Flash Fiction by Jeff Hill
“You’ve already wasted half of your six wishes, friend. Are you sure you don’t just want a little help this time? I mean, I am pretty much a professional when it comes to this type of thing.”
I lean in close to his ear and he no doubt smells the stench of a rotting carcass, making his body temperature rise.
“No thanks,” he responds, beginning to walk away and distance himself from me. “But I think I’ve decided what I can do to change the world for the better this time.”
“Sure,” I say, only slightly showing my disgust for this twerp’s abuse of my dirty tricks.
“Okay,” he starts, “I want to save the planet.” He pauses, takes a deep breath, and finally says, “I wish I discovered the cure for cancer.”
I snap my fingers and the next thing he knows, we’re in the middle of what seems to be trench warfare. Looking up above the manmade defenses, I pull back by my would-be slave, helping himm barely dodge an oncoming rocket.
“Can’t have you die yet, friend. You’ve still got two wishes left.”
I walk through the trenches, offering to ease the suffering to soldiers who don’t know any better. Poor souls don’t even realize the deals they have made until after it’s already too late for them. Too late for them all.
“What happened?” he asks. “How did this happen? You rigged it. You warped it again! Why are you doing this?”
I feign a hurt set of feelings. “What ever do you mean? Are you honestly suggesting that I would be sabotaging your supposedly altruistic wishes? You must be joking.”
“Honestly. I asked to find the cure for cancer and now the world has gone to complete shit. Enlighten me, Lucius.”
“It’s simple, really. You just don’t find a cure like that without any kind of repercussion, friend.”
“That’s bull and you know it.”
“Cures do not exist for everything and everyone… Not without a price. That is the plain and simple truth. Supply and demand are the new fuels for warfare in this day and age. Face it. You just suck at this whole wishing game.”
“You suck,” he mutters under his breath.
“Nice retort.” I snap my fingers again and everything returns back to normal. “Ready for your next wish yet? I’ve got places to be, souls to steal, you know… All that jazz.”
“Alright,” he says. “I want to warn Janice about the painting. If you won’t let me save the world, at least let me save her.”
“That I can do,” I tell him. “But I will do it my way. Deal?”
Little does he know, she’s been dead for about a week. She died in the dirty business dealings that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center, an event I have people believing was orchestrated by Al-Quaida and some Midwest American mobsters. The painting already got her. Oh, well. At least she died before she could know that he was still alive and had faked his death in prison after he met me and saw the painting. He sold his soul, but he actually thought he did it for the right reasons. Ha.
“Do I have a choice?”
I smile. “You always have a choice, friend.”
She may be dead, but I can at least avenge her by taking care of the pricks that got her killed in the first place. I owe him that much. After all, he’s shown me a good time these last few years, toying with his soul and all. He’s made me remember just how much fun it is to be an immortal. Yeah. I’ll just ruin everyone’s lives who had anything to do with hers. Should be a blasty-blast.
“Do it,” he says.
A smile appears on my face. “Will do, pal. Will do.”
Originally published in Weirdyear in 2011.
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