When Caro stepped on the Frenchman’s pipe, her ordinary camel life became extraordinary.

First, he wasn’t really a Frenchman but a jinn imprisoned in human form.

Second, the jinn rewarded Caro by granting her a wish.

Third, Caro wished to visit a “movie theatre.” One of the merchants had spoken of nothing elseĀ – this magical, cold, dark place where colorful images told stories on a wall and music played without musicians.

The jinn kissed Caro’s nose.

The sand and sky and heat disappeared. Caro stood upon an endless rug, felt the cold wind of night, and above her, no stars shone. She felt the jinn stroke her neck as the movie began.

When the story ended and the scrolling words and music stopped, Caro cried. Before, life in the camel train had been enough. Now, such drudgery darkened her soul. But the jinn had granted her wish, so Caro waited to be returned to the desert.

The jinn looked at her, tapping a finger to his lips. Then he kissed her on the nose.

They stood in a different movie theatre. As a new story started on the wall, the jinn held out a tray filled with white bits that smelled of butter and burnt corn. Caro pulled a few into her mouth and found them delicious.

When the credits rolled, Caro waited in dread for the sun and heat. But the jinn’s kiss brought only another movie. Thus, they traveled from theatre to theatre, country to country, story to story.

When the time came for Caro’s tale to end, she asked the jinn, “Why didn’t you take me back?”

“All others beg for one more wish,” the jinn said. “You never did.”


  • Camel
  • Movie theatre (also known as a movie theater)

Magical Realism

  • A generous jinn


Microfiction is a label used to indicate the word count range of a story. There is no standard, but most people consider microfiction to be very short flash fiction, so a few words up to 300 words. All of the microfiction stories on the Potted Galaxy are 300 words or less.

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction is also a label about word count. Again, no standards, though 2,500 words or less is a good estimate if you want to write flash fiction.

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