Recap: Last week, our Hero (we’ll call him Peter going forward) found a funny oil lamp at a flea market. After Peter paid the merchant for the lamp, the gap-toothed merchant literally disappeared. Peter met up with his friend Larry, who offered to trade him his totally lame cork-and-wire banyan tree sculpture for the lamp.
What did Peter do? The votes are in: He took the oil lamp home, hoping it contained a wish-granting genie that wouldn’t knock his two front teeth out.
And now, back to our story…
Peter and Larry entered the modest studio apartment with their flea-market treasures in hand. Dead asleep, Ambrosia was stretched out in the square of sunlight streaming through the sliding glass window. Her little cat paws moved as she chased dream birds across an imaginary field.
“That’s cute,” Larry said, pointing at the feline. “Got beer?” He dumped his banyan tree on the coffee table, startling the cat awake.
“It’s ten o’clock in the morning, dude,” Peter said.
Larry shrugged. “I’ll mix it with orange juice.”
“Help yourself,” Peter replied.
While Larry fixed himself a breakfast beverage, Peter examined the oil lamp. He opened the lid and peered inside. A smile tugged at his lips. “It’s empty. You know, I half expected to find a genie inside.”
Larry took a sip of his orange beer and belched. “You have to rub it. That’s the genie rule.”
Peter laughed. “I’m not going to rub the lamp, Larry. That’s stupid.”
“Give it here. I’ll rub it.”
As the two men tussled over the lamp, Larry spilled his drink on the off-white carpet. “Oops.”
Peter shot Larry a dark look. He put the lamp on the counter and reached for a paper towel to mop up the stain. With a mischievous giggle, Larry whipped out his shirttail and used it to rub the lamp. For no apparent reason, a gust of wind swept through the room. Ambrosia arched her back and hissed.
Come back next Friday to see the results of the tally and find out what happens next in the story!
– S.G. Rogers