As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in the Midwest surrounded by lovely lakes, but I never saw a beach until I was in college. This made shells that didn’t come from a snail, rather mysterious and cool. When I was little, my mother once made little cloth unicorn ornaments, using those elongated conical shells for the horn. For a period of time, I was convinced that these came from actual tiny unicorns. Though the idea of unicorns existing was already amazing to consider, the thought of miniature unicorns was somehow more magical. We would often get shells from friends, who could afford to travel to beaches, and I loved examining them all. Once, as a kid, I found a shell that resembled a genie’s lamp and was certain if I made a wish while holding it that it would come true. I figured I would only get three wishes, since that’s how all the stories seem to go. So, I closed my eyes and made my first wish.

The first wish was small, something just to test the waters and see if the genie was actually listening. I think it was something about being able to stay up late and watch a scary movie. Weirdly, I can’t remember the precise wish, because what I remember most is that is actually did come true. Of course, it was merely a matter of coincidence and my mother saying “yes” to my request, but it felt like magic. The shell was real and there were two more wishes that it could grant. It was several weeks before I made the next wish, mostly because I couldn’t quite decide on exactly which one to choose. Before I had time to pick something incredible, I ended up having to take a test I hadn’t studied for so I quickly wished that I would get an “A” on the test. This was a silly waste of a wish, but when I received my grade and saw that I had indeed aced the test despite having no idea what it was about, I was convinced. I had a genie! But, only one wish left.

I agonized over what to choose even more this time as the stakes had been raised considerably. This is where one wishes for money, of course, or something truly grand, but for some reason I didn’t ask for that. I was an awkward child without a ton of friends and so, when I closed my eyes to make a wish, I asked for a best friend. When I opened my eyes I knew this was another stupid waste of a wish. The genie could never make someone like me most. I moped around for days after that, as no kid at school treated me any differently than before. But one day soon after, I came home to learn that my mother was getting me a dog. It turned out to be a little white scruffy thing that I quickly named Dandy because that was the dog in a story I was reading. We became fast friends and though it wasn’t what I had in mind when I made my wish, it was exactly what I needed at the time. Sometimes, we don’t know what to actually wish for, but we always know when our wishes have come true. Perhaps is was all just coincidence, but when I think back, I’d rather remember it as that magical time when I found the genie in the shell.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Quinacridone Gold, Dioxazine Purple, Red Orange, Perylene Maroon, Turquoise Green, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 17 - #WorldWatercolorGroup The Genie In The Shell Conical Shell pearlescent On Sand - Watercolor - #doodlewash

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28 thoughts on “The Genie In The Shell

  1. Aw I love the idea of your magical sea shell genie lamp, with a wish that came so very much true…..if it wasn’t the middle of the night right now, I would be popping down to the beach to find a shell just like yours, although I do have my four legged best friend, I may well ask for a two legged soul mate, life companion. 😀

  2. What a find, and a sweet story. I think we both know what I’d be asking for immediately were I to get my hands on a genie shell! 😉 I love this shell, and those snaky grooves in the sand are wonderful and so inviting, it’s making me pine for my old bucket and spade!

      1. Those two are correct! As for third… a zonkey? A windmill abode? To sing like Karen Carpenter? World peace? (That probably should have come earlier…) Gosh, you’re right… Little Charlie was wise to think it over.

        I wonder if I could merge them all: I wish to be a singer with a voice like Karen Carpenter who has a magical pet zonkey as band-mate (standard). We perform atop my giant windmill house and give such obvious joy that world peace ensues. If I say it quick enough, it might work! 😉

  3. It’s those wishes we didn’t quite realize we had that are the most magical when they arrive. Shells definitely have good juju, so I’m not surprised by your story. And your painting indeed resembles a wishing lamp. (K)

  4. OK, Charlie, now you made me cry. What a touching story. Your Doodlewash is beautiful but it’s always your stories that grab my heart.

    I see where you inherited your creativity and curiosity from. Your mom is something special. Not sure about a genie in a bottle or a shell, but she has insight that is absolutely magical. A unicorn for your dreams and puppy for your heart – perfect.

  5. What a dandy story, Charlie… sorry, I couldn’t resist. 😊 Seriously, your story was very touching and your little dog sounds like he was the kind of friend you needed. Pets are wonderful when it comes to unconditional love. 💕 And what a beautiful shell! 🐚 Magically indeed! ✨🌈

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