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February 15th, 2017

Todd slumped his shoulders and exhaled. He held the genie lamp up in one hand, and rubbed it with the other.

The lamp began to shake, so Todd placed it on the ground. Smoke began enthusiastically pouring out of the lamp. While he was watching the lamp, he felt somebody tapping his shoulder.

Todd turned around and saw a bald shirtless man wearing thick golden wrist bands. He looked quite powerful. "I am Bhebul the Bold. You have woken me and I must grant you three wishes. Be warned that I will grant you exactly the words you wish. Speak carefully." Todd looked carefully at Bhebul. He looked extremely eager.

Todd looked at the genie, and dryly said, "Well, I could go for a snack. How about: I wish for an apple."

Bhebul the Bold stared at Todd. His smug smile slowly faded away. "You mean you want just an apple? You could wish for anything at all, and you choose an apple." Bhebul stared at Todd for a minute, "Okay...okay. You can have your apple." He snapped his fingers and an apple appeared in Todd's hand. Todd took a bite and slumped over. The genie maniacally laughed.

An hour later and Todd stretched his arms and yawned. He opened his eyes and saw the genie looking at him. "You didn't say the apple had to be nontoxic!" He maniacally laughed again.

Todd stretched and slowly got up, "Well, thank you. I also needed to rest. That wish was like a twofer. Do you want to count it as two?"

The genie stared at Todd wide-mouthed. He had to summarize what was happening to try to help him understand. "You made one wish and are asking me if we can count that as two." The genie looked up at the sky and continued talking to himself, "Well, this has never happened before." He then turned to face Todd again, "Ok, you get three wishes. You made one. You have two more."

Todd looked at the genie blankly, "Well, okay. The sun's nearly set now and I could really go for a good cuppa tea before supper. Sorry, let me phrase that better for you. I wish for a good cup of tea." He thought for a second, then added, "Oh, non-toxic too." He winked at the genie.

Bhebul the Bold looked up at Todd, then started slowly shaking his head. "Now you want tea...Okay." He snapped his finger and a steaming mug appeared in Todd's hand.

Todd smelled the tea deeply. The genie watched but didn't laugh this time. "It's just tea. It's not going to make you hallucinate, or fall asleep, or anything.

"Cheers, mate!" He took a sip. "You know what would go well with this? A blueberry scone. I have one wish left, right?"

The genie snapped his fingers and a scone appeared in Todd's other hand. He pointed at the scone, "That one's on the house." The genie moved his finger pointing to the two of them. "You know, this whole thing we're doing isn't fun unless the person making a wish is more ambitious."

Todd took a bite of the blueberry scone. "This is delicious." Thank you."

The genie was mumbling about places that Todd might leave the lamp when he was done. "Maybe outside a business school, or in an NBA locker room."

Todd looked at the genie, "For my last wish, I would very much like to enjoy every sunset just like this, with a cup of tea and a scone."

The genie looked at Todd and seemed impressed. "There you go, that's something at least. You know what, I'm going to just give it to you. I can't imagine how the rest of your life is that you wish for an apple and some tea. You can have it." He snapped his fingers.

Having granted three wishes, smoke started appearing to pull the genie back into his lamp. He watched as Todd's entire demeanor changed. Todd pulled his shoulders back and threw the cup and scone over his shoulder. The genie looked at him trying to comprehend what had happened. Todd looked at him as he faded away, "Thank you, Bhebul. I'll enjoy every sunset for the next 3.25 billion years."