“Look,” said Bunny, opening her eyes as wide as she could. “Stars are in there,” she continued, pointing at herself.
“Of course there are stars in your eyes,” she said. “We are made out of stardust.”
“I tried to tell her that,” said Joey, “but she wouldn’t listen.”
“Joey has them too,” said Bunny, staring at him, an inch from his face.
He started tickling her and she fell to the floor laughing.
“The flowers from the wedding still look perfect,” he said.
“I decided to keep them for awhile.”
“I like them,” said Joey. “We didn’t have any plants in here and we need them.”
“Why didn’t you say something?” she asked, surprised.
“I thought you just didn’t want any.”
“Always tell me what you think,” she said lovingly. “Never make assumptions. Ask.”
“Okay. I will,” he said, smiling.
“Tell me that you have ALL the Harry Potter books,” gasped a woman, half falling through the front door.
“We have all the Harry Potter books,” said Joey, staring at her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m perfectly fine, young man, but thank you,” she said pleasantly. “It seems that some boys still do have manners.”
“Would you like some water?” asked Bunny. “You look really thirsty.”
“That would be lovely.”
“Would you like me to wrap the books for you?” she asked.
“Oh, goodness no. They’re for me. I’m moving into an apartment two doors down, and the books haven’t been delivered yet. The Potter books were not supposed to be put into the moving van, but somehow the box they were in was picked up and packed away with everything else. Now I have nothing to read before I go to bed. I always read those Potter books before retiring. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read all of them. I almost know them by heart,” she laughed, and drank the entire glass of water that Bunny handed to her. “Delicious,” she said, putting the glass down. “Thank you.”
“Is there anything else I can do for you,” she asked.
“Yes, I want all the classic children’s stories. The Little Prince, The Secret Garden, Peter Rabbit, The Velveteen Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland and…”
“Do you have copies of those as well?” she asked.
“Most certainly,” said the woman, taken back.
“When will your books be delivered?”
“Can’t you wait that long?”
“I’m not sure,” she said, frowning. “I mean a house is not a home without books and a cat.”
“How about if I lend all the copies to you until your books are delivered.”
“You would do that for me?”
“With pleasure,” she said. “Joey and Star will bring the books to your apartment.
“Uh,” said Joey, looking around at all the flowers blooming and growing by leaps and bounds.
“Your kindness has earned you three wishes,” said the woman, smiling, as a jungle grew around them.
“Are you a genie?” asked Joey, in amazement.
“I am indeed,” she said. “Also knows as a Jin. I didn’t mean to make the flowers grow, I’m trying to blend in but sometimes I’m so happy, I just can’t help myself. That’s why I’m having movers, you see, to blend in. How would it look if all my things simply appeared in all the rooms? I feel very at home in this shop. There’s magic in this place. A lot of it. But I sense fairies trying to upset the balance.”
“They’re trying to steal William and me,” said Bunny, twirling a bit.
“That will never do,” said the woman, obviously horrified. “No. Not at all. This is a good place.”
“I know,” said Bunny, holding her rabbit in the air. “This is William.”
“Very nice to meet you William,” said the woman, bowing a little. “You’re a nice demon, aren’t you,” she said happily, patting his head.
“Can I use a wish to rid us fairies?”
“Done,” said the woman, clapping her hands. “They won’t bother you for…,” she said tapping her lips, with her fingers, “one hundred years, nine weeks, six days, four hours, and thirty-two minutes. But I might be off by a year or two. I’m not very good at math.”
“You mean they’ll leave us alone?” she asked.
“I’m a GENIE, darling. If I say they’re gone, they’re gone. Well, actually they’ve just forgotten that all of you exist, but same thing, pretty much.”
“You’re welcome. You have two more wishes.”
“Do we have to use them right away?”
“Use them whenever you like. There is no expiration date,” she said, a signed contract appearing in her hand. Just give this to me when you’re ready to wish. That old rat looks very healthy. Time must have stopped by.”
“She did,” said Bunny. “She started him over.”
“Very nice of her. Well, I must be off. Here’s my card,” she said, dropping a thick, white, beautifully engraved business card onto the desk. Call me anytime. Thank you for lending the books to me. And Joey, you don’t have to help me,” she whispered, “the books are already in my flat.”
“See you soon,” said Bunny.
“You will,” said the Genie, as she waved goodbye.
“We get a lot of strange people in here,” said the cat, once the door was closed.
“Some of them aren’t even people,” said Joey, watching the Genie disappear.
“Does she have a bottle?” asked Bunny, looking concerned. “She needs a bottle.”