Chapter. But I was looking through some of my old work and … I had to start a remake of this. I like the idea of writing a genie story … but I didn't like the way it was going. It had no character. No background and was written just a little too rushed for my tastes. And so, I have revised and though this is not beta'd I think it had a lot more potential than the previous version. So bear with me and give it a shot, guys.
Oh, and this story takes place in Ireland, thus the Irish accents of most of the character's.
Chapter One - Revised
Crevan Concannon stared at the screen before him; his eyes intent on his grandmother's wrinkled face and snow white hair. It was odd seeing her alive and speaking in that soft, melodious voice of hers after seeing her lying in an open casket just days before. Her cobalt blue eyes - his eyes - seemed alight with mischief in the video, twinkling with a warm-hearted mirth that had never failed to keep Crevan in their sight. Her thin pink lips were fixed in that vexing grin of hers even as she spoke to him through the television as if she were actually there, speaking with him in person.
The memory of that mouth in death not so long ago saddened him, her mouth had been a flat line and her face was done up so ridiculously with make up it had hardly even looked like her. He had not been happy that his beloved grandmother, a woman who rarely even wore blasted face paint, was being set up to leave behind what was left of her kin and acquaintances looking like an old harlot. He had not tolerated it and, even before the mourning crowd he had taken his hanky of white silk and, wetting in a nearby sink, he had washed away the traces of color from her face. His face tight with ever stroke of his hand, with each revealing movement the realization that this was his one and only loving family member struck him. He cared little if at all that most of those around him were appalled by his actions, this was something that had to be done. It was only right for the woman, as noble and pure as she was, to leave the living in the same fashion.
"Och, now, Crevan," he suddenly snapped into consciousness at the sound of his name in such an unmistakable Irish lilt that could only be his grandmother. His eyes meeting his grandmother's on the tape, he noticed that she had moved closer to the camera. The view of her favored blue dress she had worn so very often disappearing as her face filled the screen. "I know you'll be off in that head o'your's now, always up in the clouds, even a boy. But heed me now, Vanny, m'boy. I'll be leaving me money to your cousin -"
"What?!" he raged, as if the old woman could actually hear him.
"Now, now," she seemed to answer, as if she knew exactly what he would say. "He is your only other kin and me only other grandson. So he'll be having that. But you, my love, you'll be having me heart. The home that we shared for so many years, some o' the best years of me life they was, raising you. Everything within it'll be yours and don't you be letting anyone else take anything. I don't care if they be wanting memories or no. I know you, m'boy, and I know at the end o' the day you're the one that'll be needed all the gifts I'm giving you."
"All? It's a house…" he muttered, instantly feeling contrite.
"Oh, I know what ye be thinking. But you'll find out what I'm meanin' soon enough and best you use what I'm giving you wisely. And I know your temper, heart o' mine, so don't you be getting mad at any o' the gift's I be giving ya," the woman seemed thoughtful for a long moment, her slim finger tapping at her chin. "Never did understand where you got to be so surly. Such a sweet boy you were and your Da, Oh your Da, he was a candied scone, he was such a sweetheart.
All the same. I just wanted to take the time, my love, to tell you how much yer old Grandmum loved you and I know your loved me in return. You were my most precious gift, Crevan, remember that and remember me this way, not as I appeared in some silly old box," she smiled, that sweet smile of hers that was just for Crevan. "I love you …"
"I-I love you, too, Grandmummy," he whispered softly, a hot tear falling from his eye as the screen went blank. A tear he quickly wiped away lest the lawyer enter the room and see it.
Crevan was still having a hard time dealing with the fact that the old woman he had cherished his entire twenty-six years was gone. He had seen her alive and well less than a week before, seemingly of perfect heath for her own seventy-eight years. The man couldn't help but wonder if it was something he could have done or maybe even should have done and just neglected. Sure, he knew that on some level most people experiencing the loss of a loved one so close thought similar things. He knew that, like most did, but it didn't change the way he felt.
In an attempt to clear his mind, however briefly, of the tragedy that was Mary Concannon's death, he turned his mind to his cousin. He had despised the man for as long as he could remember knowing him. The insufferable Roman Concannon was nothing more than user, a fraud. He had blown his inheritance from his own parent's death on things the man felt no need to tell what was left of his family, but had no qualms in holding out an open hand when begging - no, demanding money. Money that was never seen again, much less returned. And because the man had no one else, his Grandmum had given it to him, knowing his character or rather lack there of. What time Crevan had actually been annoyed enough to ask about, the woman had merely shrugged, murmuring that family was hard to come by.
And perhaps in their family it was. It was odd that both of Mary's sons and their spouses had been killed, leaving two orphaned boys, one from each. Crevan himself never could write that 'coincidence' off to chance and when he had attempted to delve into it, his Grandmother had demanded he let the matter be. He had, for her sake, but the suspicion of fowl play would always be there. It annoyed him that his cousin thought nothing of it and dared to ask for hand-outs when he had chosen to live with his mother's kin in England than stay with him and Mary.
Over the years Mary had made it clear which of her boy's she favored, having little choice in her feelings toward one or the other. Roman had always been a spiteful, vindictive boy, something he easily covered up with a ruthless charm that oft times made his Grandmother describe him as a 'snake in waiting'. Crevan had agreed and still did, hating to be in the man's presence and experience a feeling he couldn't ever shake off. Like he was about to be bitten.
Still, he supposed he was pleased to inherit his childhood home that rested on the very coast of Ireland as well as all of his beloved elder's earthly possessions. The small solace of holding everything that ever was Mary Concannon in his own grasp, though he would have gladly given anything and everything to have the old lady back. But as he didn't think that would be happening, he would settle for what he could have.
"Mr. Concannon? I have the paper work ready and am in need of your signature. After this, your inheritance will be final," the short, portly man said, understanding in his voice.
Nodding his head, he reached out a hand to take the offered papers in his hands. Taking a few moments to read over the documents he signed the necessary areas and handed the stack of papers back to the man, who had moved around to sit behind his desk. "Thank you for your services, Mr. Horn."
"I wish I could say it was a pleasure, but times like these are anything but."
Crevan nodded his agreement and rose, shaking the man's hand he turned to depart. He paused at the door, however, before turning back once more, "That tape … was it her only will?"
Mr. Horn smiled softly; understanding the boy's wish to hold something so animated of his departed loved one. "Nay, she had a written one as well. I helped her with it myself, the tape was done for your benefit," the man rose and retrieved the tape, holding it out to the young man. "So I'm guessing that she meant for you to have it."
"But Roman … is there no video for him then?"
"No, sir, the lad was gifted with Mrs. Concannon's fortune but nothing else. Not even a letter."
The sorrowful youth supposed it was wrong to feel a bit of pleasure at that, but he couldn't help it. Even in death the old woman considered him her's to care for and see and though while the woman was alive, he had often complained of her excessive attention, it was, Crevan thought, was something special. Something that let him know just how much he meant to her. "Thank you again," he murmured, taking the video and walking from the room.
Crevan's cobalt blue eyes scanned the room before him, the large master sweet that once belonged to one Mary Concannon. He had seen it often over the years, always running in the room to awaken his grandmother as a child or bounce happily upon that large bed as he waited for her finish inspecting this or that about her room. This room had been a sanctuary when he was scared or mad, even sad, the woman would hold him in her arms and rub his head while murmuring just the right words to make him feel right as rain.
The room itself looked old and well lived-in, as it was. But it was clean and tidy, filled with furniture and linens that looked as if they were from a far older time period with a distinct smell of burning firewood. As a boy he had always felt as if he'd went back in history hundred's of years when he stepped in this room. It was odd really, though the rest of the house was done in a classic theme, it was still what was considered modern and was short for no new appliance. No, it was just this room.
Moving over to the bed he sat, his grim mouth turning up in a half smile as he bounced experimentally. He could close his eyes and see the old woman chuckle a bit before playfully scolding him, but he wouldn't. Knowing full well that he would just be that much sadder upon opening them to realize that she was no longer there.
Sighing at the depressing thought he rose and, rolling his sleeves up, made his way to his Grandmother's vanity. He felt awkward sitting in such a blatantly feminine chair but did so anyway and immediately began opening drawers. He had to admit he felt like he had no business going through this room. The young man felt that odd sensation that ran through his body right before he got in trouble. Crevan supposed it was his subconscious, perhaps still expecting the woman to come in and shake her finger at him for daring to go through her private things. Shaking it off, he began to finger through the first drawer's contents, which mainly consisted of her favorite jewelry to wear, a few rings and necklaces, all silver as she had preferred it to gold.
Crevan remembered taunting her often, 'How very un-Irish, Grandmum. Are you sure our ancestors weren't English poufs after all?'
'Bite your tongue, Vanny! You be knowing where our roots are, boy-o, and that they are pure Irish. Why, even your mum was an Irish lass.'
'And the silver? What is so special about it then?'
The old woman would smile and pat his hand, 'I'll be guessing you'll know why some day. Aye, you'll be knowing boy…'
Often times he would try to get her to elaborate and always she would say the same. And now, well, now he supposed he would learn when she meant for him to. Pushing the drawer closed, he went for the second bottom drawer on the same right side. He raised a brow when it refused to open at his tug, he had noticed the key hole upon it but couldn't think of why she would have locked it when there has been no one but her and him in the house. He was, however, too impatient to see what his grandmother had stored away to even attempt to find the necessary key and instead gave the drawer a hard tug. The lock gave way and the drawer opened.
He raised his brow at the contents, the drawer was empty save for a slim, white envelope - an envelope with his name on it. He recognized Mary's handwriting immediately and reached for it with hands a little less steady than he would have liked. Picking up the envelope he nearly ripped it, so eager was he to see what the woman had written him. Pulling out a single piece of paper he read.
My darling, my Crevan,
I have lived a full and happy life, a life made more so by you than anything else. You have been a perfect Grandson, even if you do have the temper of a veritable lion at times. You are everything I could have wished for, but the one thing I didn't. And that, my boy, is more special than you'll ever know.
I know that you'll be miffed to learn about Roman's inheritance, but I know the strain between the two of you and do not wish you to be plagued by him for the rest of your days with him bothering you when I know you hold him in such dislike. But we must remember, Vanny, not everyone can be successful in what they do. I would say give the boy a chance, but I have seen through your teen years that you already have. So, I suppose, all that I can ask is that you tolerate the little Sassenach.
But this is not the true reason I have written you. I have a very special gift, just for you. In fact, I believe in some way, that this gift was even made just for you. I hope you come to feel this way too. Pull the drawer, the one you just opened, from the vanity and reach within. There is a small box in the far right corner, open this box, my darling, and read the inscription upon it's contents. Enjoy this gift, Vanny, enjoy it.
I love you always,
Your beloved Grandmum.
Crevan stared at the letter, he had to admit he had expected a little more of a farewell letter but cherished it all the same. Fighting the urge to hug the piece of paper to his chest he turned back to the open drawer. His strong hands took hold of it once more and tugged it away from the vanity. Slipping from the chair to his knees he reached within the inside and felt around. His brows furrowed when he felt nothing only to raise together as he felt and grabbed the box she had said would be there. Pulling it from the darkness, he held the dark green wooden box before him. Pulling himself back into the chair, he set it upon before him on the flat surface torn between ripping it open or saving it for a later date. He even managed to think on it a few moments before giving in and cracking open the box.
He stared at the thick, silver ring before him. An intricate Celtic knot was etched upon the front and outlined with a pretty azure blue. His grandmother always had appreciated the knots, so much so in fact that Crevan had had one carved into her coffin as well as he tombstone, so she could carry her symbol with her. Picking the ring up, he held it between his fingers a moment as he looked in the box for an inscription. Seeing none he turned his attention back to the ring. It looked old and knowing his grandmother it probably was.
He rolled said ring between his fingers a moment before slipping it on. He could have sworn the thing actually adjusted to fit his finger even as the cool silver warmed. He shook his head at what was surely his imagination before pulling it from his finger and bringing it closer to his face. He blinked at the engraved words that now shown on the inner circle of the ring. He could have sworn it was not there when he looked upon it but a moment before.
Squinting his eyes a bit he saw that the small words were in Gaelic, a language his Grandmother had made sure he learned and remembered. She had assured him that it was a family tradition, as well as the duty of a full-blooded Irishman. He hadn't argued, fascinated by the language himself. But then he supposed this was yet another way she made sure he didn't forget.
Studying the words once more, he said aloud first in Gaelic, then English, "As I wish it, so shall it be."
Crevan felt the ring noticably heat in his fingers as the entire ring glowed with an ethereal azure light. "What the… ?" he muttered to himself, sure he was seeing things. And when the ring seemed to float from his grasp only to abruptly lodge on his ring finger, he closed his eyes with a groan. "I must be asleep or in desperate need of some rest."
"Well then, Master, shall I put you to bed then?"
Crevan stiffened at the sound of a voice behind him, his eyes snapping open before whipping his head around. Upon seeing another person he rose and immediately turned about, his scowl firmly in place. "Who are you and what the bloody hell are you doing in here?"
"I am Amergin and I am here to serve you, my Master."
The man lost his glare to a raised brow as the boy bowed. His bed bobbing with his body before looking up at him to show a pale, slender face covered by thick, shoulder length locks of dark red. A pair of wide and bright azure eyes stared straight at him with an odd welcoming - as if Crevan hadn't just attempted to bite his head off. His nose was slender and straight and just a little farther below was a pair of plump dark pink lips. His chin too was pointed and led down to a long, graceful neck, something his 'Master' had always appreciated on a male or female. His body was thin and firm and while he was not petite, he held no particularly defining muscle that made him masculine.
Yet another thing Crevan appreciated, or would have appreciated under normal circumstance, he liked his men to actually look like males and his girls to look the part as well. He was decently tall but nowhere near his own six foot three. This Amergin was dressed in what looked to be a wool tunic over a pair of awkward thigh-high shorts. His long legs were encased in what looked to be green tights that fit to the boy like a second skin. Crevan thought he looked like what he would imagine an Irish Peter Pan to look like.
Crevan sighed, not in the mood to play this game or to be particularly pissed off. He had had a trying day and wanted little more than to curl up in his old bed and sleep the rest of the day away. "I haven't the patience for this nonsense, boy. I don't know how you got here but -"
"Oh, you awakened me. And what bliss it is to finally be awake!" His eyes scanned the room and his smile spread even more, "And in the very same house as before. Why, my former mistress lived here. Is she here now? I can not feel her presence."
Crevan's fists tightened ad he struggled to keep control over his raging temper. He couldn't believe the kid would just show up here and say such a thing. "Get out of this house now," he murmured in a low voice, his lilt a bit thicker than usual due to his anger.
"But, Master," Amergin started, frightened by the look on his new master's face. "I-I am bound to you. I cannot leave you until your wishing period is up."
The man stared, "My wishing period?"
"Yes, a period of time in which I will grant your every desire."
"Are you mad? Have you escaped from the institution and broken into m'Grandmum's house?" he asked, his fingers going to the ring, trying in vain to pull the ring from his hand. It was no use, he quickly realized.
"Of course not, Master! I came form the ring and am only here to serve you."
"Is that so?" he asked, not believing a word of it.
"Yes! I shall remain with you, my master, for the period of four months. Your every hearts desire shall be mine to fill," the redhead said matter-of-factly.
Crevan shook his head, "Lad, if you need a place to stay I am sure there is a youth hostel nearby. You need not come up with this façade."
"But the ring, Master, I am bound. I cannot be away from you."
"You cannot be away from me for four months? What happens after? When the four months have ended?"
"I go back into the ring and await my new Master or Mistress," he said, his eyes moving to the ring on Crevan's finger.
Crevan rolled his eyes. "Alright then, laddie. I'll play along a moment. I wish I had m'Grandmother back. I wish she was alive and well. Well?" he asked the last when the redhead began to look uneasy.
Amergin scratched the back of his neck in a nervous gesture that still plagued him after thousands of years. "You see, Master, I cannot bring back the dead or alter another's free will."
"Well then, even if you were as you say you are, what good are you to me? I want only Mary Concannon back here in her home. What can you do for me if not that?" He glanced sharply at the boy when he heard a loud gasp. "What's the matter with you?"
"M-Mary," he said, a sob rising from his throat. "S-She was my mistress upon my last summoning. M-My best yet … I suppose I always knew that life would end, but it's still hard to hear it."
Crevan watched the boy weep silently after that feeling terribly uncomfortable. He felt like condemning the boy for the lie he had no doubt just told about his Grandmother but those tears looked so real … "Och, now, laddie," he said, moving forward to place an awkward hand on the boy's shoulder only to have the kid launch himself into his arms. Resisting the urge to shove him away, he patted his back in what he assumed was a comforting gesture.
"Thank you, Master," the redhead murmured against his chest before looking up at him with a soft but sad smile.
The boy's Master shrugged and pushed him away at an arm's length. "Enough games now, boy. What do you want here? The truth now."
"I want to obey my Master and grant all of his heart's desires."
"Oh, bother," he sighed, running a hand through his own chestnut locks, uncaring that they seemed to stick up of their own accord at the disturbance. Any other day he would have tossed the insane boy out on his ass - well, at least he liked to think he would have - but today it seemed he just didn't have it in him to argue anymore. "Whatever you say, lad, whatever you say."
"Master does not believe me."
"No, I don't. And stop calling me master, my name in Crevan. Make use of it."
"Yes, Master Crevan, but I can put all your disbelief's to rest. Just wish for something."
Crevan shook his head, but decided to play along just to prove to the nutty boy that he was indeed a nut. "Fine, I wish …"