The morning sun broke through the clouds and sent rays of light dancing across the floor of Georgi’s room, the delicate, golden tongues licking her awake. Like fingers they probed her skin, caressing and stroking as she stirred. She grunted and shuffled over to the shade. She was spent. The exertion of last night’s filthy feast had taken it’s toll. Her body ached. Sweaty and sticky she lay upon the floor, naked apart from the evidence of her intimate bready rendezvous sprayed with little accuracy over her stomach, poorly hiding her modesty. She felt stretched and hollow all at once as there was absolutely no substance to this encounter. She had had her fill last night.
Unsatisfied and morose, she peeled herself off the floor, showered the remnants of baguette from her body, dressed herself, and made her way to market just as she did every morning. She stopped when she reached the entrance. She needed bread, but could not face the kind, handsome man baker from whom she usually visited. Shame filled her when she remembered how she had responded to his fair and normal request, and how ignorant she must have appeared. Steeling herself regardless as she really needed bread, she walked into the market with her head held high. Then she spotted him, quickly ducked down, and darted to her right, getting stuck behind a group of slow moving, procrastinating old ladies who were paying for a badly knitted beret with a whole host of single centimes.
Infuriated and frustrated by this, she moved down the aisle to her right, where she assumed she would exit the market and wander around the perimeter, but instead she found herself facing a stall shrouded in darkness, one she had never seen before, unsurprising considering her eyesight was poor and the fact that it was enveloped in a mysterious mist. It was quite probably always there, she just passed it in her hurry to receive elongated, engorged breadsticks. The further thought came to mind that possibly this was an eerie and haunted stall of mysteries, which would be owned by a sinister figure with weird teeth and a cackling crackling cackle. It would probably disappear once some artefact of mystery had been purchased, vanishing into the ether ne’er to be seen or heard from again, with only the owner’s hoarse, patronising warnings about the item just purchased still ringing in one’s ears. Place your bets now.
Georgi approached the stall with trepidation, as would anyone who had just read my seriously spooky cliché in the above paragraph. Her curiosity overrode her fear, as she had indeed read the above description and was neither scared or alarmed by what she might find. In fact she was drawn in to the stall and soothed by the incense wafting from the proximity, lavender and rosehip, hinting of promises of happier times and joyous futures involving masculine men, honesty, loyalty, back-arching pleasure, marriage, mortgages, parent’s evenings, in-laws and drunken Christmases. Smells so sweet filled her nostrils, shame suppressing they were, radiant was the sun.
Georgi cast her eyes lovingly over the wares on display. There were many strange and popular trinkets, some from far-flung lands, some from not so distant parts. Here was a ring engraved with elven runes, a lightsaber, a limited edition Take That compact disc signed by the members of Boyzone, a Vault-Boy bobblehead granting the owner two extra charisma points, an ocarina, a few magic eye pictures, a selection of assorted novelty bongs, sugary sweets made with gelatine, a copy of all my short stories in paperback, five tins of tuna, four oven gloves depicting the battle at Hardhome, three strands of Kit Harington’s hair, two turtleneck sweaters, and a partridge in a pear tree. Tempted by the novelty bongs though she were, Georgi passed the opportunity to spend her hard earned Euros at this particular stall and so thanked the mysterious stall owner (I know s/he hasn’t been introduced, that’s what makes them so mysterious) before turning to take her leave. Just then, a voice called out:
“Nothing to interest you, my dear?”
“Who said that?” Georgi called out, startled and alarmed.
“Me, my dear, the stall holder.”
“Where are you?” she called out, growing fearful, sensing foreboding and wondering if her eyesight had completely failed her.
“Turn around and you shall see.”
And so she did and so she saw and her emotions went like a see-saw as she saw that she was not blind or crazy and the origin of the voice was revealed to her. There was an old man, hunched over a stick made of old oak and clothed in a cardigan that smelled faintly of stale ale and wet cabbage with suspicious stains littering the lines of the argyle pattern that festooned the grey-brown hued garment. Not someone you would want handling your property, but he clearly knew this and looked as if he had manicures on a regular basis in order to navigate those assumptions.
“Yes there you are, Old Man. I am not moved enough by any of your items to make a purchase, I’m afraid, I bid you au revoir and I shall be on my way.” She was surprised by how much more polite she was towards this man than she was towards her baker yesterday. Mayhaps it was the lavender and rosehip, mayhaps she had matured a little as the day moved further towards its climax.
“Perhaps,” he said “I can offer you this instead.” He reached beneath the edges of his clothing and France-living British rose was momentarily taken aback, thinking that he was going to draw a weapon and demand her money or worse, place his genitals on display in a brazen act of charismatic confidence. Instead he pulled out what looked like a brass ornament, an old, antique oil lamp of sorts, rather dull and in need of a good shining.
“You may have this, I have no need for it.” He practically threw the lamp at her, but not in an aggressive manner, more playful akin to a guy throwing his buddy a beer. She caught it in both hands and felt that it was quite cool, yet settled neatly into her hands, nestling snugly, fitting perfectly into her fingers. She didn’t think it was possible, but if it was, she was absolutely sure that she felt it sigh gently.
Looking down at the polished brass in her hands, she noticed how smooth and slick the roundness was, how curvaceous and satisfying it was to hold, to caress. Her fingertips polished the sides in a circular motion, almost on instinct; it was the most natural thing in the world to do at that moment, except when she definitely, definitely heard it sigh.
Shocked, she stopped. It was imperative that she found out more about this puzzling artefact, but alas, the mysterious mist had absorbed the old man and his stall whole, and they had indeed vanished into the ether as predicted earlier. There were no warnings though, as no purchase had been made.
Georgi was slightly aroused by this new lamp, which did not smell at all cabbagey as one would expect considering where it was located, but instead it held flowery notes of apple, lemon and a slight touch of pepper. She looked up, ready to take it home and explore further – baguettes be damned – and she saw her baker looking her way. Averting her eyes quickly so as not to hold his gaze, she ducked and ran, keeping the lamp close to her chest.
Ran fast and ran far, her breasts bouncing all over the lamp, the lamp making that strange drawn out sigh, Georgi was trying not to imagine the baker looking at her, tried to forget his face. Did he know what she did last night? How could he know, how could he know she thought of his face when she did what she did? Why did she feel such shame and guilt anyway? He was so far from her idea of a mate that it was ridiculous to think on it any further.
The more she ran the more the lamp seemed to moan. It seemed to be enjoying rubbing up against her ample bosom, which wouldn’t be a surprise, really. It sounded like it was properly breathing, moaning, groaning, writhing against her body. It was alarming, stimulating, sensual.
Finally, she arrived home. She did not have her bread, but she had plenty of Petit Langres, Brie de Meaux, and Comte sitting out and reaching optimum eating temperature, however food was not the primary driver here. This mysterious lamp was the only thing that currently mattered.
Gently, she placed it down onto the table. Georgi took up a seat opposite and stared for a while, nothing more, just stared. It wasn’t sighing anymore. It gleamed somewhat more than before, but seemed to have a smudge on the spout, reflecting the light and distorting her face. The lamp was beckoning her to touch it, calling for her to clean it, yearning for her to just rub it for a little longer than before…
She reached out her fingers, watching her reflection closely as she moved to touch the tip of the spout, bringing them closer to the edge, noticing how close the mirrored fingers were to meeting her real fingers…and then they touched, they met. It was electric, a spark, but she did not move her fingers away. Delicately, with the grace of a freshly grown daisy she grasped the protrusion and pulled it close. The lamp was warm to the touch, much warmer than before. It accepted her fingers, relaxing into her presence, her warmth, her embrace. Gently, she ran two fingers down the length, feeling the lamp quiver and found the smudge, the sweet spot. She rubbed her fingers over it slowly, looking to awaken whatever power was inside. She knew what this was, she watched the animated Arabian rags to riches blockbuster and knew what was encased within, although it definitely wasn’t a giant, blue reincarnated spirit of Robin Williams because he was freed at the end of that movie.
Her fingers worked harder, tenderly caressing this special area. The lamp shivered and shook and seemed to arch beneath the pressure, rhythmic, synchronous. The noises hadn’t stopped, muffled though they were, like someone biting their lip to stifle a scream. There was a different noise though, not breathing, not a moan, a word:
She rubbed harder, but still kept the gentle touch
and delicate, firm pressure
before slipping her little finger into the spout.
A shudder. A deep, monstrous shudder that shook Georgi to the floor. A scream, a piercing scream of ecstatic delight and the lamp squirted a woman onto the floor.
“Ughshh…” she cried before her expletive was cut off by the ringing of the lamp hitting the stone floor. Whoever this person or entity was that came exuding forth from the mysterious brass lamp was standing with hunched over herself with one hand supporting her on the table. She was panting vigorously. Her clothes were white: white blouse, white jeans, white open-toed strappy sandals, white nail varnish on well pedicured toenails, and even though she was hunched over it was clear that she was not tall; she was short. And hungover.
“Who are you?” Georgi, ever full of questions asked the strange yet attractive female in her midst.
“More…” was the sound that replied.
“I can’t give you anymore. I’m tired and sleepy now. Who are you?”
“Give me your name lampkeeper, and I’ll give you mine.”
“My name is Georgi. And you are?”
“The Champ,” she wheezed a little and swayed backwards when she tried to stand upright “now give me more.”
Luckily, Georgi lived in a region of France that meant sparkling wine was legally allowed to be called champagne, and she had just such a bottle in her refrigerator. She handed it to The Champ, who took it from her hands, bit the cork straight from the bottle and gulped down two mouthfuls.
“Argh…fizzy!” wailed The Champ, as the carbonated bubbles nucleated in her mouth and foamed out of her mouth. She wiped away her seepage with the back of her sleeve.
“Are you my genie?” queried the nosey Georgi.
“Huh? What? Oh…yeah, something…give me a minute.” The Champ took back another large gulp of champagne. “Ok, here is the deal. I am your genie.” She performed a sarcastic courtesy. “I give you three wishes. There are rules though. Number one. I subside on champagne, so you need to give me a lot of that. Number two. You cannot wish for more wishes, so don’t even try. Number three. You can’t mess with free will. Number 4. No time travel, I’m a genie not Marty McFly. Are we clear on those rules? More rules than wishes, seems harsh but that’s just how it goes. Any questions? No? Good, then we can begin.” The Champ slumped into a chair conveniently situated at the kitchen table, for guests of course.
“I actually do have a question…”
The Champ rolled her eyes antagonistically. “Go on then, hurry up. Haven’t got all day.”
“Do I have a time limit on these wishes?”
“Oh. No, no you don’t. I guess we do have all day.” And with that she finished the rest of the bottle and let out a phenomenal belch. “More.”
And so Georgi, delighted, confused and not entirely feeling logic and science could be deployed appropriately in this situation, put on her coat and walked to the nearest off licence for more champagne, thinking hard about how best to use her three wishes.
To be continued…