I winced up in pain. My eyes were watering, but when I put my hand to my chest, it was still there. It wasn’t ripped to shreds by what I assumed to be a blast from a shotgun.
From around the corner, Mr. Jones appeared- I was right, with a shotgun. Standing tall but lanky at 6’5, he was, like me, entirely naked.
“Ahh, Joseph!” he roared, “So glad you could drop in today. Well, your last check’s already in the mail, so why don’t you get going now? Before I’m forced to kill you.”
I got up to my feet, enraged.
“Why are you naked?” I demanded.
He spread his arms out and laughed.
“Because, Joseph. I knew you were telling the truth about the Power Genie- the mysterious woman who made it her mission to visit people on their birthdays and grant them fantastical powers. How could a story that crazy possibly be untrue? So on the night of Stacey’s birthday, I sneaked into her house and kidnapped the Genie before it could grant her powers.”
From the side, the secretary, who’d been paralyzed in shock from the sound of the gunshot, heard she’d been screwed out of a superpower birthday present, and raised her voice at her employer.
“You broke into my house and kidnapped a genie?” she asked, dumb struck.
“I did it for the good of the company, Stacey,” explained Jones, “What good is a secretary with superpowers anyway?”
“You couldn’t have like, waited until your own birthday?”
“No, Stacey. The powers end here. After I kill Joe here, I will be the only man in the world with superpowers. Imagine that from a business perspective, and you’ll forgive me and realize that I’m completely right.”
“I’m going home,” Stacey replied, entirely done with it all.
She picked up her bag and squeezed past Jones, cringing as her leg brushed up against his. Out the door she went, muttering angrily under her breath.
“Now then, Joe, are you prepared to die?” Jones laughed, pointing the shotgun directly at my face.
“What kind of stupid question is that? Of course not,” I answered as he pulled the trigger.
My head was slammed back into the wall painfully, but once again, there wasn’t a scratch on me, or a hole in me.
“This is an issue,” Jones said, expecting his useless weapon.
“Here, let me try,” I said extending my hand.
“Nice try, Joe, but if I give you my gun, you’ll just shoot me.”
I attempted my Jedi mind-trick on him.
“You WILL give me that gun,” I assured him.
“No, Joe, I won’t,” he insisted.
I understood then that I did not, in fact, have the power of mind-control. So I attempted to go the way of force, lunging at Jones and grabbing the shotgun. We both struggled pathetically and I knew neither of us had super-strength. I grabbed at his thinning hair and he released his grip on the gun. I pulled it from him and smashed him across his face with it. He fell to the ground and I pointed it at him, finger on the trigger.
“You’re going to listen to me, Jones. You’re going to listen to everything I have to say, and when it’s over, you’re going to apologize to me.”
Defeated, Jones raised his hands.
“Fine, Joe, you win. What do you have to say to me?”
[to be continued]