Alex fell out of the sky and out of his pants. The clouds, white and wide, puffy and substantial looking, rushed at him and then disappeared into greyness. As he tumbled through the clouds he found something hard in his hands, something oddly shaped and obscure. In the darkness he couldn’t tell what it was. It didn’t rattle, and it didn’t clank, and his fingers were numb from the cold. He found a little lip on the object as light began leaking through the mist, and pried this open.
Out came a Djinni, a tiny thing, glowing and burning through the mist. “Hey,” said the Djinni.
“Hey,” said Alex.
“What’s up?” asked the Djinni. “I’ll give ya three wishes for my freedom, sound good?”
“Thanks,” said Alex.
“Number one!” said the Djinni.
“Could I be on the ground? And, uh, wearing pants, if that’s alright?” said Alex.
“You got it, kid,” said the Djinni, and glowed a little bit brighter. When Alex, legs warm and snug in a pair of blue denim pants, stood on the ground, the Djinni came up to his waist.
“Number two!” said the Djinni.
Alex thought. His stomach rumbled. “I’d like,” he said, “I’d like to always have enough to eat.”
The Djinni thought about it. “How’s this,” he said. “Tell me what you think. Whatever you think of, whatever you want to eat, just knock on something, and say ‘Open wide, ye gates, and set the feast before me’, and hey! presto! you’ll get it.”
“Sounds okay,” said Alex. The Djinni waved his hands over Alex’s and then was as tall as Alex and bright as a t.v. set at midnight. “Try ‘er out,” said the Djinni.
Alex thought of a grilled cheese sandwich, and knocked on a tree. “Open wide, y… ye gates, and…”
“Set the feast before me,” whispered the Djinni, sotto voce.
“Set the feast before me,” said Alex. Thunder boomed and wide sprang the earth and a cloud of smoke belched forth. When it cleared there on the grass sat a blue delft plate with two pieces of bread, a tomato slice, and a thick slab of cheese, separate and uncooked.
“Hey,” said Alex. “I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich!”
“Oh, hey,” said the Djinni, and dimmed a little. “I can’t do grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m sorry. Anything else, though, you got it.”
“Man,” said Alex. “I really wanted that sandwich.” He picked up the cheese and the bread and the tomato slice and put them all together and bit into them dispiritedly.
“Number three!” said the Djinni.
“I want to learn how to dance,” said Alex. The sandwich was gone and he felt better.
“Dance?” said the Djinni. “What kind of dance?”
“All kinds,” said Alex. “I want to learn how to dance. Teach me how to dance everything.”
“Okay, kid,” said the Djinni. “You got it. Your wish is my etcetera.” He grew a pair of smoky legs and picked Alex up. They whirled through the sky, legs flashing faster than thought. The Djinni set Alex down on the ground, and had to bend over to do it. He was twenty feet tall now, and bright as a magnesium flare. “That’s three, kid, and hey, thanks for getting me out of that thing.”
“Thank you,” said Alex, politely. “I hope you have a nice time.”
“You’re a pal,” said the Djinni, “Toodles.” And he was gone.