08 April, 2019

Genies #AtoZChallenge

"But I like this lamp. It looks like Jeannie's bottle!"

Sheila looked at her husband with a smug smirk. She shrugged and passed on through the flea market, leaving him to decide - he could buy it for Melissa or not, and if there were tears, he could deal with them. A few minutes later they caught up with Sheila at her favorite woodworking booth. She loved the gorgeous, raw furniture, and came here every weekend. 

When Greg and Melissa found her, Sheila was seated in an almond-finished armchair, talking with the carpenter across a dining table.

"Hey, Jason."

"Greg." The carpenter smiled and nodded a greeting, then turned to their daughter. "How are you, Melissa?"

"Look!" She held up the ugly, brown glass lamp that was, indeed, the same shape as Jeannie's bottle in the old TV show I Dream of Jeannie. Sheila smiled at her daughter, eyes twinkling up toward Greg, who shrugged. It was their thing. Before bed, Melissa would snuggle up on Greg's lap and they'd watch old sitcoms from the 60s and 70s. Of course she wanted the lamp. Jeannie, with her pink costume and swishy ponytail was Melissa's favorite.

"There's no shade on that lamp," Jason said to Melissa.

"I know. Daddy said I can pick one."

"Ah. Well, you're in the right place for that."

"We are indeed. Let's go look for a good lampshade, Sweetie." Sheila rose as she spoke, and turned to Jason as she left. "See you next weekend."

"I'll be here."

The three peered into booth after booth, now on a mission. "Oh look! Daddy! It's my lampshade!" Melissa was pointing into a booth full of Disney-themed knick-knacks, at a white lamp with Genie from Aladdin decorating the shade.

"Um, I don't know that it will fit, Honey," Sheila said. Like many kids her age, Melissa was steeped in the Disney classics. When she started watching classic TV, too, Greg had told her how Jeannie was a genie, just like Genie from Aladdin. To her, this shade was perfect.

Greg talked to the vendor, who let them test the fit of the Genie shade on the tall "Jeannie" lamp. Sheila rolled her eyes, but was grinning. It was terrible. The shade was not just too small, the style and color was all wrong for the lamp. It could be attached, but it looked outrageous.

Greg paid for the Genie lamp and they headed home. "If my clients ever saw our daughter's room, I'd never get any business." Sheila said as she buckled her seatbelt.

"I think it's great that you let her get creative in her own way. When she grows up, maybe she'll be an interior designer like you!"

Thank you for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! My theme is "Audience Participation" (read about it, here) and now it is your turn. Each day will be a new story based on suggestions from your comments. Suggest anything: a word, scenario, character, location... I will be keeping a list of suggestions, so if yours isn't used tomorrow, it may show up later. 

Today's post was inspired by the prompt "a lampshade that does not fit the lamp", suggested by Liz A. (of Laws of Gravity), given in comments on my C post (here).


  1. Oh yes, the familiar struggle of good taste and a child's taste :)

    How about - charming Irishman for a prompt?

  2. And now I have an earworm.
    ("I'm a genie in a bottle, baby...")
    Happy Monday!

  3. One of the first stories Scheherazade tells in the Tales Of The Arabian Nights as compiled by Sir Richard Burton a fisherman releases a very angry genie from a bottle, and has to do some quick thinking to get the genie back in the bottle.
    I never made the connection between that story and Barbara Eden before, but it's pretty funny.
    Although as a kid I would see pictures of Aladdin's lamp and think, what the hell kind of lamp is that? Where's the bulb and the power cord?

  4. That was fun. It sounds like an atrocious lamp :)

  5. Always fun letting kids experiment with their creativity! :)

    With Love,

  6. Debs - I like that! My first character prompt.

    Jz - ironically, as I'm reading your comment this morning, Christina Aguilera played on my spotify. (different song, though)

    Christopher - Yeah, until I realized they use oil-lamps in the old Middle East, I didn't get it, either.

    Liz - I know. That kids room must be a mess, but I bet she loves everything in it!

    Mandy - Thanks for visiting! I love helping kids find their creativity. It's so sad when it's stifled for silly reasons.

  7. Such a cute story. Kids and their choices, lol.

  8. Srivalli - Glad you liked it.

    Weejars - Thanks for stopping by!


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