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Three Wishes to End the World
My first wish is that I get to go surfing on the largest wave in the world
Written by: Celeste Kallio using SudoWrite
Illustrations by: Andrey Kurenkov & Sharon Zhou using MidJourney and Stable Diffusion
Narration by: Andrey Kurenkov using BeyondWords
Text Formatting: Human-written text is italic, AI-generated text is normal
The first earthquake was strong enough to wake Zeke early in the morning. His house was unharmed, but the garden shed in his backyard collapsed into rubble. After making coffee while listening to news reports about the earthquake, Zeke took his mug out back and surveyed the damage.
Zeke found a small, blue lamp in the debris, and he was curious to discover what it was. He did not like being curious, because he was always being told to mind his own business, but he supposed that a mysterious lamp appearing in his backyard was the definition of his business. Zeke found a small, blue lamp in the debris.
He rubbed the lamp. A cloud of smoke and a genie in a turban appeared. The genie said, “You have rubbed the lamp, and I will grant you three wishes.”
“That’s more than enough,” said Zeke. “My first wish is that I get to go surfing on the largest wave in the world.” He wished as hard as he could, because he was a bit of a show-off.
The genie nodded, and a large, blue surfboards appeared on top of the rubble. “The tsunami should be here any second, Zeke. Time to get ready.”
Zeke balanced on the surfboard and a swell of water swirling with debris filled the street. The water lifted him up and away and it felt like flying. The sensation was muted somewhat by the destruction of his home and what looked like human limbs in the churn.
The tsunami exhausted its energy and the water returned to the sea. Towns all across the coast were demolished, and Zeke’s first impulse was to wish for them to return to normal. But humans would just build more things and destroy more natural habitat. Earth belonged to all of nature, after all. There just needed to be more of it.
“My second wish is that you help me expand the Earth.” Zeke was excited about making the wish, but he was a little concerned about the magnitude of his request.
“The Earth is getting larger,” the genie confirmed. “But you can’t see it yet.”
“When will it spread?” Zeke asked. “How long will it take?”
The genie tilted his head and said, “The Earth will be double its current size in ten months, twenty-three days, and eight hours.”
“You haven’t made your third wish yet, are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?”
“No, no, it was a good wish. Make it happen!”
The genie smiled and waved his hand. A notepad and a pen appeared in his hand and he wrote something in a very small and tidy script.
“What did you write?” asked Zeke.
“I wrote down the date of the third wish. You will be able to make it when Earth is ready.”
“I want you to meet me here on that date,” said Zeke. “And now, I’m going to go for a walk.”
Zeke felt as though his words were being absorbed into the atmosphere like water into a sponge. Fissures opened up in the Earth's crust and magma filled the gaps. The trees planted themselves and the ground was covered in flowers. In some areas, the grass was knee-high, and it almost camouflaged the human corpses that littered the surface.
The genie appeared on the appointed day. "It's time for your third wish."
"Yeah," said Zeke. He had thought about it for a long time, but he still wasn't sure how to word his wish. A lot of people had died in the eruptions. Planes crashed as GPS systems failed suddenly, having not anticipated the doubling of the planet's size.
"I know what it is," said the genie, who was good at reading people's minds. "You wish for no one to ever know about your wishes and the death and destruction you caused."
This was exactly what Zeke wanted. It was a good wish. It would make the world a better place.
The genie gave Zeke a present. "Here is your parting gift. It's a bird box. Whenever you hear birds chirping, open the box. The box will transport you to the top of the tallest tree in the forest. You'll be able to fly around with the birds. Eat bugs and berries. Be a part of nature."
"Thank you," said Zeke as the genie disappeared.
Zeke heard the melodic chirping of birds. He opened the box, and he was in the tallest tree in the forest. When he looked down, he saw the lamp sitting on the ground, and he knew that he could take the lamp with him wherever he went.