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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Eric on March 6, 2009
"Cooking men -- Do you want to cook them, or do you want them to cook?"

Hungry, much?

’Hey, I know you’d never think of me being a hungry genie, but here I am, floating up in space and I haven’t had a meal in over 500 years, okay? So before you go about asking me for a million dollars or whatever you guys want nowadays, just give me something to eat!’ cried the blurry image of smoke which had just suddenly arisen before me. Speechless, I looked up at her. She looked like an old genie, but how could one compare? A shining bronze head with small patches of white hair here and there was supported by the face of a woman who wore features reminiscent of the past.

The floating transparent bald woman stared down at me. ‘You gonna give me somethin’ to eat bro?’ she said in what sounded like South African English. ‘You kno—‘
Before she said another word, I cut her off and asked whether or not I received three wishes.
‘No-can-do ; I’m too old and hungry to give you three wishes. And anyway , take a look at yourself – you’re wearin’ this good ol’ suit n’ tie, what else could ya want? I aint’ got no obligations to you lil’ rich man,’ she practically cried, with a hint of a disdainful smile as she concluded. ‘You know, I think I’ll just grab some food and go back into my lamp’.

At this, a wave of indignation swept over me. Immediately, I began to grab the lamp and started to read the inscription. It stated that she had vowed to grant a wish to whomever set her free, or else she would forever burn in her lamp. As I read the inscription to her, her descent into the lamp faltered, as well as her ego. ‘Okay, okay. What do you want?’
At this, I began telling her about the house party I was going to hold that night. I was inviting some important people over and as a sign of goodwill I was going to cook a feast for them all. ‘You see, I have never cooked anything in my entire life apart from EasyMac and toasted crumpets,’ said I. Soon after, I practically implored the archaic genie to make my caviar and bolognaise with more fluency and efficiency than the speed Gordon Ramsey can swear.

‘What? No, no, no, no. To make you a good cook, I’d have to change five hundred thousand delicate nerve systems in your brain – a one nanometer slip of hand would kill ya, dear. Ya know, I’d also have to get the minds of all the greatest chefs in the world, both now and those of b’fore an’ make ...what do you call em’? Opinion-based judgments, yeah, that’s right, and assemble all that knowledge into your brain. You know what else, dear? I’d also have to compile past memories, create ingrained tal’nt an’ goodness knows what else. I’m not some psycho-ologeest, ya’ know? It’d be impossible to do – I’ve been stuck in that lamp for five hundred years – make another wish, and this please time be reasonable.

Considerably amused by this, but not wanting to lose my chance at a wish, I rethought and asked. ‘Okay, how about someone, a girl who would cook, clean and be nice, caring, thoughtful, who wouldn’t shun you...someone who would look out for you, someone who would look past faults and wouldn’t hold conceited judgment; someone who would be decent, know what I mean’.

With a sad mask over her face, one weary with
exasperation, the genie came up to me and quietly muttered...’how quickly does Gordon Ramsey swear again?’

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