Max looked over the dingy dented copper kettle, he noted the strange writing on it, he wondered how it got in the junk pile of this old dilapidated cabin on this abandoned strip mine. He shrugged and wondered if it was worth cleaning up or just throwing in the scrap pile. Copper was going for about $2.93 a pound, not that this piece weighed more than a pound but every little bit helped in the scrap business. He took his bandanna out of his pocket and rubbed it, maybe he could clean it up.
As soon as the cloth was swiped across the kettle a loud boom came from no where and everywhere smoke began to spew from the kettle’s spout. Max dropped it and took a few steps back and promptly fell on his butt, that is when a voice came from the smoke. “Who summons the genie of the lamp?” the smoke formed a cloud which then coalesced into a torso and head of a man. The figure’s features got more and more sharp until Max could see he was bare-chested, earrings in both of his ears with a very noble but unsmiling face. The face began to look around and his eyes fell on Max. “Are you the Master of the Lamp.”
Max shook his head blinked really hard and looked back up at the smoke and floating top half of the man. “I am having a acid flashback.” Max said out loud then shook his head again. “That is not right, I grew up in the 80s and I have never done acid or any other hard drugs for that matter.”
The figure leaned over and looked at Max’s digital watch. “I see the age of science and reason still prevails, but have you heard the story of the genie of the lamp?”
Max raised an eyebrow quizzically. “You mean Aladdin and the wizard with the booby trapped cavern?”
The top half of the man laughed, a big belly laugh. “I am in the presence of a an educated man.”
“Not really I barely graduated high school but I did read One Thousand and One Nights.”
“Good then you understand the basic principles of this, you are the Master of the Lamp, I am your slave to command, you have three wishes so choose wisely.”
Max raised his hand like he had been taught in class and Sunday school.
“No need to raise your hand Master, I take it you have a question well let me answer the most frequent asked questions and save us time. No you cannot wish for more wishes. No I cannot change the world or the past, I can only effect you, for example I can make you irresistible to women or rich or both.” The genie smiled and winked at him. ”Or like the last guy, he asked to be rich and famous, to say whatever he wanted and to be President of the United States.”
Max grimaced, so that is how the Oompa Loompa had done it. Not with a deal with the devil but three wishes, he shook his head. “Not my question but thanks for the information.”
The genie interrupted. “Oh, you want to know if I can raise the dead, or make someone fall in love with you or perhaps kill your enemies. Sorry but no on all three but I can make you a great undefeatable warrior so you can kill your own enemies.” The genie said nodding enthusiastically.
Max shook his head no again.
The genie looked confused now. “Then master what is your question?”
“You say that since I found the lamp I am the master and you are my slave.”
“Yes until I complete the three wishes then the lamp will vanish from sight along with your memory of me, the lamp will be cast to the winds of chance to another location for someone else to find.” The genie said as if this was common knowledge. “So what is your command Master and please use the phrase ‘I wish’ that way I know you mean it.”
Max nodded understanding, then shook his head. “I am sorry genie but I do not believe another person should be the slave to anyone else so I cannot make a wish that would be wrong.”
The genie raised his eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“I do not believe anyone should be forced to do anything against their will and I believe in a free exchange of goods and services between free and willing persons. If you are a slave that negates your freedom, I will not participate in the enslavement of anyone.”
The genie lowered himself down to Max’s eye level on the ground. “I do not understand you, this is your right, you own the lamp, therefore I am yours to command.”
“I may own the lamp, but that does not give me the right to take your freedom. I will not participate in your forced servitude.
The genie scratched his head. “So no wishes huh?
Max crossed his arms. “Nope.”
The two stared at each other for a while.
“Anything I can do to change your mind?”
Max shook his head. “Nothing comes to mind.”
The genie put his hands on the cloud where his hips would be. “I cannot return home till I have granted your wishes. So you must make three wishes so I can find a new master.” Max must have had a confused look on his face so the genie spoke again. “I cannot return home till I serve a hundred masters, you are my twenty-third master.” The genie said matter or factly. “You must make your wishes.”
“I will not.” Max said standing up so he was even with the genie.
“We have a problem then Master.” The genie said growing in size and his voice got deeper and louder and the smoke that made up the lower portion of his body got darker.
Max shook his head.
“You must.” The genie said towering over Max trying to intimidate him.
Max crossed his arms glaring back. “Nope.”
The two of them stared at each other, after a few minutes the two stopped and Max walked over to his nearby ATV and drank from his canteen, he offered it to the genie who was watching him all this time. The genie shrugged and floated over to him and Max extended the canteen to him, with that gesture Max had and idea. “Can I make a wish for you?”
The genie looked at Max. “No one has ever asked that question before.” The genie said confused. “You would do that for me Master?”
“Yes and please stop calling me Master, my name is Max, I am just a simple duck farmer out gathering a little copper for some cash.
“You are a duck farmer, I used to be a shepherd.”
Max nodded then continued. “Can I wish for you to be free?”
“I don’t see why not.” The genie answered quickly grinning ear to ear.
Max stepped back and looked the genie in the eye. “I wish
Just another piece in my ongoing efforts to examine my own libertarian/voluntarist/pacifistic anarchist world view point.