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The Damned Shop

Friday, 5th October 2018


I’m writing this as an account of my experiences working at a repair shop (of sorts).  My name is Jake, I’m 30 years old, and officially I manage a shop that deals in repairs and fixing issues. Unofficially we build specialized tools, deal with people and creatures from nightmares, and keep the world in balance against both benevolent and malevolent forces. (This last part I would like to point out simply emphasizes the importance of reading your job description before signing)


Anyway, let’s get back to why I’m writing, recently things have been getting stranger at work so I wanted a running documentation of it in case things go sideways. (Things seem to always go sideways).


This morning was fairly normal as I opened the store. I put my things in the back corner of the shop. It was still five minutes before we needed to open the front doors. I carefully opened the door in the back that lead downstairs to where we housed our more specialized items. Some might have called them magical but of a more scientific minded person, I can honestly say that there far less to marvel at than our customers think. I won’t give away too many trade secrets but for example, a magical seal is little more than a wave-based formula that causes electrons in a certain area to reject input from certain light sources or even refuse to interact with other atoms. Most weird or magical things can be explained with science even if we don’t entirely understand how that science works. (Take gravity, good luck explaining that marvel without a PhD).


I checked a few of the order that took time to stabilize properly. Everything was progressing exactly as expected so I headed back upstairs to open the shop.


Being a Friday, I wasn’t expecting a busy day but readied myself anyway as I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. As soon as I opened the doors a rush of people came clambering in demanding assistance.


It was mostly the blissfully ignorant coming to see if we could fix their iPhone or computer. I tried to treat each one with professional respect, despite the nagging urge to explain how little I cared about their phone when I had an atomic rift machine running calibrations in the back. Then a tall older gentleman came in and said he heard we helped with unique issues, hence our reputation. I said we did and briefly asked him the standard qualifying questions to determine which problem, item, faith, and intent for which he needed our so specialized assistance.


“Specifically, I would like your help fixing this” he said as he plopped a severely damaged jade lamp onto the counter.


For those of you who don’t know these were popular containers for holding energy-based life forms without killing them in the past. Things like ghosts, demons, angels, or djinn. That’s right! He brought in a freaking genie lantern! I looked it over and it was in rough shape, I politely informed the man that it would probably be cheaper if he just replaced it.


“I’ve had that for most of my life and it has priceless sentimental value if you don’t mind.” he countered sheepishly.


I shrugged, “You’re the customer, I’m not here to tell you how to spend your money.” I finished up the intake paperwork and turned to place the lamp in the back.


“Wait!” the man yelled with an outstretched hand, “Whatever you do, you must repair the lamp without opening it.”


I sighed, “You know that costs substantially more, is the lamp empty?”


The man fidgeted, “No, the price doesn’t matter. Just don’t let that thing out.” He turned and quickly ran from the store.


“Well a good day to you too dingus.” I muttered as I placed the lamp in a sealed container and setting it on the desk in the basement. I was alone in the shop again, normally we had around nine staff members working but the owner had recently fired all my staff… again.


She wasn’t a terrible person or anything, she just had ridiculously high standards. Which was really saying something for a self-centered little goblin. Okay so I don’t know if she’s an actual goblin but I strongly suspect she isn’t human.


I sat down and began transferring the ethereal contents of the lamp to a safe storage container using some ancient looking glass and brass collection tool. It was slow going, like watching a small pump drain a lake of purple mist. I left it alone to finish draining while I dealt with several basic repairs and a pick up for a home security seal. Pretty standard going into the weekend.


When I finally returned to check on the lamp it had just finished emptying. The lamp would have to sit in a jade bath overnight while nanites repaired the basic structural damage from the last millennia. I set the container which housed the swirling purple mist onto another desk for waiting order in the corner.


“LLLeett me oouutt!” hissed the mist as an angry looking face appeared against the glass.


“Yeah not going to happen, not sure what you are but I doubt our insurance will cover you escaping.” I countered and headed back towards my desk.


“PPllleeaase hheeelpp meee!” it hissed again.


“Okay, knock it off. If you want to have a conversation than just talk, I don’t have time for the drama” I glared at the mist formed face.


It sighed, “Fine, spoil sport. Let me out, that weaselly old man has never used a single wish. I’ve been cramped in that crumbling lamp for decades. Let me out and you’ll be my new master, including three wishes!” the mist sparkled in what was meant as a magically seductive manner.


“What kind of energy do you use to grant the wishes.” I said causing the sparkling to stop.


“Excuse me?” it said confused.


“What kind of energy or power do you use to grant wishes. Chaos energy, probability, demonic, angelic, nuclear, take your pic.” I explained.


“Um, well, I use chaos energy to effect immediate change based on the wish maker’s desires.” The mist said sheepishly.


“I see,” I said standing and walking over to container, “so basically you throw things ridiculously in their favour to grant a wish and let them deal with the cosmic backlash when the hole you dig fills in again.”


“Well, I mean, it’s just…” it stammered in shock.


“Pass, I’m not interested.” I said waving the offer away and browsing one of the shelves full of containment technology.


“Wait, please, I just don’t want to be stuck in there alone anymore.” The mist begged.


I sighed, “He’s never used a wish?”


“Not even once, it wasn’t until I shook enough to start breaking the lamp that he even noticed I existed.” it sighed.


I rubbed my chin, “Alright, but I only need two wishes.” I grabbed a simple silver lantern from the shelf and dropped it into the mist. The seal activated instantly and yanked the purple fog in until the container was empty.


I scooped up the lamp and rubbed the side. A moment after I did a blue skinned woman with long purple hair and a purple dress from the 1920s popped out. She laughed, “I’m free!” then noticing me watching her quizzically she said “What do you wish of me master?”


“Firstly,” I began, “don’t call me master, that’s not a wish but if you do I’ll destabilize the energies that keep you anchored here understand?” she nodded cautiously. “Anyway, what do I call you?”


“Kidra the marvelous, I am the 7th genie to be captured by the great Solomon back in…”

I held up a hand to interrupt her, “Thank you but that’s all I need. Ok Kid, my first wish is for you to fill your old jade lamp with enough of your power to still register as magical. Basically, just jam an unanswered wish in there.”


“That’s it?” Kidra said, then simply shrugged when I simply crossed my arms and waited. She aimed her hand at the soaking jade lamp and shot a bolt of magical violet energy into the old artifact. “Anything else?”


“Yes,” I said immediately, “For my second wish I want you to live a mortal life dedicated to both your happiness and he betterment of other in a benevolent fashion; on your deathbed you will have the opportunity to choose to return to the lamp or to pass on to the afterlife if there is such a thing.”


“Wait, but, you can’t be serious!” she protested.


“Dead serious, you’re not refusing to grant my wish, are you?” as I finished the question, jade armbands glowed on her arms. They shot up to either side of her face and the violet light expanded outwards until it engulfed her entirely.


“What the hell!” Kidra screamed, “My skin, what have you done to me?” She stood their pale skinned with the same purple hair glaring daggers. The jade bands uncoupled and fell to the floor with a loud clunk. “Are you insane?”


“Probably” I said, “but I just removed the threat you presented to the world at large.”


“What am I supposed to do now!” she screamed.


“Welcome to life, try living it.” I shrugged then sat down at my desk and began going through paperwork.


“How could you!” she whined as I ignored her, “I don’t know how to live a normal life!”


I handed her a form. “Fill this out please.”


She read the form over, “This is an application to work in this dump!” she slammed the paper on the desk next to me and glared.


“Yes, it is,” I sighed, “You just asked to be extracted from a meaningless existence in a lamp, and now you need a job, identity, and a place to stay. You know, life.”


“I’m going to kill you!” she growled as her fist glowed with energy before fizzling out. “What my power! Now what have you done?”


“It’s still there but my wish restricted it to benevolent exploits so basically you can’t kill, injure, destroy, torment, or commit suicide.” I said listing the examples off as I did.


After another moment of hate filled glaring she grabbed a pen and the form and went to sit the desk in the corner as far from me as possible.


Like I said, this has been an interesting day and for the first time I feel the need to document it just in case. So, although I’ll do my best to train Kidra Marvelous, I suspect I’ll need to rely on my wits and records if I’m going to rebuild my staff and keep us afloat.


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