Hello, mortals. You may have heard of me. I am Zoltar the Magnificent. My story is long. Once I was king of a large kingdom. I had a palace, wives, more food and houses and camels and livestock than I could describe. But I always wanted more. More and more.
In my later years I became frail and knew I was not long for this world. So I had my prized magicians call forth the spirits of the eternal and they accepted me as one of their own. From this day I sought mortals for whom I could grant wishes. Do I always grant them? No. Sometimes. If I like the wish and I want to see what will happen.
I used to have a lamp. But then when I came to this remarkable land of America, with all of its wonderful parks and amusements, I decided, a fortune telling machine would be a quite wonderful idea indeed. And ever since this moment nearly 90 years ago I have been very happy indeed. From inside my little booth I have a vast palace which you cannot see, and will never see. I see in my mirrors all the world and its changes. I can materialize books and other sources of cosmic information.
One of the things I like to do is toy with time and age. It amuses me as I am so old already. One day a boy came to me and wanted to be much bigger so I made him older as well. Since this many a boy has come to me and I always find it amusing to make this particular wish come true. Sometimes I grant a wish for love or money, but there is always a price!
The other day was one of my new favorites. A boy came and asked me if I could make it so that his father, a stern man, could be more like a kid again. Well, I cannot make a father into a child without an adult. I peered into my mirrors and saw a sadistic man, a casino manager and gangster. What a man this was! Truly like the old robbers and highwaymen of olden times. He thought highly of himself and disciplined his boy too much.
I decide to grant this wish.
"HOW many times do I have to tell ya! Don't bring dirt into the goddamn house!"
"I'm sorry daddy!"
"Well you know what, I work hard to make a livin', and you never listen to a thing I say, SO I guess one of us is gonna be grounded for the next three days. Go upstairs and do your homework. No video games or TV."
"This is so unfair!"
"You want a spankin' mister?"
Saul looked down at his little Sammy clutching his backpack.
"I'll tell you what. If you are well behaved I'll let you have dessert tomorrow but not tonight. I don't want you turning into one of these fat pig kids like you see rolling around anyway. How'd you do with the baseball tryouts?"
"They were yesterday?"
"Yeah. Didja knock em' dead?"
"No I didn't make the team."
"Jeez, Sammy. You're killing me here! When I was your age I was kicking ass and taking names! And now I have men grovelling to please me." Saul took a hit off of his cigar. "Go upstairs."
That night Saul went to bed thinking that maybe he'd been too harsh but no, the kid had to learn. This was a tough world. If he wanted his kid to toughen up, he had to be firm.
But the next morning, little Sammy woke up to an alarm clock and...
"AW, I don't wanna go to school! Hey." The grown man yawned. "Daddy? Daddy, I think something is wrong." STOMP! His feet on the floor were making bigger noises than usual. He yawned again. He looked in the bathroom mirror just as a scream shattered the air. "Daddy, what's that? Is that...that can't be me! Oh my gosh. My wish!" He stumbled around not knowing what to do. He had never been in an adult body before.
"You ya little sonovabitch! How is this happening! Am I on some sort of fuckin' drug trip?" The little boy looked just like him. Sammy looked down at his BIG arms and legs.
"Wow, I'm...I'm you, Daddy. Is that you, Daddy? You look funny now!"
His father started to scream and shout and curse, but as a little kid it just came across like he was being a brat.
"Daddy don't you think this is kind of funny! Now I'm not grounded and you have to go to school and do baseball and I...I can be a grownup!"
"No you cannot be a grownup! I have a business to run! It's a goddamn casino not a hot dog stand!"
"Well now I'm a grownup and YOU'RE NOT! I'm a grownup and YOU'RE NOT! Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!" Big Saul's body danced around the room taunting his father. "Boy I guess I better wear some of your clothes. I don't think mine will fit anymore!"
"This is a fucking nightmare!"
"You shouldn't say bad words, daddy. You're just a little boy and you might get in trouble now."
"SHUT THE FUCK UP. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. DID YOU DO THIS?"
"I didn't, daddy, the genie did."
Sammy went into his daddy's room. He wasn't 9 years old anymore. This was awesome. He was so tall! "How tall am I now??" The big man waved his arms around like a crazy person and spun around in circles.
"Six foot four."
"Wheeeeeeeeeee!" He picked up his father. "WOW I CAN PICK YOU UP NOW!" He put Saul back down, who was shocked.
"D-don't do that again. We have...we have to get dressed."
Saul, now a shrimp fry, picked out clothing for his now adult son to wear and tied his tie for him. Now he looked just like his father.
"Now young man, what do you have to say for yourself! You're grounded! Haha. Yay! This is awesome! I am a grownup! I am a GROWN up!" Sammy started dancing in his father's body and looked ridiculous. Then he made his new son get dressed. Saul told Sammy to call a driver to pick them up in a cab. It was the only way they could get to the casino.
"Kids aren't allowed to go into the casino," Sammy taunted him.
"Take us to Ferndale Elementary School first. I have to drop off my SON."
"No no no no no. Please don't do this," Saul said as his new father shoved him out of the cab.
"BYE SON, HAVE FUN AT SCHOOL TODAY HAHAHAHA!" his son bellowed from the cab as it took off, leaving Saul in a schoolyard full of pint size shrimps like he now was.
"This is just fuckin' perfect."
"Excuse me? WHAT did you say, young man?" a tall woman teacher scolded him.
"Oh uh...sorry. Slip of the tongue."
He had to find whatever cockamamie genie his kid was talking about! But where was it? He had to find out!