TITLE: THREE WISHES
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Eugénie (Genie) Lowry's body changed from Kate-Hudson-flat to Katy-Perry-curvy the instant she turned 17 1/2. Her grandmother (Mamère) is trying to explain to her why this happened. (I've been told that Genie accepts this new information too readily.)
“Are you being deliberately dense, my dearest girl? Haven’t you ever heard of genies?”
“What?” I gasp, floored. Can she actually be implying what I think she’s implying? I couldn’t, in my wildest dreams, ever have imagined that this is what my grandmother was going to say. “No. What are you talking about? You’re trying to tell me, I mean, I’m a . . . real . . . genie?”
“Yes,” she says with a breathy gush, nodding in relief that I understand her.
“That’s crazy. You’re crazy. There is no way.” I breathe for a couple of beats, trying to get my bearings. This is a ridiculous conversation.
“How—how can this be? Mamère, I don’t understand,” I whisper.
She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. She won’t meet my eyes. “Eugénie, today you have begun the six-month process of becoming a genie. As with all genies, you reached your physical maturity on your 17 ½ birthday, and you will reach your full wish power between now and the day you turn 18. I don’t know much more about it, unfortunately, just the little your mother told me before we lost her.” She glances at me quickly. “Thank goodness I knew this much, so Papa and I could be prepared for this change, if it were going to happen.”
“Are you saying that my mother was a genie? I thought they lived in bottles, or something like that. Am I supposed to grant you wishes now?!” I pause, wide-eyed. “How can this possibly be true? I don’t understand. I mean, I get it, but I still don’t get it. What does this mean?” Mamère is struggling to answer me as I’m babbling out questions, and moves to put her arms around me. I hold up my hand to stop her, and drop my face into my arms. This is too much to take right now, and I don’t want to be touched.
I sit back, nearly rocking the papasan out of its base, suddenly thinking about strange occurrences from throughout my life: the lunches forgotten at home that seemed to magically appear in my backpack when I wanted them; the perennial green lights I get when I drive around town—it’s always been a joke between Leia and me.
My heart is racing, and I blink slowly. I look at her and start to ask a question but stop myself, instead nodding silently at her. With my world turned upside-down in a single day, there’s a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach that can only be helped with more chocolate. My grandmother swallows, and opens her mouth, as if to say more. I shake my head for her to stop. Choking on more questions rising inside of me for which I’m just not ready for answers, I am floored, and I need to be alone. Immediately.
“Good night, Mamère,” I manage to get out, and flee up the stairs to my attic room—my sanctuary--only stopping in the kitchen long enough to grab some peanut butter cups on the way up.