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Chapter 24: Failure by Misunderstanding and Belief

Norm was sure that if his masters were threatened with legal action from Fairy World, they might set him free. "Fairy World" was the key term there, not "legal action."

Complex systems of justice would mean nothing to societies too simple to carry it out. Many of Fairy World's punishments for broken laws involved stuff that didn't exist in primitive societies.

Fairies would be a threat though. He knew that humanity feared the wrath of magical creatures, which they called spirits, and ascribed a different set of powers, and motives to.

Then, Norm recalled that humanity didn't know what the word "fairy" meant. Saying that they were going to get tried by Fairy Court would mean nothing to them. But, 'fairy' was an unfamiliar word, and humanity might presume that fairies were spirits, striking the fear of fairies into them.


Norm felt a tugging sensation. Did he have to grant wishes now? He hadn't finished working out his plan yet.

He spiraled out of his lamp in a swirl of teal blue smoke. The smoke dissipated, giving him a view of the endless sand. The sand was dotted with skin tents, and fire pits. Humans were milling about. That wasn't much different from anywhere else in the human world, and Norm rolled his eyes.

His master seemed slightly scared of him, but confident too. Norm wondered why, but remembered that his last master had found out that he was under their control. Maybe they had told someone else, and that someone had just happened to rub his lamp. If so, he was in trouble now that they seemed to know. He had to escape soon, now, before his masters became even worse…

"Evil spirit, be gone!"

Maybe the human hadn't. Maybe this master was a shaman, and that was why he believed that he could handle it. Norm hoped so, since he wasn't keen on humanity knowing that he was under their control – at least not now, when they believed him to an evil spirit. Humanity would never want to set an evil spirit free, at least not if they weren't tricked or threatened.

His master's furs and trinkets were better than most of the other tribe members. All of the designs and trinkets represented the various beliefs of the tribe. Despite that, Norm did think that some of the designs and trinkets were pretty. Not better than anything he'd seen on his TV, but pretty all the same. Norm grinned since shamans dressed in exactly that manner most of the time, though tribe leaders did too, so maybe humanity did know.

He decided to stop worrying about it, and just continue with his half-formed plan.

The shaman began to attempt to exorcise him, which failed, like always. Norm knew what would actually exorcise him, but he knew that his masters probably would never do it.

Even so, he wasn't about to give up. If gave up, he probably would never escape.

"I'm Norm the Genie, and I am not an evil spirit," said Norm, GONGing up his usual sign. "I have to grant you three wishes."

His master looked at him quizzically, and he groaned. In order for his plan to work, his master had to understand, but this master didn't seem to. He decided to press on anyway, since his master could have understood, but been confused by a minor, barely related point.

However, his master interrupted him. "Three wishes? Sounds useful, though you are an evil spirit."

"No, I'm not. I'm a genie. G-E-N-I-E," replied Norm. "Not that you know what G, E, N and I are anyway. So, you've just got three wishes, good for you."

Norm saw that his master seemed to have noticed his sarcasm. He wasn't sure whether that would make them harder or easier to trick or wouldn't affect it at all. He decided not to worry about that until it became a problem.

"High spirits, called fairies, will penalize you, humans, for imprisoning me without justification or consent," lied Norm majestically.

"How will they do it? I never heard of fairies before."

Norm groaned, wondering why his masters always forced him to make up lies on the spot. He could answer them any way he wanted to, but that didn't mean they would believe him. Telling the truth would just equal failure, he knew.

"Magically," he improvised, since fairies were magical after all, and their laws had some basis in magic. "They're good at keeping themselves hidden."

"Why are they interfering with this?"

Norm had no reply to that. He could lie and say that they cared a lot about the welfare and treatment of other magical creatures, but he had trouble imagining himself say that with a straight face. If the humans asked for examples, he'd be stumped, since fairies were practically the only species showed on fairy TV, and when other species were showed or mentioned, particularly Anti-Fairies and Pixies, the fairies usually didn't care too much about their welfare.

"Uh, the Creator asked them to," he said, hoping that his master wouldn't question his lie.

Unfortunately, he had less luck than a human in Anti-Fairy World, and his master did question it.

"The Creator has never said anything about genies before."

Norm groaned, and thought that he agreed with the first part of the sentence. If his master had left out the last part, he would have had a revelation. Since he didn't, all his master did do is further prevent him from getting his freedom.

"Not before, but now, yes."

"That's heresy," replied his master. "The Creator sent the Darkness to destroy your world."

Norm was surprised by the ease at which the Darkness became part of their mythology. If only setting genies free could become part of it too.

"Uh, maybe he changed his mind."

"The Creator never changes his mind because he's omniscient and all-powerful," replied his master. "He can never be wrong."

Norm rolled his eyes skyward. Humans liked believing that they had strict, magical, unbending masters. Oh right, they believed that those masters were benevolent. He didn't believe in such things, and didn't want to. He had never liked being controlled by other people, regardless of how benevolent they were.


Once he was back in his lamp, Norm knew that threatening humanity with Fairy World wouldn't work. Not here, not now, maybe not anywhere, maybe not ever. Humanity did believe in fairies; humanity believed in spirits and Creators. Humanity didn't accept other beliefs; humanity stuck firmly to their own and couldn't be dislodged, except when pressured by people whose opinion they actually cared about, and they didn't care about his opinion. To humans, strange was evil, and everything had to be adapted to fit with their own beliefs or they'd not understand. All those qualities just made humanity frustrating for Norm.

But regardless of how much failure frustrated him, he needed to continue tricking humanity if he wanted to ever succeed in gaining his freedom. Time was running out, since in a few years, he probably would never get a chance to have his childhood for even a short time if he wasn't free by then.