Hello, Surprise Genie

Dennis slouched on the plastic bench seat and looked out the school bus window, slouching and morose. “I wish the ride to school was shorter,” he said.

Purple mist billowed up from the bus’s heating vents, casting everything in a lilac tint until Dennis couldn’t even see the backpack he’d put next to him to save the seat. “Your wish,” boomed a deep voice, “is grrrrrranted!” A muscular, half-naked man with a big beard and white grin appeared from the mist. From below him, the bus made a loud, grinding clunk, and shuddered to a stop.

“I can really wish for things?” Dennis said. “This is awesome!”

After a moment on the radio, the driver said, “Okay, kids, just hang tight. We’re getting another bus to pick us up and finish the route.”

“Hey.” Dennis looked at the genie. “This didn’t make the ride shorter at all!” The genie shrugged.

“Hold on.” The driver listened to the radio. “Change of plans. They can’t find a bus for us, so we’re going to have to walk to school. Everybody get your stuff.”

In his booming voice, the genie declared, “The ride is over!” and evaporated into mist.

“This sucks,” Dennis said.

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