Joshua sat with his knees clenched up to his chest, his thumb wedged firmly in his mouth, trying to ignore Joey as he marched up and down the living room, pulling at his hair.
“You’re scaring him Joe,” Lance said as he moved a little closer to the genies side. “JC, try to concentrate, where did you send him?”
The blue-eyed genie shrugged nonchalantly and sucked harder on his thumb. “It’s no use he doesn’t know.” Chris muttered under his breath.
“He must have some idea. Please JC think!” Joey sat down by the genies side and stared pleadingly at him.
“Well there are a few places we could try.”
“Good, that’s good JC. Do your blinky thingy and lets go find him”
The genie stood up looking extremely nervous and folded his arms in front of him, his right forearm resting on his left. He gave Joey one last pleading look, not really wanting to do this. When the big bearded man showed no sign of changing his mind JC screwed his eyes up tight and nodded. The room filled with a bright flash of light, temporarily blinding them all.
When their vision cleared they were standing in the middle of what looked like a rain forest.
“Is he here?” Joey asked expectantly.” JC shrugged and peered into the thick foliage.
A guttural roar sent shudders through the three friends; JC ignored it, and just kept peering nervously through the dense leaves.
“What was that?” Chris stuttered, his heart beginning to pound.
The roar rang out again, closer this time. Lance and Chris edged closer to Joey, their eyes wide.
“J -J -JC, is Justin here?” Joey asked in a whisper. The genie pushed his head through a gap in the bush, then leaped back yelping in shock as he landed on his ass.
Close to his face missing him by inches had snapped a huge pair of jaws, lined completely with razor sharp teeth. The three humans clung to each other and screamed as the dinosaurs jaws snapped at JC’s ankles.
“JC do something! Get us out of here.”
The genie did his quick blink and the four were surrounded in a bright flash.
“You can open your eyes you know.” JC said as he reclined back against the wall to the cell they had materialised in. They were all dressed in short tunics belted loosely around their waists. On their feet they wore flat leather sandals that strapped and tied up their calves.
“D -d- d-,” Lances stammered. “D- d- dinosaur.” His voice came out as a high-pitched squeak.
“A Velociraptor I believe,” JC thought they might like to know the name of the dinosaur that had attempted to eat them.
“T- T - Teeth,” Lance squeaked. “And big, big claws. All Grrr and snarl.”
“Got a nasty claw that it uses to gut its food, not often you see one on its own.” The genie seemed pretty pleased with himself that he knew these little facts.
“JC, where are we?” Chris asked quietly as he stared between Lance and Joey confused by their apparel
“Grrr and roarrr.” Lance was still traumatising over their close brush with death and was standing with his hands and fingers poised as claws, growling and snarling at an imaginary adversary.
“JC, where are we?” Chris asked again.
The genie who’s clothing was slowly turning orange shrugged and started humming softly to himself as he studied his changing colour with interest.
Joey lifted the corner of his tunic. “It looks vaguely Roman.”
Chris swallowed hard. “JC please tell me we’re not in Rome.”
The magical being looked up and smiled. “Ok, we’re not in Rome.”
The shorter brunette slumped down on the wooden bench. “We’re in Rome.”
“Snarl, Grrr, roar. Didyouthinkhesaurus, Jurassic park, big, big teeth.” Lance babbled in the corner.
“When in Rome are we?”
“We’re not in Rome,” JC said almost convincingly. “But if we were we would be in 100BC, give or take a year or so.”
A loud cheer went up somewhere above them, making them all look upwards, even Lance who now seemed to be realising where he was.
“JC, where in Rome are we?” Chris asked trying to stay calm.
The tangerine genie grinned. “We’re in the theatre.”
Lance backed away from the solid wooden door hearing someone on the far side of it rattling the lock. “This theatre it’s not by chance called the Coliseum is it?”
JC giggled, nodding pleased with himself, “yes you’ve heard of it.”
The door opened and a large slave master came in, whip in hand.
The three friends looked at each other and screamed.
Ten minutes later they were stood in the centre of the colossal arena, huddled together as the crowd bayed for blood. JC for his part seemed totally intrigued and was bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Ohhh I wonder if we are going to be part of the performance,” he gushed.
Joey grabbed the genie by the throat. “In the performance! In the bloody performance! We are the bloody performance!”
Lance tugged at Joey’s sleeve. “J- J- Joe. L- L- Lions.” Joey dropped JC and pressed back against Chris and Lance as two large felines stalked around them snarling and growling.
JC stood up and brushed himself down, nodded and blinked just as the nearest cat pounced. Again there was a blinding light and they were suddenly on a deck of a ship, nothing in sight but ocean. Their clothes were now turn of the century. Lance collapsed into a deck chair, pale and hyperventilating, Chris fanning him frantically.
“It’s alright Lance. There’s nothing here that wants to eat you.”
“Well not if you discount Chris that is,” JC pointed out. “He’d like to eat you.”
The three friends all turned slowly and stared astounded at what the bright orange clad man had just said. The genie leaned on the ships rail completely oblivious of the revelation he had just disclosed. He gazed fascinated by the white ring hanging on the wall. He read the name, RMS Titanic. Now why did that name ring a bell? He shrugged and turned around and gazing out to sea and dismissing it from his mind.
Justin screamed JC’s name, hoping that the colour-obsessed genie would suddenly appear and transport him back to civilisation. When five minutes had passed and there was still no sign of him, Justin decided to risk the saloon, which also seemed to double as the hotel. As he entered the building the place went silent and all eyes locked to him. He sauntered over to the bar, trying to project an air of confidence.
“Room,” he mumbled.
“$2, top of the stairs turn right, room number 5.” the bartender held out his hand and accepted the dollar bills that Justin placed in his hand. At least JC had thought of that before he had banished him to the Wild West. He unlocked the door and went inside making sure to lock the door again behind him, not that he supposed it would make any difference; one good kick and the door would be taken off its hinges. He sighed distastefully at the dusty bed, before resignedly spreading out over the rickety frame. Closing his eyes, a slow sly smile spread over his face as he pictured the ways of killing his genie.
It was very late that night when Lance, Chris and Joey were lounging on the deck, wrapped in blankets watching JC tightrope walking the ships railing, that Lance noticed a familiarly about their surroundings. The steamer was cutting through the smooth water with ease, the sky was clear and cloudless and a lot of the regular passengers had retired to their staterooms for the evening. The blond man was laying gazing up at the stars when his line of sight was diverted to the four smoke stacks that diverted the smoke from the engine room and galleys.
“Joe, does this ship seem familiar to you?”
The big Italian sat up, reluctantly tearing his eyes from the teetering genie that he expected to plummet over the side any minute now. In fact Chris and him had a bet as to how long it would be.
“Vaguely,” he watched as JC stopped his acrobatics and concentrated on something ahead of them, off the portside. The genie squinted then shrugged and walked up and down the railing a few times before stopping and looking again.
Joey got up, unable to resist his curiosity of what the magical man kept staring at. He concentrated hard through the darkness, unable to see anything. Tutting and rolling his eyes he turned and leaned back against the ships rail. His eyes widened s he spotted the ships name.
“Guys, I don’t want to worry you but I think we need to get out of here.”
Chris sipped at his scotch, “aww but its nice here, no lions or dinosaurs trying to eat us.”
“And we haven’t found Justin yet,” Lance added.
JC was concentrating again on something he seemed able to see in the water. “We’re going to hit that block of ice,” he announced. He smiled happy that he had informed his masters friends of the impending tragedy and began playing hop-scotch on an imaginary grid with an invisible stone.
Chris and Lance scrambled to join Joey at the railing. “Iceberg!” they screamed at the same time.
“Yes,” JC said, “and that’s not my fault either.”