Do I have priorities? Yes. Are they bad priorities? Probably. Did I let that stop me? No, no I did not. So, without further ado, I present to you the fully revised and edited version of Children of the Lamp: The Red Sun of Madrid, by me, Lucinda M. H. Cheshir. (Updated 25 December 2014. Merry Christmas, everyone!)
Professor Alphonso de la Rez ran down the old cobblestone road eagerly. The man he had been in close contact with had finally discovered what Alphonso had been searching for for over ten years. Alphonso bounded into Diego Ramirez's antique glassware shop.
"Is it true, Diego? Have you found it?" Alphonso shouted at his associate as Diego was just polishing a glass brandy decanter.
"Sí, mi amigo, I have! I have hidden it in the back, wait here a moment." Diego hurried to the back room of his tiny shop and came back, moments later with an elegant, opaque blue-green glass perfume bottle. Alphonso took it gingerly and gazed at it appraisingly.
"Renaissance, sí? Not that it matters much. What matters is what is inside the bottle."
"It hasn't yet spoken to me, but perhaps you are special enough." Diego replied, just as excited as the Professor. Alphonso carefully drew the perfume bottle towards his face and whispered into it.
"Djinn of the lamp, do you hear me?" Alphonso murmured to the bottle. An irritated snort came, quite distinctly, from within the bottle.
"At last, someone who isn't deaf as a post!" said the voice, which had a distinctly English accent, even though speaking Spanish quite fluently. "I've been waiting for this for years. Let me out already!"
"How do I know if you are not a bad djinn?" Alphonso asked the voice.
"You don't. My answer is no. But if I was a bad djinn, I could be lying, and if I was a good djinn, I would be telling the truth. You have no way of knowing for certain, besides letting me out." The snide voice pointed out.
"This is an excellent point, mi amigo. I don't know for certain." Alphonso mused.
"Open the bottle." The voice commanded testily.
"Give me my three wishes afterwards, and I shall." Alphonso said.
"OPEN THE BOTTLE!" The voice repeated, thundering furiously, though sounding a little desperate. "I'll give you your three wishes- any three things you want, but open the bottle!"
"Do you swear it upon your honour as a djinn?" Alphonso asked cautiously.
The occupant of the bottle sighed, as though gathering every molecule of his patience. "Yes. I swear it. Now take the stopper out already!"
"Very well," Alphonso said, satisfied with the assurance and already thinking of what three wishes he would make, and slid the elaborately carved stopper out of the neck of the blue-green perfume bottle. Immediately, smoke poured out and materialized in the form of a teenage boy with straw-coloured hair and steely green eyes.
"Your wishes?" The boy said sulkily.
"Ah, yes. First, I wish that my friend Diego, here was no longer deaf." Alphonso wished.
"MACKINTOSH. Your wish has been granted." The boy said, looking bored. Behind the counter, Diego jumped at the sudden shock of having his hearing restored to him so suddenly, and nearly dropped the brandy decanter he had picked up again.
"Second, I wish to have one million euros in cash." Alphonso continued, and Diego nodded, convinced that this was a good wish.
"MACKINTOSH." The boy said again, his expression souring further. "Your money is waiting for you in the National bank of Spain. Third wish?"
"Third, I wish for my wife and child, who are ailing, to be well again."
"MACKINTOSH. Your wish has been granted. Now that that's out of the way, time for a little fun!" The boy smiled at Alphonso evilly. "You shouldn't have let me out, Alphonso. Not unless you wanted to unleash a horror on the world. Oh well." He feigned an exaggerated sigh. "But whatever you wanted, Alphonso, I think that your child would like a doll to play with, don't you? Oh, and what's this? Diego over there seems to be mute all of a sudden! Dear me, what a terrible turn of events this is! But your child should enjoy playing with their new toy, won't they?"