Marge tightened her grip around the aluminum cane and scowled down at the bottle of Gentleman Jack. Empty. Rotten bastard, she thought. I knew he was back on the drink.
“Har—!” Marge coughed to loosen the bit of phlegm stuck in her throat. “Harold! You rat bastard son-of-a-bitch. Get your ass in this kitchen right. This. Instant.”
Harold hobbled in a fast three minutes later, hunched at the waist with a permanent scowl on his face. “What now, woman? The Fortune’s on in two minutes.”
Her cane rose toward him at half-mast. “I got your fortune, ya drunk bastard.”
Harold jerked upright so fast a spasm rode up his spine and he winced. “What ya goin’ on ‘bout now? Who’s drunk? Believe you me, if I were drunk, you’d look like a ripe twenty-year-old holdin’ a bottle of that fancy-smellin’ oil promisin’ to rub it over my hard co—”
“Bite your tongue,” Marge hissed, her eyes wide.
By now, Harold caught sight of his old friend Gentleman Jack perched in the middle of the cracked linoleum. His chapped mouth curled up in a grin, baring yellow teeth. He reached for it the same moment Marge did. Both sets of hands wrapped around the neck, and in their struggle to take it from the other…
A firework of lights burst free of the bottle and surrounded the couple in a column of thick smoke.
“Ya started a fire!” Marge yelled.
“That ain’t me, ya ol’ bat. The devil’s finally come to take ya home.”
The smoke cleared, revealing a dark-skinned man with billowy, gold pants. The old couple stood, slack jawed, gaping at the man’s bare chest.
I could have given him a run for his money back in my hay-day, Harold thought.
I wonder if he’ll let me trace the alphabet on his abs, Marge wondered.
“Who dareth rub my lamp?” the man bellowed, his deep voice echoing around the small room.
Voices collided, each willing to take the blame. It was a genie of the lamp, after all. They’d heard he might be coming to town, but never dared hope.
The genie held up his hands for silence. “One wish each.”
Marge looked affronted. “You’re supposed to give three!”
He shrugged. “It is impossible to split a third wish. I do not make the rules. If there is a tie, only two wishes are granted. One. Each.” He looked at Harold. “You may go first.”
Harold knew exactly what he wanted. It was atop the list of every fantasy he’d had for the last sixty years, which happened to be the entirety of his marriage. “I want a ripe twenty-year-old. And make her curvy. I want her in a string bikini complete with a bottle of scented body oil to rub all over my co—”
“Harold!” Marge exclaimed.
“As you wish,” the genie said.
With a snap of his fingers, Marge no longer stood in front of Harold. Instead, it was the hottest babe he ever could have hoped for. Until she opened her mouth.
Marge held up the bottle of oil. “If you think for one second I’m rubbing this on your co—”
“No!” Harold shouted.
The genie’s lips twitched. “And you?” he asked Marge. “What is your wish?”
Marge’s voluptuous chest heaved. Her eyes gleamed as her hands skimmed over the young skin her husband’s wish had given her. She eyed her husband in his old body. She should thank him for his screw up, but she wanted nothing more than to kick his old ass from here to kingdom come.
“You know,” she finally said, “I’ve always wanted me some of them there ninja skills, Gentleman Jack.”