Like every beginning to a strange story, my day started out ordinary. At least, it was ordinary for me. I’d woken up to the sound of my eccentric parents, who happen to both be archeologists, running around the house and packing for their latest expedition and the smell of burnt pancakes. From what I could gather from their frantic and excited chattering, this time, they’d be going to Egypt.
“Morning Mom, Dad.”
“Morning, sweetie.” They both answered automatically without looking up. The family room, which they sat in, was mayhem. There were dozens of artifacts scattered around in some sort of order that only they could make sense of. I decided to leave them to their ramblings and tried to salvage what I could of the abandoned pancakes in the kitchen. But, on my way there, a citrine coloured bottle caught my eye.
The glass was fogged, yet something within gleamed. Hidden between piles of ancient, velvety cloths from Peru and unassuming, rusted trinkets, its glow beckoned to me. Somewhere far away, I could hear my parents calling out to me that they were leaving now and they’d call soon. The muffled sound of the door shutting reached my ears, but I still couldn’t tear my gaze away from the bottle. I’d been specifically told to never touch any of my parent’s pieces of work – that was their one and only rule. But, it’s not like they were ever even around to see if I did break any rules, so it couldn’t hurt just to look, could it?
I slowly reached out and brushed my fingers across its smooth exterior and immediately the light inside intensified. Instead of feeling fear from the unknown, I was motivated by my curiosity to know what this strange bottle was. So, I grabbed it. The light from within burst outside like a shooting star and for a moment I was blinded. Then, the light took form and introduced itself. I can’t tell you his exact words because, our conversation was like a dream and the details are hazy like a word at the tip of my tongue. All I remember is him saying he was a genie and he would grant me three wishes. Three things of which I thought I desired most in this world.
So, like the kid I was, I answered without hesitation. I said, with a clear voice and a smirk on my lips from the prospect of getting whatever I wanted, “Then grant me, Genie, Fame, Fortune, and a Fountain of Youth.”
Fame gave me a name. Fortune bought me a place. And, my Fountain granted me unlimited time to bathe in them, even after I’d drowned.