They Die Easy
It always died easily. The first time it died was within an hour of being summoned. I had asked it to bring my parents back from the dead. There was smoke and then a split ran from its shin to the top of its forehead. The skin fell off like an unzipped one-piece suit, and it keeled over right at my feet. That’s when Gramps gave me the sand; a rather large pouch of it. I think he knew I’d need it frequently. I was always scared to ask him what it was made from because it reeked strong of death, like a sweet, wet cardboard. Every time I opened the bag I thought of the mouse that had died within the house walls one hot summer. My dad ended up ripping out the paneling to get to it but not before invading our nostrils for a good week.
Gramps taught me to sprinkle the sand in the mouth of the Djinn, and cover the body with red velvet. Within 12 hours, the Djinn would be by my side with no memory of its temporary demise. The Djinn could barely handle the imagination of an eight year old. This was no “your-wish-is-my-command” deal. Though the wishes weren’t limited in number, they were in degree. There was no getting rich, raising the dead, teleporting. They were minor wishes; those of a more entertaining nature. One year I couldn’t get the walls in my tree house to stand erect. The Djinn strengthened the nails, and that old mess still stands today. Another time, I had a neighbor kid who never stopped bullying me. I asked for help with that, and I never saw the kid again. His dad lost his job and they moved away. I can’t be for sure that was my Djinn’s doing, but I like to think so. Gramps knew what he was doing when he gave me this one. I continued to ask for my parents back every so often with the hope that its powers would grow as I was growing, but he’d end up an unzippered pile of flesh and bone.
I have plenty of sand left, but I’m done. I’m done trying to fix life’s mistakes with a sack of bones and sand. The rest of my life is up to me, and whatever storm comes my way I’ll take. I’ll live, and I’ll learn. I’ve buried the Djinn. No sand in mouth. It’s up to me now.