The Unprepared Mechanic 

‘I hate this so much,’ I said, pinching my nose.

‘Yeah, look, most of my clients are easier to help,’ the Road Genie mused, stroking his beard. ‘I just poof pop in out of nowhere, change their oil and send them on their way. But you…’

‘My engine is seriously dead?’

‘Look, kid, I’m magic, but I’m not magic, y’know?’

I glared at the Road Genie and he sighed, gently closing my bonnet and joining me as I slid down the side of my car and settled in the dirt.

‘Just out of curiosity,’ I shrugged. ‘Would any of this have been different if I’d taken my car to the local auto electrician near Moorabbin?’

‘That?’ the Genie raised an eyebrow, pointing backwards at the smoking ruin of my engine block. ‘Absolutely not. Your windshield wipers would work though.’

‘How did you know my windshield wipers—’

The Road Genie crossed his arms, eyebrow rising higher, and I abandoned the question.

‘Right, right,’ I sighed. ‘You’re the Road Genie.’

‘You’re right,’ he nodded.

We sat in the hot summer silence for a good while, as I assessed my options, slowly feeling myself baking under the sun. A vulture circled past out of the corner of my vision.

Wait, do we even have vultures in Moorabbin?

‘So do you have some way of getting me to a decent mechanic located in the Moorabbin area?’ I asked finally, turning to the Road Genie. ‘Some magical solution to my problem?’

‘I do,’ he nodded hesitantly. ‘But you’re not going to like it.’

‘Why not?’

He glanced pointedly down at my legs, then looked up at the road, stretching into the horizon.

‘You want me to walk?!’ I blurted out. ‘You don’t have some kind of magic carpet or anything?’

‘Hey, I don’t give you slack for how many carpets you are or aren’t carting around,’ the Genie grumbled.

‘You’re literally magic,’ I put my hands on my hips. ‘I mean, how did you get here?’

‘I walked,’ he shrugged.


I shook my head and stormed off down the road.


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