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As You Wish...

Rage can consume you. What would happen if unsaid anger was acted upon as if it was your wish?

By Eric B. HunterPublished 22 days ago 17 min read
32

It’ll stop. It has to stop. That’s what I kept telling myself anyway. How could I know it would never stop? That the rage inside me would be with me forever. Even now, it’s with me, but it’s more of a dull ache than the searing rage that consumed my flesh.

I’d started the day like I did any other. I opened my eyes, looked at my phone. Got out of bed and brushed my teeth. I went to work, grabbing a nonfat caramel macchiato and a sous vide egg from Buckstar’s on the way. Just like any other day.

It was raining, but that was typical. I hadn’t been able to recall the last day there wasn’t rain. I made it to the office nearly drip free and went to my cubicle, plugged in my headset at 9:01 and was off to the races. I pestered old people and stay-at-home Mom’s. Calling them and asking if they knew about a surefire way to lose that pesky belly fat, or if they’d heard of the newest scientifically proven way to get rid of dandelions.

My job sucked, but I needed the money. There wasn’t much else for a guy like me. Nevermind my advanced degree in aerospace engineering. So I sold shitty products to gullible people and made minimum wage plus five percent commission. I scraped by, barely. Sometimes I even had enough money to send home to my folks.

3:30pm that day, my boss’s assistant came over and asked me to come with him to see the big cheese. I gladly followed, enjoying the view of his broad shoulders and tight ass, never suspecting what was coming.

“You’re firing me? What the fuck Pete?”

“Look, Amir, it’s not my call-”

“Bullshit it’s, ‘not your call’, you run the fucking company!”

“I run this office, and I listen to corporate. They tell me you were the name they pulled out of a hat. I’m sorry.”

He had looked genuinely sorry, but that didn’t stop me from knocking over his stupid R2D2 pen holder and letting it smash on the floor. I couldn’t believe they were firing me. I knew why they chose me, but what could I do about it? As much as I wanted to ‘fight the man’, I had no proof that it was because of my accent or because my visa was in an alphabet they didn’t understand.

I collected my things and headed out, punching the button for the main floor hard enough that the woman in the elevator with me got out before the doors could shut. Fine. Fuck you lady. I’d thought.

I got out under the canopy at the entrance, my sad cardboard box of belongings in hand, before I realized I’d forgotten my umbrella. The rain was coming down like it always did in Seattle, but I decided to say ‘fuck it’ to going back for it and just got wet instead.

Looking back now, I should've gone back for the umbrella. It would've been the rational thing to do, but I was furious. Rage had become my default. I’d lived in Seattle with no problems for years. I was on the verge of becoming a citizen, and in the blink of an eye, and because of the actions of someone who looked like me, I had everything taken away.

So, fuck the umbrella, had been my thought, and I tucked the picture of my parents and my little sister Mina in my coat and left.

The bus came and I got on it, my cardboard box soggy and my possessions ruined. All but the picture. I sat at the back of the bus, not wanting to deal with the people muttering about the bearded man with dark eyes, and flung the box of shit on the floor. I had an hour bus ride to get back to Shoreline.

No one sat near me on the way back, and I watched the buildings shorten and the boutique stores and coffee shops turn into quick-n-loans and pawn shops. The bus had nearly emptied as my neighborhood drew near, and a man came and sat beside me.

What the fuck is up with this guy? No one will come near me, but this guy basically sits on my lap?

The man's round face was dripping, and from the smell of him, I could tell it wasn’t from the rain. He clutched onto a leather briefcase and kept muttering to himself, “No, no. I can’t let you go. I can’t let you hurt anyone else.”

“Hey buddy, you alright?” I asked.

“No!” he shut his eyes tight and clenched his teeth together, letting out a groan of pain as his face reddened.

“Hey, bus driver? I think we need to stop.” I shouted to the front. The man’s eyes snapped open and he grabbed me by the collar of my coat, shaking me like I was a small child, not the six foot tall buck ninety I was.

“We don’t need his help!” He pleaded, spit flying off his lips and speckling my face. His eyes were glowing embers and his skin was smoldering, the sweat wicking away with the extreme heat coming off him. His voice changed, dropping an octave as he said, “ You are weak, we need him!”

“What the fu-” I managed to say before the driver slammed the brakes and pulled the bus to the side of the road. Then the man did something really peculiar.

He kissed me.

His face was about a thousand degrees, and I smelled my beard hair burn, singed by his touch.

Kiss might have been a bit of an oversell, because what he was doing was more like aggressive and unnecessary CPR. His skin cooled and fire snaked down my throat, burning and tearing its way down into my belly. I wanted to scream, to let the world know I was not okay with this man blowing fire worms into my mouth, but all I could do was gurgle and try to cough the thing out.

The bus hit the curb in the driver’s haste to get to whatever mess was happening on his rig, and it threw me and the man from our seats. I fell to the floor while the short accountant looking man ninja rolled and burst through the rear doors of the bus with the grace of a rhinoceros. The cold air rushed in and the rain sprayed into the cabin as I watched the man make a b-line into the park.

He made it about twenty yards before he burst into a ball of flame and fell. He burned on the ground outside, the rain unable to extinguish him, and I coughed at the smell of synthetic clothing, hair and flesh. The burns to my esophagus didn’t help either.

The driver came back to check on me and said, “Jesus Mother Fuckin’ Christ. That boy’s on fire!”

“Y-” I managed before I coughed and decided to just nod my head in agreement.

“Let me help you out.” The driver bent down and helped me get up and into a seat. “You alright?” he asked.

I rubbed my throat, the burning was going away. That’s weird. I'd thought, but decided not to question it. “Yes, I think I am.”

“You need me to call a doctor or something?”

“No, no. I think I’m good.” I pointed to his crumpled door. “I hope they’re not going to ding you for that.”

“Shit. Me too.” he shook his head. “I don’t think I’m supposed to move the bus like this. You got far to go?”

“No, this is my stop actually.”

“Thank God for small miracles, huh?”

I nodded and grabbed my soggy box while the driver radioed in that he needed a tow and that someone should call the fire department… and the coroner. I slipped away, not wanting the attention of xenophobic cops, and headed home.

The rain was still pelting down and by the time I got to my apartment. I threw the box directly into the dumpster, scaring an alley cat from its cover, and headed upstairs.

I was soaked through to my underwear when I started the climb. My roommates wouldn’t be home yet, so I’d been looking forward to some time to myself before I had to tell them my portion of the rent might be late. Again.

I climbed the stairs slowly, my throat felt back to normal and I remember thinking, Whatever that guy did to me, it didn’t seem to stick.

By the time I rounded the corner on the fourth floor landing, my clothes were dry and I was feeling a bit warm. “That’s weird.” I said to myself. That guy had burst into flames, maybe I shouldn’t have left so quickly. I started to feel woozy then, but I managed to get the key into the lock despite there being three of them swimming in front of me.

I stumbled over to my room (mine and Maheer’s) and I threw open the window, stripped down to my skivvies and collapsed onto my cot. I let the world sink into darkness as the rain drummed down on the roof and misty breezes blew across my hot skin.

<Wake up, Amir>, a deep, gravelly voice called to me in the darkness of my unconscious. <Wake up and serve.>

My eyes fluttered open and Maheer was standing over me with his arms crossed. “Have a good rest?” he said.

“Not really. It’s hot in here, why’d you shut the window?”

“Because I don’t want to start growing mold, that’s why. The rain was pouring in all over the place, but you're not wet. What’s going on?”

I sat up and held my head in my hands, “I don’t know.”

“Figure it out, and clean this up.” He threw the towel he was holding at me and hit me in the face. I grabbed the towel, scowling at Maheer. I hated how he treated me like I was second class.

<Do not accept this affront. Kill him.> The voice from my dreams said.

“What? No, I’m not-'' I said but my back stiffened and my legs brought me to my feet. “What the hell!” I shouted, but the world was swirling in front of me, mixing in with reds and oranges like looking through a disturbing kaleidoscope. Maheer’s back was to me, walking from the room like he was in slow motion. My arms leapt in front of me and I wrapped the towel around his neck.

What’s happening? Stop that! I shouted inside my head, my lips no longer in my command.

<You do not accost a djinn and live.> the voice said.

I wanted to ask what the hell a djinn was, how he had gotten inside my head, why he had chosen me, but all I could do was stand by in horror as my body turned away, hauling Maheer onto my back. I could feel him struggling against the tug of the towel wrapped around his neck, but he was no match for me even before I had a djinn powering my muscles. He only struggled for a moment as my body jerked him upward, pulling hard. The reverberation of his neck breaking rumbled up my arms and across my back, making my stomach flip-flop.

The djinn dropped Maheer and he landed with a thud. I didn’t want to turn, but it made me look at him. His face was pale, eyes full of shock, and mouth open. His neck was bruised and crooked to the side at a nasty angle. My body wanted to throw up, I wanted to throw up, but the djinn didn’t allow it.

It stepped over Maheer and dressed my body. My hands moved without my consent to button my shirt as I asked, What are you gonna do to me?

<You will serve as my vessel until you are unable, then I will find another to bear my flame.>

Bear your flame?

<Silence!>

You can’t stop me from talking, it’s my head!

<Then I will break you. Your rage brought me to you, I could feel that fire inside you and it allowed me to enter. Like kindling for my essence. All it needed was my spark.> images of my office and of Peter, our argument, flashed in my mind. <I think we will start there. You have a lot of rage for this man. I will use it to grow stronger. I will grant your wish.>

No, I’m not mad at Peter, not really. He just-

<You can not lie to me, Amir. I am inside of you. I know your heart.>

My heart?

I didn’t want to accidentally think of what fueled the rage inside me, of the scared looks and people crossing the street, so I tried to keep myself silent. I didn’t want it to hurt anyone else.

The djinn took the stairs down three at a time and had no trouble breaking into the Toyota Celica that was parked on the street outside. He drove to Peter’s house without missing a single turn, and I cursed that he had hosted a company barbeque in his backyard. I couldn’t have found this place on my own, but the djinn saw all my memories as clearly as reading a book, and it knew.

The streetlamps were on and the rain hammered the metal roof of the car. It filled the cab with tinny, sporadic drumbeats and I was happy to see the lights were out in the house.

<He’s home. Don’t worry. We will have revenge.> the djinn said, and a light inside flicked on.

The door swung open and my feet led us up to the house. Without waiting to be let in, the djinn ripped the handle from the door and pushed it open.

The television turned off as Peter cried out, “Hello, is someone there?” and I was grateful he was a bachelor.

Run, Peter, you stupid fuck! Get out of here!

<Yes, Amir. Feed me rage!>

My body leapt forward, propelled by the djinn’s enormous strength, and I was in the living room in front of Peter in a heartbeat.

“Amir, what are you doing here?” he said. “Get out, or I’m calling the police!”

My mouth opened and a chuckle that wasn’t mine rumbled from my throat.

“Corporate said you were a liability.” He stood up off the couch, his eyes white with fear. “I’d known this day was coming for months.”

“What does that mean?” I said, and was surprised that my vocal chords were in my control.

“You’re a sleeper agent or something, aren’t you? Working with them.”

“Are you kidding me?” I said, and I could feel the fire in my stomach, rage seeping in like poison, “Are you fucking kidding me, Peter?”

My control was removed as the djinn grabbed my ex-boss by the shirt and threw him through the wall. Dust and debris swirled as he crashed onto the tiled kitchen floor. Blood streamed from his ears and his eyes couldn’t focus.

The djinn crouched over him and saw he was still breathing. He punched him in the face, and I felt the bones crunch and give way. I wish I could have looked away. I wish I could have made the djinn stop, but it only heard what it wanted to hear. I didn’t want to be branded a terrorist, but I didn’t want this either.

He stood me up and we left the house, the djinn’s assumed task completed. I could feel myself slipping. My consciousness didn’t want to stay for the ride and I had seen enough horror, but the djinn wasn’t done. We walked to the car, the rain turning to steam on my skin, we got in and the engine roared to life.

<One more. One more wish and you will be released from my vessel.>

Wish? You think I wish for this? For violence?

<No. I know it. It is why I chose you.>

You were wrong. I don’t want this.

<You hate them, don’t you? I can feel it.>

What? Who?

<The ones who stare. The ones who fear you. The ones who leave the elevator. That is truly a large wish, but I can fulfill it.> The office building where I had worked flashed in my mind.

No! No, I don’t want that!

<The wish has been set, you only need to watch me now. When it is done, this vessel will be mine.>

He started the engine and headed downtown.

All I could think about was my family. They were counting on me, waiting for me to get citizenship so that they could come here. So they could be safe. Now they would never hear from me again, only see me on the news, labeled another terrorist when my body was out of my control.

I thought of my mother, and her weeping in front of her picture of Hanuman, chanting his mantra and wishing peace for me, and the car started to slow.

<What are you doing? Stop that.>

Stop what? I thought and noticed my skin had started to itch.

<Stop thinking that. Feed me your rage so I may remove this blight as you wished.>

Hanuman, he’s the key. I pictured my mother again, sitting in front of her picture and chanting.

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

<No! Stop that!> the djinn screamed in my head, and pressed my hands to my temples, leaving the car to swerve violently.

It got control before we hit the sidewalk and slammed the car into park, holding my head as I kept my mother firmly in my mind.

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

<You will die, Amir! You will die with me!> it screamed, and I knew it was right. I felt my skin starting to blister, the heat was burning me from the inside out, but I could feel the djinn losing control, ripping apart from me like the world's worst band aid.

I tried to move, and was able to get the door open as cars drove by, splashing us with water. My mother kept at it inside my head.

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

I made it onto the sidewalk in unsure, jerky movements, and collapsed. The rain steamed when it hit my skin, hissing with each drop and creating a mist around me.

<YOU WILL BE SILENT!>

No, I told it, I won’t.

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

My skin started to crack and blacken and I let out a scream, facing the sky and spreading my arms.

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

“You will not have me!” I shouted. My voice blackened and raw, like a chain smoker’s while inside my mother chanted,

OM NAMO BHAGWATE ANJANEYAY MAHAABALAAY HANUMATE NAMAH

My skin, blistered and torn, burst into flames and I could smell it, smell my hair burn. Smell the polyester of my coat. I remember thinking, my coat! And grabbing out the picture of my family, throwing it away to land on the sidewalk, the edges smoldering. I collapsed beside it, my head silent except for my mother’s chanting.

The rain kept falling, and the flames on my back were put out. But the damage went too deep. The djinn had burned me too deep. I felt every nerve in my body screaming, wishing for death, pleading for mercy. I heard a siren coming from a long way off as I closed my eyes, and my Mother’s chanting stopped.

monster
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About the Creator

Eric B. Hunter

E.B. spends his nights crafting stories for your (and let’s face it, his own) entertainment. He hopes these stories portray people as they are, flawed humans capable of great and terrible things, and hopes you lose yourself in his worlds.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (9)

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  • Pryor Da costa7 days ago

    Great story!! I post similar stuff and fiction stories like this one, you should check it out!! Have a good day!

  • PP13 days ago

    ❤️❤️❤️ so engaging, Hey I just published my new horror story, so can you read it give me some feedback

  • Colin Devonshire17 days ago

    My kinda story!

  • Great writing!

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  • Daniel Jeyaraman18 days ago

    An interesting story, my friend. Good one. 😁

  • Jason Basaraba19 days ago

    Well done once more, very entertaining and a non stop read.

  • Aphotic20 days ago

    I love a good Djinn story. Great work on this one!

  • Michele Hardy22 days ago

    This was a fantastic ride! Was not expecting it to take that direction and the ending was great! I love the twist on the Djinn myth.

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