Fantasy Fiction posted March 23, 2021 Chapters:  ...10 11 -12- 13... 

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The first wish was a flop; time to plan another one

A chapter in the book 12 Wishes Around the Globe (2nd ed)

Chapter 12

by Ben B.

Chapter 12: Land Ahoy

"...but no, you wanted a ship!" was the first thing Barry heard when he woke up; sounded like it was Lilly who was yelling. "A trip here and another one back would have been too expensive!"

"I was trying to be efficient!" That was probably Wesley Barry was hearing now, "It's what I'm trained to do. And in case you haven't noticed that ship and those and sci-fi robots just saved our butts!"

"Oh bull," that was obviously Ryan that time, "that was the genie throwing in a bonus. If we had it your way, we would have been up against those slimy eels with a yacht!"

Barry's vision started to clear. He could feel an itchy bandage wrapped around his head. It was dark where he was lying. He looked down as best he could which wasn't very far; there was something stiff around his neck as well. He could make out his three human friends standing at the mouth of a cave. There was a beach behind them with the waves crashing against the giant submarine. Only the front end of the ship was in view but a giant hole on the side.

"Barry..." the genie was heard from Barry's side, but he wouldn't move his sore head to look. "Masters," he heard the genie cry out, "he's awake!"

The three human companions dropped their quarrel and ran to check up on him. To Barry, they all looked tired, worn out, and their party clothes from last night were one step over rags by then.

"Do not move him." Barry heard Captain Mech to his right. "Admiral Barry's neck is still sprained."

"You okay, bud?" Ryan kneeled down and almost touched his cousin. Mech swiped Ryan's hand away.

"Would you believe me if I said yes?" Barry asked all of them.

"No, not really," Lilly answered with the others agreeing silently.

Barry looked down as far as he could without moving his head "How long have I been out? Looks like morning."

"Nearly the whole day." Wesley pointed to the mouth of the cave. "That's sunset out there."
"Oh." Barry allowed his eyes to look up to the ceiling again.

"Aren't you going to ask if this was all a dream?" The genie flew high up and adjusted herself parallel to Barry. "Most masters do at this point."

Barry answered, "Well, my everything hurts, so don't bother pinching me."

"Probably safe to say the wish could have gone better," Ryan commented.

Barry peered behind him to look at the wreckage. "Could have been worse," he moaned.

"Affirmative," Captain Mech agreed not recognizing the sarcasm. "Technically, we won the first battle. We boarded the shore, cleared this corner of the island of all hostiles, and there were no casualties amongst the organic crew. However, the ship is no longer seaworthy, the majority of our ammo had been dispensed, and I cannot commence essential repairs on our vessel. There is a high probability that the sounds of our construction work would give away the position of our crash site."

"So, what are your men doing now?" Barry asked Mech noticing hearing two robots marching outside.

Mech updated the intel in his server to answer. "A recon team has been dispatched four hours and thirteen minutes ago to survey the island. Three hours and fifty-six minutes ago, a salvage team started searching the debris for a gemstone globe under Admiral Lilly's orders."

"Someone tell this bucket of bolts that we're not all ad..." Wesley was shushed by the genie.

"Attention." Captain Mech's green visor blinked twice. "The recon team has finished their objective and returning to base. Projecting data."

Captain Mech's visor turned blue, and a much smaller hologram projector emitted from his visor. A bird eye's view of the island was placed in display. The island was practically a giant piece of rock with very little vegetation with the exception of a giant patch of black trees in the dead center of the island. The hologram placed markers on the map and switched settings, showing everyone the hostile threats across the island.

There was a whole variety of them, only a few such as dragons could be identified by mythology. There were more of those creatures that attacked the ship; horrifying reptilian creatures, giant poison dart frogs with giant red darts ready to fire from their back, white slugs that were quick on their bellies leaving yellow slime behind, bats with faces nearly shaped as humans, and countless more.

"Oh my." The genie left Barry to survey the hologram. "There are more of them since I last saw them. Looks like the parents were busy. If you know what I mean."

"Too much detail." Wesley continued to gaze at the projector. "Can you toss one of your wish grenades and blow the whole island up in smoke?"

"First of all I'm not calling my power projectiles 'wish grenades.'" The genie looked at Wesley straight in the eye. "And second, I can't hurt anyone.

"Why?" Wesley asked her.

"You see these shiny bracelets?" The genie held up her right bracelet and pointed at it. "This one is my 'can't do' bracelet. The writings etched onto it state I can't hurt anyone or undo another master's wish. Even if you wish me to slap you in the face I still couldn't do it."

"Random example," Wesley noted. "I take it that was made to keep you from starting an apocalypse?"

"More likely so I couldn't work around my first master's wishes and rebel against him," she stated.

"What about that other bracelet?" Lilly asked looking at it.

"My 'must do' bracelet." The genie held up her other hand. "It says here I have to do everything you guys say till your wishes our served. Please don't abuse it."

"That first master must have been a prick." Barry yelled up from the ground.

"Yeah," the genie looked at her wrists, "he was."

"Should we wish for a bigger robot army then?" Wesley wondered.

"I thought the one I gave Wesley would cut it," the genie looked at Mech, "but I was wrong. Those eels were bad enough. The ones on land would be even worse. Any robot army big enough would take up a sweet portion of the ocean. That wouldn't go unnoticed."

"Right, don't want that attention," Barry agreed. "And what would we even do with it afterwards?

"What if I jump back in time and stop Wesley's big goof?" Ryan pulled that idea from an old movie.

"Only if you're ready to erase us from existence," the genie casually warned.

"Forget it! Forget it!" That didn't sound nice to Ryan.

Captain Mech's visor blinked twice, "The gemstone globe has been found. It will be returned to Admiral Lilly in two minutes and thirty-three seconds."

Barry put a lot of thought into mind the next thirty seconds. "Juice me up."

"Excuse me?" The genie lowered herself further to look Barry straight in the eye.
"You heard me." Barry tried to nod. Big mistake. "Fix me up so I would be colossal enough to take them out myself."

"You want to fight them?" Lilly stood up and looked down at Barry.

"But you're hurt." Ryan joined the girls staring down at Barry.

"That and you are nuts!" The genie criticized. "Do you have any idea what you're asking for?

"Nothing permanent," Barry argued. "Just long enough to do the job.

"I suppose I could put a time lock on it." the genie speculated and checked the sun. The evening still had some time left. "Okay, you can be whatever till sundown."

"In that case, juice me up too," Ryan volunteered without warning. "Who knows? Might be a little fun."

Lilly looked at Wesley who was trying to hide that he was moved by this. The two of them were responsible for this and they both knew it.

"Juice me up too," Lilly commanded.

"What?" The genie straightened herself up to look at Lilly.

Lilly brushed her hair off her face. "I'm the one who found the box, I should pitch in."

"I'll do you one better; I opened the box." Wesley swallowed his pride. "Juice me too."
The genie shook her head looking down at the sandy floor. "You bozos may be the bravest and yet dumbest masters yet."

As the genie said the word "yet," one of the robots flew in and gave it to Lilly. Lilly kneeled down by Barry's side and placed the globe by his hand.

"Would it count if I move Barry's hand for him?" Lilly asked the genie.

"I'm new to magic globes," the genie reminded her mistress, "but it should count. His hand and his words." A disturbing thought crossed the genie's mind. She hovered over Barry again and warned, "And for crying out loud master, don't actually ask me to 'juice you up.' That wouldn't go well."

"Don't worry," Barry looked at the globe as best he could on his own, "I know what I'm going to say."

Lilly gently picked up Barry's wrist and placed his palm on the globe.
Barry didn't hold back words that rang in his head, "I wish for my friends and I to be whatever it takes to wipe out the monsters of the island."

Lilly yanked the hand Barry had on the sphere. As it did last time, the globe continued to spin and glow a faint shade of purple. A new "wish grenade" grew in the genie's hand.
The genie was reluctant that time to drop the ball. "Here goes nothing."

The ball fell between Barry and Lilly. It exploded and filled the cave with purple smoke.

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