“Oh,” Rudi sighed, wondering if she should clear the leftovers from breakfast crowding the kitchen sink or deal with the junk she’d retrieved from the loft now piled high on her kitchen table. She’d promised to give something to the Church jumble sale and she hadn’t sorted out anything yet... 

There was that headache again ! The one she got from eating too much chocolate the night before. Or was it more the fact she had a decision to make ? Tossing a coin would have solved it but yes…That would mean having to make another decision.

Instead, she partook in her favorite activity; acknowledging defeat. Which meant tapping her fingers on the kitchen table and aimlessly glancing at the junk before her. Only she noticed something. A miniature urn. Her gaze narrowed at the shiny lid.

No sooner had she opened the lid and WHOOSH! Out popped a genie, sat cross-legged on what seemed to be translucent candy floss. It drifted in the air; Rudi watching it with astonishment.  “Tell me, what are your three wishes?” he asked. 

“Sorry..? “ she stammered. He was quite a young genie. With strong, tanned arms. “Am I dreaming ... ?” she asked carefully.

“Em, no..,” he said, as if this were an everyday occurrence.

“Then….you must be a genie, ?”

“... a wizard,” he shrugged, as if this was mere trivia. “ Now please, tell me your first wish...”

“Oh -” she said, pretending to act the most decisive resident on the block. “Can it be anything ?”

. “Anything,.. ”

     “Erm..,” she deliberated before realizing she'd better come clean. “Look, what if I make a bad choice ?”

           “A bad choice…?”

            “Hmm,” she winced, but the genie seemed to understand.

“Click your fingers and you can make the second wish.”                

"O - Okay..." She thought of Miguel Miguel...The most romantic swashbuckling film star ever. Tall and swarthy... With eyes that could melt a statue. It was odd the way her headache suddenly disappeared when she thought about Miguel.

“If only I could actually meet him,” Rudi said dreamily. “...Perhaps in a love scene, “ she swooned before blinking. That sounded ridiculous, didn't it ? 

KERPING!! She was lying on a four poster bed. Wearing a slinky dress, her hair dyed blonde with looping, sophisticated curls. “Oops,” she steadied herself, realizing she was shooting a film scene. People flurried about. Studio lights blazed. Her ears buzzed with excitement. 

And there, unmistakably, was Miguel... In a swash-buckling outfit and sword. Making her feel queasy. “Oh, Miguel...” she pouted, somehow knowing the script.

“Yes,” Miguel placed a swarthy hand on her arm. His exotic-sounding voice pleasing her eardrums. “ Ze finally...”

“Yes, finally...” she said, chest thudding madly. Love struck, shut ting her eyes in anticipation. Only Miguel cried out as if something nasty had bitten him on the rear followed by an; “Ugh...Ze bottom hurting again.”

“Pardon?” Rudi mouthed as someone shouted “CUT!” It was Miguel's piles, apparently. Being tended to with a spot of TCP and cotton wool.

“Erm,” she was torn between concern and wondering if it was an habitual problem he had before a tough-looking lady swabbed her with body make-up. With a bristly paint brush... “Yes, thank you.., ” Rudi tried ducking as more wet, slimy stuff got slapped on. Followed by a huge puff of blusher, gagging her.

Without warning the studio lights blazed again. Only this time Miguel leaped on her. His wet lips pressing against her own without so much as a hello. His expression contorted... Groping her with cold and clammy hands. “Yuck,” she couldn’t help it.


Oh -” she managed, sounding innocent. “… It’s only... I haven’t dated... Yuck ! In a while. ”

Only Miguel had other ideas. “Ze lovely,” he spat out, apparently bursting with passion and not afraid of showing it either. “Oops,” she pulled away again, detecting a sharp odour. What had he had for breakfast.. rotten eggs ? She grimaced, avoiding his bony, protruding nose. 

“WHAT?!  ZE DO NOT LOVE ME ???” he gargled, a panicky hand grabbing her thigh.

“Ouch- “

“No one has ever refused me.” Well, that sounded dubious, she thought. “Ze afterwards we sip wine...”

“Oh dear,” she snapped her fingers. Relieved to be back in her trusty old kitchen. Touching the wooden table top just to be sure. Phew!! The grass certainly looks greener on the other side, she thought.

“And your second wish,” the wizard asked, slightly amused.

“Couldn't I make a wish that turns out okay ?,” she glanced hopefully, the old feeling of indecision returning with full throttle. “You see, I've never done this before.”

The Wizard shrugged apologetically. “There are never any guarantees. You can only go by what feels right. ” 

“Oh,” she nodded, wondering if she should believe that. But luckily, she had a brainwave. “Could I be a multi-millionaire? Like super rich?” It sounded OTT but he didn't seem to mind.

“What type?”

“Erm, any type,” her voice cracked. “...And a tan, please. ”  Suddenly she was in a herculean mansion.With fifty bedrooms and a winding staircase leading to a foyer, several cocktail bars and a swimming pool outside. Clip, clip her high heels went, something she was unaccustomed to.

“Madam..,” the butler announced as ten sentries appeared. Immaculately dressed.

“Oh, you mean me ?” she asked, nervously.

“The staff await instruction,” he turned his nose up.

“Erm, well,” she began, before looking at the horizon and noticing the mansion was completely hemmed in by high walls and electronic gadgetry. “ This may sound silly,” she glanced;” but there's no outside 'outside'.”

“Security, madam. The property is fenced in.”

That made sense. “ Well, I think I'll go shopping - if it's alright.”

“Impossible. Risk of kidnapping.”

“... I like shopping,” she said.

“The super rich have their shopping pre-done.”

“...I see, ” Rudi began to get that sinking feeling again, realizing normality wasn't a part of being super-rich. Why couldn't she have settled for being common and filthy rich? Or just plain well-off ?

Perhaps she could jet off to somewhere exotic - but one glance from the butler told her this wasn’t on either. 

However, there was Club Elite, the butler suggested. Internationally famous - and reserved only for the super rich. Even the mega-rich weren't allowed in.

“That sounds exciting ,” Rudi cheered up. Feeling privileged. Curiously enough, it resembled a gigantic dome stretching for miles with marble flooring and a monumental swimming pool from which drifted a seductive mist.

  “Oops,” Rudi nearly slipped on the marble, in her bare feet, feeling embarrassed. She needn't have. Nobody was there - except for three obviously super-rich ladies sat around a glass table. Slender and beautiful, she noticed. Wearing glassy mules and 'see-through' robes. Only somehow, they didn't seem young. Plastic surgery, Rudi quickly caught on.

“Hello,” she said timidly. Which was met with a cold reception. They didn't smile or talk. “It's nice here, isn't it ?” she couldn’t help noticing they were completely still. Or bored rigid... “Sorry,” she hooked up a chair.


“Pardon ?”

“I said 'Shoosh,' ” one of them repeated as a short, angry-looking man burst on to the scene. Wearing a bright, migraine-inducing waist coat and peculiar curls in his hair, tinted purple. Immediately the three ladies became animated. 

“Madames...NO, NO... Be still ! Be still !” he winced, motioning them to stay seated. “Maintain the pose. Like the statue of Le Mont.” At once the women became still. Completely still.

Oh, they were here for a portrait, Rudi cottoned on, watching the attendants scurry over easel and paint. Obviously, he was someone important - and represented the height of privileges for the super-rich. Nevertheless, she felt she was intruding and tried tip-toeing a way.

“You !” he demanded, as everyone looked. “You are not prepared... And why is your hair unbecoming..?”

“Sorry, it goes a bit curly in damp conditions,” she felt a knot form in her stomach.

“Off with the clothes,” he bellowed, thrusting a see-through garment at her with a grubby hand..

  “ Is this a napkin ?” She glanced.


“But, it's... I don't know what it is,” Rudi eventually replied. Only he attempted to make a grab for her...and Rudi..?  Well, she slapped him...across the chops. She hadn't meant to. Of course, she hadn't... Only he stumbled straight into the pool - with an ominous splash.

“Ugh” everyone gorked, getting wet.

“Sorry..,” she was back in the familiar and friendly surroundings of her kitchen.

 “Well, I didn't expect things to turn out like that.” she said, flummoxed.

“You never do,” the wizard replied with a sympathetic nod. “The alternative always seems better ... But you still have a final wish.”

She'd forgotten about that.

“Only I must warn you,” he said with a hint of empathy. ” This last wish is binding.”

          “But..But I can’t.” Once again indecision began to swamp her. Only she remembered something.               

“OK, there are no guarantees, right ?” She pulled back a wisp of hair and pursed her lips, thinking carefully. “I think, “she said... “ I think I'll settle for a million pounds.” The wizard smiled knowingly, as if this was predictable enough.

“...To charity,” she quickly added, watching the wizard look surprised. “There's only one snag... Could it be, well, anonymous ?That way I'd have a lot less explaining to do...”

A moment later she settled for a cup of tea, noticing the chores that still needed to be done. Somehow, she didn't feel vexed by them. This was her world, with its odds and ends but not without a sparkle or two. Perhaps, she thought: perhaps I can begin with the dishes.

May 25, 2021 20:24

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