The route to the off-licence was smooth and free of treacherous ne’er do wells. The sun was shining and it seemed like all the animals she encountered were together in pairs: the friendly squirrel and his wife holding hands as they admired the view from their branch; the happy swallows spinning freely across the sky in a brazen and explicit courtship routine; the delighted rabbits bounding across the meadow before stopping to rapidly vibrate against one another; the inquisitive mottled-blue-blue-bottle flies buzzing and swirling and diving and soaring in their ecstatic post-coital way; and the fox and the hound meeting in some secret lurid liaison performing extremely non-Christian acts unto each other in the most insidious manner. Yet, all of the creatures mentioned in the over-long clause heavy list were happy. However they chose to spend their time they were spending it doing what they loved, even if that ‘it’ was their significant other.
It wasn’t a particularly long walk to the nearest place from where she could purchase alcohol, certainly a shorter walk than to and from the market, however it was coincidentally just long enough for her to be able to adequately process, digest and form opinionated conclusions about what had just happened. Despite her misgivings about the overt innuendo and the budget-restricted special effects when The Champ burst forth from her lamp, she thought hard, long and hard about how important her first wish could potentially be. After all, if she got it just right, she need not perhaps use the other two wishes at all, for what she really wanted more than anything else – except perhaps unrestricted access to oxygen, nourishment, a shower and the toilet – was to have someone to love and to love her in return so that she didn’t spend her nights practically swallowing multiple baguettes whole. The animals had a body, a solid, animate, receptive and responsive other half with which to share their base desires, not an inanimate, disposable, degradable albeit renewable item of food.
She thought about how lonely she was, and how she really wanted an easier way to meet a suitable suitor. It wasn’t that easy with her not being a native to France, and somehow she managed to choose the one village in which to reside where most of the eligible men were happily married, faithful, with no interest in extra-marital activities. The rest didn’t attend nightclubs or use mobile dating applications or phone numbers whereupon they could speak to a lady interested in saying rude things to them for their DIY pleasure, nor did they frequent the pubs with their friends and act like ‘real men’ by regaling each other with lewd tales of arrogant bravado, detailing how they met a girl, engaged in carnal relations before proceeding to never again communicate with said girl, when in reality the girl declined their offer of carnal relations and so they actually spent their evening sobbing into a large bucket of fried chicken. No, these men were quiet and reserved and particularly timid and distant, although still arrogant because France, and so she could not really strike a conversation with one of them if she passed them in the street or if they visited her house to fix her sink because they were also not particularly interesting, especially the plumbers. She could not fiddle with free will either, so she could not force the men to fall in love her, she would have to have that happen naturally, which she was sure that they would do once they got to know her for both her intricacies and her fallacies.
Maybe they just needed to be aware that she was single, and available for the right person: not some protein-powder buffed nincompoop with a fetish for sniffing worn female underwear, but a real, honest, genuine man who was the perfect balance of naughty and nice, someone who would hold the door open for her, but who would inevitably slap her derriere as she walked through. The men of France needed to know this discretely of course, not with her being paraded around like a desperate Jezebel by a drunken friend in a nightclub looking for the nearest fake-tanned well groomed tank top wearing plebeian for five minutes of uninspiring conversation followed by fifteen minutes (at best) of unsatisfactory, unfulfilling and unfilling raunchy aerobics. No, Georgi now had a genie. A real genie, with magic powers (presumably) who was admittedly very drunk and fuelled by champagne, but a genie from a lamp who had granted her three wishes of her very own no less. Yes, Georgi smiled, of course she smiled, because she had reached the off-licence and could now buy lots of champagne and some Sancerre for herself. She had a girlfriend, a girly friend, one who belched and complained but she had a girlfriend nevertheless, one who would use her hidden methods to find her a man. Things were looking up today, things were getting ready to get a lot better indeed.
I wonder what he will look like she thought as she skipped back towards her home, slinging her carrier bags so that they arced in a swinging motion as she strolled towards her residence. She imagined him to have an unusually well groomed beard for someone who had such messy hair, and that he was quite attractive in a very conventional sort of way with his blue eyes and sun-brushed skin, sensible height, well-toned forearms and broad shoulders that tugged on the hem of whatever clothes he was wearing, of which she didn’t really picture or imagine as she had a momentary bout of aphantasia and if we are being honest, she didn’t mind as long as his clothes were practical, not ill-fitting, and that he owned a tailored suit, both birthday and formal. Neither was Georgi concerned about hair colour, just so long as he had hair and it was messy. But even then, she thought if he has nicely groomed hair, it gives us the opportunity to mess it up…along with my own. She smiled at the implications therein, and hurried home quicker so we could get on and move the story along.
Walking in through her kitchen door she found The Champ slumped over the table, snoring loudly. Drool was creeping out of one corner of her mouth as she rested on her right arm, head tilted to the left. Georgi was slightly aghast and chose to wake her. She began to shake her genie’s shoulder, but to no avail: The Champ did not even flinch. Amazed by how someone could remain in sleep so deep when they had spent a long time snoozing inside a lamp surprised Georgi, and so she opted for a different technique. Opening her kitchen door again, she slammed it shut, loud enough that those canoodling animals all snapped out of their lustful states and ran for safety and somewhere a little more private. The Champ however, didn’t even break her snoring rhythm, the pattern did not miss a beat. Musical lexicon here is appropriate as her snoring was slightly building up to a crescendo and was playing out harmoniously with a four- four time signature.
Georgi sat herself down across from the genie who was neither large and blue nor Robin Williams in any way shape, form or gender to craftily avoid a legal wrangle, and mused upon the best way to wake this sleeping beauty-and-the-beast, both lady and tramp based on the timbre of the snore and the empty bottles of champagne that were scattered around.
Wait a minute Georgi thought I only had one bottle of champagne, where did the others come from? It was a valid question, and one which brings up a lack of continuity within this story, or merely serves to highlight and emphasise that this entity soundly snoring whilst slumped over this kitchen table actually does has magical powers. Before this could be discussed and debated further, Georgi conveniently had an idea. Noting that champagne was the genie’s fuel, Georgi quickly picked up a bottle, tugged and tugged and tugged at the cork until it popped.
The sweet smelling liquid oozed out of the top and bubbles dripped down the curved glass edge. She followed the trickle down, saw the bubbling liquid form into foam and gather at the bottom, gravity’s momentum carrying it off the bottle and down into The Champ’s greedy mouth, who had woken up and was eager not to miss a single drop. Georgi smiled as she stood over her subjugated genie, foamy spout oozing the white froth down into her open, expectant and welcoming orifice, where she drank obediently without question, without prompting.
When the moment had passed and the champagne gas had released sufficiently, Georgi sat across from her genie, whereupon a contract was drawn up for Georgi to sign promising to release The Champ from the curse of being trapped in the lamp with her final wish should everything she desires be given to her in two wishes instead of the agreed upon maximum of three. This was collateral for Georgi too, The Champ explained, as it meant she had to do her very best to make sure that Georgi was satisfied by the outcome of the wishes in the most efficient manner possible.
Once the formalities had taken place and were finished, The Champ tucked the contract carefully and lovingly into her bra, whereupon she sighed. Slowly, she looked up at Georgi with sad eyes and said, rather slovenly: “What is to be your first wish, master?” Georgi told her, equally eager to ensure that everything was conducted quickly and efficiently. When she had finished, The Champ spoke:
“Ok, you want me to make sure that all available men know that you, Georgi, are single and available?”
“Do you have any preference as to how I am to achieve this?”
“As quickly and as efficiently as possible please, you will no doubt have the best ideas for this, after all, you are a genie.”
The Champ nodded sadly. “Yes, yes I am.”
Then nothing. There was silence between the two of them for a good two minutes, Georgi watching The Champ carefully drink of the champagne with depressing deliberation. It was a notable silence, only the swallows outside and the swallowing that the genie made could be heard. Once the two minutes had passed, The Champ spoke again:
“Ok. I’ve got it. I’ll take care of everything.” She smiled, and it looked at last that her smile was genuine. “I’ll be going out for a while, I may be out for two days or so. You don’t need to worry about a thing, everything will be taken care of, my sweet.” She cupped Georgi’s face in her empty hand and stroked her cheek with her thumb. Georgi looked up at her as she felt a comfortable warming sensation pass through her, like she knew everything was going to be just fine. Then her genie kicked open her kitchen door and staggered out through the garden like a new born baby deer taking its first steps after a night out on tequila. Georgi watched her walk past the window towards the front of the house and disappear from view. She was both nervous and excited, palpably so, and she couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.