Most Worthy

If you really found a D'jinn's lamp what kinds of wishes would you make?

Disclaimer: This is fiction. All the characters and events portrayed here are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely accidental and unintentional. I as the author reserves all rights. A big thanks goes out to Cathy who proofed and generally make this readable. Any remaining errors, or mistakes are mine! Enjoy

The Most Worthy

By

Grover

I stopped dead in my tracks. Right there in front of me, half-buried in the river mud was the unmistakable shape of a classical D’jinn’s lamp. Looking around, I checked for practical jokers. I just had to make sure no one was having some fun at my expense, but no one else was about on this crisp Carolina morning. One of the reasons I was out there at all was so I could escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Columbia has two rivers, the Bush, and the Board which collides and merges, right in its heart, into the Congaree. What made this important was that the area was undeveloped, and was almost like a small wilderness, accessible to those who wanted to risk the usual hazards of snake bites and poison oak. A little like an overgrown Central Park, without the muggers.

The recent storm had washed a lot of stuff down stream, and I never got tired of walking the banks, seeing what had been washed up. The reason I was so suspicious of that damn lamp, was because I was a struggling writer. I had to admit that I struggled more than write sometimes, but the story my muse and I were currently fighting over was about, you guessed it, a Genie.

Plus let’s face it. The great red state of South Carolina is not exactly known for unearthing ancient Middle Eastern artifacts. American Indian arrow heads, and pottery shards, yes. Even Colonial stuff showed up sometimes, as well as things from the Civil War, such as minie and musket balls, but items more than a couple hundred years old, not so much.

Alright time to get filthy, I decided. I stepped out into the mud, and before I was finished, the foul stuff had oozed into every nook and cranny I had. Now, while I had to go out there and get that lamp, I wasn’t too happy about getting my special undies all nasty. The package may have said boy-cut, but believe you me, no boy would have dared worn the lacy things.

I just bet someone out there is asking, just why then was I wearing them. That is really a good question, which I and lot of others would really like to know. The short answer is I like wearing pretty things, and when I don’t, I feel a very unpleasant anxiety, sort of like a bug eating at me.

The long answer, from those who know a little about the subject, say that somewhere during a baby’s development in the mama, things got a bit out of kilter. You ended up with the old gray matter more like a gal, than a fella. I know that there are few self-opinionated know-it-alls who think I, and others like me, are, in simple words, nuts, bughouse crazy, and/or sexual perverts.

Let’s be real here, okay? If you had a choice between being told that what was wrong with you was biological and here are some ways you can, constructively, deal with it, or would you rather they told you that you were crazy as a loon, and that they were going to lock you away for their own good. Don’t worry. A little electro-shock and some brainwashing, you’d be a new man in no time at all. Which would you choose? I know which one I would.

Managing to rake some of the cold nasty muck off of me, I cleaned up as well as I could, from my impromptu salvage operation. All the while, I was eyeing that damn lamp. Hell, I was even afraid to brush the mud off the damn thing, for fear of possibly releasing a D’jinn.

I don’t know which was bothering me more. That there wasn’t a Genie inside, and I was only being foolishly superstitious, or there was an all powerful Genie inside, just waiting to screw up whatever wishes I came up with. But of course, since I was writing a story about them, I had put in a lot of time thinking, concerning D’jinns, wishes, and how things could go south in one hell of a hurry.

It wasn’t getting any warmer out here so cold and wet; I tramped back to my apartment. Hosing the mud off of me, I turned the water hose onto my find. Most of the mud washed off but some of the caked on stuff was being stubborn. More than a little self-conscious, I left it soaking in a bucket while I took a hot shower to warm my blood back up.

Grabbing a bowl of leftovers and nuking it to an edible temperature, I got out my notebook and a pen, and began making some notes. If nothing else I could always claim I was doing research for my story. Yeah, that was a little flimsy, but it was the best I could come up with to cover my foolishness, to myself.

Finishing up the last of my food, I decided it was do or die time. The soaking had done its job, and the remaining mud washed right off. Turning it this way and that, I saw at least there weren’t any stamps proclaiming that it had been “Made in China.”

Feeling very much the same way as I did when checking my lotto tickets, right before finding out that I hadn’t won anything at all, I took a deep breath, and rubbed the lamp.

“S**t!” I yelled, throwing myself backwards as a jet of smoke shot out of the mouth of the lamp. In nothing flat, my apartment was filled, and the damn smoke alarm started blaring.

Coughing, and trying to see despite my burning eyes, I yanked out the batteries. Now, deafened as well as blind, and coughing my lungs out, I stumbled to the door, opening it before falling to my knees.

I wasn’t thinking that, hey I’d rubbed the lamp and something had happened. I was more concerned about my landlord complaining about me setting fires or, even worse, the fire department showing up and ruining what little in the way of belongings I had.

Finally able to take a deep breath again, I got up from all fours and turned around to see how bad the damage was. To my astonishment, the smoke was gone! Cautiously, I sniffed, and caught a whiff of an ashtray like scent of something burnt, but not nearly as bad as it had been, less than a minute ago.

I looked at my kitchen table, where the lamp still laid on its side. A charred, blackened cone now marked my poor table, where the smoke had poured forth. Then I noticed my notebook was missing!

Up till then, I was thinking that perhaps one of my friends had somehow played a joke on me. The acrid smoke was a clue that maybe I’d been set up, even if it clearing up so quickly was suspicious. I was fairly certain that, even when I had been blinded, no one got past me.

Even so, feeling more than a little paranoid, I demanded, “Is anyone here?”

I liked to have wet myself when I got an answer!

“Hello there!” a melodious voice sang out. “Looking for this?” She asked.

Spinning to face the little open area that served as my living room, I saw a woman, reclining on my rather threadbare old couch. Not being much of ladies man, that wasn’t something that I ever expected to see in my living room. Even more unlikely were the silky diaphanous pantaloons she was wearing. If you’re thinking it would be something a Genie with light brown hair would wear, you’d be on the money, because that was exactly what she looked like. Maybe not like the beautiful one played by Barbara Eden, in that old comedy sitcom, but definitely about a 9.5 on the cute meter.

My mouth fell open, as my poor brains popped a fuse, and started frying.

Holding up my notebook which contained my ideas about what wishes I might make, she gave me her critique.

“Some of these are not bad. I would stay away from number three though,” she said, shaking her head. “Happily ever after is such a subjective phrase. Seven, eight and nine are washouts; effects too many people at once.

“Wishes can not make such major changes to reality. They’re more like amendments to your United States Constitution. It further defines and elaborates on issues that aren’t covered in detail. Just like Amendments can’t change fundamental cornerstones of the Constitution, neither can magic alter reality in such a radical fashion. In practical terms, wish magic is for just one person.” She lectured.

Then she jumped up from my creaky old couch like a playful kitten or sprite. “I am the Genie of the lamp, my Master. You have released me and so I will grant thee three wishes.”

Her eyes smiling at me though her eyelashes she asked, “So, what will be your first wish, Oh my Master?”

I very intelligently tried to stop the drool from running down my chin. Way past overload now, and well into meltdown, my brains were mush. While I knew I was gender bent, I had no doubts whatsoever about my sexuality. This genie was more than attractive enough to kick my shyness reflex into full gear. Add in the whole, Oh-My-Gosh magic is real thing, and all you needed to do was to stir well, serve when absolute stupidity, or moronic answers are desired.

“Aaaahh,” I replied.

Twisting the knife, the cute little Genie in front of me gave me one of those coltish shy looks, which are so effective at turning reasonable rational males into the most foolish creatures on the face of the planet. “What was that, my Master?”

I think the only thing that saved me was my inner woman. She knew exactly what the little minx was up to. Socially inept, and attracted to her or not, I knew I had to get this right.

Nervously stepping up to her, I held out my hand. “W-w-what may I call you, and can I have my notebook back p-p-please?”

Her dark eyes flashed amused. “But of course, my Master. I am known as the Genie of the Lamp. Jennie for short.”

Handing me over my book, she mischievously asked, “Is there anything else you wish of your servant?”

Warning bells were going off in my head, like a five alarm fire. Well, I had some good clues now that she was one of the tricky varieties of Genies. Carefully I told her, “No wishes at this time. I just wanted my notebook back, all right?”

She pouted, “You’re no fun at all, Master O’ mine.”

Since my kitchen table was a loss, I sat on the sofa, trying vainly to pull my thoughts together. I quickly wrote out some important safety tips.

1) DO NOT USE THAT WORD!

2) Keep it simple, stupid!

3) Be careful!

With those helpful safety hints sitting in front of me, I tried to write out what I was going to w_ _h for. While I was attempting to do that, she was bouncing all over my living room, poking her nose into everything I owned.

It was impossible for me not to be distracted by this lithe, feminine creature, dancing about in front of me. Part was attraction, while another was envy that she filled out those silky things so well, and how pretty they were. I considered telling her to go back into her bottle or something, but was afraid that I might word even that wrong. It seemed best just to say as little as possible, until I had my desires written down and carefully worded.

A really good friend once told me that, being transgendered was basically a very selfish thing. You hurt inside, at such a deep and personal level, that you just wanted it to stop, anyway you could. However, I had heard far too many of the girls tell of their troubles; everything from physically and mentally abusive families, to the loss of employment and friends. That was just the tip of the iceberg. My online community of transgendered friends were all wounded doves, each with their own scars and wounds. I wanted to try and help. That meant putting aside my own hurts, and doing my best to use this priceless opportunity for all of us.

She, seeing I wasn’t going to say anything, grew tired of her game and started looking over my shoulder. Every other line or so she would cluck, or shake her head. That didn’t help my concentration or my nerves at all.

Putting down my pen, I held my head in my hands. No matter what I tried, there were going to be loopholes. I wasn’t a lawyer. My brains just don’t work that way. Not only would I not get what I wanted, but I could very well end up in a very bad way. About the only way I could get out of this would be to give the damn things away.

That thought stopped me.

Why not? I asked myself. Picking up my pen, I wrote out as simple instructions as I could, that hopefully couldn’t be misconstrued too badly. Finished, I let out a deep breath. I sent a silent, heartfelt prayer up to heaven. “Please dear Lord, don’t let me screw this up!”

The Genie gave me another curious look and stood up, attentive.

“Jennie,” I announced. “I’m ready to make my wishes. I want my first wish to go to the one person in the world who can, and will, use it most effectively, to better the quality of life and happiness, of all transgendered people in the world.”

Hoping I wasn’t making things even worse, I went on to number two. “Next, I wish that, the one person in the United States that can, and will, use the money most effectively to help and aid the transgendered, will win the Mega-Powerball Lottery Jackpot, the next time they play.”

I had my eyes shut, waiting for disaster to strike, as I went on to the last one. “For my third and last wish.”

“Master,” she interrupted. “You are out of wishes.”

“But I only made two!” I protested.

“No O Master, You did not.” she disagreed. “You wished that a wish would go to someone else. That counts as two. You can not wish for more wishes. Wishing a wish to go to someone else is two and not one, Master of mine.”

I sighed, “So be it.” It would have been nice to have had one left for myself, but if the two I made turned out the way I intended, I would be ecstatic.

Jennie nodded, and we stood there for a moment, looking at each other. I was getting a little nervous, because I was really expecting her and her lamp, to do that smoke thing again.

She shuffled a foot, still looking far too damn cute in those pantaloons and silks, but she didn’t go anywhere at all.

Finally I just had to ask, “Shouldn’t you be off, to deliver the wishes I gave away?”

“Why, O Master, should I do that? You did not, after all, specify a given time frame.” she replied.

More than a little heartbroken, I collapsed back onto my poor, worn out couch, feeling more than a little sorry for myself. Holding my head in my hands, I groaned. I’d had the opportunity of a lifetime and I’d blown it, big time. Not just for me but for everyone else too. She could wait forever before granting those wishes.

Looking up, I saw she was still there. I thought about trying to convince her to, please, grant those wishes, in the spirit they had been intended, but I had some pride left. I’d taken my best shot, and it fell short. The story of my life.

“Then why are you still here? As you pointed out, I’ve used up my three.” I said trying not to get upset, or depressed.

“Curiosity, Master. Curiosity. Rarely have I been asked to give a wish to someone else. Even rarer is the one to grant treasures and riches to someone who is completely unknown to the holder of the lamp. I have to ask, why O’Master o’mine, would you do such?” she questioned me.

Breathing out heavily, I answered, “More than 1% of the population is like me and my on-line friends. We get the short end of the stick, coming and going. None of us asked for this, but we’re not going to apologize to everyone else for daring to exist. I’ve always have tried to live by the rule of helping myself, by helping others. I usually fail, but I try.”

“I gave those wishes to others because, while I’m no dummy, I don’t pretend to be able think in the twisty, double-talk way of a good contract lawyer. This was just too important to screw-up, but I did it anyways.” I said, failing to keep my bitterness from my voice.

Jennie nodded, “So what would you have wished for, if you hadn’t given it away?”

Suddenly suspicious again, I asked, “My wishes have been granted, right?”

“Yes, Master. Your three wishes have been used, and granted.” she told me.

“Why would you want to know, then?” I asked, confused.

She shrugged, “Like I said O’Master, it is unusual for me to get unselfish wishes. I am curious.”

What the hell. Hanging my head low, I explained, “I had to work around your condition of the magic effecting just one person. It had to be like winning the Lotto. It affects just one person, but the money can be able to change many people’s lives.

“Every way I came up with was either, too complicated, or broke that rule you laid out. Besides, I most certainly did not want to ruin anyone’s lives by trying to decide the fate of their lives for them. I suspect that much more than 1% of the population is TG, and messing with that could cause untold harm. Some are able to live and thrive, and I didn’t want to mess that up for them. I had to come up with something, more or less simple, but also with a choice.

“You’re going to chuckle again at me here, but here goes.” I warned her. “I was thinking of those slinky, toy-like bracelets that spiral up your arm. If placed on your right wrist you would see the idealized version of yourself in a mirror. You could consciously make changes to that image. Over the span of a year, you would slowly become that person. That should spread out the changes over enough time so it really should not be too noticeable, and with some creativity, let you keep your records reasonably well updated, like by claiming to have lost your license, so it has to be replaced with a more up to date picture.

“That should also be fast enough so as to not to drive you crazy, waiting for it to happen. By putting the bracelet back on the right wrist, you can edit at any time, but again the changes take place over a year from that point.

“By putting it on your left wrist you can see your actual reflection and, once a day, ’snap’ off a link and give it to someone else. That link would have all the properties of the original. Over the span of a day, the lost or new link would slowly grow to replace the missing section, until it was long enough to be given again.

“It would have to be given. No saving up a drawer full of the things, or anything like that. No eternal life either, like by making yourself young forever. You could give yourself the appearance of youth, and certainly have a wonderful quality of life, and live out your whole span in good health, but this is no fountain of youth. Just a way of helping those caught in an intolerable situation, have the life they should have had, from the start.

The bracelets would also alter to match their owners’ preferences, and help keep anyone from figuring out what all these folks who are changing have in common. As another safety feature, unless they are freely given, they do nothing.”

I shrugged, “Like I said, an overly complicated, Rube Goldberg contraption that, I’m sure, is full of problems. That’s why I tried to pass the wish on to someone I hoped could do a better job, but all I did was mess it up for everyone.” I said grumpily.

Sighing yet again, I told her, “I know it’s my fault, but I ask you to please reconsider that timeframe thing.”

Jennie smiled at me and I started wondering if that was a good thing, or a bad one. Crossing her arms in parody of that old TV sitcom, she boinked her head. “Thy wishes are granted, O’Master!” She said, with a flourish.

A spiraled bangle appeared around my wrist in a flash of light. I stared at it for a moment before the import of it hit me. I did the sensible thing, and passed out.

I woke, being fanned back to consciousness, and the first thing I saw was that sweet, smiling face. Kinda went gaga again before I remembered what was going on. Lifting my left arm, sure enough, there was a silver, spiral bangle.

Speechlessly, I looked at her, still in shock.

Grinning, she bounced up, standing. “I’m glad to see you’re alright Master.”

Finding my voice I demanded, “I wished my wishes to someone else. How come this?” I asked, shaking my arm, making my new jewelry dance.

Still dancing about, she teased me. “You wished that the person who would best use a wish, for the betterment of the Transgendered portion of the population, would get the wish. That would be you, my Master. I decided that, since you were asking me for my opinion on who would be best able to do so, that one of the wishes let me use my discretion. What you described to me was, as you said, overly complicated. However it does fall within the ability of the magic of the wishes to fulfill.

I looked at her, not too sure of her reasoning at all. On the other hand, as I twisted my new jewelry around, I did have what looked to be the means of changing myself into the me I always wanted. “Hmm.. Jennie, this does work like I described, right?” I asked.

She gave me one of those looks that I just knew, meant she had pulled something, if you know what I mean. “Yes O’Master. That is mostly. Your wish was to go to who would make the best wish on behalf of your transgendered sisters and brothers. However, what you described would work its magic on anyone.

“In order to keep everyone on the planet from eventually ending up with one, the bracelet will only enchant those in need. Additionally the magic will make some immediate changes, but only cosmetic ones. So that there is some kind of sacrifice, the act of giving a link, as you call it, prevents those immediate changes for 24 hours, nor can you make long term changes either, although anything in the process of long alteration will continue.”

Still not quite convinced this wasn’t all a dream, I sat there in silence. Finally I looked at the Genie, trying to think of way to tell her to take ten; I really needed to check out a mirror.

Giggling, she pointed at my small bathroom, “Well, Go on!”

I nearly flew off my old couch in my haste.

I’d reached the door when, following behind me, she yelled at me. “Master!”

In a real hurry now, I turned around.

“You don’t want to lose this.” She said, waving a slip of paper at me.

Giving the mirror a longing glance, I took the paper from her.

MEGA-POWER-PLAY-LOTTO
05 10 15 20 25 MEGA-BALL- 30

A lottery ticket dated for tomorrow?

Oh Crap! It hit me. “You mean, this is, I mean..” I stammered.

Still grinning she nodded making her brown ponytail bounce.

I did the only thing I could. I passed out. Again.

***

It’s taken about two weeks to get most everything taken of. Uncle Sam made a point to take his share, and I settled up with all of my blood sucking creditors. I’ve got a good start on setting up a foundation for girls like me. It will help them with a place to live, and show them not only how to be their true selves, but how to live in this crazy world of ours. More important, it’ll help not only the girls needing help today, but ones tomorrow too, with the way I got the money arranged.

I packed everything I wanted to keep, in the trunk of my new car. A sensible sedan suitable for traveling across North America and anywhere else I could reach by road. I had some visiting to do, and some very special gifts to give.

As for me, I’ve taken full advantage of those cosmetic changes Genie told me about. Bye, bye, male pattern baldness, and hello silky smooth body. Not quite sure when I’ll make my transitioning official, but just these little, easy to explain things, were wonderful.

Time for me to leave. Jennie was waiting in the car while I took one last look at my old life.

“The Genie?”

Much to my dismay, she has decided to stick around. She says I’m fun, with all that fainting I do. I retort, "I’m not a Major in the Air Force, or an Astronaut," so she can take off any time she likes.

Don’t get me wrong here! I like her just fine. I’m just a little afraid of what’s going to happen next! The last two weeks were not a time I was going to be forgetting anytime soon.

I even told her, “You do know what kind of long term changes I’m making to myself, right?”

Doing that ponytail bouncing nod of hers, she grinned back, “But of course I do O’Master. You don’t think the girls in the harem just chastely wilted away, waiting for their master to call upon them, do you?”

Laughing at the expression on my face, she promised, “I can tell you tales that will …”

“No more!” I begged, getting this show on the road.

It was going to be a long trip! As I pulled out of the drive to the sound of her giggles, Damn if I would have it any other way!

The End



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