The lawyer took a deep breath and looked down at the cave floor. The trunk was still there: leather-bound wood, the kind of thing you’d lug onto a steamship. She opened it, and the genie flowed out, a creature of smoke but with a sly face and fire in its eyes.
“How long…?” it said.
“Three months,” she answered. “I work fast.”
The genie glanced down at the briefcase and gave the lawyer a look of pure hatred. “You have brought the wishes.”
“Yes, I did. Now, there’s just a couple of things before we start. It’ll take a few minutes.”
“I am no mortal!” he yelled “Your ‘minutes’ are as nothing to me! A fraction of time hardly noticeable!”
She put on her whatever face and kept going. “Cool cool cool. First thing, it’s written in modern English. That a problem?”
The genie sneered. “I speak tongues that rose and fell before humans stood on two feet. There is no language, written or spoken, that I cannot understand.”
“Great. Second, there’s a thing called the ‘reasonable person’.” She glanced down at her briefcase. “You kinda need to get what that means to read my wishes, so the idea—”