Spirit of the Matter, The

«2»

By Genie

Arriving home late from work one Wednesday, I surveyed the flat, a huge mess of unwashed dishes and an overflowing laundry hamper greeting me.

�I have to clean this place up,� I thought to myself.

With that, I set to work cleaning up the dishes, loading the clothes into the washer, and generally tidying up. I picked up the bag from Malta and put it on the counter, as I started cleaning off the table. With a slip of my clumsy elbow, I knocked the bag off the table, and it fell to the floor with a loud, shattering SMASH.

�Oh shit,� I thought, reaching down to pick up the bag with the presumably broken pot. What I saw next, I will never forget.

There was movement in the bag!

Out of the end of the bag crawled the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. A tiny, wizened creature, like a frog with long arms and legs, crawled out of the bag and looked up at me, blinking quizzically.

Stunned, I watched the creature as it opened its mouth. Rows of tiny sharp teeth filled it as it began to speak in a screechy, high-pitched voice.

�You have freed me from my pot,� it squeaked. �Now choose your desire.�

�Whaaaa?� I asked, stunned to see something like an eight-inch tall reject from a Lord of the Rings film staring up at me.

�I will grant you your desire. Money, power, wealth, women, but you must choose now that you have freed me!� shrieked the tiny creature, looking quite menacing for such a small thing.

�What if I don't choose? What if I stick you in a jar and flush you down the toilet?� I asked. Instantly, I felt the most intense pain all over my body that I'd ever felt � like I was being burnt to a crisp, frozen to death and drowning all at once.

Suddenly the pain ceased, and along with it, my tortured cries of agony.

�Foolish mortal, do not trifle with me. The cause is done, you have freed me, and you must now choose your desire. If you do not, I shall torture you for all eternity!� shrieked the bulbous-eyed creature.

After that unpleasant and painful experience, I did not doubt the creature's ability to. I just wanted to get rid of it, and I assumed I had nothing to lose. After all, choosing my desire was easy, right? I get a wish fulfilled, maybe, and get rid of this creature. Certainly, the alternative of permanent pain was not desirable.

I thought for a moment. What did I want? Wealth? The idea of wealth had some attraction � I could do, see and have anything I wanted. What about a boyfriend? I hadn't been in a relationship for years. As I mulled the possibility, the creature seemed to grow increasingly impatient.

Fearing another burst of pain, I suddenly dawned on an idea. Why hadn't I thought of this before? I could wish to be an incredibly attractive man. . . then I could find a boyfriend AND perhaps even make a little extra money. After all, attractive men were said to earn more money than average guys like me.

�Whatever you are, I've made a decision,� I said. The creature �smiled.�

�What is your desire, mortal?� asked the creature.

�I wish to be an attractive man. Picture if you will, a man who is incredibly attractive, who is muscular and athletic and well-endowed, with an amazing smile. A man who is masculine, with a sex drive and smouldering sex appeal that makes any gay man or woman weak in the knees when he smiles at them,� I said, nervous as I watched the expressionless creature's glinting eyes.

�You wish to be admired by men and women alike, and be desired, and incredibly attractive? One whose profession benefits from his body?� asked the creature.

�Yes,� I said. �That is my wish. Make me an incredibly handsome, athletic man with an irresistible sex appeal.�

With that, the creature started to laugh. Loud, shrieking peals of laughter echoed throughout my head, in my eardrums, as suddenly, all went black for a moment and then back to normal. The creature and pot shards were gone, and I sighed with relief. Walking past the mirror, I noted everything looked normal. Was I just hallucinating? This work stress must have been really getting to me.

With that thought on my mind, I showered, and slipping into bed, soon drifted off to sleep. •


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