1 The lamp

It was simply another day as a genie, a cursed, unhappy and annoyed genie. Tsuru waited for her new master to find her lamp and awaken her from this endless prison so she could kill whoever the unlucky person was.

Her long desire to be human again had lasted for as long as she could remember, being the only thing, she thought about. Only two hundred and ninety-eight years ago, she had her last master, and by that time she'd been around for many centuries, trapped in the endless cycle.

She had been so close to killing her last master, that is until those thieves had stolen the lamp from him. Once again failing, the moment her master was stabbed by one of the thieves causing his downfall. Every single time she was near killing one of her master's something had to happen. She indeed had the worst of luck; at every single turn something went opposing to her plans.

"Would someone hurry up and find me!" She yelled in a slightly demanding tone. She would grow so tired of having the only thing to hear be herself. Having the only 'window' in the lamp be a hole which was covered in dirt at the moment.

An endless abyss was the only thing inside the lamp. How dull things can get, how much can a genie really lose their mind? Although most of the time she spent sleeping and recollecting thoughts of the past it grew too desolated for her liking. And those memories blurred in her mind.

She even believed she heard voices at times. What was real and what was not? She simply could not tell anymore. Was she really trapped? Or all just a dream?

The thieves who had taken her got killed by her last master's vengeful son. The one who proceeded to burn everything they had taken out of anger. Poor boy never knew the powers that lay in the lamp since his father had never once told him or anyone. Truly a secret he took to his grave.

For all those two-hundred and ninety-eight years she had been buried under ashes and dirt, and she could do nothing about it. Unable to leave the lamp without a master, she could do little more than wait. Her thoughts drifted back to the human life she once had, yearning to turn back time if only she could.

But those times looked so far away and faded. She wondered if it was her life or someone else's whom she had served.

What was she when it all started… Twenty? No, maybe she was younger. She couldn't determine it, and that only bothered her more than distract her.

Change all those mistakes she had done, fix all those things she'd broken. Be home, a place she barely remembered, small broken fragments of her memory making it hard for her to clutch onto them.

"How I miss the old days. I'd probably not kill my next master if they manage to dig me out." She spoke to herself laughing thinking how ridiculous she must have sounded. Snickering at the thought, she would crush them the first chance she'd get.

Or at least she'd try, having never been able to achieve her goals before. Still her positive attitude kept her thinking she had a chance.

Sure she might be speaking to herself and lost her mind a little in all that time. But she was persistent above all. First get a mortal life, so she'd be free from these chains that bind her to the lamp. It wouldn't last forever though, but she'd make sure to have enough time to get her revenge.

Her laughter ceased slowly, unable to laugh at the situation anymore, "I'm never getting out of this hellhole." After so long of waiting, what real guarantee was there that someone would come? Those two hundred and ninety-eight had gotten her this lost, she wouldn't imagine what a thousand could do.

Just then the earth around the lamp started to move. She knew this feeling all too well. It wasn't someone digging her out to her dismay. It was simply another earthquake in the area, something she grew accustomed to after having to experience them for so long. Along with the quake, the ground unearthed the buried lamp onto the surface.

She hadn't realized just how close she had really been off the surface until then. It felt odd for Tsuru to feel the lamp heating up with the sun. A pounding in her chest of hope, the hope someone would pass and take her from these accursed lands.

However, her luck was still the same, days passed as she thought once more, she wouldn't be found in another couple of hundred years. Tsuru would just speak to herself and look out the window waiting to see someone walk her way. Seeing the critters walk over her lamp and live their lives free just made her all the more bitter.

Besides it had so long since she was out, what would the world be like? Was magic still around, where people still building cities? When looking out her 'window' it still looked the same. Sure trees had grown and the plants took over the area. But no real sight of humans anywhere.

She looked out the small hole peeking out for the hundredth time that day, trees were one on top of the other, collapsed from the earthquake most likely. Some cracks were scattered in the ground like it had been split by hand. She thought back on all the places she had been to, Arabia, Egypt, China, Algeria, the Caribbean and ones she couldn't even remember, maybe places that no longer held the same name, maybe they didn't even exist anymore.

One thing she did know was that she wasn't anywhere near those places, given that a few centuries back she had traveled on the boat to what people called the 'new world'. Her sight captivated by something in the distance, "What could that be though?"

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Looking at some kind of metallic object off in the distance. It moved through the area until reaching near her location. It wasn't just a big piece of metal but had what looked to be rubber under it turning seeming to be what moved it around, "It's alive?"

The object crushed anything in its way but stopped at a big branch, peeking Tsuru's curiosity further. Reminded her of carriages and things she'd seen so long ago she believed to be fiction.

To her surprise, humans got out from inside the object, making it for her look as if they had been eaten by it. Of course that wasn't the case, they looked calm like it was everyday life for them.

"Maybe I can catch their attention." She thought as she attempted to make the lamp shine like she had done in the past. Using it to attract the attention of people.

They didn't notice the lamp as they walked past it, clearing the way for some reason and leaving the metallic object behind. The weird object made sounds that she couldn't understand.

"It looks like they want to pass." She thought to question their actions, all too odd since the last time she had laid eyes on them. Wondering why not just go through them with the object they possessed.

Just as one looked her way she shines even brighter. They had already turned around before processing what they had seen and looked at the area with a questioning gaze. Most of their face is covered by a hat, their clothes covering all the way up to their necks. Making her wonder if they could even see well.

The peculiar person came closer, just as they were about to grab the tip of the lamp the other person called out to them. In her concentration she hadn't caught what they had said.

"Coming," the person said, walking over to their companion. Whatever the other person mentioned came at bad timing, leaving Tsuru to grumble and curse out loud.

"These trees are too big to move on our own, we would need machines to move these out." The companion said gesturing to some gigantic fallen trees spreading across the area.

"But we need to get to the other side, most we can take is two days." The other replied frustrated stomping on the ground and moving their hands in the air frantically.

"Well, we could try to make some kind of road in the other direction, but both roads would take days to cross, much more than only two."

"But they're expecting us, my mom's worried and so is yours. Even if we called, she would still want to see that we're alright. And we only have food in the car for two days, there's no where to stop, everything is closed." The person crossed their arms, "So, how will we get there in two days?"

"I don't know! There's no other road I know of."

"No, they're going to leave!" Tsuru cried out as she could already see herself spending another hundred years in that lamp. Shining her lamp while screaming at herself, with each second they were closer to the object they came in.

"I'll get in the car… let me just grab something I saw." The person told their companion as they walked over to where her lamp was located. Grabbing it and pulling it out of the ground. The person took the end of their sleeve and cleaned the dirt off it, unknowingly releasing Tsuru.

She came out emerging in red smoke taking her form with a threatening demeanor. Her hair a reddish-brown, with red and gold clothes to match. Her piercing orange eyes that would look into your soul and rip it to pieces, "I am the Genie Tsuru. I'll grant you an infinite number of wishes, so long as you never wish to extend your life."

She spoke with pride as she looked down at the person, which she quickly noticed was a woman dressed in what appeared to be male clothing. Her expression showed pure horror when seeing Tsuru had appeared from nowhere.

"Allon!!" The woman screamed, running over to her companion and dropping the lamp in the process. She nearly tripped a few times in the way but when she made it to him, she grasped onto him for dear life.

"Perfect." Tsuru thought as she took her own lamp and hid in the woods. If only it was always this easy to get her lamp back. It was looking like her luck had finally changed for the better. She watched her master, as her Allon walked over to where she had been recently summoned.

He looked around in every direction looking for her or whatever the woman had described her as in her moment of fear. She carefully watched and waited for the perfect moment to kill her master and gained her so desired freedom. Getting to choose what she did and did not do for the first time in centuries.

"There's nothing here, Evira," Allon stated as he looked back at the woman, she was still shaking in fear from the events while he pushed her off him.

Evira looked around cautiously, "There was something or more like someone here. She called herself a genie. She was big and red smoke was everywhere, and she looked so angry." She went back, holding him tightly, frantically looking everywhere.

Allon raises an eyebrow at her, "A genie?" he scoffed, "Those don't exist."

Tsuru watched as they spoke about her, making sure they were both distracted as she summoned a giant rock to appear a few feet above their heads. Proceeding to drop it onto them, but to her dismay Allon noticed, grabbing Evira and successfully getting both out in time. Not even a scratch on them.

"There's definitely something here," Allon spoke inspecting the surroundings again, he wasn't going to just let it slide this time as he briefly got a glimpse of Tsuru.

"We're going to die!" Evira cried out shaking him causing him to lose focus and lose her from sight.

As soon as they survived, numbers flashed before Tsuru's eyes, "Thirty-seven thousand, four hundred and sixty." Tsuru cursed under her breath as she knew that those numbers meant her years as a genie had once again been extended.

Every time the numbers would go up a random amount extending her curse for failing or breaking rules, it was a punishment the lamp brought to those disobeying or failing as genies.

It reminded her of the first time she tried to kill one of her masters. It had taken a lot for her to decide to murder him, and leave her sweet and gentle side behind to get the freedom she desired. Her first mistake was that she tried to kill him while he possessed her lamp. Her master came out unharmed and her years extended from the original two hundred they had been.

She'd been through so many failed attempts her numbers surpassed the triple digits and beyond.

"Show yourself!" Allon screamed, he showed no fear, being cautious of everything around him, it's like he felt he had the upper hand.

Tsuru, finding no point in trying to kill them while they knew she was around, came out. What was the point in hiding if they knew she was around? She approached them uncaringly handing the lamp to the woman, Evira. The girl hesitated in taking it but once she had it in her grasp, she hid behind Allon like a coward all over again.

"I am the genie Tsuru. As I've said, I shall grant you an infinite amount of wishes. My only rule is that you may not wish for immortality or anything that will extend your life in any way." Tsuru announced, completely ignoring the fact they were probably going to say she tried to kill them.

"You tried to kill us!" And there it was, predictable. Allon who fearlessly announced it like there were more people around to hear it.

"I'm a genie. It doesn't mean I bring good luck. That simply happens when I'm summoned." She lied eyeing the woman who looked pitiful in her eyes. He, on the other hand, caught her attention, he gave off the bravery of a knight defending the kingdom… or a fool who rushes blindly into a field, she still couldn't decide.

Evira looked back at Tsuru poking her head out a little from behind Allon, "How do we know you're really a genie?"

"Oh, I don't know… make a wish maybe?" Tsuru said sarcastically. Had these people never seen a genie or at least heard about them? Sure, they were rare, but their tales shown with glory last time she was around.

A fantasy many wished to possess, but few believed real.

Allon stared at her with the expression someone that didn't believe would make, wanting proof, "Clear the trail so we can get home then."

"I don't take orders from you. I only take orders from my master and that is her." Tsuru rolled her eyes at the boy.

"Well do what he said," Evira said, still hiding behind Allon. the only thing going through Tsuru's head for this poor girl was, 'pathetic'.

Tsuru sighed and with a snap of her finger everything was cleared, "Enough proof?" Every genie had their own way of fulfilling wishes. She would simply snap her fingers and the wish would be fulfilled. Others would chant the wish, some would place a hand on their chest like swearing an oath, and so on and so forth with the ways they did it.

Evira looked at the cleared road, jaw dropped. Allon acknowledged Tsuru's abilities, his arms crossed. The area was like new, the trees had even gone back to their places, looking as if nothing had ever happened.

"This is awesome." Evira cheered as she jumped in joy moving in front of Allon before noticing her proximity to Tsuru and cowering behind him again.