He is beautiful, the genie. The golden younger son of a great house. I would wish—I should wish—but I can’t. I am distracted by the lights, the flames of the candles bobbing, bubbles of light in darkness. The genie has his own golden glow; it is the love of others that has shone on him all his life, lighting his way so well that he has never known there is darkness on all sides. But I see the darkness, made beautiful tonight by these bubbles of light that move in it, like bubbles in champagne. And the world feels like champagne to me now: a fizziness travels under my skin, and I do not know what I would ask of this gleaming golden man that he could grant me.
Katherine D. Stutzman's stories have appeared in Bound Off, jmww, and Summerset Review, among other journals. She holds an MFA from Penn State and currently lives, writes, and teaches in Philadelphia. Find her online at www.katherinedstutzman.com.