The Things You Can’t Unstop

Nabatean Theater, Jordan


The American pointed. “How much for that bottle, back there?”

Abed continued shifting the clay figures on the lower shelf. Without looking up, he said. “You do not want that vessel, sir.”

The man smirked. He pointed down. “Okay then. What about those scarves? Down there?”

Abed bent for one. “Traditional Jordanian. The finest you’ll find. How many would you like?”

When the man didn’t respond, Abed turned—in time to see him snatch the bottle from the shelf.

“This is amazing,” the American said. “Is it very old?”

“I assure you, my friend, you do not want that bottle. I beg you please, return it.”

The man tipped the bottle from side to side, peering at the top. “How do you unstop it?”

“There is no unstopping it.”

The genie roared out, filling the square with his amorphous green bulk.

“Who dares awaken Hassaan? Prepare to face my wrath!”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.


  1. This is hilarious. “You can’t curse me! I’m an AMERICAN!”
    Well done. This leaves you wondering what this genie will do to our hapless (and obnoxious) tourist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great paraphrase of the line from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea the gift shop at Petra could be so exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, he can’t say he wasn’t warned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely not. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I kind of thought something unfortunate was going to happen, or something that need wads of dollars to fix, but you still surprised me, Karen. Thank you. Fine writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one ever expects the genie, eh? 😉 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Karen, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to read a story of yours, no matter what life was throwing at me, especially when your story is free 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This was so haliarious to say the least. I hope my fellow American friends will not take offence to this funny take on some of their idiosyncrasies. You infused a lot of humour into the rocky landscapes at Petra. Your writings are always a pleasure, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those crazy Americans. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t one 😉

      Always a pleasure to enjoy your work too!


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