"Wait, so he hit you?" the young adventurer asked, sliding another drink across the worn tabletop, hoping to lubricate my throat, if not my imagination.

"That's right. A real, genuine Djinn…"

He interrupted me "…that's a genie, right?"

"Yes, a… er… genie. You know, from an old oil lamp, yes. Very good young man."

I took a sip from the proffered whiskey

"So, what did you say to him? Why was he so angry?"

"Well, he told me 'Before you start, you can't wish for more wishes.' and I said 'I wish you could.' That's when he hit me!"

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There had been many changes since last year, I observed from the front steps of the building. But it was the fall that surprised me most.

The genie that came from the lamp that I found promised me that the summer would last forever. I was so absolutely certain that he had granted my wish; but when I noticed the orange and brown leaves floating to the earth I realized that he had lied.

In fact, I even think he wasn't a real genie at all. At least the lamp worked, though.

I sighed as I reluctantly trudged back into...

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