“You can’t be serious,” I glared at the soft drink machine in the office kitchen blinking VEND. “I use you once every three or four months, and you fail me now?”
I pressed the coin return plunger. No response.
“Great, I barely had enough change for that!” I said, kicking the machine. It had been a hell of a day, and of course the vending machines decided to act more like slot machines today – and obviously, I lost!
Smoke swirled around the machine. A small man in a robe and turban appeared.
“Hi Sherri, I’m the genie of the overworked and underappreciated. I’m here to grant you three wishes.”
"What?" I asked.
“Three wishes, before someone shows up. It’s your lucky day.” He glanced at the clock ticking loudly against the wall.
“And – go!”
“Ok! Bless and grant favor on my family, birds, and friends. Bless our homes and hearts.”
“An outstanding wish. Done. Second wish?”
“I want a breakthrough with my writing. Help it to succeed and for me to make a full time living off of it as a respected author with a trusted readership whose blessed and inspired by my books and stories.”
“You’ve worked hard on your writing for many years and are very talented. The world needs to see it and your breakthrough is granted. Third wish?”
I smiled. “A robot maid to clean the house, tend the yard, and cook our meals!”
“That’s an interesting wish. Done.”
“Wait, how do I know all of this is done?”
“Wait for it –“ he said.
My phone chimed with messages. I tapped my watch.
Credit Union Alert – Deposit alert! High balance deposited in your account.
Text – Sherri, this is Rick. Have you seen our bank account? I forgot all about this virus I’m getting over when I saw it. I feel great! I’m ordering pizza for supper. With this balance, I think we can afford breadsticks! By the way, there’s a robot cleaning the house. Zack and Chloe are screaming at it, and Bubbles is chasing it.
Email – Sherri, this is Netflix. We got your email from Amazon, where we saw your high book sales. We’re interested in making an original Netflix series out of The Earthside Trilogy. Reply if you agree and we’ll draw up a contract.
“Wow!” I hugged the genie. “Thanks, office genie!”
“No problem,” he mumbled against my squeeze. “You’ve worked hard for a long time and deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Congratulations, Sherri. You haven’t been forgotten. You do have hope and a future. Everybody does.”
Smoke swirled as the genie drifted back into the machine.
“What about my drink?” I asked.
“You can’t have it all,” his voices wafted through the kitchen. “Enjoy your blessings.”
I shrugged as the kitchen descended into the hum of the lights and the ticking of the wall clock. Oh well, I couldn’t complain about the drink. I got a lot for $1.40 today!