EPILOGUE

Three young boys played in the remains of a burned out house on a hill. The house had burned down over a year ago and two people had died in that fire. The Fire Marshal had determined the cause to be faulty wiring.

Most of the rubble had been sifted through long ago. All the adults warned the kids to stay away from the rubble, saying that it was dangerous. But most of the town's children made at least one foray into the ruins anyway.

As two of the boys poked around in the rubble, one of them picked up a bottle from another part. He brushed the charred ashes from it and looked it over.

It was pretty. It had a round belly and a long neck. It was about one liter in size and the glass was white like milk, with changing colors in the grain. The neck of the bottle was tightly sealed with a cork similar to that used in wine bottles. Something appeared to move inside the bottle, though just what it was wasn't clear.

"What do you have there?" asked one of the other boys coming over to inspect the bottle.

"'Damn," said the boy. "I guess they missed this. It's kind of pretty. I think I'll take it home and put it in my tree house."

"Good idea," said the third boy. "Maybe we can use it to hold pennies or something."

The three boys ran out of the charred ruins to a tree house several blocks away. Inside the bottle a small demonic creature waited patiently for any wish or desire the new owner of its home might utter. A wish or desire that the creature would be only too happy to fulfill.

The bottled imp knew that it's work was never finished as long as men were greedy and wanted things without having to work for them.

The End