Friday, September 14, 2012

New Beginning 970

My bottle popped open. I whooshed up, like there was a rocket strapped to my back, and burst into a sparkling blue-sky day. I laughed and somersaulted through the air. A zingy breeze always makes me want to dance and sing.

Below, a smelly fisherman, ankle-deep in flip-flopping fish stared up at me. He clutched my bottle in one hand, and a mass of fishing net in the other. I guess he’d hauled my bottle out of the ocean.

“I am genie Zinnia. I will grant you three wishes, master.”

His jaw hung open. It looked like he had a row of crooked old-fence posts growing out of his gums. “Take your time and choose carefully.” I dived and corkscrewed around the mast of his boat. The breeze whipped my hair. The longer he took deciding meant more freedom for me. Once the wishes were granted, the spell would suck me right back into my dusty bottle.

A flounder struggled free of the net. "Master," it said, "I am a magical fish. Use your three wishes to spare me and my two brothers, and I will grant you not three wishes, but four! Four wishes!"

The fisherman rubbed the stubble on his chin. There seemed to be no downside. He ordered Zinnia to put the magic flounder and his two brothers back in the ocean. 

A deal's a deal. Into the water the three fish went, and a crestfallen Zinnia was sucked back into her bottle.

And to this very day the fisherman can oft be heard on the deck of his trawler calling out his wishes, refusing to acknowledge that he was flimflammed by a flounder.

Opening: JAS.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

And knowing my luck, he'd want to be stuck in there with me. Naked.


Of course, I had not matched the good luck of my twin sister, Jeannie, who was freed by that nice Darren. No, my nearly toothless new master smelled only of old fish. But then, I'd been locked inside a tiny bottle for six centuries without so much as a shower, so, ya know...


He rubbed his stubbled chin, disbelieving. “New chompers?”

“Done.” A snap of my fingers, and suddenly he was flashing a mouthful of Cary Grants. “Next wish?”

He pondered the fish writhing about his feet. “A new boat. Sport fisher, flying bridge and all.”

Another snap. “It’s waiting for you at the dock. One more wish.”

He gave me a slow, studied look. “You’re a little cutie, you know that?”

I'd heard it all before. “Take your time.“

“Um... gimme a Visa Platinum, and let’s you and me do the town.”

Snap. Whoosh. Happens every time.


AlaskaRavenclaw said...

The writing's pretty good; I particularly like the descriptions of the genie flying. We can feel her joy at being free.

However, there're a few things that derailed my reading here. The first is that, perhaps because of your rocket simile, I thought the bottle was some kind of flight device which, once triggered, fell into the ocean. Didn't twig till I got to the word "genie".

Second, if you're up in the air, flying around, you can't smell the fisherman.

And finally, if you're trapped inside a bottle, you're gonna have a lot of complaints, but dust probably isn't one of them.

Other than that, though, a good opening and probably a good place to begin.

Evil Editor said...

This sounds like a good start, assuming this is for kids.

Not that it's likely to bother the reader, but technically, I don't think a being whose natural state includes whooshing up into the air would think "like there was a rocket attached to my back." It's kind of like a bird thinking, I'm flying through the air like an airplane. Plus, "whooshed up" already conveys speed, so the simile isn't adding anything.

150 said...

There's an anthology open right now that might be interested: Due Oct 15.

Anonymous said...

What EE said. Rocket seems like a misplaced simile for several reasons. Also, a thing just dredged up from the seafloor would not be 'dusty'. Dust = dry dirt. Mud = wet dirt.

Dave Fragments said...

I understand this and my only additional comment to those here is that its too flowery for my tastes.

AA said...

"My bottle popped open. I whooshed up, like there was a rocket strapped to my back, and burst into a sparkling blue-sky day."
The memoirs of a cork?

You don't need, "I guess he’d hauled my bottle out of the ocean." The preceding two sentences explain what happened. Fisherman plus fishing net plus fish equals hauled out of ocean.

How do genie bottles always end up in such obscure places anyway? They're so incredibly valuable.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

AA, other genies hide 'em on the sly. There's this whole genie v. genie thing going on.

On another note, I find anonymice confusing, so I'd like to offer the following monickers for their selection:

Nine Dog Knight
Yelpin' Mo
The Todal

Stephanie Bittner said...

I was put off by the line "I whooshed up, like there was a rocket strapped to my back, and burst into a sparkling blue-sky day." I really liked the whooshing up, and that she burst out into the day, but rocket description really didn't work for me. I also felt that "sparkling blue-sky day" was a little overdone. Perhaps it would seem less so if it were just a "sparkling blue day"?

Jo Antareau said...

All great points, thanks to those who continued and commented.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

You're welcome!

Jo Antareau said...

Anon, your continuation was sheer genius. I laughed for the rest of the day.