Chapter 18:


Last Wish

Hazy lights and halos entered his eyes, as Shakkar Raj Gupta regained consciousness. A number of doctors surrounded him in his room on the 1st floor, constantly checking his vitals. Seeing him open his eyes, a wave of relief went all over the room.

“Mr.Raj Gupta, how are you feeling?” one of the doctors asked him.

“What happened?” Apparently his memory was hazy.

“You had a stroke of severe hypernatremia. Your blood sodium level was way over the lethal mark. Thank God we were in the building, otherwise, your life would have been over.”

Raj Gupta listened to his words in haze. His mind was still working passively as he could only hear, but not comprehend.

“Alright, I think he needs rest. We should be thankful that he is alive,” I interrupted their little conversation, “There are other patients in the mansion as well. Please tend to them. I will keep an eye on Mr. Raj Gupta.”

The doctors all nodded at me. Raj Gupta may have been the highest priority for them, but that didn’t mean that they could rest easy with just him being out of the woods. There were other patients as well.

“Very well then,” saying that, they all left the room. Shakkar Raj Gupta slowly raised himself into a sitting position. Lying down, he could only hear me, so he took a glance at me after sitting up.

He still had that confused look. But as soon as he saw me, his expression started to shift from dazed to devastated. His memory must've been refreshed.

“How are you feeling, boss,” I said with a wry smile, sitting on a chair with my right hand resting on the side table and right leg crossed over the left.

“You,” a mix of anger and fear was on his face.

“Now, now. Let’s not get feisty. You are still in recovery,” I said and his motion halted. He, too, could feel the lack of energy due to the removal of glucose from his body.

“You do realize that you failed. I am alive despite your attempt,” he was trying to recompose himself. But no matter what he did, the intimidating aura he might’ve had before was not coming back.

“Of course, I know. Why would I want you to die, when I could do something much better,” I said as I grabbed the remote and switched on the T.V. A news channel was being shown and there were bold letters showing “BREAKING NEWS” all over the screen.

“Let’s talk about the Mithaas scandal. All over the world, the products sold at and by any of the Mithaas group’s franchises have turned out to be distasteful. Mithaas is a famous sweets brand that gained fame worldwide. But it’s fame cannot change the fact that it is still a new company. And such a blunder this early could be fatal for a growing business. Some are even dubbing this to be the blunder of the decade,” the newscaster reported and blood drained out of Shakkar Raj Gupta’s face. I muted the T.V before giving my opinions.

“Wow. The A7 batch sure is making a riot. I didn’t know all of your factories named their batches the same way. I had only planned to affect Tokyo, but causing a riot worldwide is only an unexpected benefit,” I whistled at the results of all the planning I had been doing for one month.

“Stop acting like I am helpless. That is not any better than treating me like a dead man,” all of a sudden Raj Gupta raged at me, “You may think that you are so smart that you don’t care whether I live or not. But remember, letting me live will be your biggest mistake. You are not leaving this building alive. Mark my words.”

But his words were not going to have any effect on me. I just sighed at his futile efforts as I stood up and opened the door of the room to give him a view of outside.

Commotion everywhere as the doctors ran all over the place, tending to patients.

“You do remember you were throwing such a feast that you practically forced everybody to eat, including your men. Let me tell you, anyone who ate at least a bite of any dessert tonight, would’ve felt nauseous at least when I made that wish. So, with your men not feeling their best and you in bed, who is going to take care of me exactly?” I closed the door and took my seat in the same way as before.

“You think that is all the force I have. There are many more men just waiting for my signal. You won’t take one step outside this building and your head would be rolling on the ground.”

“You still don’t understand, do you? You, a healthy grown up man, was on the brink of death with that much salt in your body. Do you think the frail body of a woman or child could handle it?”

He took a moment to understand what I meant, but once he did, all the words in his mouth vanished. “That’s right. You are not the only one in this house with a sweet tooth.” his daughter had eaten a good amount of dessert and so had his wife. And I didn’t need to see to confirm that they would be in a serious condition. “You threaten my life. I threaten the life of something you revere more than your life.”

“You heartless monster.”

“And a few hours ago you were no different. Did you suddenly grow a heart out of nowhere?”

“Do you think that you are still ahead?”

“I just don’t think that we are at a stalemate yet. There are still moves that we can play.”

I retrieved something from my pocket and threw it towards him. He managed to catch it.

“A box cutter?” He examined the object.

“Why not settle this the way it should be,” I exposed my right palm resting on the table to him as the red liquid dripped down my wrists. “I have been waiting for a long time. So, let’s make this interesting. A wish started it all, so a wish should end it, right?”

“You may be right. But what reason do I have to not kill you before making a wish to amend all this.”

“Nothing. But that wouldn't be a wish game, would it? If you kill me, the Jinn will just find a new host. And we will be back to square one. So, instead of that boring route, why not have a showdown between us wishers, using wishes until one of us drops out.”

He did not say anything in reply, just kept thinking. It seemed like he was hesitating, so I gave him the push he needed, “Dee,” and the fire-clad Jinn appeared smirking from my chest.

Raj Gupta looked at the JInn and thought real hard. He explored every option in his head before finally making his decision, “Sood.” And a light started escaping him, taking the shape of a man in a dark brown suit. I say man, but he had no distinct face. Only a dark void between his collar and hat, in which his eyes and grin floated. And of course, no feet.

“Long time no see, Ten,” Dee greeted his fellow mockingly.

“I have to admit, you have found someone useful enough to make up for your uselessness, Jack,” Sood replied with equal poison in his words.

“Enough,” Raj Gupta interrupted them as he cut his finger and let it bleed enough to paint his palm.

“Yeah, keep quiet. This is a battle between wishers. You Jinns are nothing more than accessories, so just watch.” Both of them positioned themselves behind their hosts, as if readying themselves for a battle. “Now, I have caused enough chaos with the A7 batch. How will you proceed to clear your reputation?”

I provoked Raj Gupta, but he ignored it.

“Sood, I wish all the salt in batch A7 would turn into sugar.”

“Wish accepted. Bound.” he calmly made his wish and immediately Sood said the robotic words showing its fulfillment.

Raj Gupta kept his calm and did not let me influence his decision. Or did he?

“Hehehehe. Hahah,” I was the one who could not keep a straight face anymore as I burst into giggles and ultimately a few laughs.

“What’s so funny?”

“I am sorry. Did I say batch A7. What I meant was batch A6. A7 is still in the warehouse ready to be shipped tomorrow,” and what followed after that were more laughs. I saw the calm demeanor that he was trying so hard to maintain, shatter into pieces as the realization of wasting a wish hit him.

“You. But, you have been calling it A7 all this time. There is no way you just remembered after I made the wish. It was intentional all along,” his voice broke with desperation.

“But I thought that as someone who loved sweets and confectionery so much, you would at least remember the batch you were cooking from. I mean, they even brought batch A6 in the kitchen under your supervision,” my words dropped on him like lightning bolts. And the more I spoke, the more it hurt him, so he interrupted me rashly.

“I wish the salt in batch A6 would turn into sugar.”

“Wish accepted. Bound,” he rushed to make another wish. Trying not to fret over the mistake already made by trying to amend it.

But after all, haste makes waste, right. “I wish dish wash in the concentration of 10mL/L would be mixed into batch A6’s formula.”

“Wish accepted. Bound,” Dee said in his cheeky voice.

“What kind of wish is that?”

“Well, if there is dish wash in a sweet, people would normally not eat it. But in a small concentration it would go undetected. In fact, there would be no effect. But once accumulated, it would be like slow poison.”


“Then tell me. Are you feeling any better, even after the sugar has come back. You should feel energized.”

But in response, he just froze. Of course he did not feel any better. It was the perfect time for me to hit. “And remember, there are other people in this house who ate them as well.”

My words were enough to trigger him, “I wish that the dish wash in batch A6 would be removed.”

“Wish accepted. Bound,” Sood answered his wish robotically. But I was not going to give him time to rest.

“I wish that there would be insecticides inside the batch A6,” I made another similar wish instantly.

“Wish accepted. Bound,” Dee replied in his usual voice and we had come back full circle.

At this point, Raj Gupta finally understood that his last three wishes had been useless. He got tricked and then hastily made two incompetent wishes.

Realizing that I was still inside his head, he stopped making a wish. Poison or not, it would not kill anyone instantly. So, instead of getting emotional about his family’s safety, he thought deeply for a good five minutes before opening his mouth again.

“I wish that the batch A6 would be perfect, no matter what happens.”

“Wish accepted. Bound.”

I had to admit that was a good move. Batch A5 was already used up and A7 would not be used until tomorrow and altering it would be useless because he could just order to destroy it instead of using it.

But up until now, I was just stalling, waiting for that one thing to happen and make it on to the news bulletin. And there it was. I turned up the volume so he could listen.

“This has just come in from the hospital, a person just lost his life to food poisoning. It is stated that the victim suddenly fell ill as he was eating his dessert. The relatives claim that the victim had especially brought the dessert from the famous shop, Mithaas. The doctors have defined the cause of death to be severe hypernatremia as well as traces of soap poisoning were also found. This fits in with the recent Mithaas scandal. People have been demanding an explanation from the Japan Food Authorities as well as the CEO Mr.Shakkar Raj Gupta himself.”

And I muted it once again. I did not need to tell him what this meant as the dreadful expression on his face clearly stated that he knew full well what the consequences were. But I still said it, rubbing salt to fresh wounds.

“Well well. Look at that. Even if you did correct the formula, what good would it do if the person is already dead. A few bottles of glucose are not bringing him back.”

He was still paralyzed and did not move an inch. Guess that meant I could keep going. “You know what would happen, right? This company that you built, will be torn down. And you will go back to your old lifestyle,” he twitched at my words meaning I found the spot that was going to hurt the most. “You don’t want to go back do you? More importantly, you don’t want your family to go back to that life, right.” he grew paler by the second. “You built this company to get out of that hell hole. But if you let it fall, there is no way to go other than back into that hole.”

He was practically aging before me as wrinkles emerged on his face and his body trembled. But still he gave no emotional reaction. Despite everything I said, there was still something preventing him from breaking. Some kind of backup? No, if that were the case, then he wouldn’t be this much shaken up. Then perhaps some piece of information that I had not touched upon yet. Something that was going to hurt even more. And then it hit me.

“Wait a minute, are you by any chance at your last wish?” All his body movements stopped as he looked at me with pure rage. “You are, aren’t you? And this is your fifth one right. So, you had already used up five of them before confronting me. I have to say I am glad but disappointed at the same time. I had prepared to counter all ten of your wishes.”

“Shut up! Shut up!” he finally lashed out. “What kind of monster are you. Betting your own life. You do realize that you will die too if you use up your wishes. How can you have the audacity to waste them like this?”

“Oh right now I can only feel the ecstasy that comes with trampling over you and your high horse that were about to murder me mere hours ago.”

He only clenched his fists in frustration. But I was far from sparing him, “C’mon. Make your choice. If you make a wish to somehow save your company, at least your beloved family can live peacefully.”

“There’s no point if I am not with them!”

“But if you choose to live with them, I guarantee the future will be nothing short than hell. Make your choice carefully.”

No matter how you look at it, making a wish would be the only logical choice here. But was he going to make that sacrifice or not was the real question. And as he was struggling to make a decision, tears started forming in his eyes.

“Hey, Dee. Do you die instantly after making a wish or is it after the wish gets fulfilled,” I started discussing his death with my partner, knowing full well that he could hear me.

“Well, the wish has nothing to do with the wisher, so isn’t it right for him to die instantly,” he answered teasingly.

“That’s it,” but all of a sudden, Raj Gupta straightened up. As if our words had given him some kind of second wind. “I just have to include myself in the wish.”

“You and I both know it is impossible,” I had presumed he had gone crazy with all the stress.

“Is it now,” but the one who replied was the Jinn floating behind him. He had an ominous smile signaling that something was coming.

“Sood, I will do anything. A public apology, suspension, pay any fine, whatever penalty the court gives. I wish that all of these incidents around the company would just disappear.”

Raj Gupta made an outrageous wish ignoring the very basic rule of making wishes, the involvement of the wisher in the wish. But contrary to what I was expecting, Sood formed a paper like sheet of light and started writing on it.

“Wish accepted. Loan,” those robotic words shocked me to the point of taking all the fun out of everything. All of a sudden a wave went all over the world. The next thing I knew the news shown on the T.V was completely different.

I immediately opened my phone to search for the incident. The Mithaas blunder still existed. It was not like it just vanished completely. But it was like a relic from the past. Like an incident that occurred in the past and was resolved by now.

“Hahahahaha,” of course all of Raj Gupta’s worries evaporated in an instant, “How do you feel now. I am alive after my last wish. You did not know about this, did ya, smart ass,” he laughed in joy. And all of the words he said were true. I knew nothing of the sort.

“How do you feel now. You used up three or four of your own wishes and still failed to eliminate me. I for a fact feel great. Oh my sugar level is down. Someone bring me a cup of tea,” he shouted in triumph.

“It still does not change the fact that you made your last wish. You are out of the game,” how ironic it was, I was the one that won yet he was the one celebrating.

“That is correct. I will be with you until the fulfilment of the contract you just made,” Sood added.

“Yes, but he also used many of his wishes. I bet he is not far from his end either.”

“Yes,” Sood said, but looked at me and Dee with such squinted eyes as if boring through us and our act. Dee looked crept out but I could care less.

“Since our match is over, I’ll be leaving,” I just threw that out before getting up to leave.

“Hey wait for me,” Dee followed a beat later.

“Oh where do you think you are going. I am far from done with you,” Raj Gupta shouted.

“You are not part of the wish game anymore. There is no merit for you to come after me,” I said, opening the door. As I did, a maid entered with the tea he ordered.

Opening a fresh pack of choco-cubes and mixing two in his tea he answered, “Oh merit can go to hell, The misery that you caused me literally cost me years of my life. You will pay. Your days are numbered,” and his voice faded into the background as I left his room.

“Sir, may I clean the room,” the maid asked as Raj Gupta sipped his tea.


“There is some cherry syrup spilled on the table,” she said pointing at the table on which I had been resting my hand just a few minutes ago.


I walked out of the Raj Gupta mansion at a fast pace and Dee followed behind me.

“Man, that was fun. We owned Sood. Did you look at his face? And my acting was flawless, he did not even realize we were faking all the wishes” clearly he was overjoyed at our wins. I wanted to feel the same as him but I was pissed. “Hey Negai, when do we do something like this again?”

I had not planned to talk to him for a while because my head was boiling, but now that he had addressed me himself, screw everything.

“You sly son of a bitch,” I threw a punch at him with full force. But obviously it went through him.

“Whoa whoa. Easy there.”

“Easy my ass. You planned it all along. Everything you did from the start was intentional.”

“I am in a good mood right now, but still that doesn’t mean that I won’t get angry,” he lost his gleeful tone. But the fact that someone as stupid as him was not confused at my words meant that I was right.

“Oh I am the one who deserves to get angry. From the very start, you deceived me. When you told me that wishes are limited due to mental affection as well and then all that talk about this being your first time participating in a wish game, and you don’t know all the rules. That was all bullshit you threw at me so that you would lose credibility in my eyes. And I won’t ask you anything and you could keep all the really important details for yourself.”

“To be exact, I told you I would never lie to you. And I still haven’t lied to you about the wish game in any way. You were the one that preferred not to ask me about anything.”

“Because you deceived me,” I clutched my head in frustration, “Now that I think about it, it was so blatantly obvious. You know about all the modern machines like airplanes and taxis, you know all the slangs of modern language, you even speak like a normal person. Despite being your first time on Earth, you are well versed about it. Then how was it possible that the only thing you didn't know was the one reason you came to earth.” Dee did not reply to me. “You did it for your own fun didn’t you. That is what you always do. You do weird unconventional things to see how I would react and amuse yourself. And that is the very reason you hid the fact that there were actually ways to make unbound wishes. So, tell me are you amused now.”

“Yes, I did know about the secondary wishes and yes it was very fun,” he answered casually and shamelessly.

“You,” but before I could say anything, flames erupted from him as he grew in stature.

“I am Jinn and you are my host. I am the one who is lending you wishes. And you are the animal betting your life, putting on a show. And I will do whatever I like to make it as interesting as I want. Know your place, human,” and then he reverted back to his normal self and goofy smile. “So, let’s not fret over all the small things and enjoy this grand victory we had.”

“Get inside,” was the only thing I could say after that.

“Aw. Fine,” he disappeared inside my chest. There were a storm of questions in my head. But there was nothing for me to say anymore. At least not now. I had to redefine my relationship with Dee as well.

“(At least I had backup, so I won’t have to worry about Raj Gupta at all.)”

Despite my victory, I headed home with a troubled heart.


Shakkar Raj Gupta was going through the reports he had just ordered, at a blinding speed. He wanted to go over the company’s present state one more time before figuring out what kind of statement he wants to make to fulfill his contract. And then there was the one who put him through this misery. It was midnight. Several hours had passed since I left. But he was planning to end me the very next day.

And then all of a sudden, he felt a weird burning in his whole body that kept increasing. He held his chest, but the pain won’t stop. He tried to call out for help but only foam came out of his mouth. His temperature started to drop and energy seeped away from his bones. The fist trying to clutch on his heart, fell down limp.


The next day was this article in the news:

“Mr.Shakkar Raj Gupta, CEO of Mithaas was found dead in his room in his Tokyo mansion. He was on his visit in Japan and was about to leave for India in the morning. The company Mithaas had a previous scandal with selling over-salted and poisoned items but that was resolved and the company kept a clean record afterwards. But forensics reported that his own particular cause of death was poisoning. ‘It was a weird combination of rodenticides and insecticides. Like the common ones we find at convenience stores. But mixed together to make this strange poison,’ reported the lead forensic scientist. Investigations showed that the poison was ingested in the form of a choco-cube, a popular item manufactured at Mithaas. Meaning that it was something that was prepared under Mr. Raj Gupta’s supervision. Even stranger was the fact that only one cube out of the whole packet was poisoned and the rest were normal. Wife of the deceased stressed that it had to have been a murder, but the officer in charge of the investigation said, ‘It is quite impossible for it to be murder. How come the only piece that he chose was poisoned so heavily. If it was murder, then the killer had to have known exactly which one out of the 15 or so choco-cubes in a pack, Mr.Raj Gupta would have eaten. And that is just not possible.’ and labelled this case as an accident.”

I turned off my phone, seeing as I had read enough.

“(With that we have finally eliminated our first wisher from the game. Only six remain now.)”

“Yeah. But there is no time to rest. Remember we have that other wisher to deal with too.”

“(Yeah the one we have to meet in September.)”

September was not far. Including myself, six wishers remained and I had seven more wishes that I could make.