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Closing Time

Stacey Lepper writes from a dairy farm in Waimana, New Zealand. This is her third story published in Daily Science Fiction.

They played the same old song and there were the same old last minute brawls. Of drunken slurring and fists and beer. And I went home with her and she was the best damn thing that ever happened to me.
I didn't want to kill her.
Her first wish, was that she wished she wasn't so drunk. Done. She didn't much notice the change. Her second wish was for a double cheeseburger with mayo. Granted. Her third wish, I should have seen coming but I didn't, it's what you get for being young. For being stupid. For thinking the gift you have is easy. It wasn't long after, she'd gotten up and sat on the edge of the bed, still naked and a while passed before I realized she was crying. A silent and desperately sad cry. It had nothing to do with me. She'd drawn her knees up so that her heels rested on the mattress, her arms wrapped around her folded legs in a tight hug. She was so beautiful. Milky white skin except where her bra had dug in around her rib cage. A bob of blonde hair. I stroked her back, not knowing. Oblivious. She whispered them. Not to me, not to anybody in particular, just a voicing of the pain. "I wish I was dead,"
"No," I said softly. But no never worked and I felt it building inside me. I always have to obey the wish. Always. I can't not. The best I can do is try to find a way around it. It's why they always show Genies as tricksters. We get very good at obeying the letter of the wish while not quite honoring the intent. We get faster. At thinking of alternative ways. But I wasn't then. I was young. I said that already. She died. In my arms. The very least I could do at that point was to make it peaceful. As peaceful as death can be. And anyone who has been inside a dying body can attest to the fact that it is never peaceful. Even the ones that look like it. Now, of course I would have focused on the "was." I wish I "was" dead. I could have made it so that she had been dead in the past and had been revived. Something like that.
Her name was Emma. I found that out later.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
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