Whispering Genie

As the garbage truck came to a stop, Leland took it out of gear and tapped his partner’s shoulder. “Veit, we’re back. Go on and start emptying the load.”

“I did it last time, Leland,” Veit complained.

Leland scoffed as he looked at his diminutive partner, “It’s not my fault you can’t drive the truck.”

“That’s not fair,” Veit grumbled as he yanked his door open. “You’ll have to take a turn doing this work eventually.”

“No, I won’t,” Leland replied as he threw the lever to open the garbage truck for Veit. “Come grab me once you’ve emptied the trash.

Veit dropped to the ground and slammed his door shut. Leland grinned at the comforting banter and leaned his head against the headrest. “You do know that you don’t have to continue working with that foul Dwarf.”

“Go away, Eva,” Leland snarled. “I’ve told you before I don’t want anything to do with you.”

She lifted one of Leland’s eyelids and stared into his now open eye. Leland studied the mysterious creature muttering, “At least this time you didn’t alter your appearance.”

Eva smiled and pushed him into the door, “You know the only way you can get rid of me, Leland Roxley.”

Groaning Leland sat up and turned towards his mysterious passenger and studied the pale skinned woman. Her silver hair cascaded around her face accentuating the pale skin of her face. After a brief glance at the slitted pupils of her yellow-green eyes; Leland tore his eyes from her. “I’ve told you that I won’t make a wish, and I know the rules that bind you.”

“They’re more like guidelines,” Eva replied, studying Leland.

“Not going to happen,” Leland replied as he tried to get comfortable.

“I could give you eternal youth,” Eva whispered into his ear with a sultry voice.

At the words, an intense sensation of pleasure ran through Leland. He forced the feeling from his mind with great effort and with a breaking voice whispered, “No.”

At Leland’s objection, rich laughter filled the cab, and Eva said, “I know that’s not true.”

“Not interested,” Leland muttered with a steadier voice.

Eva leaned closer to his ear and whispered, “Not true, Leland Roxley.” She reached out and caressed his chin with the back of her hand. “All you have to do is wish.”

“Not interested,” Leland replied with even more conviction.

“I know that’s not true,” Eva said. She leaned in and kissed his temple, “But I won’t pursue that wish at the moment.” She ran a hand through his hair and gave him another kiss, “How about the power of a mage? I know you’ve always wanted that.”

Leland swallowed and stuttered, “No… Not interested.”

“I could give you the power to take your rightful place in your family,” Eva said as she grabbed one of his hands.

“No,” Leland replied, trying to pull his hand out of her grasp.

“Power like this,” She whispered as she coursed power into his hand. “Can you feel it?”

“Not interested,” Leland said as she tried to entwine herself with his body. He shoved his hand into her, letting the crackling energy into her snarling, “You’ve been trying this ever since my family realized that I wasn’t dead.”

“They want what’s best for you,” Eva replied.

“No, they want to drag me into something I don’t want anything to do with.” Leland pushed her lithe frame off him and into the door. “I don’t want a single wish.”

“Not even for a succulent pork chop?” Eva asked as she made a plate with a tantalizingly seared and golden pork chop appear.

“No,” Leland replied as he tried to keep drool from falling out of his mouth.

Eva looked over her shoulder with a sultry expression, “No one has ever refused me.”

A hand slapped his door, and Veit bellowed, “Alright, Leland, it’s time for you to get out of the truck and help out.”

Leland opened the armrest and withdrew his mask. Slipping it over his mouth, he said, “I have work to do, Eva. Go away.”

When Leland opened his door, he heard a whisper, “You will make your wishes.”

Hoping down Leland followed Veit to the back of the garbage truck and grabbed the hose. Looking into the now empty cavity, Leland reeled back, “What was in there today?”

“You have no business complaining,” Veit muttered as he helped Leland get the hose into position. “You didn’t have to deal with when it was full.”

“True enough,” Leland muttered as he activated the hose. Cleansing liquid coated the inside of the garbage truck. He turned the hose off and returned it, he returned to the cab and pulled the lever to close the back of the truck.

Looking back to Veit, he said, “ I’ll see you in the locker room.”

“Later, Leland,” Veit said as he stalked off to the locker room to get cleaned.

When the door closed, Eva asked, “Why do you torture yourself?”

“I don’t,” Leland quipped. “And I don’t want anything to do with my family, and I won’t sell my integrity.”

“You don’t have to return to your family,” Eva said as Leland parked the truck into its spot. “You could take what you want from me, and you could fight them off when they inevitably come for you.”

Leland opened his door and stared at Eva, “I won’t make a wish with a genie, Eva. Don’t forget, I know your guidelines.”

Eva glared at Leland, “What does that mean?”

“That I’m not going to collapse when you’re about to vanish,” Leland said.

“There’s only one way to be free of me!” Eva shouted.

“Not true,” Leland said as he slammed his door. As Eva followed him, Leland stopped, “You can only stay here if I make a wish. But since I haven’t,” Leland glanced at his watch, then glared into her eyes and waved at Eva’s vanishing form. “Your time is up.”