Flash Fiction : Wrong Bottle

I couldn’t help it. This dumb brick joke of a pop culture reference got stuck in my head.

“What do you mean, NO! I’m your master. You can’t say NO!”

Her face grew redder as her pitch and volume rose into the scream, but still failed to approach the shining crimson of the much more relaxed face she was screaming at. He rolled his eyes and drew a long pull from the massive goblet in his hands, the dozen twisty curly straws each somehow filling with a different color liquid before all combining where the mass of straws were held bundled together by his ruby lips.

Catherine stopped for a moment, puzzled by the fact that she could clearly see him roll his eyes, even though she couldn’t actually SEE his eyes behind the massive, chromed shades he wore. This situation quickly reversed as he set down the comically large glass on a table that hadn’t been there a minute ago, sat up a bit straighter on the fluffy divan that had filled her small apartment living room, and lifted the shades to his forehead. The burning embers of his eyes smoldered in boredom, a mild quirk of his lips betraying the amusement he tried to hide behind the nonchalant demeanor that had been his only attitude since appearing in a puff of smoke.

He kept eye contact with her as several of the straws suddenly grew longer, reaching his mouth of their own accord.  He sucked on the grouping of tubes, the goblet, while visibly still full of a glittering, rainbow hued concoction, gave a loud slurping noise, the annoying sound of drops of liquid fighting air pressure while gurgling around large chunks of ice.  Still staring at her, he reached out a hand, a brass claw clanging against the side of the cup. TAP TAP TAP. While the cup didn’t appear any different, the sound stopped.

Catherine gathered herself, steeling her resolve again. “Look, Djin, I”

He held up his hand, scales glittering in the light, one finger and claw pointing straight up, and she snapped her mouth shut. His voice, when he spoke, was the grinding of gears, the hissing of steam, the crackling of a fire that had burnt down to coals, but glared with a heat that would ignite any new material fed it.

“First of all. I have a name. It is Jeffries.”  He took another long pull of his drink. “Ahh.  Wonderful things. I love my tubes.  I can see from looking around this world that you humans have finally invented them in the few hundred years I’ve slept. Straws though? Why call them… ahh, never mind.”

Another slurp, and he held up his second finger. “Second. No human is my master. You are quite lucky that I am too busy enjoying my regained leg room to prove it to you…  painfully.”

To illustrate his point, he stretched out his legs, massive logs of ruby and coal, with a series of popping and crackling noises, and settled back into the cushions. Catherine opened her mouth again, only to have it snapped shut for her by an invisible force.  “Seriously Karen. Stop it. I have no manager for you to speak to, unless you wish to pray to Allah.”

“My name is not Karen, it’s Catherine. How dare you!”

Jeffries laughed at this, a sound of cymbals and shattering glass.

Karen glowered at the reclining figure, vibrating in anger.  “How. Did you. DO THAT!?”

“Be glad I merely altered your first name, and didn’t give you a matching hair cut.”  He lifted the third finger with a SPANG, as if a bullet has struck his hand and whizzed off into the distance.  “THREE.  I am NOT a Djinn. And its Djinn with TWO n’s.  And yes, I CAN hear the difference.”

Karen’s anger evaporated into confusion.  “What do you mean you’re not a Djin. Excuse me, Djinn. You… fit.”  She waved her hands in his general direction.  “Came in a puff of smoke from a bottle, magical powers over reality, body made of brass and fire and earth. ” She blushed momentarily as her gaze passed over his crotch, remembering what else her research had said about their bodies and appetites.

Jeffries sighed, and eased his sunglasses back over his shining crimson face. “We are… cousins.  The Djinn are industrious. My kind are more… laidback. Some would say lazy. I would say I merely choose how to spend my spoons more wisely. I… am a GINDIN.”  He said the word with a pronouncement, as if it should mean something to Karen.

“A Gin din.  I don’t….”

He sighed, a rattling, grinding sound of exasperation and despair. “Can you not read? It’s on my bottle. “

Karen looked down at the bottle, still clutched in her hands.  Carved of a single giant stone, topaz perhaps, and inlaid with silver, the vessel shone and glowed, but Karen couldn’t see letters. Jefferies snapped his fingers, and suddenly several of the inlays began glowing brighter, and Karen could see letters, stylized, but plain to her eyes.  She read in wonder, “G. N. D. N. That stands for gindin?”

Jeffries nodded, and slurped again from the dozen tubes clasped between his lips.  “Indeed, and now you understand why you can not expect me to actually DO anything for you, nor take you anywhere. Nor, I might add, satisfy those carnal desires leaking up within you.”   He paused, lowering the shades to look her up and down over the top of them.  “Well… maybe.  But you should expect to do all the… work.”  He waggled his eyebrows at her lewdly, then replaced the shades.

“Gindin… Jeffries.  I, I still don’t understand.  Why should I not expect…”

“Human, truly?  Gee En Dee En. My kind Goes Nowhere, and Does Nothing. “

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