The caravan made it to the last oasis before finally getting home.
The trip by all accounts had been successful. After the camels had been bedded down and the men had finished their evening meal of mutton and couscous, they began to talk of finally making it home and what they expected from their homecomings.
The graphic details were too much for the old man. He had lost his wife and sole mate last year and he had no stomach for their talk. He wandered out of the oasis and unto a nearby dune. Looking the stars and not where he was going, he stumbled slightly on something in the sand.
Reaching down, he picked up what appeared to be an old lamp. Dusting it off, he discovered to his amazement that this was a magic lamp. Smoke and mist billowed out of the lamp. A mighty genie appeared within the mist.
“You have freed me from the lamp, “ the Genie announced. “You may have but one wish and one only. Ask me and I shall grant it.”
The old man looked at the genie and said, “But I want for nothing.”
With a maniacal grin the Genie taunted him, “Anything you want to make you happy is within your grasp.” With that visions of vast wealth appeared within the mist. “Gold, silver, jewels! Enough wealth for a thousand life times!”, said the genie.
“No,” the old man said. “Someone would just try and steal it from me.”
“Then it is power you desire? A vast land to rule as your wish?” the genie asked. A vision an wondrous palace with fruitful land appeared in the mist.
“No,” again was the reply. “Marauders would come to pillage my lands.”
The genie studied the old man for a moment. Then with a wave of his arm hundreds of beautiful women appeared in the mist. “If women is what you want? They could fill your days with joy and happiness.”
The old man paused in thought. He then remembered happier days.
The old man finally said. “All I ever wanted or wished for was to live the rest of my days with my wife.”
“So it shall be,” bellowed the genie.
In a flash the old man was gone.
The lamp fell back into o the sand. The genie’s smoke curling back into it's spout. The wind was blowing the lamp back into the sand dune.
The old man awoke. He was lying beside his beloved wife in her coffin.
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<a href="http://www.storiesspace.com/stories/flash-fiction/the-lost-wish.aspx">The Lost Wish</a>