Editor's Note: this piece is a companion piece to last week's entry, Fantasy. So if you didn't read Fantasy, go back and do so now. We'll wait.
Hey-ooo you back? Excellent. See? Told you we'd still be here. Now, on with Laserium!
Hank sharpened his pencil and fantasized. He was supposed to be doing his taxes, hence the pencil, but daydreaming was way more fun. He imagined a sandy beach, cool drink, his [wife] receptionist in a bikini. Himself maybe 20 pounds lighter. Ok, thirty. He was incredibly wealthy now, so this was more of a permanent vacation. Early retirement. Maybe more of a dashing white-collar heist thing where he stole $20 million from his firm and escaped to a private island sort of place. Yeah. And he was also an FBI informant so he was under witness protection or something and totally safe. And he didn't need Viagra anymore so . . .
"Dad, do you want to play action guys with me?"
Hank snapped out of his reverie and looked down at Hank Jr, his son. Hok, as he named himself when he was two and had been called by everyone ever since. "Not right now, Hok. Daddy's busy. Taxes. Already late taxes. Go play outside for a while."
Hok, disappointed but not surprised, ran outside and quickly got lost in his own fantasy world where he was the boss and everyone had to do whatever he said. He picked up his fancy green rock that he found and used it to show his imaginary friends that he was the kinger. One of his minions got sass in his ass (whatever that meant but his dad told him that alla time) so he threw his kinger rock right at him. Only since there was no actual minion he hit the fence instead and the rock broke.
A kind looking old lady emerged from the rock. Just kind of popped out somehow. She had green skin and hair. "Thank you, little one. You have freed me and I am in your debt. My name is Mangerog."
"Are you my fairy godmother?" Hok asked.
"One could say that, yes."
"Oh, because in my dream I had a fairy godmother but it wasn't a godmother it was a scary monster and you don't really look like a monster at all except you're green."
"Would you rather I be monstrous in appearance? Easily done." Mangerog altered her incarnation to something more proximal to her actual self, a green fire demon.
"What is your name, little one?"
"Interesting," Mangerog said. "Well Hok, for freeing me I can grant you one wish."
"Anything I want?"
"Mostly. I am a benevolent sort and have no wish to see you harmed or to harm others and all that."
"I wish for my dad to play with me whenever I want."
Mangerog's ecto-flame flickered a deeper green. She sighed. "My magic actually doesn't work on this era's adults. They're immune. I'm sorry. Anything else?"
"Ummm, ok then I want a popsicle!"
"Are you sure? Because I can..."
"Popsicle popsicle popsicle!"
Mangerog granted his wish and went back to her own reality, where she vowed never to get trapped in any more green rocks again.
Hok couldn't believe his luck. He ran inside to show his dad.
"Dad Dad! I had a fairy godmother and it was a scary monster and she gave me a popsicle and you can have half if you want it's green your favorite color!"
"Not now Hok, ok? I told you, I'm busy."
Hok went to his room. He wished his first wish had been the one he got, but it was a pretty good popsicle.
- Nathan Waddell