The story so far: Young Blake’s squandered the family ‘fortune’ on magic beans, and found himself banished from his family home by his mother as a consequence. Just as he thought all was hopeless he rubbed the dust from a magic bottle and found himself face to face with a genie. Click the link below to revisit Part 1.
‘So ah’ve goat two mair,’ Blake stated. He knew the facts when it came to cartoons.
‘NO!’ boomed the genie again, stony faced.
‘Nut? Whit dae ye mean, nut? How no?’
‘Cutbacks?’ Blake rocked his head forward and shot a laugh out towards the ground. ‘Whit are yoo talkin’ aboot, man? Cutbacks!’
‘ONLY ONE MORE WISH, LITTLE MAN.’
Blake considered this for a moment.
‘Ah wish I hud a million wishes!’ he laughed. ‘How’s that?’
‘You’ve goat tae gee me them wishes, fur ah wished fur them!’
‘DO YOU THINK YOU’RE THE FIRST ONE TO TRY THAT? WE’VE GOT LAWYERS FOR THIS SORT OF THING. ONE. MORE. WISH.’
Blake massaged his forehead with his free hand, unsure whether to laugh, cry, argue or vomit. His body felt like doing all four at once, his stomach leading the uprising.
‘Whit’s happenin’ here, sir? Ah’m believin the genie bit, but…lawyers, cutbacks…I jist…’ Blake held the bottle aloft. ‘Ah thought yoos were meant tae be in lamps, like in Aladdin an that. Fucking lawyers, man.’
Where Blake had brushed the dust off with his hand, a line of letters proclaimed, ‘BUCKFAST.’
‘ALADDIN!’ snorted the Genie, ‘THESE DAYS WE LIKE SOME JOB SECURITY. I’M NOT HIDING IN SOME DARK CAVE IN ARABIA FOR SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS ON THE OFF-CHANCE THAT SOME JUMPED-UP LITTLE PRINCE IS GOING TO SWAN IN AND GIVE MY LAMP A RUB!’
‘Is that oor Blakey ootside getting pished up an’ chattin’ wi a magical entity, Morag?’ asked old Mrs Archibald at number 57.
‘Aye,’ replied Morag. Within seconds they were back on the settee and knitting furiously.
‘Wisnae like that in ma day,’ scowled Mrs Archibald.
‘Aye,’ agreed Morag.
If the finger work had been just a fraction more furious, flames would have engulfed the half-knitted sweaters that were cascading over their knees.
‘Pass us the crack-pipe, Morag.’
Outside, the genie was losing patience and two minutes away from contacting his union official.
‘NOW HURRY UP, I’VE GOT TO GET TO TESCOS IN DAGENHAM AND SQUEEZE MYSELF INTO A BOTTLE OF CALIFORNIAN RED.’
‘Whit’s Californian Red? Beetroot or some’hing?’
‘Ooooh, red wine! La de da! Dae ye take it up the arse, likes?’
‘LITTLE MAN, I COULD CRUSH YOU LIKE A GRAPE AND MAKE WINE FROM YOUR BLOOD.’
‘Just try it, pal, ma big brother’s in the TA, ye ken.’
The genie slapped his forehead in exasperation and let out a deep sigh that could have blown the clouds from Scotland to Pluto.
‘THIS IS MAKING ME NOSTALGIC FOR THE OLD NIGHTS IN ARABIA. GENIES KNEW HOW TO MAKE MORTALS SUFFER IN THOSE DAYS.’
‘So you lot shrink inside bottles of booze until some alkie gees ye a rub and lets ye oot?’
‘IT’S ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS. PREVENTS ANOTHER ALLADIN INCIDENT. WE KNOW FOR SURE THAT WE WILL BE RELEASED. ESPECIALLY IN YOUR COUNTRY. ONLY RUSSIA KEEPS US MORE BUSY. NOW MAKE A BLOODY WISH.’
‘If I cannae hae a million wishes, I guess I’ll just have tae hae a million poonds, eh?’ smiled Blake, gulping another river of Buckfast down his throat.
‘YOU MUST USE THE CORRECT WORDS OR YOUR WISH WILL NOT COME TRUE.’
‘Whit? Just gee me a million poonds, eh? Or yell be hearin’ from ma lawyer, ya big blue bastart. Ma lawyer’s got five knuckles an’ a sovvy ring.’
‘I DON’T MAKE THE RULES, LITTLE MAN. SAY THE WORDS. IT’S GENIE POLICY.’
Blake gripped the bottle neck and brandished it like a weapon. ‘You’re aboot two seconds away fae a glassin’, big man, nae shite.’
‘JUST PHRASE THE WISH CORRECTLY. BEGIN IT BY SAYING, “I WISH”…’
‘Ah wish you’d bloody shut yer big mooth, ye big blue fuckin’ shi… AH FUCK!’ hollered Blake, as he realised the enormity of this very unintended wish. He shot to his feet and was seemingly sober within a second. ‘Nut, that’s no fair! That’s no fair!’
The genie said nothing. Unsurprisingly.
His arms stayed wrapped against his big, bulging chest, and his bull-neck froze. The only things that had altered pose since the big man-of-magic’s arrival were his lips. Now, a huge grin spread them apart.
Pouf! And the genie was gone, leaving Blake with nothing but an overworked liver.
Auld Jack was in Dresden, swigging back another Grolsh. He’d trimmed his moustache into a neat oblong.
At the same time, Blake’s kitchen window was blown open by a gust of insults.
‘If you’re no oota ma sight in two meenits, ah’ll be oot there wi ma saucepan and brush, do you hear me, Blakey?!’
There were few that didn’t hear her. Perhaps even Auld Jack had heard her.
‘Ho, ya cow, some of us are on the nightshift here!’ shouted a particularly brave neighbour from his bedroom window.
‘Yell be on the graveyard shift if ye dinnae bugger aff, ya nosey shite!’ roared the beast in reply. ‘You too,’ she barked, eyeballing her son, ‘and dinnae even think aboot coming home unless ye have a million poonds in yer back pocket!’
Slam! Blake stood up, rocked on his heels, then took another long, lingering, sloshing slurp of the Buckfast.
‘This stuff’s magic!’ he said.
The bottle was soon discarded in the grass, taking pride of place in the man-made flowerbed of used condoms, bloody sanitary towels, syringes, crisp wrappers and fag ends. It was time to think. Finally. He had managed to avoid it for close to sixteen years. The bones of a plan quickly formed a skeletonic idea in his head. A smile crept upon his face, which lit up his drink-fogged eyes.
‘I know what tae dae!’ he exclaimed.
Full of excitement, he quickly set himself to the task of urinating through his mother’s letterbox. Then, the real plan hit him.
‘I’m gonnae go and see ma gran. She’s a bit of an effin’ weirdo, likes, but I ken she’ll help me! At the very least I can sell some of her stuff.’
‘Or her,’ he thought cheerfully to himself.
TO BE CONTINUED…