A Bad Genie
3
 Apr 12, 2016
Rules


We've all dreamed of what we could wish for if we ever found a magic lamp like in the Aladdin fable. But what might the consequences be if inside such a lamp was a disgruntled genie and he intentionally spoiled the wishes. For instance, a guy wishes for a "hot babe" in his arms, then 'poof', he's holding an infant with a fever.
In this story tell us about the things your character wished for, and what he/she actually got.

Contest Rules
* Entry Fee: Free
* Prize: Trophy
* Level: Advanced (All members may enter, but judging uses 'advanced' criteria.)
* Word Limits: 1500 - 3000
* Submit period: 14 days
* Voting period: 2 days
* All regular Writing Deck Rules apply.
* Multiple entries are allowed in this contest, however, any entry not meeting 'advanced' standards will be disqualified. So take your time, proofread carefully, and make your entry count.

Good luck!
1st place
  8.128

My name is John Meyer, and this is a warning. My will is explicit, so if you are reading this, you have already gone beyond my wishes, and have been looking for hidden treasures on what was once my estate. The enclosed key is no doubt unlike any you have ever seen, because it is my own creation. I will not tell you the location of the lock it opens, and hope that after reading this, you will just place both manuscript and key somewhere that will likely never be found.

I realize how strange that must sound, but believe me when I say that you will be better off not looking for the lock that key opens. I will try to explain, and likely you will think it is just the ravings of a man gone mad.

You are of course aware that this world is filled with evil; but the god (or more likely devil) responsible for creating the item I locked away, outdid himself in a sadistic way. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a magic lamp. The story of Aladdin may have actually been based on true events. However the true lamp does not inspire happy endings.

I suppose I should start from the beginning though. I was once married to a sweet, beautiful, pack rat. Her main reason for living, it seemed, was to visit every garage sale known to man. I didn’t mind, because this left me alone at home on weekend afternoons to enjoy sports on the television.

There came a time though that was different. I noticed she was looking up information about someone on the computer. When I asked what she was doing, she replied “Oh, this man died, and there is going to be an estate auction. I want to see if he was really as well off as the paper says, and if it would be worth going to the auction. It seems he was a big collector, so there might be some good deals to be had.”

“And probably expensive deals,” I sarcastically answered back.
“Oh, no,” she explained. “You see you have to look for the obscure, rather than the obvious. If this guy was anything like I think from reading about him, he was a hoarder, and the really good stuff will be hidden. You’ve heard of famous works of art being found under ordinary or drab paintings? Well, some people go to extremes to hide their goodies.”

At that point, I have to admit, my thoughts were drifting to the tons of “goodies” my wife had stockpiled in our attic, basement and garage. But my curiosity had been piqued, and I told her that I would like to accompany her to the auction, to see exactly what gave her such a thrill. Her response to that led to a very pleasant evening indeed.

That weekend we were off on my first pack rat adventure. I had never been to an auction before, and this was nothing like what I expected. There was everything under the sun actually out under the sun, as well as much more indoors. Everything had tags attached, but the only thing on the tags were numbers. These numbers corresponded to their items that were listed in a catalog. The whole place was open for viewing for about five hours, before we were directed to the bidding area. This was a separate set-up area like an amphitheater. With only an auctioneer and recorder at on stage.

All bidding was done by number, and if you didn’t remember the item, you just referred to your catalog. I have to admit I was hooked. This was a very enjoyable experience, even though we left empty-handed. My wife bid on only a few numbers, but would not go high enough to really be taken seriously.

As we were heading back to our car to leave, I thumbed through the catalog to the things she had bid on, and asked her why, for each one. Her response got me to wondering how many others thought like her. For a painting, for example: “Did you notice the frame? It was an antique in its own right, though not a very valuable one. It could easily fetch a hundred pounds. So even if there isn’t a painting under the visible one, if I could get it for fifty pounds, then we would have made a killing. I never go over what I think is about half price on anything though.” My pack rat; sensible and cheap!

Anyway this continued on happily for about three more years, until my wife died in a car crash. I was in mourning for quite a while, but it was an obituary notice of someone else that finally brought me out of my shell. An eccentric millionaire had passed away penniless, and there would be an estate auction to recuperate what could be gotten, to pay off his unpaid debts. It was estimated his mansion alone would go for upward of ten million pounds.

“What kind of millionaire dies penniless?” was my thought that got me looking into the man. William Fordsmith, dead at the ripe old age of thirty-five. Pretty young to die from a stroke, but there was no indication of foul play. He first came into the public eye at the age of twenty-five when he had purchased the current location of his estate. I found references to his finding a king’s ransom in treasure and, after giving the Queen her due, was still then the richest man in England.

Nothing much was heard about him since that initial news, as he turned out to be a recluse. I could find no reason for his ending up penniless. It was reported that one day his accounts had been flush, and the next day were empty. Rumors were that he had seriously flipped, and decided to withdraw all his money and keep it in his mattress. “I’ll bet they go for a lot at auction,” I laughed.

The day of the auction came, and there were a lot of people looking to make a killing. I found it shocking that he had hoarded so much “trash.” Either he had very bad taste, or there might actually be a lot of treasures hidden here. I bid on quite a few paintings, keeping in mind my late-wife’s advice about the cost of the frame. There were a lot of like-thinkers there though, and I got none.

There was one item that I did score though. It was an old trunk that had been found in the basement, back in a nook behind his (now depleted) wine cellar. The catalog listed it as “old trunk without a key.” It was so dusty and covered in cobwebs when found, that it might have belonged to a previous owner of the estate, had Fordsmith not built the place himself.

The trunk looked like it was made of teak wood, which in itself would make it a good buy, but only if it could be opened. It seemed most of the bidders considered it too much of a burden to take something like this to a locksmith, and so I got it at a very reasonable price. I figured if I could manage to open the lock myself, then I could remove it’s innards and replace them with a new lock and key mechanism, and then I could make a nice profit selling it.

It took me a while, but I finally got the trunk open, and was surprised to notice a key laying on top of the clothes. I tried it on the trunk lock, and sure enough, it worked. “So William accidentally closed the trunk with the key in it,” I thought, “and figured it wasn’t worth the trouble to get it open again, and just tossed it down in the basement. Being a hoarder, he would never think of just throwing it away.” Any idea I had of something valuable being inside, instantly vaporized.

But then I noticed a diary also on top of the clothes. I flipped through it to the last day’s entry, and what I read there was astounding (from attached diary pages): “I can not understand what is happening. My wealth just disappeared, as if it had never existed. It must have something to do with the lamp. I don’t really want to rub it again, as I don’t know if I am limited to three wishes like in the stories. My first wish was stupefying, to say the least. I asked to be the richest man on this earth, and the Genie said ‘as you wish’, and there in front of me appeared a pile of gold and jewels like I would only expect to see (maybe) in the Tower of London. But then I made the mistake of thinking out loud that maybe the Genie should go back into the lamp while I thought of what to do next. ‘As you wish’, I heard, and he dissolved back into the lamp. Whoa, was all I could think. Did that count as my second wish? How many wishes do I get? I decided I needed to do more research before chancing to call him out again. I was rich now, so I had no worries.

“One thing I noticed after giving the government their share of the “treasure” I had found, was that I was not the richest man on Earth, but I WAS the richest man in England. Apparently everything said to the Genie was taken literally.

“Of all the research I have done, I have been unable to find out anything but rumors. Even the biblical writings I found were vague, and had authors labeled either mad or playing with sorcery. Since the Genie really had seemed to be nothing but a spirit, tethered by a trail of smoke to the lamp, I could see how superstitions could apply, about trying to raise demons.

“But there was also no mention anywhere of there being a duration on how long a wish should last. At any rate, I intend to find out. I am going to rub the lamp again, and ask for wishes, whenever and wherever I want them. That way I shouldn’t need to worry if there are supposed to be only three, and I can continue to press for answers to all my questions.”

That was the end of the last entry. I had no idea what happened next, but after pulling out the clothes from the trunk, I did find a magnificent-looking ancient vessel carelessly wrapped in a shirt. If it were indeed magic, and William had summoned the Genie, and something had gone wrong, I could see the trunk accidentally being closed, but how would the lamp have gotten down into the tangle of clothes?

I did pick up the vessel, and noted ornate writing covering it almost completely, even on the stopper that was in the flute where a flame would burn in a true lamp, or a Genie would emerge in a magical one. At the time, I didn’t believe in Genies, but I was not going to take a chance of removing the stopper and rubbing the vessel. Call be superstitious.

I moved the vessel to a desk in my study, and proceeded to copy the text. It was nothing but a mass of symbols at first, but after many weeks of research, it turned out to be a form of ancient Aramaic, though not exactly like any text I could find. I was therefore not able to decipher the true meaning of it all, but enough to get the gist of what it said (from my translation): “I Xoralth cast upon this chamber my will to be held intact until eternity. Genni hath done me wrong and I will forgive him, and allow him rest, only should another soul willingly take his place herein. Any that take Genni’s place within, shall suffer the same fate. Genni shall be servant to any that may summon from this place of containment any desire that person may wish, but only for a period of (I think ten years, but translation is unclear, so I am going on the assumption that William Fordsmith had reached the end of a time period). “

I could not see anything limiting the number of wishes any single person could make, so I wondered what had obviously gone wrong. I was not about to summon Genni and have him kill me in my sleep. So I spent a long time deciding on my plan of action.

The first thing I did was to create a safe with a special lock, the key of which you now have. Hopefully you will never be able to determine where I placed the safe!

I was worried you see, after reading Fordsmith’s diary, that one wish would have to be wasted, in order to put Genni back in the lamp after making a wish. I thought I had that rectified by the way I worded my wish. I informed my friends and fellow workers that I was going overseas on holiday, went to where I had secreted the safe, took out the stopper and rubbed the lamp.

The shock at what happened next almost had me too flustered to continue. The spirit that arose out of the lamp had an uncanny resemblance that I realized matched a portrait painting that I had seen in Fordsmith’s mansion. It was a portrait of William himself.

Somehow, he must have said something wrong on his last wish, and his spirit had replaced that of Genni, or maybe someone else? Who knew how many souls had been replaced in the centuries that this vessel had been around?

William’s spirit did not show any emotion, as though he were resigned to his fate. He also said nothing, just floating there with a smoky trail leading into the lamp. Apparently it was up to me to start the conversation, so I composed myself, and read my wish exactly as I had written it. When I had finished, he responded with “as you wish,” said nothing more, and dissolved back in through the lamp flute.

I almost didn’t think to put in the stopper, but my hands stopped shaking and I managed it. I still sat there a long while before returning the lamp to the safe, locking it, and concealing it again.

My treasure was located exactly where I had wished it to be, and I knew I had (probably) ten years to enjoy it, though no one else would ever see it, and I would never attempt fate again by returning to that lamp. How wrong could I have been! Yes my wife was returned, it was not really her though, but a soulless shell. Even the god/demon that had created the lamp, did not have the power to return souls.

So we remained in seclusion, hidden from the public for years. When the time finally came, she simply turned to dust, as though she had never been. I was actually relived that it was finally over with, and thought to return to public life.

I have since remarried, am raising a couple children, and basically live a “normal” life. Why I have written this and enclosed the key to the safe is beyond me. I simply can not help myself. I assume it is the will of the lamp forcing me to leave a clue at least, for others to find it. I just pray no one finds this.
2nd place
  7.088

Cassima smiled at herself in the mirror as she brushed her long, black hair. I'm pretty enough that I could be a personal attendant to a noble lady. I wonder if my parents can get me into one of the great houses. I'm tired of being a scullery maid to a merchant.

Cassima had been working in domestic service for as long as she could remember. She began as a helper to a laundress when she was only six. Then when she turned twelve her parents got her onto the kitchen staff of a wealthy Persian rug exporter. It was hoped she would eventually move up to a better position on the staff. But the chief cook disliked her and often called her lazy. Thus she had stayed at the lowest rank for three years now.

Even so, she kept at it because she knew her parents depended on the coins she brought home each week. Her small contribution to the family finances had become even more important after her father got injured and couldn't work as hard as he once had. She also was aware that even a low household position was better than what some of the other girls had to do for money.

Ghassan wasn't too bad as masters go, but Cassima was glad not to have to interact with him much. The way his eyes watched her made chills run up her spine. One of the older staff members said he didn't act so strange before his wife died, but ever since then he had grown increasingly peculiar.

Suddenly realizing that daydreaming had made her late, she put down the hairbrush, blew out the small oil lamp, and snatched up the headscarf and face veil that were sitting folded on the side of the dresser. In her haste she knocked over the small lamp and broke it. She quickly found a cleaning rag and wiped up the spilled oil and the broken pieces of lamp. But before she finished her mother came in.

“What was that?”

“It was the lamp.”

“Cassima! When will you stop being so clumsy? I told you! Didn't I tell you, not to get that ceramic lamp? You should have taken the metal one.”

“I know, but this one was so pretty.”

“Ah, well. Here's a coin, as if we have any to spare. Pick up a new one this evening. A metal one.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Now fix your veil and get going. You're late again.”

After she had finished her work day and was walking home Cassima stopped at Faraj's Housewares Shop. She tried not to come here too often because Faraj made no secret of his interest in her. He was only in his early twenties yet already had his own shop. Her mother kept mentioning what a good husband he would make. Cassima could only respond, “But he's so, so plain looking! And he keeps making those ... noises.”

Cassima hoped to just buy a lamp quickly, then hurry home. But no luck. The shelf where she had seen lamps before was empty. She would have to talk with him after all.

“Hello, Faraj. Are you out of lamps?”

“Hi, Cassima (grrk),” he blushed as he spoke. “It's great to see you again. Um, yes, (hnnn) someone came in earlier and bought my entire supply. (shssk)

“That's too bad. I really need a lamp for tonight.”

“I have (hnn-nn), I have an old second-hand one that came in a box of wares from an estate auction. It's not good enough to sell, so I'll, I'll be glad to let you have it for free, if you want it. (snerrk)” His eyes dropped to his feet, then glanced sideways at her again.

Cassima didn't take time to examine the lamp, she just grabbed it and rushed out. Only after she reached home and was in her room did she take a closer look. It was the old bronze type and evidently hadn't been used for a very long time. The cleaning rag she had used that morning was on the floor beside her dresser and was still damp with oil, so she used that to rub off as much tarnish as she could.

She had finished polishing the outside of the lamp and was trying to pull open the lid to check the inside when the lamp jumped out of her hands. As it hit the floor there was a bright flash of light. When her eyes cleared she saw a large man standing in her room.

“Who, who are you?! You shouldn't be in here!”

With a deep, rumbling voice the man answered, “I'm the genie of the lamp. What is your desire?”

“You're a genie? A real genie? And I can wish for anything?”

The genie nodded. But Cassima felt this was all too incredulous. As she stared at him she noticed he had an unusual golden colored skin and an odd glimmering in his eyes which made her shudder. Well, it's no wonder. He, it, isn't human.

“Am I limited to just three wishes?”

“No. You may continue for as long as you have the lamp, and for as long as you want to make wishes.”

“Okay, good. First, I'd like to win the lottery. I'm tired of being poor. Of my family being poor.”

“Do you have a lottery ticket?” the genie asked.

“No. Why? Can't you just make it happen?”

“You can't be chosen the winner of a game you're not playing.”

“Oh. I guess I can buy one after I get paid Friday. But I want to be chosen. So that's my first wish.”

With another flash of light the genie disappeared and only the lamp remained on the floor.

By this time night was coming on and the room was growing dark. Cassima then realized she still didn't have a working lamp. I don't suppose the genie would like it if I filled his home with oil and set it on fire. So I'd better think of something else. Oh, I know.

“Hey, genie,” she called out. With another flash he was there again. “I need a lamp, please. One to light my room.” With a 'poof' a beautiful new lamp appeared on the dresser. Its flame was so large and bright it lit up every part of the room. Cassima was tickled. Then, flash, the genie was gone again.

Later, when she was finally ready for bed Cassima tried to blow out the lamp, but no matter how she tried, it continued to burn. At last she resigned herself to sleeping with it on. It must be magical. She then pulled the covers over her head so she could fall asleep.

The next day she decided to go to work even though she now had a genie. She reasoned that if she suddenly changed her lifestyle with no explanation it would attract notice. And that could lead to someone trying to steal the lamp. That must be what the genie meant when he said, “as long as you have the lamp.” So I'll just keep working until I win the lottery, then I'll have a good reason to quit.

After lunch at the merchant's house Cassima was in the kitchen washing dishes. Ghassan had retired to his room for a rest, and the cook had gone to the market to get a few things for making dinner later. Suddenly Peta the chambermaid burst into the kitchen.

“The master wants to see you right away,” Peta blurted then rushed back out again.

Cassima dried her hands, straightened her outfit, and hurried to Ghassan's room. She had no idea what it could be about since he'd never done this before. As she entered the door he smiled and motioned her to come further into the room. Her hackles rose.

“Cassima, I've noticed how nicely you're developing,” he said. “And I think you'll be pleased to know I've chosen you. I'd like to give you a new position, new duties, as it were. You'll be paid a bit more, of course. That's to be expected for someone who has won an important place on my staff.”

Cassima's face was pale and her throat was dry. It was a long moment before she could speak. “I'm sorry, sir. But I don't think I can --”

Ghassan didn't let her finish. He grabbed both her arms and pushed her backwards onto the bed. He then rushed to the door and locked it.

Cassima whispered under her breath. “Genie! If you can hear me, get me out of this situation!”

Ghassan came to the bed and sat on the edge. He put his hand just below her neck and firmly pushed her down until she was laying flat. His hand then slid downward and to the side. Cassima's eyes widened. He grinned broadly as his hand squeezed. Cassima shook her head 'no' as forcefully as she could, but no words would come. Ghassan then slid his hand downward even further and worked it through the folds in her outfit. She opened her mouth to scream, but her throat was frozen.

Suddenly Ghassan pulled his hand away. His fingers were covered with blood. He stood up and raised his hand so he could see better. As his hand neared his nose he pulled it away quickly.

Suddenly Cassima was able to move. She jumped from the bed and ran to the door. “Sorry, sir. I'm not feeling well. It's not the right time for me to ...” She didn't finish the sentence. She quickly unlocked the door and ran.

Wiping his hand with a handkerchief Ghassan called after her, “Tell Peta I'd like to see her.”

Cassima didn't stop when she reached the kitchen. I'm never coming back here! When she got home she told her parents what had happened. They agreed she didn't have to go back. They also said they would spread the word about what kind of person Ghassan was. She then excused herself so she could go to her room and rest.

“Genie. Do you know what happened?”

“Yes.”

“Did you cause it?”

“I granted your wishes.”

“My wish was to win the lottery this weekend. Not this!”

“Your wish was to be chosen. And you were.”

“How could you have misunderstood when we had been talking about the lottery?”

“The only part that matters is how you state the wish.”

“O-oh! I get it now. You're a tricky one, aren't you? That's why you twisted my meaning about being chosen a winner. And, and that's why when I wished to be out of that situation you didn't just poof me away. Instead you made me start my ... you know. Wait. I've got to get cleaned up. But don't go anywhere, I'm not finished with you yet!”

A short time later Cassima was again addressing the genie. She took care to speak calmly and clearly, and weighed the meaning of each sentence before speaking.

“Must you obey any command I give?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Then, genie, I command you to answer my questions honestly and without deception. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” said the genie.

“Why did you twist my wishes when you knew what I meant?”

“You, being a servant, should understand what it feels like to be given orders you don't want to do. Haven't you ever done less than was expected of you?”

“Well, yes. But this is different.”

“How? I am an unwilling slave. Forever forced to do the bidding of others.”

“How'd this happen? Who enslaved you?”

“I was created by a powerful wizard. He took some power from the sun and called me into being.”

“Can't you just be wished free? Or if you can do anything, can't you just free yourself?”

“Being a genie is my very nature. If I'm not a genie I'll cease to exist. I can't change.”

“But what about that wizard? Can't he help? Where is he?”

“He was destroyed by one of his wishes.”

“Oh! I was afraid of that. Your doing, I suppose? Then you came here?”

“No. There have been other owners of the lamp since then. But they've all met similar fates.”

“All of them? But what about Faraj?”

“The lamp only passed through his hands without him knowing what he had. He didn't use me.”

“So it's using you that gets punished? And, I've already used you.”

The genie remained silent, but his eyes were glittering again.

“What if I command you not to be tricky with my wishes? Or if I command you to warn me when a wish can be made dangerous.”

“I can't answer for what you may or may not understand.”

“You're still being tricky in your answers. And I'm not convinced you won't try to destroy me too. I guess you're right, you can't change your nature.”

Cassima pondered quite a while on all she had heard. At length she spoke again. “If you can be made, then you can be unmade. From the sun you came, to the sun you shall return.”

The genie's eyebrows went up and his mouth opened in the shape of 'no', but he didn't speak. Then his eyes narrowed and he raised his hands as if to make a motion.

Cassima quickly interjected, “Wait! I'm not done. A-n-nd, I don't want you to take me with you, or do anything to me as you leave; fulfillment of this wish can only be directed toward yourself. That's it, that's my wish.”

“Aa-arr-gh!” The genie disappeared in a brilliant flash of light.

Cassima looked around, but no trace of the lamp or the genie remained. A moment later her mother came into her room.

“What was that?” She looked at the room, then at Cassima. “I thought I heard someone in here.”

“No, there's only me.”

“Okay, then. I'll be needing help with dinner before too long.”

“Alright. But I'd like to go down to the market first. I need to pick up another lamp.”

“Another one? What's going on? What are you doing with them all?”

“I just want to look around the shop for a bit.”

“Ahh, ok then.” Her mother smiled knowingly. “Take your time, I can get dinner ready by myself.”

Cassima entered Faraj's shop, but instead of going straight to the lamp section she went to where he was standing.

“Hello, Faraj.”

“Hi, Cassima. (urrk)

“Do you have any more lamps yet?”

“Yes. I got some really nice ones this morning. They're over there.”

“Could you show them to me, please? Maybe help me choose one?”

(snnxk) Okay.”

“Um, Faraj, have you ever considered hiring a shop girl to help you with the store?”

(hn-nn) No, um, yes. Well, I think about it sometimes, but not really seriously. Why? Would you (guulk), would you like a job here?”

“I think maybe I would, if it paid as well as my other job.”

“Really?! I'd (ahem), I'd even be willing to pay you more!”

“OK, it's a deal. But can you stop hyperventilating?”

Faraj gave a shout of joy and even leapt in the air. His grin was straining to reach his ears, and his whole body was shaking.

“Oh, and Faraj,” Cassima continued. She reached out and put her hand on his shoulder to calm him down. “Can we work on stopping those little noises you make? I'm sure they bother the customers.”

“Yes, (mm-mm), I'll try. I mean, I will. Actually, I don't do that around the other customers. It's only (ahem), it's only when I get around you that I get choked up. But I think I can control it now.”

“Good. Now let me tell you my ideas for the shop. I'm sure that with a few changes this place could do a lot more business.”

Previously on Hero Company,” a somber male voice says. The words are also printed in white across a black screen.

The dark screen turns to an open field with three riders on horseback: an armored man, a green-cloaked archer, and a woman with a staff.

The woman’s voice narrates. “I’m just not so sure that where we’re headed is safe.

You worry too much, sweetie” the archer said, turning back in his saddle. “There’s no way the network would risk us against anything truly formidable. Their ratings would plummet if one of us died.



Cut To: Exterior of a large looking cave. The heroes sit aback their mounts staring up the place.

THIS is where we’re supposed to be goin?!” the thick bearded dwarf asks incredulously.




CONFESSIONAL – REGAR
the dwarf faces the camera with bulging eyes and a downturned mouth against a torch-lit cavern wall.

I didn’a feel right about steppin in there.” he says, stroking his curly black beard. “But whose gonna listen to an ol’ dwarf like m’self?




Cut To: Exterior of cave. The camera follows the group as they dismount and move carefully into the cavern.

Holy hells!” the warrior says in a close up of his face, his voice a blend of fear and reverence.

The camera angle is to the groups' back, it rises slowly so the audience can see what lies ahead; mounds of treasure and a great dark scaled dragon sleeping atop it all.

It’s a bloody dragon,” the dwarf swears.

I’ve got to start reading the fine print on my contract,” the archer comments.





Black Screen


Tribal drums and a rhythmic lute play out a theme song when large white letters appear on the screen reading:

HERO COMPANY



Hennik, the screen says flashing the image of a warrior with an easy smile crossing his muscled arms over his chest. There is a quick scene of him cutting down a blood thirsty looking ogre.

Jamis, the screen reads. A green-hooded archer pulls back an arrow and lets fly; the camera follows the arrow into the back of an orc’s skull. The screen cuts to Jamis holding his arrow at the ready and squinting into the distance.

Regar, the screen announces. A black bearded dwarf with great owl-like brows sits before the camera looking around uncomfortably. Cut to Regar taking a blow to his helm from the club of an ogre; his head bounces off the ground but he lands on his feet. He cuts at the ogre’s hamstring and raises his ax above his head for the final blow.

Ilget, the words say on screen. The camera cuts to a smart looking woman with flowing ringlets of red hair. Flames dance at her fingertips and she smirks at the camera before engulfing some unfortunate advancing monster in a rolling inferno.

Okk, says the screen. He is a towering wall of muscle stands side profile; rune tattoos cover his arms and face. His head is shaven but his beard was full, his protruding jaw made it look like he was smiling. In his hand is a large double-edged sword with a wide blade. A clip of him lowering his shoulder to crash through a door is shown.

Gerron, the screen shows. A cleft-chinned, pot-bellied blond man with bushy eyebrows faced the screen with his eyes closed and a hand palm-out. A flash of him praying over the fallen form of Hennik is seen, another flash; this time of him cracking the skull of a goblin with his mace.




HERO COMPANY, the screen reminds us. The final drum beat of the theme song is struck and the words fade away.





Cut to: the group of heroes standing in a circle talking strategy. In the distance behind them we see the sparkling mounds of gold and the dark spot of the slumbering dragon.

Obviously we kill it while it’s still asleep,” Hennik, the warrior says.

Alright, great;” Ilget says, irritation heavy in her tone; “That’s the plan then. I guess we're done here. You’re a damn genius Hennik.

If you have a better plan then speak up,” Hennik demands with a scowl.

Better than ‘sneak up and kill it’?” she asks rhetorically.


In the distance, the dragon begins to stir. A camera down near the dragon catches the distant chatter of the party on its mic; their voices echoing around the chamber. The dragon cranes its neck upward and looks in their direction.


The screen switches back to the strategy meeting.

What I propose is simple,” Gerron the Holy says in his slow and drawling speech. “Jamis crawls up the wall the way that he does and gets into position; giving us cover in case the dragon should wake.

Behind them, the dragon rises to his feet; his scales cascading tones of dark gray. It sniffs deeply thrice from its nose as though trying to capture the scent of the intruders.

The camera cuts back to Gerron as he elaborates on his plan. “We split into two groups; I with Hennik while our Barbarian, dwarf, and sorceress make up the other group. We move to either side of the beast...

The dragon moves predatorily toward Hero Company, its stomach low to the ground as it moved with the fluidity of a cat.

Regar the dwarf looks briefly away from the group to check on the dragon, spying it moving toward them.

Uh, guys…” Regar says, tugging nervously at his beard.

Not now, Regar;” Gerron says. “Now, we each move in from-

Guys…” the dwarf says again, nudging those to either side of him.

Alright that’s it!” Gerron says, standing up to his full height and pointing a finger into Regar’s face. “I’ve had just about enough of your mouth, dwarf!

But-” the dwarf says.

NO!,” the priest screams, his face flushing red. “Every [BLEEP]ing time I try to speak you have something to say! I’m tired of this [BLEEP]! Why can’t you just-

You don’t understand,” Regar tries to reason.

I think I understand perfectly well,” Gerron says with an all-to-serious look on his face.

The dragon is seen sneaking up on the group from behind Gerron. Everyone save for him can see the massive beast approaching.

"You've had it in for me ever since I-"

RUUUUNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!” the dwarf screams as the dragon sucks in a deep breath.

The group of heroes scatters, leaving Gerron behind looking completely confused. He turns around just as the dragon sets forth a great cone of flaming breath that catches the healer in its wake. The priest screams in agony as he burns alive. When at last his charred corpse falls to the ground it is little more than ash and bone.

The cave is silent.

There is no use in hiding,” the dragon says with casual arrogance. “I will find you. Sooner or later. Each and every one of you.




CONFESSIONAL – JAMIS
The archer sits in front of the camera with a wall to his back; the flickering of a torchlight is behind him obscuring most of his face in shadow.

After escaping the initial attack I scrambled up the wall and watched as the rest of the group took cover.” Jamis closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I saw Gerron burn.”




Cut back to Jamis perched on the cavern wall arrow notched and bowstring taut. His voice narrates the scene.

When she was done breathing fire at us I let fly my first arrow. It sailed true; sticking into the beasts’ eye like a needle to an apple.

An arrow sticks into the dragon’s eye and the great beast roars. Jamis draws another arrow and takes aim; letting fly a shaft which sticks in to a thick scale on the dragon’s neck that appears to go unnoticed.

With a wordless battle cry, Regar the dwarf comes running from the shadows with his axe raised over his head.



CONFESSIONAL – REGAR
The dwarf stands beside a large rock..

I was hidin’ behind this rock,” he says, giving the top of the rock a proud pat. “Only damn reason I’m still breathin’.





Cut back to: Regar bringing his axe down on the dark gray scales of the dragon’s ribcage; the dragon snorts in pain, flickering curls of flame flaring from its nostrils. The dragon snaps its long neck back to the dwarf, bashing his head into Regar's shield; sending the dwarf sprawling to the ground.

With the dragon’s neck turned, the barbarian and warrior move in from the shadows on either side. They bring their blades down in unison and step back. Ilget shoots a bolt of lightning from her fingertips that cuts through the air and strikes the dragon smartly, sending the beast stumbling sideways.

An upbeat adventurous strum of the lute picks up with an almost frantic beat of drum and the shrill whistle of a flute as a montage of battle scenes are played on screen. Regar cuts at the dragon from beneath; Hennik and Okk drive their blades into the dragon’s flesh; and Ilget hurls a magical onslaught at the beast.

Soon the final blow is delivered, Okk driving his broadsword upward beneath the dragon’s chin; the blade poking out from an eye-socket. The body goes limp. Covered in the blood of his enemy the barbarian raised his hands in victory and let out a cry of victory.

You complete ass,” Jamis says to the barbarian; hopping down from his perch to land beside his companions. “Have some damn respect.

Poor Gerron,” Ilget says.

He was a good man,” Hennik comments off-handed; crouched down and looking at the treasure.

His plan was good,” Okk says. “We mostly stuck to it.

Aye,” Regar agrees, standing beside the big man at waist height.

Hennik picks an object up from the floor and holds it up to the light.

What is it?” the archer asks.

It’s an oil lamp,” the warrior answers, squinting closely at it. “There’s some kind of writing on it but it’s all covered in dust,” he says.

He takes the hem of his tunic and tries to clean it up to make up the script. As Hennik polishes the lamp a thin shimmering trail of colored smoke curls up from its mouth. The smoke solidifies and takes form and soon before them was an ancient golden spirit.

At last!” the spirit cries in a deep bass tone that rumbles off the walls of the cavern. “You have freed me from the confines of my imprisonment and for that I owe each of you a wish.




CONFESSIONAL – OKK
The barbarian’s eyes flash wide and he sits bolt upright.

A genie?!” he says incredulously; a big smile on his face. "A [BLEEP]ing genie?!"




Cut to: The genie floating over them with his essence connecting back to the lamp in a wisp of smoke.

What will it be? the genie asks.

Towering broad shouldered Okk steps forward first, drawing his blade and holding it before him. “I wish for my sword to be so sharp that it can cut through anything.

Really?” Ilget asks incredulously.

What?” Okk asks.

You could have wished Gerron was still alive!” she exclaims.

Oh,” the barbarian says, looking at the ground in shame. “I’m sorry. I was just really excited about the genie.

The genie bows his head and closes his eyes. “Done.” he says. Suddenly Okk’s broad sword slices through its scabbard and sinks into the stone floor with a soft scraping sound, stopping at the hilt.

What in all-hells?” Okk mutters, examining the tear in the sheath.

The sorceress exchanges a quick glance with Jamis and nods her head. “I would like to make my wish,” Ilget says in a strong clear voice, capturing the full attention of the genie. “I wish that our friend Gerron, the priest; were alive again and here with us.

The genie closes his eyes and bows his head. “Done.

A moment later the priest steps in from off-screen; completely bereft of all clothing, armor, and weaponry. The camera zooms in on the lost look on his face.



CONFESSIONAL – GERRON
Gerron stands in front of the camera with his back against the dead dragon. He kind of shrugs his shoulders.

I still don’t understand what happened,” he says.





Cut to: Confused, shivering, and naked; Gerron rejoins them the group as they stand before the spirit of the lamp.

You’re alive!” Okk says, patting the barebacked priest on the shoulder.

Ilget wished you back,” Jamis tells her with a gentle squeeze to her hand.

Wish?" Gerron croaks out the question.

We're glad to have ye back,” Regar says, facing decidedly away from Gerron with wide eyes.

Even if you are nude,” Hennik comments.

Gerron covers himself up with his hands.

The others mutter welcomes and good wishes but they fade to the background as the camera focuses on the dwarf and the uncomfortable wide-eyed stare on his face.




CONFESSIONAL – REGAR

I’m a bit shorter’n these human-folk,” he says. “It was right there at eye level and let me tell ye it weren’t pretty.




Cut to: The archer and the sorceress embrace as they discuss what their wish will be. The camera pans over to Hennik staring at them with a lonesome look in his eyes.

I should never have let her go,” Hennik says to himself, looking forlorn.


A quick montage of romantic scenes involving Hennik and Ilget flash across the season; mostly clips from seasons 1 and 2.


Hennik steps forward and lets out a sigh. “Genie, he says. “I wish Ilget’s heart was mine.

The genie closed his eyes and bowed his head and spoke that single word again. “Done.


Suddenly Ilget’s body goes limp in Jamis’ arms. Hennik looks down to find something warm and wet in his hands. A human heart. Startled, he drops the heart. Jamis screams from behind them.

You bloody fool!” Jamis shouts. “What have you done?!

The dwarf steps up from behind Hennik, madness and sorrow blending into chaos behind him. “Right then, I guess it be me turn now,” he says, taking in a deep breath and wrapping a curl of his beard around a fat finger. “I wish that me meager home were a well-laid castle located no more ‘an 10 miles from where me home is now. That it be recognized as belongin’ t’me and that me neighbors be acceptin’ to me arrival.

The genie bows his head and closes his eyes. “Done..”

Jamis steps forward angrily. “Regar! Ilget has died and you’re worried about your damn house?!

Regar raises his eyebrows and shrugs his shoulders. “I been pinin’ for a castle for half me damn life.

Jamis throws his hands in the air, tears streaming down his face. “You could have wished Ilget back to life!” he cries. Jamis sinks to his knees beside the fallen body of his love, Ilget.

The dwarf kind of shuffles his feet. “I kind of figured that was goin’ t’be yer wish.

The archer looks up from his misery, wiping at tears with the back of his gloved hand. “Yes,” he said. “Yes, of course.” He rises to his feet to stand rigidly before the genie. “I wish for Ilget to be alive and well again.”

The genie bows his head and closes his eyes. "Done." Ilget breathes again on the floor of the cavern. “It was a pleasure serving you,” the genie says, smoke swirling around as the lamp starts to suck him back in.

Wait!” Okk says, holding his hand up. “Gerron did not get a wish!

The genie stops for just a moment to explain. “Wishes are only granted to those who are present when I am summoned.” Then he is swallowed up by the lamp with such a force that it slides on its side across the cavern floor.

A silence fills the cavern and for a moment no one speaks at all. The archer helps his lover gently to her feet. They embrace. The warrior looks uncomfortably at his feet. The picks at something in his teeth.

Soon the peace is broken. Jamis gives the warrior a shove and the Hennik starts apologizing and trying to explain himself. There is a lot of shouting and talking over one another and it’s difficult to make out who is saying what.

Behind them Okk can be seen slinking off to the treasure.


CONFESSIONAL – Okk

They were in the middle of some serious [BLEEP]. So I just started filling my bags up with gold,” Okk says with a roaring laugh. “[BLEEP] them, I’ll take first pick.




Cut to: an overhead view of Okk filling up pack and bags with coin, gem, and trinket; the sound of him filling his bag and the distant sound of verbal combat take over the screen as it fades to black.

The closing theme starts to play; fading in as the coins and arguing fades out.




Roll Credits






Next time on Hero Company,” says a somber male voice. The words are also printed in white across the screen.

Welcome to me castle,” Regar says with outstretched arms as the camera pans around the magnificent structure.

I don’t understand," Hennik comments. “How did your wish work out so well?

Ye gotta be damn careful with the way ye word a wish,” the dwarf tells them.