Tuesday – Anything Possible – A Story


Since Keith Channing is off buying a house in England and does not have a prompt this week, I thought I would tell you a story. I hope you like it.

The wish by John W. Howell © 2019

This is a fable of sorts. Yes, it begins with once upon a time but is a little different from most. You see the time was yesterday. Here’s what happened. This guy whose name was Mortimer was walking on the beach.  He was taking in the salt air and enjoying the sand between his toes. Mort did not have a care in the world. He had long ago made peace with the fact that he was an ordinary man. He no longer made any pretense about working hard and getting rewarded for doing so. You see, old Mort had worked hard his whole life and in his mind never got a thing for it. Yes, he was able to feed and clothe himself but never felt he had enough money to court a potential spouse or buy any luxuries.

Mort lived from hand to mouth. When he was young, he dreamed about the time when he would be a big boss. He had a belief that the road to success was paved with loyalty and dedication.  He became whatever his boss wanted him to be. He came in early and left late. He finished all assignments on time and with as much quality as Mort’s abilities could deliver. Time after time when the opportunity for a promotion arose the job went to someone else.

Mort, although disappointed, kept up appearances of a loyal and dedicated employee. He never expressed his true feelings. Year after year the same thing occurred. Boss after boss praised his work, but when it came time for a step up, he was passed over.

The day finally came where Mort worked up the courage to ask his boss the reason he never got a promotion. His boss seemed surprised by the question. Mort could see his surprise and inquired as to the purpose. The boss looked a little embarrassed but when pressed by Mort confessed that Mort was such a good worker that they would never have been able to replace him. Mort was so shocked by the double indignation of the boss’ admission and the unfairness of being irreplaceable that he rose from the chair and resigned.

Mort was strolling the beach thinking about what to have for dinner. He still had some Redfish in the freezer and was concocting in his mind a Beurre Blanc sauce. While lost in the thought of shallots Mort stumbled over a heavy object in the sand. He dropped to his knees and brushed the sand away. To his amazement, he uncovered a substantial brass urn. He dragged the urn out of the hole and on close inspection he could see a cover on top of the urn. He placed his hands around the cover, and like he was working a new jar of pickles, he finally got the cover to move. To his surprise, the cover began to move on its own. He jumped back and finally, the cover fell and stuck upright in the sand as if it were a discus.

Mort held his breath while a vapor rose from the urn like a well-trained snake. He couldn’t help himself as he began to feel weak in the knees. He soon was aware of his whole body shaking his inability to control it.

“Hey, Mort.” Came the voice from deep in the urn.”

“Y-yes.” Mort answered, but it wasn’t his finest response.”

“You get a wish.”

“I-I do?”

“Yup. It’s the old free the genie deal. One wish and I’m on my way.”

“I want to be a boss.”


“Just like that?”

“Yup. You are now a boss.”

“Wait. Who do I boss?”

“Not my deal.”


“Surely you have read enough genie stories where the genie grants a wish and the client forgot to include important facts.”

“Like who to boss?”


“Can I get a do-over?”

“Ha ha ha. No.”

“So I’m boss over nothing?”

“I wouldn’t sell yourself short.”

“So I’m boss over me.”

“A lot can’t say that.”

“You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

“How many do you think feel they are their own boss.”

“You should be giving self-improvement seminars.”

“Great suggestion. I gotta go.”

“Can I go with you?”

“You don’t need me. You have you and a great boss.”

“Wow. See you then. I have some orders to give.”

So needless to say, Mort lived happily ever after. The genie is still doing seminars on cruise ships.


  1. I’m sure there’s a moral in there somewhere…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, there might be one or two somewhere in there. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charles.


      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a boss over nothing sounds like a pretty good gig to me. Nice, John!


  3. The moral here can be ‘be your own boss’ or maybe it just means think things through before you blurt them out, eh? What were your thoughts when you wrote it, John?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really thinking about not looking to others to define who you are. Being one’s own boss means taking control of the outcomes. Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Considering the experiences I’ve had being a boss over other humans, I might like Mort’s job. I almost wrote “”humans and pets” but we know who’s the boss in human-pet relationships. Good one, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we need to put pets in another category. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe he’s Mortimer Boss now, Hugo’s heir.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha haha. Excellent, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gwen Plano · · Reply

    Your fable reminds me that we need to be careful about what we wish for. And, if we come across a talking urn, we best think before we respond. Hmmm, could it be that life is the urn? Great story, John. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a number of lessons I had in mind. Foremost was the need to be happy and in control of our own destiny. So many look to others to tell them what to do. Self boss is a blessing. Thanks, Gwen.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I ain’t buying no dumb urn guy who dug a hole for hisself in the stupid sand! Where’s the money, Mortimer (Snerd)? Oh, and the vapor/sanake thing? Mort was stuck in the urn too long – passing gas! Whew! Can you imagine!!!
    Just saying!
    Now that I’ve had my ‘fun moment’, I can tell you that the story was uplifting, useful, utile unabashedly unique! Works wonderfully well for best-selling authors such as yourself! Hug the girls!♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Billy Ray. Enjoyed your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That ending is hilarious and thought provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie. 😁


  9. Good one! However, as one of the self-employed workers, I can attest to the fact that being boss over yourself isn’t an easy gig! Perhaps dear Mort should’ve pondered his wish before blurting out something he could live to regret.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, ponder is a good word.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. D.L Finn, Author · · Reply

    I always love a happily ever after! To be ones own boss might be the best wish after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. But does he make any cash while being a boss of himself? Can he buy the ingredients needed to make his beurre blanc?

    I think this genie thing is rigged. You are always taken by surprise and heaven forbid you take the time to think about what you want!!

    Fun one, John,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to daydream about a wish. Tried to make it iron clad

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel ya! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  12. That is a very clever lesson hidden in an entertaining piece of fiction, John.

    As for the last line—you get a standing ovation! LOVED it!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Perfect story! Taking control of one’s own destiny and sailing into it single-handed, yup, my kind of fable. The next cruise ship seminar sails from Sydney.😂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I fired myself but I realised I had no other employees so, was forced to rehire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I quit once and had the same result.


  15. Excellent ‘fable of sorts’, Boss man.

    I think being the boss of your own destiny is as good as it gets. It may not be everybody’s wish, but it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marc. My thoughts exactly.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ninna Nova · · Reply

    I chuckled to myself at the end. There is a great lesson in this short, fun story. Love it! Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Well done, John. Some great lessons here.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I chucked at this story, John. A lesson well learnt. I think we forget that we’re the boss of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And when we forget we don’t do ourselves any favors.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Who doesn’t love a technically happy ending?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do. 😉


  20. It pays to be a little more specific. 🙂 Great short story, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan ❤️


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