Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

Why recycle if you can produce?

I was in front of the weirdest scene possible.

A man-child of around 20 years was standing in front of me gawking while beside him stood — no, hovered — a creature. The creature was barely human with the whole body shining like a holograph. It had no feet and the whole body below the waist simply turned into smoke. He spoke first.

“Master! Your wish has been fulfilled. Due to the enormity of the wish, I will need to rest for at least a week before I will be able to fulfil any wish and almost a year before a similar wish.”

“I know. Rest well my friend.” The boy said smugly. The genie vanished in a puff of smoke. The boy turned to me now. He looked at me up and down like a prized goat. A shiver ran through my body. Do I know them?

“Excuse me…” I finally built courage to speak. “Where am I? And how did I land here? I was….” Shit! I didn’t remember where I was before this.

The boy smiled creepily.

“What is your name?” He asked me.

“My name is ….” Why didn’t I know my name? I knew so many other things. I could tell you the current president of US is Obama and that my favorite city was Barcelona. Why couldn’t I tell him my own name?

“I thought so.” He nodded to himself and sat down.

Suddenly his face was tired. He didn’t look the same creepy person of a minute back.

“Sit down.” He commanded.

“Excuse me. Who are you to order me?” I said.

He looked up at me and laughed.

“Sit down, please.”

I sat down.

“You know you are the most beautiful woman in the world.”

“Thank you. I am flattered but I don’t think its true.”

“Oh it is true. I would know.”

“You would know. How?”

He smiled again the creepy smile.

“Because I wished it to be so. Ralph is a genie you see. Within a few limitations, it can grant any wish. I wished for the most beautiful woman to be with me.”

I was stunned. I was created on a whim of a boy. What does he intend to do with me? If I don’t agree, can he kill me as easily?

“Why?” I finally stuttered.

“Every year, there is a comic convention that I go to. I would prefer to go with a companion rather than alone, if you know what I mean.” He said grinning.

“You created me to go to a party with you?” I was incredulous.

“Having a personal genie can make you a bit callous I suppose.” The boy said smiling. He had started to nibble on the bread sitting in front of him. I realised I was hungry as well.

“You can eat too.” He said, as if reading my mind.

“Thank you. But I thought genies fulfilled only 3 wishes.”

“I thought so too before I met it three years ago. That is just a myth. Genies can fulfil any number of wishes. In fact, they like granting wishes. It is like an orgasm to them. The only catch is that they need a rest period after every wish. Small wishes like bringing food requires a second or so. On the other hand, a girl will set you back for almost a year before a similar wish can be fulfilled.”

I started to eat but my questions were not over.

“So, what is my name?” I finally asked.

“Well, I have made a list of them. Choose whichever you like.” He said giving me a sheet with names and their meaning.

“After the comic-con, what will you do with me?” I finally mustered up the courage to ask him. I was disposable to him. No one knows I exist. He can kill me and no one would be wiser.

“I am not going to kill you, if that is your concern.” He said looking into my eyes. He must have seen fear in them.

“I am sorry. Its just that everything is so surreal.”

“Its alright. You can stay with me for a year or so. We can date too if you are interested. Although, I must warn you, I don’t find woman as interesting as computers. My suggestion to you would be to participate in the Miss Universe contest. I will ask the genie to make a fake ID for you. Won’t be a big problem and you will surely win.”

“Wow! You have it all sorted out.”

“The convention is not happening for the first time you know.” He said winking at me.

“You mean to say I am not the first.”

“Or the last. Why recycle if you can produce?”