Indeterminacy 158 (Genie in the Back of a Bus)

Every time she looked into the bottle a feeling of déjà vu overcame her. Why was this so familiar? What did it mean? She’d glance over to her girlfriends sitting near her, search for some reaction, but they were silent, avoided her eyes. They always seemed to notice what was on her mind, passing uneasy looks between them. They could have said something. She was sure of it. But they didn’t.

This time she confronted them: “You know something, don’t you?”

“Uh, well, I don’t know,” one of her friends declared evasively.

“About me and this bottle. Tell me.”

Nervous pause. A cough.

“Look, I’ll get off this bus and never hang out with you again,” she said, and meant it, though it wouldn’t be easy, as she had known her friends as far back as she could remember. Everyone called them “The Inseparables.”

Her friends’ eyes darted about tentatively. Their silence was masked by the motor of the bus revving as it turned down a new street. This time they couldn’t back down. An imploring glance, a nod, then one of her friends spoke.

“Well, we didn’t know if we should say anything. It’s just that you-” her friend couldn’t finish.

“You’re a genie,” another blurted out. “We found you in the bottle. You gave us a wish, and we wished for you. We wished you to be our best friend for all time.”

“Yeah,” another friend went on, “you’ve been places, seen the world, we thought it’d be really cool to hang out with you.”

They took turns explaining now:
“But then you lost your powers and your memory.”
“We thought it’d be kind of traumatic, if we reminded you.”
“So we avoided it.”
“But you’re still fun to hang out with.”

The former genie smiled and peered dreamily into the bottle: “So that’s where I come from…”

Indeterminacy 158 (Genie in the Back of a Bus)


Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

This story was originally posted at, a site featuring “one minute short stories” inspired by found photos.

Here is the found photo which served as the catalyst for the story:

Disclaimer: This photo is not my work, and is therefore also not for sale.

Artwork Comments

  • Damian
  • indeterminacy
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