Messenger In A Bottle - Ch.4

“Hello, Thadeaus,” Said Castagere, re-materializing in the kitchen he'd called home for some months.

Tad sat at the table, scarfing down his morning protein; three eggs, over easy, mixed with a 1/2-cup of black beans, cilantro, and one teaspoon of Rooster Sauce – all washed down with a whey shake. It must be eaten within thirty minutes of waking up, or Tad would get cranky.

“It’s Tad, not Thadeaus” he said, through a mouth full of eggs. “I hate it when you just float in like that. I’ll never get used to it.”

“Yes, well. That shouldn’t be a concern for you much longer. I’ve got something for you.”

“What? I have yoga in fifteen minutes, so make it quick.”

Castegere tossed the folder onto the table and set the CD’s on top.

“Your grandmother’s financial records are on the CD’s, and your grandfather’s will, rest his soul, is in the red folder,” Said Castagere, as he walked to the refrigerator.

“What?” said Tad, his eyes wide. His fork, full of eggs, hung in the air near his mouth as he stared at Castagere, slowly realizing what was happening. “What? No.”

Tad dropped the fork on his plate and grabbed the folder, wrenched it open, and began reading the first page as Castagere opened the refrigerator door, rummaging inside.

“Blah, blah, last will and testament…What did you do, you puffer? This isn’t my third wish," he screamed, jabbing the paper with his finger, eggs spewing from his mouth. "It’s not. I didn’t wish for this!”

“I’m a Genie you twit, not a puffer. And, yes; that was three. Last month, as I was resting in my bottle, I heard you in here with Jenny Harrington.”

“No! I was just…just talking. I was drunk. It was a party, we were just talking. Twit?”

“Yes, twit. Now that I am free of my bond, I don’t have to deal in niceties any longer. Drunk or not, you made a wish,” said Castagere, pulling a piece of paper out his pocket, then reading it aloud; “And I quote, ‘Oh, man. I wish I had that geezer’s will and that wretched Sybil’s financials. I know for a fact that he didn’t leave me his crappy set of golf clubs. AND, she has plenty of money to get me through Harvard next year.’ There is more, but it is superfluous and my time here is at an end.”

Castagere leaned into the refrigerator, pulled out his Heinz 57 bottle, and tucked it into his pocket while Tad sat, mouth agape.

“A ketchup bottle? Your…your Genie lamp is a Heinz 57 bottle?”

“Yes, it is. Recycling is so common nowadays that it was inevitable that someone would recycle my original lamp. And, well - here it is,” Castagere said, patting his pocket.

“Then - how did I?” said Tad, trailing off.

Castagere sighed. "This is so embarrassing; your mom bought me at Kroger, on sale no less, and brought me here. One night you were out drinking with Chaz and you brought home an order of French fries. You got into a heated discussion about which of you two were going to, and I quote again, ‘Do Jenny Harrington first’. In an effort to illustrate what you’d do, you stroked my bottle three times,” said Castagere through clenched teeth.

Then, without another word, the Genie vanished, leaving Tad to his protein.

The End

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