Basil said this would be easy-peasy. Hearing a centuries-old, tweed-loving genie use the phrase, in and of itself, should’ve been a heads-up. But, no. I took him at his word and dropped into upstate New York blind.
I closed my eyes in Colorado and, before the breeze of teleportation could ruffle my hair, I stood in what could’ve been a storeroom at the Louvre. Except I knew better. Some guy with more cash than ethics had whipped out his double-platinum, diamond-encrusted Visa and bought a great many things he should never own. Judging from what I saw at first glance, this Master was a naughty monkey. No fewer than a dozen works of art reported lost or stolen graced his gallery. In one corner sat a jackal sculpture I knew for a fact went missing from a prestigious Italian museum.
If only his immoral behavior had stopped at owning another person. Not that I have any room to talk, what with the whole set of rapacious genes galloping through me. But I’d never stoop to slavery.
Growing up as the daughter of a cat burglar does have its advantages, though. As my fingers inched toward a priceless Faberge egg, I had to accept that being Reggie’s child had its disadvantages, too. One big one in particular—the need to touch things I have no business touching. A fingertip on the egg’s cloisonné surface started an alarm-ageddon loud enough to blow out eardrums in Pennsylvania.
I jerked my hand away and threw a quick wish. The alarms stopped, but the damage had been done. Even in this sleepy backwoods, I had ten minutes tops before the authorities arrived.
My senses made short work of locating the genie in question. His sanctuary—his lamp away from home, so to speak—sat nestled on a velvet bed in an ornate showcase. Stifling a cringe over the cliché of a genie living in a lamp—especially one as gaudy and gem-encrusted as this—I smashed the glass and snatched the offensive thing.
And suddenly life became way more interesting than I needed.
The initial appearance of a genie to any new friend usually ends up as ‘whoomp, here I am’. Some djinn like a little more pizzazz. This bastard’s full pyrotechnic display shot me halfway across the room. Only quick thinking and energy I couldn’t afford to waste stopped me from destroying a couple million dollars worth of masterpieces.
“Sunuvabitch,” I shouted as the smoke coalesced into a human shape. Before I knew it, I found myself staring at a stand-in for Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia style, but with more flair.
“You are not my Master,” he said without looking at me.
Yep, that's the scene I pulled the cover concept from. See?
To read more about Jo and her new bestie, Omar, snag a copy of Wish in One Hand on Tuesday. If you want it to be on your Kindle when you wake up, pre-order a copy today. =o)