Sesios enjoyed the look of the man stumbling back. No one ever got their first glimpse of a genie without surprise. All they did was unlock the little lamp and smoke billowed up. It would fill out the skies as far as their eyes could see and in its clouds, a face formed. The man collected himself and faced the genie hands rubbing together in fright and anticipation.
“You summoned me?” a voice boomed in the sky.
“Yes, yes I did.” The man replied greedily, “is it true you would grant my wishes?”
“But of course,” the genie responded lazily, “though, I have conditions. I will grant three wishes and with each wish, I will claim the one you love the most.”
“You will claim what?”
“Are you faltering Kadu?” the genie called the man by name, “for every wish I grant, I will take the one you love the most.”
“Well I…you are one of those evil genies that twists a man’s wishes against himself, aren’t you?”
The giant blue face puffed out a darker breath of frustration “I am neither an evil genie or a good one. I am just a genie who will grant your wish. Whatsoever your heart desires. It is not uncommon that people find my terms too harsh. There are many who have turned away from me after hearing what I want in return.”
Kadu pondered on the words. Eventually, he asked, “If I love my daughter most then my wife and then brother, who will you take first?”
“I will grant the first wish and for that, I will take the daughter as payment. I will then grant the second wish and since your most loved is your wife, I will take her next. If you are still ready to make the third wish then, I will and with that, I will take your brother.”
Kadu thought about it. Then he answered, “I want to be made the ruler of this world. An emperor, none of that democracy nonsense that Greece is trying out.”
“Are you certain?”
The genie closed his eyes and the smoke started to clear. Kadu found himself dressed ins silver silk holding a golden goblet. He was in a room made of white marble. From his right light streaked in. He looked out the window to see a vast empire below him. A bronze statue of him stood out taller than the building he was in.
Someone noticed him looking out and yelled, “the emperor sees us, all hail emperor Kadu!” At once backs bent in reverence for him before they went back to their work. The door to Kadu’s room opened and a woman walked in with a jug.
“More wine my emperor?” she offered.
She filled his goblet and as he took a sip, she asked, “is it to your satisfaction?”
“The wine is definitely well made.”
“I don’t mean the wine emperor Kadu,”
Kadu noticed the woman smoldering blue smoke. Her figure melted and as she filled the room. “Now, I shall have mine.”
“How will you know who I love most?”
The blue smoke filled his nostrils, “I have my ways,” The voice no longer came from outside but seemed from within like his conscious or temptation.
“Then you know I have none,” Kadu said as he laughed. “I am an orphan with no one in this world, no father, no mother, no brother no child. There is no one who I care for.”
His breath became tense, “Kadu, you have lied and killed to learn about my location, the ritual to summon me was not got at ease. Could I not conclude that you love yourself most?” A red line etched across his neck and blood began to drip.
“Myself? What is this, I want my second wish, I wish the genie would not take who I love most.”
“Aaah such shrewdness, but I have yet to take my one. Let me complete my meal then I will hear you out.”
“I am emperor of the world, you cannot…” the circle of red completed and his head fell from his body that was now writhing in a rapidly growing puddle of blood. The genie stepped out holding his heart and brain in her hands. she took a bite of each, “Is it such a good thing for the world when the ruler of people has no person he truly cares for?”