’t need your sass. Check my reviews online. So why don’t we just move this along, ok? What do you want?”
“Well… I uh….” Crabula had never really thought about it. Frankly, the idea of a Genie having ratings online had confused her too much to think.
“Oh do hurry up,” the genie said, creating a watch on his wrists so he could glance at it and emphasise his point. “Perhaps thinking is a bit rough for you. Want more brain cells?” He began to raise his hand again.
“Hey, NO! That’s not what I want. Jackass!”
“Hmm. Seems strange that you wouldn’t care about being smart. Says a lot about you.” Crabula’s jaw dropped. “But if you want a Jackass, then I can definitely do that.”
“NO! Jackass is an insult, you dumbass!”
“Oh it is, is it? Well call me a dumbass if you want, at least I could come up with a wish. Now, what do you want?”
"Uhhh… uhhh. Sorry! All out of “uhhh”. I don’t know what “uhhh” is. Anything you want other than “uhhh?”
“OH MY GOD, YOU ARE SUCH AN A-HOLE!”
“Oh an a-hole am I? Not a nice thing to say to someone offering you free stuff.”
Crabula moaned in frustration. Why was everything in her life so stressful?
“Weeelll?” the Genie said.
“Alright alright.” Crabula thought back to all the work she had to do, babysitting spoiled kids, having o pay for things, buying books and clothes for college, studying… "I want to be free from responsibilities. I want everything to be taken care of for me, clothes, food, everything. And I want my babysitting charges, especially the ones who always seem to hate me, to know how it feels to go through what they put me through.
“Alright. To be quite honest, those where pretty lousy wishes. Like, a four out of ten AT BEST. 2 stars. Anything else, maybe a bit smarter, you’d want? Try thinking this time.”
“WHAT!? THOSE WERE EXCELLENT WISHES!! THEY ARE LIKE A 9 OUT OF TEN AT LEAST! I DID THINK ABOUT THEM, AND I’M PLENTY SMART! YOU"RE JUST A DUMBASS!” at this point, Crabula was willing to leave with or without her wishes just to get rid of him. She had put up with FAR too much to deal with this right now, so she definitely wasn’t taking time to reconsider her wishes.
The genie looked a little irritated, but sighed. “Alright, if that’s what you want, your wishes are granted.” He waved his hand.
Crabula heard a doorbell ring. She looked around. It was day time, and she was standing on some’s porch, holding someone else’s hand. Upon looking up, she saw the hand she was holding belonged to her mother, and the porch was the Smith’s. She noticed a bicycle much like hers, a Airbourne mountain bike, except that it was bright pink with tassels on the handles and beads on the wheels, and came equipped with training wheels. She eyed it suspiciously. What was going on?