Devon took his hat off and slapped it against his dirtied knee to get all the dust off of it, and then ran his forearm across his sweaty head. He didn’t even think about the dust and dirt that covered his arm, so he had no way of knowing he now sported a damp cruddy smear over his forehead. He put his Minnesota Wild cap back on, this time backwards, so he had a little more light. He swung the hammer one more time, and watched the remainder of the wall he was demolishing crumble.
As he waited for the dust to clear, he looked around at his handiwork. His parents had thought he was crazy, buying a century-old abandoned house, and he realized after the first day of remodeling that they were probably right. He figured the huge undertaking would get his mind off of her, but then he realized everything about this place only reminded him of her even more. He snorted at himself in disgust, and looked down at his feet, blinking rapidly to dispel the tears that threatened to appear. He saw something glint in the light of his yellow construction lamp, and he rubbed his eyes to clear his vision.
He’d already ripped down several walls in the house, and found it amusing all the things the former owners had stuffed in the walls. He’d kept a few fifty-plus-year-old newspapers, but thrown away the decrepit accordion. He bent down to pick up the thing that had caught his eye, and realized as he pulled it out of the rubble that it was an aged beer bottle. Given his affinity for beer, he thought maybe this would be a cool little trinket to clean up and display since it was still intact. He peered intently at the label, trying to read it, but it was too grimy, so he rubbed his thumb over the printing to read it better.
Suddenly, the bottle got extremely hot, and he dropped it, holding his burning hand as the offending bottle rolled across the dusty floor.
“What the fuck?!” He cursed in confusion, inspecting his palm for burn welts. He jumped out of his skin when the beer bottle on the floor burst into flames. The blaze was blindingly bright, then went out almost immediately. Devon blinked, giving his eyes a second to adjust to the alterations in light.
“Seriously, what the hell?” He wondered to himself.
“Not quite. Just a little less than an angel.” Devon was startled when he heard the silky voice- even more so when he realized there was a woman standing in front of him. He took in the waist-length jet hair and dark almond eyes and knew she wasn’t from around here. He was shocked dumb at the suddenness of her presence in general, and at her incredible beauty.
“Well, I know you’re not a mute, so you might as well tell me your name if you can’t think of anything else to say.” She had a noticeable accent, Devon thought from somewhere in the Middle East.
“Ahh, how’d you get in here? I fixed the locks right away when I bought the place.” He was surprised he had found his voice so quickly, especially when he realized the stranger was wearing some sort of gown that was completely transparent.
The woman waved her hand in a dismissive manner. “I’ll not get into the specifics. Let’s just get on with it. Might I get the name of my new master?” She stood looking at him with dark eyes, expectantly.
“Master? What are you talking about?” Devon was completely lost.
The siren in front of him sighed.
Another bright one. Phenomenal. She rolled her eyes as the thought ran through her mind.
She spoke slowly, as one would to an misunderstanding child. ” People generally recognize me as djinn- genie, if you wish. Because your wish is my command.” Devon noticed the last half of her little speech was issued resignedly.
Devon snorted incredulously. “A genie. So you came out of a beer bottle? Are you high?” He actually wondered at this point if perhaps he was the one that was high.
“It’s a long story. That wasn’t my original flagon. I digress.” She shook her head. “The point is, I am yours to command. Everything you know of us is true, if you know anything at all.” She believed he was Neanderthal enough to miss the jab to his intelligence.
“Genies grant three wishes. That’s all I know.” Devon did indeed believe now that he was hallucinating, because he would never converse with someone posing as a mythical being otherwise.
“So what you know is incorrect. Astonishing.” Her sarcasm was not lost on Devon.