Did you ever wonder if Genies get sick of crossdressers finding their bottles?
The disheveled figure clung precariously to the ridge of the rooftop contemplating the balance between short term goals and long term planning. The figure was wet and muddy, with shreds pantyhose flapping from bare feet, the torn skirt flailing as the wind whipped by in it's fury. A bra showed clearly through a tear in the once white blouse and it appeared as if one breast was missing. Strands of long but badly mistreated hair dangled into the foul waters inches below the hapless sufferer.
It had seemed so enticing when the fateful choice had been made. Hurricanes were nothing new for anyone who lived in the South longer than a few years. You laid in your supplies and rode them out, then started in on the repairs and coped until life returned to normal. Hell, Andrew had been a bad one and he survived that. Maybe that was what contributed to the false confidence that made him stay. Or maybe it was staying alone to watch his sister's place while the rest of the family headed for safety.
Alone with her clothes and no one to see him wearing them.
William had planned carefully, laying in stocks of rice and beans (after all, this was New Orleans), canned goods, plenty of bottled water, tanks of propane and camping gear for cooking and light when the power failed. The contents of the freezer left with the family, as did the computer, vital paperwork and the photo albums. Think ahead for the long term - there was plenty warning to choose what to take and what to leave. There were tears in his wife's eye when she left with their kids and his sister Sharon, but his wife knew him well enough to realize once he had made up his mind it didn't change.
Seconds after closing the door he was in the bedroom stripping off his clothes. No need to shave, he'd done his legs last night in preparation and it was only a couple of hours since he had shaved his face. The third drawer he opened proved to hold her bras. It also held a white piece of paper which he unfolded.
Enjoy yourself, baby brother.
Just make sure they're washed when I get back.
There a few clip on earrings in the jewelry case in the spare room.
If you take any pictures save some for me!
Yeah, she remembered those days of dress-up when they were kids. Well, more than kids. Mom would have had a fit if she knew but she never found out.
God, it felt good to dress up after so long. He selected a bra with blue stripes and put it on. Opening what his wife thought was his tool box, he took out a pair of breast forms and put them in. Blue panties from the second drawer down, pantyhose and shoes from the toolbox, then to the closet to decide what to wear. Skirt and blouse or dress? Not many skirts, damn modern women and their slacks. Since his lingerie was blue he chose a blue dress with a modest neckline and knee length (on him) skirt. Nice that his sisters all ran to the plus sizes, Sharon's clothes fit him pretty well.
He put on his own makeup from the "toolbox" and fluffed the pillows on the bed. All eleven volumes of Glen Gook's "Black Company" series were stacked on the table beside it. William lay back, adjusted his skirt and picked up the first book to while away the time until the hurricane arrived.
The first few days were unalloyed bliss, the weather was ironically beautiful and he even ate supper on the back porch since all of the neighbors had gone away. Even when the wind picked up and the rain started it felt cozy to be curled up in bed in a nightgown as the weather worsened. The next morning he showered and shaved (at least the water was still flowing) and met the dismal day dressed in a crinkly red skirt and white blouse.
Then it got scary as the winds tore at the house and the rain beat a never ending tattoo on the roof. Water leaked in from around the windows, then the power went off. Even though it was theoretically daylight, he lit the gas lantern and tried to concentrate on his book. It didn't work. The house was shuddering and the scream of the wind was deafening. Even cooking his dinner failed to distract him from the hurricane as things that should have been securely attached to the ground flew by the window. He began to doubt if being able to dress up was worth the terror of waiting for the roof to blow off the house. The fabric of a bra makes a damn poor shield from the elements.
When the window blew out in the spare room he knew he had made a mistake. Wearing a skirt didn't help when trying to nail a blanket over the hole while avoiding the shards of glass as he slipped on the wet floor. He needed three hands to hold the thing in place and hammer in the nail with the unbelievable wind trying to force it's way in. At last the hole was covered with several layers of blankets billowing like sails in the wind, but he was soaked to the skin. He had never realized how uncomfortable a clammy bra could be.
That's when William discovered the water no longer came out of the tap, so he rinsed the salty water off his body with some of the stored water and found some dry clothes. He almost put on his own clothes but what male clothing he had brought with him was in the suitcase under the missing window; no choice but to wear Sharon's clothes. Situations like this sounded a lot better when you were reading a story. When you have no choice it isn't fun at all.
It took a while to realize that the fury of the storm was dying, but after several hours he could actually hear the difference. He was just starting to congratulate himself when he noticed the water coming in under the front door. Not good, that. The weather seal must have given out. Amazing how you can deny the obvious until it rises over your ankles — the weather seal was fine, it was the levee that had given out but it wasn't until the water was several inches high in the living room that he started to worry. He spent some time sloshing around lifting some things up on shelves to protect them, but it didn't help.
When the water was about two feet deep he opened the hatch to the crawlspace above the ceiling and moved some canned goods and water up there along with the gas stove and lamp. At three feet deep it was too late to find the air mattress - it was under water in the garage. The crawlspace was damned uncomfortable and the rough lumber put runs in his stockings almost instantly.
As the water rose he berated himself for being so stupid to brave a hurricane for the sake of dressing up. What good was being a nicely dressed body floating on the water? When the water reached the floor of the crawlspace he managed to break out the vent and crawl out on the roof. One breast form came loose as he squeezed through the hole and disappeared into the flood but he barely noticed in his panic. And so we find our hero clinging to the roof in the rain and wind hoping desperately for someone to rescue him and not caring one bit how he was dressed.
Eventually his fear receded and William began to notice the junk floating around him. A kitchen door, pieces of roof, trees, toys, furniture, junk of every description. Whenever his hand slid into the pool it wasn't long until something brushed against it. Some of the things were less than appealing and he didn't want to know what they were, but in his exhaustion his hands inevitably drooped until they hit the water again.
It was getting light again when he felt something cold an metallic strike the back of his hand. He reflexively pulled away from the object but it was only an old fashioned lamp, not something disgusting. Without thinking he caught the handle and examined it. It was a typical Arabic oil lamp with a sinuously curved spout and round top, right out of some tale of the Arabian Nights. Now how the devil did it end up in the flood of New Orleans? He couldn't help himself, he gave it a rub — maybe the genie of the lamp would come to his rescue. He had to be pretty far gone to be thinking something as crazy as that!
He nearly lost his tenuous hold on the roof when an iridescent cloud started to pour from the spout. In the wan light of the almost sunrise the vapor took the form of the classical Genie of the Lamp, complete with brocaded vest, turban and scimitar at his hip. The apparition examined him with a look that would have melted solid steel.
"Oh might Allah, why do you do this to me? Have you not anything better to do in your wisdom but to send my home into the hands of every crossdresser on this benighted planet?"
In his shock William did lose his hold and slipped into the dirty water with barely an attempt to regain his balance. With a look of complete disgust the Genie extended a well muscled hand and took hold of the waistband of his skirt and pulled William back onto the rooftop, looking for all the world like a someone forced to fish in a stinking dumpster for some object inadvertently discarded but too valuable to leave to fate with the melon rinds and coffee grounds it accompanied.
"All right, let's get this over with, shall we?" muttered the disgusted Genie. "Do I refer to you as Master or Mistress? Even though Allah in his wisdom has taught us that men such as you are anathema to him the lamp constrains me to grant your wish and treat you with the respect due to the Master of the Lamp. I suppose you want me to turn you into a female, make you rich and get you out of this situation, right?"
"Maybe the Jews had it right when they said 'Against stupidity; God Himself is helpless'." complained the Genie. Why couldn't that asshole Ashraf have been the one 'she' found? He deserves all the extra effort it will take to discharge his duties to the Lamp. Oh well, best to humor this repulsive creature and get it over with.
"Calm yourself, Mistress. I will not make you choose until you have recovered from your ordeal enough to make a reasoned choice. You need not fear trickery on my part, you humans are perfectly capable of deceiving yourselves without my aid."
The Genie muttered something and made a couple of passes with his bulging arms and a calm settled around the rooftop for a distance of a hundred feet or so. The temperature and humidity so typical of New Orleans dropped rapidly until the weather was quite comfortable inside the dome of tranquility. Another wave of his arms and a raft appeared with a comfortable chair and a table set with a small meal. William lost his hold on the lamp but it simply floated over and settled on a small stand next to the table.
Cautiously William let himself down on to the raft, which had a fine Persian carpet spread on it. The raft was perfectly (magically?) stable when he put his weight on it so he carefully commanded his long unused muscles to move his body to the chair before him. When he was seated he picked up the glass before him and drank — fresh orange juice as sweet as the nectar of the Gods after more than a day without water.
Wait, could one use an allusion to the Roman Gods when dealing with a Genie? An interesting question, but not important enough when compared to the sweet roll on the plate before him. The tension left his body as he consumed the small meal, until at last he was able to pay attention to his companion. The Genie had remained standing at attention throughout the meal.
"Couldn't you conjure yourself a chair or something? You look awfully uncomfortable standing there like that."
"Is that your wish, Mistress?" replied the Genie.
"I thought you weren't going to try to trick me. I'm not that dull even if I feel like Hell."
"One must try, Mistress, it's part of the enchantment. While I may suggest a course of action to you I cannot tell a lie or deceive you. It is up to you to make your choices and consider if my advice and council are worth heeding."
"Ain't that he truth! Do you have a name, Genie?"
"I do Mistress."
"So all right, will you tell me what it is?"
"I would, Mistress."
"Well what, Mistress?"
"So tell me your name already."
"It is Jawad, Mistress."
"So that's the game, eh Jawad? I have to be very specific in my phrasing if I want an clear answer."
"That is correct, Mistress."
"Then do whatever Genies do to make themselves comfortable, Jawad."
"That is kind of you, Mistress."
"Can you stop with the Mistress bit, already? We Americans don't do so well with that stuff."
"Would you prefer Master? I assumed from your mode of dress you would prefer Mistress."
"Mode of undress I more like it. Even the cat wouldn't drag something like me it, would it?"
"There are some questions that should remain unanswered, Mistress."
"They must teach you guys how to be diplomatic in Genie School. So I'm stuck with you hanging some honorific on the end of every sentence you speak to me, eh?"
"That is correct, Mistress."
"Whatever floats your boat, Jawad. Oh, that isn't he best allusion to use right now, was it?"
"Perhaps, Mistress. It is not for me to say."
"Ah, diplomacy. In any case I thank you for your kindness for feeding me and making me comfortable. I had pretty much decided that I was going to be dead in a few more hours. Even without any wishes you have done a great deal for me and I want you to know how much I appreciate it."
"Thank you, Mistress." Could this creature who did not realize how a man should comport himself actually have a sense of gratitude? It was a concept foreign to a being who had seen the worst of humanity over the centuries. Somehow the Lamp always found the stupid and greedy ones. Allah did like a good joke when they found out what they had wished for was not what they truly wanted.
"Thank you, Jawad. I suppose it's time to get down to cases about this wish business. Only one, not three?"
"One only, Mistress. Human greed makes all stories grow in the telling."
"And you should know if anyone does. I assume there are limitations on what you can do." William shivered slightly as he asked.
"Is there a problem, Mistress? You seem to be in some distress."
"Well, these wet clothes are damned uncomfortable now that you have so kindly brought the temperature down to a more comfortable range. I didn't want to say anything after your kindness, Jawad."
Amazing! An American who considers the welfare of others before himself. Would wonders never cease!
"Perhaps I can be of service, Mistress. I would not have you distracted while we converse."
Jawad formulated the spell in his mind and came to a screeching halt. He had been about to magically repair the clothing of his Mistress, but how could he provide a woman's clothes for a man? How could he have started to think of this man as 'Mistress' without sneering at the disgusting creature? Allah be merciful, why hadn't it been Ashraf who had floated by this - this person?
The air around William shimmered and then cleared.
"A burqa? Thank you, Jawad. I think."
"You are welcome, Mistress. I hope you are more comfortable now."
"Well, at least I'm no longer lopsided, I didn't know Genies did breast forms."
Jawad turned red but said nothing.
"I've always wis — wondered what it was like to have real breasts, but I suppose it would be foolish to waste a wish on something so trivial."
The Genie remained mute.
"Where were we? Oh, yes, limitations. I suppose there are limits to what you can do. There always are, you know."
"Quite true, Mistress."
It really was easier to talk with this creature now he was hidden behind a decent garment, even if he was still an abomination.
"Would you be so kind as to inform me of those limits, Jawad?"
"As a practical matter I can change just about anything that affects a single being to make the world more to their liking. I can change memories to a limited extent and bend the so-called rules of Psychology, which aren't really rules at all. I can not change what you Westerners call the Hard Sciences, the Laws of the Universe; gravity, Physics, Quantum theory, Evolution — such things are Allah's province alone. The Soft Sciences, such as Biology or Psychology are more flexible so long as the chemical basis of life remains unchanged. I can but change the distribution of what already exists in this world."
"Fair enough. Are you free to tell me of what others have wished for and what happened to them as a result?"
"I am afraid not, Mistress. In your vernacular, the privacy of my clients is of the utmost value."
"And the screwups that they made are too, I bet."
"I think you have a good grasp of the situation, Mistress."
"Can you discuss your general philosophy of what is permissible under your constraints?"
"So long as I do not touch on specific cases, Mistress."
"Jawad, you wouldn't happen to be in line for the Supreme Court, would you?"
"There are several parallels in the two situations, Mistress. You might say I am required to be a strict constructionist by the nature of my very being and I have what you would call a Conservative nature."
"I suppose you are less than enthusiastic about me being a crossdresser."
"You present me with a dilemma, Mistress. I would not offend the Mistress to whom I am indentured with my personal opinions. I would remain silent on the issue so long as you do not command my personal opinion, Mistress."
"I see. I have no wish to cause you discomfort, Jawad. It's pretty hard to offend me, I've heard just about every insult you could think of over the years. Crossdressers seem to attract them."
"And I seem to attract crossdressers, Mistress."
In the recent past I have found myself with a great number of crossdressers as Mistresses. The stories I could tell..."
"Don't bother. I've read them on Web."
"Indeed. These insults do not bother you, Mistress?"
"Of course they bother me, but I don't let it control me or influence my actions to any great extent. I enjoy dressing like a woman and if others don't like it then they will have to deal with it."
"How very American, Mistress."
"I suspect you're right, Jawad. If the stories are true you must have been around for thousands of years, we upstart Yankees have changed the world quite a bit in the last couple of hundred years, haven't we?"
"That is quite true, Mistress. It is sometimes incredibly hard to reconcile the wisdom of the ages with modern attitudes, Mistress."
"I suspect that has been true for as long as you've been around, Jawad."
"Not to the extent it is at the present time, Mistress."
"Well, you should know. So, good Genie, if I were to ask you to make me a beautiful woman would you be able to do it?"
"That would be possible, Mistress."
"Do I detect a bit of reluctance in your voice, Jawad?"
"I fear you do, Mistress."
"Would you please explain? I want to use this unexpected gift wisely."
"I have seen much grief over the centuries when my Masters choose to make such significant changes in their lives. I fear that most people simply do not understand the nature of the changes they desire, Mistress."
"We call it the Law of Unintended Consequences, Jawad"
"That is a very descriptive phrase, Mistress."
"So what would be the unintended consequences of such a change?"
"Were you to simply become female, those around you would be most distressed. In a society such as yours there are innumerable places where your identity is recorded, it would be a considerable task to correct them, Mistress. It is possible to add many clauses to your wish in an attempt to mitigate such problems, but I have never observed a human being who could think of all the details necessary, Mistress."
"Sounds like I'd need a battery of lawyers to handle the details. I presume there would be personal consequences as well?"
"That is correct, Mistress. Your scientists have been trying for more than a century to understand what goes on in the human mind. I do not think they have succeeded, as evidenced by the plethora of contradictory advice available in your bookstores an on your television. Your people have a saying — a permanent solution to a temporary problem."
"I see. In any case, Jawad, I am perfectly happy to be a man and have no desire to become a woman permanently."
The Genie appeared to be startled.
"You don't, Mistress. Then why..." He cut off the question, realizing that it was not his place to question his Mistress in such a manner.
"I'm strictly a crossdresser, Jawad. Don't worry about being confused, just about everyone else is. Just take it from me that I enjoy wearing women's clothes but that's as far as it goes. I have a wife who likes me as I am and I wouldn't change that for the world."
"Very curious, Mistress."
"So it is, Jawad, so it is. Am I to take it that the Law of Untended Consequences will come into play for just about any wish that selfishly benefits me without considering those around me?"
"Mistress, I begin to believe you possess far more wisdom than I have encountered in many ages."
"Now hold on, Jawad. You're talking to the idiot who stayed for a category 5 hurricane just so he could wear a bra for a few days. That's a pretty strange idea of wisdom. Before you came along I was reflecting on the folly of letting short term pleasure lead to long term agony."
"Which is an integral part of wisdom, Mistress. One does not approach perfect understanding without making mistakes. My people have a saying — 'Ask the experienced rather than the learned'."
"Well, I have a lot of experience at being stupid, I guess. What's going on in the rest of the world, Jawad? Once you are done with me will I be rescued?"
"Ah, again my people have a saying —'Do not stand in a place of danger trusting in miracles'. Your society has broken down and is in shambles. The levees that your government neglected have failed and the city is under water. The government is paralyzed by incompetence and the people who normally respond to such emergencies are overwhelmed by the immensity of the disaster. Many are dead and many more will suffer terribly from both the fury of nature and the neglect of Man."
"I couldn't use my wish to change the past and send Katrina somewhere else?"
"A noble sentiment, Mistress, but alas I can not change the Laws of Nature. The storm formed as a result of the simple laws of Physics and can not be undone."
"It's never that easy, is it?"
"You speak a great truth, Mistress." The Genie's resonant voice seemed to reverberate in the air.
"In that case, Jawad, I have formulated my wish taking in account your advice and council. I wish that from this moment forward those who have power over the lives of other people would consider the needs and well being of those in their care when exercising their power."
"It shall be so, Mistress!"
As the Genie slowly faded into a cloud of vapor William felt his bra an odd feeling in his chest and realized his bra no longer held a substitute but genuine breasts. He became very aware of his nipples as they settled into the cup of his bra. His hands rose unconsciously to his new breasts in wonder. Faintly he heard Jawad's voice in the distance.
"As my people say, Madam, 'The mind is for seeing, the heart is for hearing'. They will be yours when you wish and will fade when you no longer need them. May you find as much happiness with this gift as you have given to others.
Your wish also constrained me to consider your well being as you were under my protection when you made it."
At least that's what Jawad told himself.
Could it be that the Law of Unintended Consequences applied to selfless actions as well as those taken in cupidity? Savoring his new femininity he heard the sound of a helicopter heading his direction as the zone of calm faded around him.
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