Revenge Tragedy


The shell rocked back and forth on the table.  If only it would tip over the edge and shatter, then the outcome would be decided, the revelation be at hand.  Tiny fists pummelled hard and the small shell teetered.  Then exhaustion set in.  A thousand cramped years weighed heavily, as did fifty thousand futile escape attempts.  Ridding himself of the lamp, after countless ages, he’d trapped himself inside a shell, and the genie’s fury burned harsher each day.  It grew immense, as though to compensate for his littleness.  It would erupt, engulf the world.  If only that shell would tip…


This piece of flash fiction was written for Friday Fictioneers: a story in 100 words prompted by a picture that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts every Wednesday.  Here’s the link to the stories and this week’s picture is at the top of this post, copyright copyright Douglas MacIlroy.

19 thoughts on “Revenge Tragedy

  1. Not every move is an upgrade. After watching Aladdin for the 50th time (I have a toddler), I understand this guy’s feeling of being trapped!

    (My kids are awesome, but seriously, my first wish is that they watch something else)!

    • How ironic and post-modern that the story of a trapped being comes to embody that same feeling of being trapped in its constant retelling 🙂

      Good luck with the next DVD that becomes the big favourite…

  2. Oh now, this is brilliant — never in a million years would I have envisioned a genie trapped in a seashell. I shudder to think what’s in store for the world if this guy gets loose — after having a thousand years to fume about it. Great write!!!

    • Yes, that simmering keg of revenge is a dreadful thing to have lodged in your gullet, and no mistake. Then again, I do have a suspicion that if he did break free he’d find that he was still a rather tiny individual and no one would even notice his revenge, for all his blustering. Actually, now I come to think of it, I’m inclining to the idea that the genie in the lamp is an allegory of politics: little men, big promises, spite. Hmm… 😉

      • It’s certainly a wonderful allergy of politics …. I don’t know about across the Pond, but here in the US we have lots of little men (and women) full of spite and bluster – who are pretty much incapable of much of anything.

  3. Oh those tiny pummelling fists. Poor genie. Maybe someone will come in and knock the shell off the table setting him free. Wonderful idea.

    • Glad you liked the idea. Possibly, but I think genies are quite dangerous in the wild. Fortunately, it’s in their nature to get trapped on a regular basis 😉

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