The most thrilling moments of a genie's life lay in the last few seconds before our lamp is touched and we are released from our tiny vessels to breathe in the world beyond copper spouts and glass stoppers.

The most thrilling moments of a genie's life lay in the last few seconds before our lamp is touched and we are released from our tiny vessels to breathe in the world beyond copper spouts and glass stoppers. It can also be annoying, especially when our new masters make their first impression by interrupting an enthralling novel. Such was the case when I met my twenty-eighth and favorite master.

I had just sat down on my lush, blue couch, spread out and snuggled inside its comfy pillows. I cracked open the latest Lauren K. Hamilton book, a novel that gone to the printers just three minutes before. And then I felt it; a charged, electrifying feeling. It coursed into my vessel and seeped into every piece of furniture I had conjured. Dust filled my cavernous lamp as pillows and veils began to disintegrate, and light poured through the lamp's spout. It illuminated my home in a hazy and somewhat heavenly blue light.

This foggy dust surrounded me, shrouding my vision of all in the world but my own body clad in blue veils. I checked myself once to ensure that my clothing fit my form, and then surrendered to my master's call. My body dissipated into a million pieces of dust, all whirling and racing to my vessel's spout.

I burst into the world, suddenly a giant to compared to myself just three seconds ago, as a cloud of blue and gold dust that coalesced with a brilliant explosion of light into my curvaceous form. My head was framed by cascading and curved blonde locks, my face half hidden by a blue veil that only let my radiant smile shine through. Covered elsewhere by a blue bra trimmed in gold thread and translucent blue pantaloons, I revealed a stunning modelesque form to my twenty-eighth master.

I clasped both hands together and bowed deeply, then I spoke words that once came through clenched teeth, but now came freely and even joy, "I am Sandrya, the humble genie of this lamp. I shall grant your fantasies to make them realities. I live to serve." I righted myself, and before I had one sight of my master, I knew what looks would cross her face.

First, she would be afraid. Her hand would be covering her face, protecting it from the harsh explosion of light my entry into the world had caused. Then she would look upon me with stunned amazement, and perhaps a jaw so lax that drool would begin to dribble down her face. That was the state my master was in when I first looked upon her.

I smiled a little, and motioned to the right side of my mouth, "You have something on your face, Master." I said. A confused grunt came from her mouth before she took an open palmed wipe across her face to get rid of the offending dribble. Apart from the drool, my master was an attractive young lady.

She looked to be just shy of graduating college, with brunette hair that had a hint of maroon coloring. It was a bit tangled and wild with long bangs falling over her forehead, drawing out her deep brown eyes. A march of light freckles crossed the bridge of her round face. She also had the barest buck in her front teeth. Clothed in a simple off-white top and flip-flops with a not-too-short jean skirt in between, she seemed to be a prototypical college girl. She held my bronze lamp with slightly trembling fingers in her left had.

"Wh – why were you in my bushes?" She said, pointing with her free hand to the dead shrub that squatted in front of her red brick apartment.

"I wasn't in your bushes; my lamp was. And to be quite honest, I'm not really sure. It sort of goes where it wants to."

"Oh." She replied, a word which was immediately followed by a nervous hiccup.

"Are you all right?"

My master shook her head, "I have a –hic– nervous habit of hiccupping."

"Ah." I put my hand upon my master's shoulder and drew her toward her front door. "I have just the cure for the hiccups." She was surprisingly receptive to my guidance, and managed to find her feet after two scuffled steps. We walked into her tiny one room apartment. It was decorated with discarded notes and old books, with a few CDs strewn about. There was a bar straight ahead and the kitchen beyond; a door to the left that was wide open to reveal the messy floor of a bedroom, and a single futon and coffee table set sat along the right wall. I sat my master down and walked into the kitchen. After pouring a glass of water, I flicked my hand and the water gained a blue tint. This I gave to my master who drank it in two great gulps.

She smiled sheepishly, and resumed her previous unspeaking stupor. But I had faced such a problem before, and was quick to help her out of it.

"What's your name, master?" I asked.

"Ka –" she cleared her throat, "Kate."

"Tell my more about yourself, Master." I drew myself up and gave my master my full attention, and with prodding she regained her voice. She was a student at the local college, majoring in advertising, and was a semester and a half from graduating. She wasn't active with the local scene, and had only a handful of close friends, but that handful was enough. Her parents lived about two hours away, with her two younger brothers. She had a sister, who had moved to the east coast a few years ago. After telling me all that, she turned the tables and asked:

"So, how does this work? Do you do whatever I say, or just when I wish it, or what?"

"Well, Master," I said, smiling broadly, "I thought you'd never ask. I will do as you say for however it is long you retain possession of my lamp, which will expire upon the wishing of your third and final wish. However, I can only use magic – real magic anyway – with a wish."

"And I can wish for whatever I want?"

"Well, more or less. I won't be overthrowing governments or making galaxies for you, though."

Kate took a pensive moment, thoughtfully looking out to the run down parking lot in front of her apartment and the wilted trees beyond. I knew better than to push her now, and decided to pull myself into a comfortable chair and begin back into my book. My master took her time, wondering about the various possibilities before her. When Kate became ready she turned back to me, but I was deep into the words of the book, and did not notice her attention until she gave a throat-clearing ahem.

"Oh, I am so sorry, Master." I said, and was quick to make the book vanish into air, and quicker still to make a deep curtsey. "Are you prepared for your first wish?"

"Not yet," she said, "but I have a question that I hope you don't mind my asking."

"Of course not."

"Well, I was wondering, how did you become a genie? Were you like tricked into your lamp or cursed or what?"

"Why do you want to know?" I asked, a coy cock to my head. "Do you want to be a genie?"

"No, no!" My master said quickly. "I was just curious."

"Well, then. It wasn't a curse or any trickery. I chose to be a genie. I can't say I entirely wanted to be one, but I can say that by becoming a genie, I also saved the world." My master looked at me with rapt attention, and I began to tell her how it was I first got my lamp.