Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 81.03

“What? For giving us a lift?”

“No. For...past services.” Jasfoup rested against the gate, the wrought iron swirls giving his skin a chiaroscuro pattern reminiscent of aboriginal tribal art. “Harold and I helped him with some problems he had.”

“What sort of problems?”

“He accidentally got three wishes from a djinn.”

“And that's bad?”

“Of course. A djinn is a fallen angel, only instead of remaining with Lucifer they became independent and caused havoc in the middle east. Once in a while they're caught and bound into service but underneath the veneer of it all they're still demons. You have to be very specific in dealing with wishes.” He led Dill through the gate and into the shade of the wall.

“I don't follow. What goes wrong with a wish?”

Jasfoup frowned. “Oh come on. You're an intelligent lad. A computer programmer, did you say? What happens if you give a computer an imprecise command?”

“It creates a bug and either stops working or produces unexpected results.”

“Exactly.” He looked up the road towards town as a car approached but it wasn't a taxi, just a businessman in a silver BMW. Annoyed, he gave it a slow puncture. “Okay. Look at it this way.” He turned back to regard the zombie' Dill was steaming slightly despite the shade. “If I gave you a wish right now what would it be? And you can't wish for more wishes.”

“Oh, I don't know. Let me think.”

“You have three seconds. Two...one...”

“Human. I want to be human again.”

“There. Poof. I'm a djinn and I make ou human again. Only you didn't specify what sort of human so I've made you into a ninety year old woman with emphysema, heart trouble and varicose veins.”

“Ah. I wasn't specific.”

“Exactly.”

“And what did this taxi driver with for?”

“Something he didn't really want.” Jasfoup smiled as another car approached. “But that's not my business to tell, so ask him yourself, if you dare. Here he is now.” He drew a pocket watch out of his jacket. “Fourteen minutes. That must be a record.”

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