Rub the Lamp, Part 2

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Shimmy, shimmy ya. Shimmy yeah. Shimmy hey. Honey had the maracas bumping against her hips and ass, hypnotically, while the bass guitar scaled the stairs. My eyes followed the lacquered sheen shining off the bourbon chocolate of her muscled thighs. She danced under the club lights that hung just above the wooden rails leading up to the VIP section and my party. I watched her close her eyes, while bobbing her head, back and forth, like a metronome. Dropping my finger on the same notes as her rock, I rolled through a haze of good feelings. I fancied myself a musical maestro orchestrating the hip rocking and thigh clapping planted all throughout the chemical fog of the club.

I dropped back onto my elbows, laying sideways on the Merlot red, leather seats inside the booth. My eyes at half mast, I sat goofy grinning at my good fortune. I grabbed at a stack of big faces and tossed their green bodies into the air. The paper money floated down like green leaves shaken from a tree. My good fortune was a windfall that fell into my lap thanks to the genie from that dusty ass lamp, I found in the back room of the store.

Sitting to my left was a cinnamon flecked mami, topped with the cherry reflection of ruby red on her lips. She leaned over and spoke into my ear. She said her name was Nikki. The vibration of her words tickled my ear while she earnestly poured some nonsense into it. She was saying something or other about another bottle of the white stuff. That’s all I could make out through her laughter. I turned my head and blinked through the longest minute of my life. In the state I was in, I couldn’t be bothered to decipher and understand the train of words that tramped their way across my vision.

To be honest, I could barely register anything that wasn’t inside my helmet. I tried to make my way through the mass of people, groping my way along. I was a passenger within my own body, looking through the windshield of my eye sockets and out the side windows of my ears. I was buzzed beyond belief. The last image I had was that of my dude standing between two chicks, who were giggling as he poured champagne on one of them like a fire hydrant on a hot summer day.

“Yeah Bruh! We here! Started from the…Started from…” I shouted at him. Reaching into my pocket, I freed a grip of bills and tossed them into the air over all three of them. “Bruh! Bruh!” I called out before I stumbled over the end of the booth and out of the conscious world.

* * *

I woke up the next morning in a hotel room and into the open arms of a throbbing headache. Nikki wasn’t there. The muscled trolls in my head were incessantly banging against the tin of the inner walls. I placed my hand against it to steady the low hum, throbbing. My dome felt unbelievably dry as though it were stuffed with cotton. Pushing through the ache of my rotting melon, I pushed off the tangle of legs, strewn over my body, and sat upright. The engines on the throw-up machine fired up as the room set itself in motion; swirling around and around. I closed my eyes and leaned my cabbage against the wall to stop the spin. Sweating profusely, as my mind went to war with the nauseous feeling bubbling up in my throat, I struggled to push it down.

I finally relented to the nauseous feeling. Running with arms and legs flying with abandon, I dove head first into the toilet bowl, gripping the seat as a fly buzzed me for several minutes. In between the gut-flipping heaves, I lay my head on the seat with my tongue hanging to the side. Laying in the sweat of my excess, I swiped several times at the mocking fly to redirect it toward open waters. Collapsing onto the cool porcelain, I took shallow breaths before the whole cycle of back arching, tongue extending, donkey kicking, heaving started all over again.

Sitting with my back against the wall, I watched the room lag in actual time versus my observation of it. Having emptied my insides of food, drink, self-respect, and then the remaining inky bile, I frowned at the horrible aftertaste of the previous night.

Slowly walking my way back to the bedroom, I reached for the glass of water conveniently situated right next to the bed with a note that read, Thank you for a funky time. Call me up whenever you want to grind, signed Nikki. Tilting the glass on the edge of my lips, the water flowed over the cracked desert of my throat. Flashes of last night’s excursion into the fulfillment of teenage dreams, fueled by music videos, popped into memory. I recalled a nonsense conversation she and I had about her name and the corresponding Prince song. I believe it was one of the reasons for our, eh humpf, so called after party in this hotel room.

* * *

Locating the television remote, I popped on the TV to self medicate my hangover while I took inventory of the current situation in my hotel room.

“The world financial markets are way down today leaving investors in a panic. The dramatic decline of the dollar sparked a sharp sell off on Wall Street today, before the dollar made it’s way toward a total collapse. We’ve never seen such a drop in the DOW or S&P before. World economies are reeling as they deal with the shock. People are making a run on the banks! Prices for food items have spiked in reaction. No one knows what triggered this crisis, but some people are pointing fingers at the finance sector and the Fed.

As we turn our cameras to the street, we can see hundreds, maybe thousands of people pouring into them, gripped with fear and anger as they loot local stores for food, water, and supplies. ”

I quickly dressed and ran down to the streets below. People were running everywhere, screaming and shouting. I turned my attention toward the sound of shattering glass. A man was smashing in the doors to a grocery store across the street with a car jack.

The people behind him were pressing and pushing, attempting to all squeeze their way into the store at the same time. A screeching sound was emitted from the metal frame of the doors as they bent inward, yielding to the will of the looters. Once, past the doors, I could see them launching off in all different directions to claim food and water. A few screams rang out from those who had fallen onto the floor. In just a few short minutes, the hive came to life with the chaotic movements of human bees carrying whatever they could hold onto and fit into the cradle of their arms. I looked down at the floor, near the front doors to see the stilled voices of several looters who had been trampled under the crushing weight of the panicked looters. No one made any attempt to move them aside. They merely stepped onto and over them.

I could see grey and black smoke billowing and emptying into the evening air, further down the street. The ash of partially burned packaging floated before my eyes, before catching on the wind and being pushed up against a hollowed out store front. I could see cars burning on the side of the street accompanied by nearby squeals of delight. It was as if the entire world was experiencing one, huge, apocalyptic hangover.

Desperate to get home, I flagged down a man weaving in between the people in the streets and a couple of tipped over cars. Once his car slowed enough, I banged on his window while jogging alongside it. Pulling out a handful of hundred dollar bills, I pressed them against the car door window. Without slowing the car, he lowered the window and said, “Back away from my car, I don’t want to hurt you, but I’ve gotta get out of town.”

“Please!” I responded. “I need to get to a hundred and twenty eighth street and Oak Valley!”

He looked at my hand. “Money doesn’t mean anything now! It’s worthless! Look at the looters! I’m sorry, I can’t help you.” He had a near, panicked fear, sitting in his throat, crouching at his eyelids, as it peered out through his eyes. I turned my head toward the back seat to see the brown faces of two scared little girls bracketed by the arms of their mother, who was herself visibly struggling with conflicting and mercurial emotions.

“Now back up! I don’t wanna hurt you! I need to get my family out of the city.” He shouted while pointing the gun at my face. “Hey man! I don’t have anything against your people, but you all are probably responsible for the attack.” The irrational accusation, launched from his lizard brain, dropped the energy from my legs like a wet frog laying against the earth with its legs splayed wide. I stopped jogging alongside the car and stepped away. We held eye contact for a few more seconds before his car lurched forward. I heard him yell, “I’m sorry!”

I walked over to the sidewalk and attempted to make a sober minded assessment of what was happening. “Genie!!! Genie!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. The looters ran to and fro under the hazy smoke canopy, while I struggled to make sense of the end of the world. “Genie!!!”

I heard the rumblings of disembodied laughter, slowly bringing a smile into view like a Cheshire cat. “You called…master?”

“What in the hell is going on?!” I yelled at the genie. “You grant my wish and then trigger the end of the world!”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t make the rules.” Smiling, he said, “I just grant wishes.”

“Well you need to get me out of this!” I replied.

“Would you like to use your second wish?” He asked

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” I shouted.

“Ah, but before you do, think long and hard about the consequences and… be fairly tight with the description of your wish this time. I wouldn’t want any dire consequences to befall you following your wish.” He looked around and said matter-of-factly, “This is how you ended up here.”

His face lightened up with the clouds of admonishment clearing away. “Now go ahead, make a wish.”

The End.

by malakhai jonezs
(c) Copyright 2017


    1. Did the backward read work out okay? Going from second to first? Oh and thanks for catching the Prince reference. I almost left it at a subtle level with the Darling Nikki lines in the story. πŸ™‚

  1. My mama always told me to be careful what I wish for. 😁
    Great story, M, sort of a modern-day parable. It kept my interest from beginning to end, and I really wanted it to continue.

  2. “I was a passenger within my own body, looking through the windshield of my eye sockets and out the side windows of my ears.” <3 this!!! I just realized I need to read part one. I'll get to it once I figure which post it is. lol It's crazy to read the last part though because one of my friends was telling me last night that she had a crazy dream somewhat similar to what you described here.

      1. Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out soon. She dreamed of a similar scenario as the day after in your story.

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