I've just started writing my own short stories. This first one was meant to be a 100-200 word story but blew up into a 7400+ word document! I'll paste it below so you can read it.

The Triple Dripple Ice Cream Ripple

This story is centred around a set of young, identical triplets who love ice cream. These triplets’ names are Chloe, Zoe and Joey and the only person who can tell them apart is their mother, Kathy. Their father, Ryan can tell them apart only 40% of the time. Ryan and Kathy read to their girls from a very early age so each one of them were incredibly smart. They loved to help nurture their children’s mental growth by giving them books to read, even a chess set on Chloe, Zoe and Joeys’ 10th birthday!

Then the girls discovered ice cream one day while on a family outing. After a lunch of Paella for Ryan, Laksa for Kathy, Spaghetti Bolognese for Chloe, Nachos for Zoe and Lemon Chicken for Joey. Ryan decided to treat everyone to a soft serve cone. The girls had never tasted anything so divine! Chloe is the best chess player at school, rivaled only by her sisters. Zoe held all the track and field records, her best event being Pole Vault. Joey is a master of Jeet Kune Do and could hack her way into any system without leaving a trace.

Sadly, this wasn’t to be….

They started to skip school to take trips to the shops just to buy ice cream! Soon, these trips started to take a toll on their mental strength. To entice them to get back to their schoolwork, Ryan and Kathy started calling their girls “The Three Drips”.

As much as the three of them tried, none of them could once again become the mini geniuses they were….

Ice cream had become their world. Ryan and Kathy could see this plain as day and felt very sad about what had become of their three geniuses.

One weekend, while walking along a beach eating their ice cream, Chloe, Zoe and Joey happened upon a magic lamp. It looked quite old with a lot of dust all over it. Normally, the three would’ve passed it up but the lamp was made of brass (which looked like gold to their untrained eyes and lacking mental strength)

It was Zoe who rubbed some of the dust off it, which made the resident genie present himself before the three. Chloe, Zoe and Joey went completely slack-jawed to the point of causing them to drop their ice cream (which has never happened before!). Now this genie is somewhat different to the others, as the girls soon found out.

Chloe spoke first “Why do you look like Brad Pitt?”

Zoe said to Chloe “You see Brad Pitt? I see Orlando Bloom”

Joey said to the other two “I see neither. I’m looking at Chris Hemsworth”

Which led the genie to explain to me (Yep, the genie is talking to the writer) “The reason each girl sees someone different, is because I appear as their crush. Otherwise, when I talk to them, they wouldn’t listen if I appeared as a homeless man or an old sage. Watch. I’ll appear as an old man and you see how their reaction changes.”

As he said, the genie changed into an old man and tried giving some advice. True to what he said, their reaction changed dramatically and none of them listened!

This time, Joey spoke first “Hey! Why are you an old man? And now you’re trying to tell us what to do? Go away!”

Next was Zoe “What happened to Orlando? Bring him back please.”

Chloe said “How dare you make Brad go grey! You also owe us ice cream”

But when the genie turned back into Brad, Orlando and Chris respectively, the genie got a much better response. All three now listened to everything he said.

“First things first girls. I know what you’ve been up to. The ice cream ventures, the slipping grades. Here’s the deal: You get your grades back up to what everyone knows they can be by your next birthday and we’ll talk again.” Their combined birthday was only a few months away.

Chloe objected “My grades are just fine!”

What came next astounded them all. The genie produced out of thin air, Chloes latest report card, which had a big D- written and circled in red.

Genie said after showing Chloe the D- “Would you care to repeat that last comment?”

She went redder than the marker the grade was written in and didn’t say a word.

“That’s what I thought” said Genie.

Genie added “As an added bonus, I’ll even help you become the geniuses you used to be. But you have to want it.”

Chloe objected again “What do you mean ‘used to…’?”

Zoe cut her off “Put a sock in it Chloe! Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Um, Mr. Genie man, we would gladly accept any help you can give us, even to the point of giving up ice cream”

Joey thought about this, then said “Yep, I’m ready to do that”

Genie replied “Right. Phase One of Operation Genius commences now. To help to you to focus, I’m taking you back in time to 1960. All of you will have the honour to meet Ki Long. What will happen when you meet Master Long is he will teach you how to meditate and focus your internal energy.”

Genie then opened a portal before Chloe, Zoe and Joeys very eyes! He then said “Hold onto my hands and each other, lest you get left behind”

Back in 1960

The girls, holding the magic lamp with Genie inside found Ki Long in his dojo in Seattle, on the west coast of the USA.

Chloe rubbed the lamp so Genie came out. After Ki’s class, the four approached him then bowed to show respect. All three girls looked to Genie, hoping he would explain it to Master Long. Genie didn’t say a word. Which meant the three had to own up to their mistakes. Which they did. Master Long said to the three girls “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to own up to them”

Ki could see that they truly regretted letting Ice Cream control their lives. So he was more than happy to help them rectify past mistakes.

He knew just the way to help these three. Meditation. When Ice Cream enters their mind, meditate for a short time. Master Long liked to say “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.”

For the next week after Ki’s class, he would teach the girls how to focus their mind. For one hour sessions. Chloe needed the most work.

After the week was up, Genie said to Ki “Thank you Master Long for everything you have taught the young girls about focusing their mind”

The girls knew it was time to go. The triplets said their goodbyes to Ki, thanked him for everything he had taught them about focusing their mind and bowed.

Ki said “Since all of you have made such incredible progress in a short time, I have something to give you.”

He quickly ran into his dojo and returned with three talismans.

Master Long spoke to Chloe first “Chloe, in the short time I have been teaching you meditation, I can easily tell you have been practicing. You can stay focused for as long as you want now.” He then proceeded to hang the first talisman around Chloes neck. She beamed with pride.

The other two girls and Genie had been hanging back, watching the proceedings.

Next, he spoke to Zoe “Zoe, approach.”

She did as she was told.

“This talisman I am about to present to you is for all your hard work you have shown me you are capable of during the past week.”

Ki then hung the second of three talismans around Zoes neck. She looked up at him with a huge smile on her face.

“Last but definitely not least, I present this to you Joey. You came to me, unable to focus. Now look at the powers of concentration you possess. And you did it all yourself, with just a little guidance from me” The third talisman was then hung around Joeys neck.

Overwhelmed with emotion, all three girls hugged Ki and said, almost in unison “We are really going to miss you, Master Long!”

“Come on, we still have a way to go yet” said Genie.

Genie made sure all three girls were beside him before he began to open the time portal which led them back to 2018.

Back on the beach in 2018

Genie said “Now that Phase One of Operation Genius is over, it’s time to tell you what will happen in Phase Two.”

The triplets all gathered in front of Genie to hear about the task/s they would need to accomplish for Phase Two of Operation Genius.

Little did the girls know, even just a simple task (to them) like meditating was increasing their brain power.

The week that the four of them had just spent in the past, only 5 minutes had transpired here in the present. So Ryan and Kathy had no cause to worry about their children.

Genie proceeded to fill the three girls in on what they had to do for Phase Two. He began to speak “We are getting closer to your birthday. Time to begin Phase Two. Do you see this long stretch of beach on which you currently stand? This is the location for your next exercise. The requirements are to build your own house, from scratch. One each. It doesn’t have to be a big house but it does have to be structurally sound. Start by drawing up plans to build it and with what materials you will use. This exercise is to get you to relearn to plan ahead.”

Chloe started thinking about what type of house she was going to build. She decided on a medium sized house, with the idea that ‘less is more’. Now she started to draw up building plans for a medium sized, 1bd, 2ba house with a verandah and a chair that she could sit on to watch the waves roll in and back out.

Zoe was an active girl, so a gym room was in order. After thinking for a spell about the size of her house, Zoe also decided on a medium size house but with a few things different than Chloes. First, she needed a backyard with a trampoline which Genie could help her with when the time came. Zoe was also a socialite, so that called for 2 bedrooms. Like Chloes house, Zoes was also 2 bathrooms. No TV but a big stereo.

Joey was sitting on a rock further down the beach, thinking about what she wanted. She decided on a big house ‘go big or go home’. Joey wanted the works. 2 storeys, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. A study so she could get her think on. A dance studio complete with DJ mixing booth and dance floor. Most importantly, a room dedicated to martial arts. Walls lined with different weapons, a wooden dummy to practice her forms on. But Joey knew this would be a mountain of planning and work.

After each girl drew up her own house plan, they got to work.

At this point, Genie fast forwarded time so one and a half months work was compressed into 1hr.

There each of the girls stood, in front of their completed house. Genie could not be prouder.

Chloe was sitting on her verandah chair, Zoe was in her backyard on the trampoline and Joey was in her dance studio.

Ryan and Kathy came looking for them because it was getting late for three 10yr olds to still be out. They knew that their kids were at the beach but when Ryan and Kathy arrived, they were completely blown away by what they saw!

Their three kids had built three houses, one each. Kathy started calling out to them “Chloe! Zoe! Joey! Are you here?”

All three girls came running out of their respective house when they heard their mum.

Kathy didn’t quite know what to say, so she simply asked “Did you three build these houses?”

Joey was first to speak “Yes we did. We didn’t do it alone of course.” Joey rubbed the magic lamp so she could introduce Genie to Ryan and Kathy.

Genie spoke “Pleasure to meet you ma’am and sir”

Ryan was still in awe at what his three girls had created and didn’t hear anything that was said.

Kathy sensed this and gave Ryan a sharp elbow in the ribs.

“Pay attention! You were just greeted by this lovely gentleman here.”

“Pleased to meet you, um, what did you say your name was?” Ryan replied

Genie said “My name is Genie”

Kathy had to ask “Genie, did our kids build these three amazing houses we see before us?”

To which Genie answered “I’m proud to say yes they did, one house each. First each of them thought about what they wanted, then they drew it up, then built it”

Genie then turned to face the three girls “Phase Two is complete. You have now relearned how to think and plan ahead. Go home and get some much needed rest. You’ll need it for tomorrow. Don’t worry, while you rest I will furnish each of your houses. I will also paint them your favourite colours”

So Ryan, Kathy, Chloe, Zoe and Joey all went home and got some much needed rest.

Come morning….

Genie was up first, still in his lamp. Until someone rubbed the lamp, Genie had to entertain himself. First he played one of pinball machines, then used his crystal ball on the table to talk to one of his elven friends.

Outside the lamp, the triplets were stirring…

Zoe spoke first, while rubbing her eyes “Morning sisters. Did yesterday really happen? I mean, did all of us really go back in time AND build a house?”

Joey replied “Morning Zo. Morning Clo. We can ask Genie about the time travel part, then we can go see for ourselves if the house part is true by going down to the beach. Chloe, would you like to do the honours of making Genie appear?”

Chloe said “Morning all. It would be my pleasure Jo”

Chloe took the lamp in hand and rubbed it. Genie appeared.

He said “Good morning girls. Sleep well?”

Zoe asked Genie “Genie, did we really go back in time yesterday?”

He laughed and replied “You most certainly did. See those talismans around each of your necks? Where do you think they came from?”

None of the girls could answer.

Genie piped up “They were a gift from Master Ki Long for all your hard work over the week that we were at his dojo.”

Joey asked “What about the three houses? Did that happen or was that a dream?”

Genie said “Get dressed and see for yourselves.”

Zoe put the magic lamp outside their bedroom and closed the door while the three girls got dressed.

When the triplets are dressed and ready for action….

All three called out to Ryan and Kathy, who were eating breakfast “Mum! Dad! We’re going to the beach right quick. Won’t be long.”

Once Genie and the three girls were outside, Genie decided to make the trip to the beach a little quicker. He asked Chloe, Zoe and Joey to hold onto his hands and each other and WHOOSH! All of them were now airborne, making a beeline for the beach.

Joey exclaimed “Wow! This is amazing!” with a mix of fear and excitement

For the three of them were watching trees whip by right underneath them, chimneys go past them, even a friendly chipmunk jumped onto Zoe’s shoulder from a treetop as she went by. In a matter of minutes, they had reached the beach. Before their very eyes, were the same three houses that they had built the day before. Chloe saw her house with the verandah and chair, now painted pink and white. Zoe saw her house with the backyard and trampoline, painted green and gold and Joey saw her house with the dedicated martial arts room painted red and yellow.

“Huddle!” said Zoe to her sisters

With their talismans still around their necks, the sisters quickly formed a tight circle

“Since we built these by ourselves with help from Genie, I think we should hang our talismans on the front door of our house” said Joey

“Agreed” replied Zoe and Chloe

Then the triplets went to their respective houses and hung their own talisman on their own front door. Genie cast a protective spell on the three houses so that nothing could be stolen.

To everyone’s amazement, the chipmunk that landed on Zoe’s shoulder started to speak!

“Hi everyone. My name is Squeak. If you wouldn’t mind, on your way home can you put me back in my nest?”

Being such a polite chipmunk, they were all taken aback somewhat.

But after a long period of silence Zoe spoke up “Yep, no problem. Squeak, I would like to introduce my sisters, Chloe and Joey. The guy here is Genie”

Squeak said “Pleased to make your acquaintance. Might I inquire as to what the deal is with those three houses on the beach?”

“Allow me. Building those houses was Phase Two of Operation Genius that these three girls are currently undertaking” replied Genie

“Do you mind if I tag along? I get the feeling being with you will be very interesting” Squeak inquired

“By all means.” said Genie

He then turned to face the girls “Phase Three is about to start. You are going to relearn how to use your mind to do things you never thought you could. We are first going to check in with Ryan and Kathy, you three need to pack a few essentials. And what about you, Squeak?”

“As long as I have some acorns to eat and a place to sleep, I’ll be alright”

So while Chloe, Zoe and Joey packed a few things including some acorns for Squeak, Genie filled them in on what was going to happen. The group was to travel to a monastery in Tibet via time portal. When they got there, all of them were to stay at said monastery, located on a mountaintop. For one month, the girls were going to be under the tutelage of the head monk Pana Man Quan.

Joey, with a worried look on her face said “What about Mum and Dad? Won’t they start to wonder where we all are after a few days, let alone a whole month?”

Genie put her worries to rest by explaining “I know you are worried about your parents Joey. But before we left I put your house under a two hour time loop. Which means your parents will keep living the same two hours over and over until I lift it. Right now, Ryan and Kathy are eating breakfast and think you and your sisters have just gone down to the beach”

Joey and her sisters breathed a sigh of relief. It was evening on the Tibetan mountaintop and getting darker by the minute, which spurred the group to find lodgings at the monastery where Phase Three was to commence. Genie’s time portal had opened only fifty metres away from Pana Man Quan’s monastery, which to the group was a stroke of luck. The five (Squeak was travelling on Zoe’s shoulder) soon found the tall, thick entrance doors to which they walked up to and Chloe raised her hand to knock but Squeak beat her to it. Since he is only a chipmunk, Squeaks knock was barely audible to any of them.

Chloe said to him “Squeak, why don’t you let me give it a try?”

“Yeah, ok. Guess I’m not big enough.” he replied

Zoe felt bad for the little guy and tried to cheer him up “Squeak, remember it’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

He thought about this for a moment and found renewed strength in its meaning!

10 mins later….

The group of five were inside the monastery, meeting the monks and being directed to see the head monk, Pana Man Quan. The head monk directed the five to their sleeping quarters.

All of them found their places to sleep, Squeak had his place in the corner next to Genies lamp. The triplets found their beds all in the same room. Everyone got changed into their sleeping gear (besides Squeak, who is covered in fur), said goodnight to each other, then went to sleep.

The next morning, Genie informed the girls that each session with Pana Man Quan would be three hours long, one hour focused on each sister.

Originally, all of them objected. Chloe spoke on behalf of her sisters “Three hours?! We are only 10yrs old, don’t forget”

Genie replied “You do get a 30min break in between every hour. Don’t forget why we’re here. This is Phase Three of Operation Genius, remember? You all still want to become the geniuses that you once were, don’t you? If not, I’ll leave right here, right now via time portal”

The triplets were immediately sorry, none of them making eye contact with Genie and all of them looking down at the ground. Suddenly, the monastery gong sounded. Which meant it was time for breakfast. The group of five headed down to the main building of the monastery where all the monks were starting to gather. In the main building there was only a long stone table, covered in an orange cloth to match the monks’ robes. There were no chairs, only soft cushions for everyone to kneel on while they ate. For breakfast today, three monks brought out big bowls of rice and noodles and put them in the centre of the long stone table. Without saying a word, one by one, each monk (now at his/her place at the table) filled their bowl with rice and noodles.

Zoe brought along a few acorns from her backpack for Squeak to eat.

He gladly accepted the nuts and started eating the first acorn.

Chloe began to speak “I wond….”

Genie cut her off, whispering “There is no talking at mealtime”

After the girls had eaten their fill, it was time to get dressed and see Pana Man Quan for Phase Three.

Chloe, Zoe and Joey got changed in their sleeping quarters, then were directed by Genie to the head monks’ building just across the courtyard.

The triplets arrived at Pana Man Quan’s building. Even though his back was turned, he could sense their presence.

“You may enter” he said

The girls looked at each other as if to say “How did he know we were here?”

Pana Man Quan replied “I sensed your presence. Which is what I will train you to do and much more. That is why you are here, is it not?”

The girls were taken quite aback by this because none of them had said anything!

PMQ proceeded to turn around and face the triplets. He sat down behind a stone desk with legs crossed.

“I will teach you as much as I am capable of. But you can only learn as much as you are willing to” the head monk said

The girls each said they were willing to learn as much as possible to become the geniuses they once were. Pana Man Quan laughed. He explained what he could offer went above and beyond the scope of what they thought was possible. For the first hour, the focus was on Chloe.

“We will start with you, Chloe. Please sit in the Lotus Position and place your hands on your knees, like me”

She did as she was told as copied the head monks’ seated position.

“Very good. Next, I want you to close your eyes and concentrate on the image of a serene forest. If other thoughts start to enter your mind, that’s ok. Just acknowledge they are there and dismiss them just as quickly. This exercise will increase your power of concentration. Your sisters may follow along if they choose for this would also benefit them greatly”

For the next hour, Chloe and her sisters practiced the art of concentration by following Pana Man Quan’s instructions to the letter.

“Good work. You’ve earned a break”

The triplets took a quick 30 min break to talk to Genie and feed Squeak then returned to the head monks’ building for their next hour of training.

The three stopped at the door until invited in.

“Enter” said PMQ

For the second hour the focus would shift to Zoe. The head monk had something different planned for Zoe. Which she would find out now. The girls entered and presented themselves before Pana Man Quan.

He welcomed them back “Greetings girls. Are you ready to begin?”

His greeting was met with a unified “Yes!”

“Please resume your Lotus Position”

The triplets sat in the Lotus Position, hands on their knees.

“For this hour, I have something different planned for you Zoe. First, I have a question. What do you want to achieve the most?”

Zoe replied “I would like to become the best Pole Vaulter at school”

“So for this hour, that is the mental image I want you to focus on” said Pana Man Quan

“Close your eyes, empty your mind and think of nothing but becoming the best Pole Vaulter”

For Zoe’s hour, that’s what the sisters did. Chloe thought of nothing but becoming the best chess player and Joey thought of nothing but becoming the best martial artist. Even Squeak joined in! But Squeak thought of eating a delicious acorn.

“Time for your well earned break” said PMQ

Chloe, Zoe and Joey went to their sleeping quarters to tell Genie (he couldn’t go everywhere) all about what had happened. It was also time to feed Squeak, so Zoe dived into her backpack to get a few acorns. Squeak was always on Zoe’s shoulder, so she passed him up the few.

For the third hour, the focus was on Joey. After the 30mins was up, the girls headed back down to the head monks’ building again. Once more, they stopped at the doorway until invited in. Pana Man Quan was impressed at the manners shown by three 10yr olds.

“Come in. For today’s last training hour, I will be teaching you Joey” he said

“Please take your places and assume the Lotus Position”

So the girls sat in the Lotus Position, hands on their knees.

“This hour, Joey, I want you to close your eyes, breathe in through your nose for four counts, then out through your mouth for four counts.”

Both sisters followed suit with Joey. For the last hour of training, the triplets learnt how to calm themselves and slow their breathing which is key to what comes next.

For the next month, like clockwork, that is how their day was structured. The girls didn’t realise it because it happened so gradually but their brainpower increased to the point where each of them could move objects just by thinking about it!

The day before they were set leave the monastery, Joey found this out by accident. She went to reach for her backpack and when her hand was near it, the pack moved to her hand! Naturally Joey thought this was a fluke occurrence. So, she tried the same thing with one of Squeaks acorns. It happened again. The acorn moved to her hand.

Next Joey went to her sisters and told them both what was happening. Both Chloe and Zoe started to wonder if they had the same amount of brainpower.

Zoe tried it with a chopstick that was lying on the floor nearby. She held her hand out toward the chopstick, nothing happened. Zoe moved her hand a bit closer and like Joey, the chopstick moved into her hand. Chloe was awestruck at what her sisters do. Of course, Chloe wanted to see if she could do it as well. She looked around and spotted Genies lamp. Chloe held her hand close to the lamp, and BAM! The lamp moved into her hand.

Only thing was, Genie was inside his lamp, eating some food from his fridge. So when the lamp moved into Chloe’s hand, Genies food went flying and he tumbled off the chair he was sitting on!

Yep, the triplets had found out they possessed the power of telekinesis. If each girl can move objects on their own, just imagine what they are capable of when all of them put their heads together!

Everyone packed their backpacks with what they brought to the monastery exactly one month ago. Chloe, Zoe and Joey were absolutely over the moon now that they had discovered their newfound power. The girls were all packed and ready to leave, Zoe made sure not to forget Squeak, who had been chasing the acorn that Joey had been moving just by holding her hand close to said acorn.

After Genie tumbled off his chair, there wasn’t too much movement or sound outside his lamp after that because he was listening. The girls thanked Pana Man Quan for everything, sharing his limitless wisdom, his time, even one of his rooms in his monastery. Before the three left PMQ’s building, they really wanted to show him their new power. So when the head monk reached for his goblet to take a drink, Chloe cheekily held out her hand and the goblet pulled out of Pana Man Quan’s hand but stayed on the stone desk.

“What the?” he said. Then he realised what had happened.

“Hmmm. It would seem as though you are extremely fast learners. But I must know, who pulled the goblet out of my hand?”

Chloe remembered what Master Ki Long had said to them “Mistakes are always forgivable. If one has the courage to own up to them.” So Chloe stepped forward and sheepishly said “It was me sir. I did it” In defense of her sister, Joey said “Chloe may have pulled the goblet out of your hand but we can all do it”

Pana Man Quan admired Chloe’s courage to own up to what she did.

“Before you leave, I would like to present each of you with a Medallion of the Dragon. Zoe, step forward.”

Zoe took one step forward toward the head monk.

“Please accept this Medallion of the Dragon for all the hard work you have shown me during this past month.”

She lowered her head slightly and the first of three medallions was hung around Zoe’s neck.

“Joey, please step forward.”

Joey followed suit

“I would like to present you with this medallion for the power of concentration you are now capable of”

She also lowered her head for the second of three medallions to be hung around her neck.

“Last but definitely not least, not in any way, we reach Chloe. Accept this medallion as a token of gratitude for everything you have brought to this monastery. Not to mention you now know how to calm yourself at a moment’s notice.”

Chloe lowered her head. Pana Man Quan hung the last of the three Medallions of the Dragon around Chloe’s neck.

“But remember, with increased power, whatever that may be comes increased responsibility. Just because you can, don’t go moving everything around to you hearts content”

The girls said their goodbyes then left his building. Zoe commented “Aren’t we forgetting something?” Then the four (Squeak is still on Zoe’s shoulder) remembered that Genies lamp was still in their sleeping quarters, with Genie inside!

They rushed upstairs to retrieve Genies lamp, this time Squeak rubbed the lamp. Out came Genie.

“I thought you had forgotten me” he said

Joey replied “Um, yeah, sorry about that”

Now that everyone was back together, they made their way out of the monastery. Every monk they passed on the way out, bade them a pleasant farewell to which the group reciprocated each monks’ farewell.

The group of five had left the monastery now, with nothing but great memories. All they had to do was walk the fifty metres back to where Genie created the portal. When the group reached their destination (granted, it was only 50 metres away) Genie asked “Is everyone ready to go home? Phase Three is complete”

To which the girls and Squeak answered “Yes, I miss Mum and Dad”

Now everyone was ready for the return trip home, Genie began to create the portal. The triplets knew the drill, hold onto his hands and each other. But Genies first attempt at portal creation failed. And the second. Now the girls were getting worried.

Chloe asked “What’s wrong?”

“I may need some help creating a portal” replied Genie

He went back into his lamp and accessed his crystal ball to call one of his mage friends, Brandy. She was sure to know about what was happening. After making a few hand gestures, Brandy’s face showed up in the crystal ball. She was yawning.

“Genie, did you really have to wake me up? What’s going on?” she said

“I really need your help, I can’t seem to open a portal like I could before but I don’t know why” Genie replied

“Hold on, I’ll be right there”

WHOOSH! Out of nowhere, the mage Brandy appeared next to Genie. Both took a seat on Genies couch while he explained the situation.

Brandy told Genie “This has a simple solution. You’ve been out of your lamp too long and your power level is dropping. Just stay in here for a while longer and you’ll be back to full power and creating a portal will be easy for you. Understand?”

Genie responded “But that means you will have to explain to the girls outside why I’m staying inside my lamp”

“Sure, I can do that” said Brandy

Brandy exited the lamp, introduced herself then explained to the foursome why Genie couldn’t create a portal so he had to stay inside his lamp to regain his power. The girls understood this, so while they waited for Genie to regain his power, Squeak looked for nuts in a nearby tree. Chloe, Zoe and Joey made some makeshift chairs out of a few large rocks, Brandy didn’t need a chair because she could levitate.

For the next ten minutes while Genie was in his lamp, powering up, the triplets and Brandy talked about what it’s like being a mage, the adventures that the girls been on recently and more.

Then Brandy went to check on Genie who was still inside his lamp. She could clearly see that Genie was back to full power because he looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger! But he told Brandy that for him to be able to come out, someone had to rub the lamp.

She quickly exited the lamp to tell the girls that Genie was back to full power and that someone had to rub the lamp for Genie to come out of it and join them.

Now that Brandy’s task was done, it was time for her to take her leave. After saying goodbye to the triplets, she dove back into Genies lamp, stood next to his crystal ball and WHOOSH! Brandy disappeared. Joey gave the lamp a rub then Genie appeared before the three girls. Genie was back at full power and after creating a portal with ease he asked the girls to hold onto his hands and each other. Squeak realised what was happening while up in the tree, he quickly raced down to Zoe’s shoulder so he didn’t get left behind. The group entered the portal and, in a flash, were back on the beach in front of their three houses.

Genie said “It’s time for me to lift the two hour time loop from around Ryan and Kathy. Would you like to come for a quick flight while I put Squeak back where he lives?”

The girls said “Oh, yes please!”

Holding onto Genies hands and each other, with Squeak on Zoe’s shoulder, they were airborne. Squeak saw his home tree coming up beside them, bade them all a fond farewell then jumped to his treetop. Squeak was home.

A few minutes later, the now group of four reached the home of the triplets. Chloe, Zoe and Joey walked into their house proudly, each with own Medallion of the Dragon around their neck. The time loop was still in effect, which meant Ryan and Kathy were eating breakfast at the kitchen table.

Genie mentioned “I’ll fix that. Just give me a moment”

He began to remove the time loop. With a few circular arm movements and some inaudible words (too low for the girls to hear), the two hour time loop was now lifted.

Genie turned to the triplets “Your parents will make their own way to the beach as per the normal course of the day now the I have lifted the time loop. There’s one final test, this is not part of Operation Genius which you all passed with flying colours. I will reveal this voluntary test to you all down at the beach”

The group of four made their way down to the beach via flying Genie. The girls lined up in front of Genie, bubbling with anticipation. This final test was to find out just how powerful the girls had become during the three Phases of Operation Genius.

Genie went on to say “This test comes in two parts. Part One is the Power to Resist. Part two will need your combined teamwork to complete”

At this point, Ryan and Kathy had arrived at the beach just in time to witness their children’s final test before their combined birthday, the following day. Genie saw Ryan and Kathy approaching and motioned for them to “Be Quiet”.

He commenced part one of the triplets’ final test. He turned each house into ice cream. Then motioned for the girls to turn around. Immediately Chloe, Zoe and Joey were having a hard time resisting their house, now made of ice cream.

Zoe spoke up “Don’t give in to temptation! Remember what Master Ki Long taught us. To beat this craving we now have, we need to meditate to take our focus off what is in front of us”

Her sisters agreed. All three of them started to meditate and their focus was taken off the ice cream house.

Ryan and Kathy witnessed the success of their girls resisting all that ice cream. They could not be prouder. Both of them wanted to run up and hug their children but they could see the girls hadn’t finished their final test yet. Genie praised them for passing Part One thus he turned the three ice cream houses back to their original state. Part Two needed all three girls’ combined efforts to complete. For Part Two, Genie was going to make the calm ocean a little rough. The triplets then had to make the slightly rough ocean calm again.

Genie explained “You all passed Part One. I’m extremely proud of you. For Part Two, I’m going to make this calm ocean a little rough and your task is to make the slightly rough ocean calm again.”

Chloe spoke “After what we just did, anything is possible for us”

Genie liked Chloe’s confidence. To get Part Two underway, he made a few up and down movements with both arms to stir up the calm ocean.

The girls first thought about what they had to do to calm the ocean back down.

Then Joey came up with an idea “We know we can move things by putting our hand close, right? Let’s take it one step further by putting our heads together and combining our brainpower. See what we can accomplish”

That’s exactly what the girls did. First, they formed a tight circle which meant the closer their heads were, the more powerful they became!

Each girl thought about only a calm ocean, which in turn made the ocean calm! But, the thought of ice cream had entered Zoe’s head, which turned the water into ice cream. The ice cream ocean was now calm again. After seeing what they had created, the girls started thinking of how a calm ocean could be more fun. Chloe came up with a unique idea. She started to really concentrate. Joey and Zoe could read Chloe’s mind and also thought she was onto something. So with their three minds all at 100% focus and concentration, small whirlpools started appearing in the ice cream ocean. No longer did the girls have to find somewhere private to change clothes, all they had to do was think about what to wear and their clothes would instantaneously change! Now in their swimsuits, the triplets went running toward the ice cream ocean. Chloe dove in, Joey did a cannonball and Zoe did a bellyflop. Each of them swam to a separate whirlpool, then let the whirlpool take them for a spin. While Joey was spinning, she started to concentrate and made three dolphins appear. Her sisters squealed with delight upon seeing the rideable sea creatures. After the girls had let the dolphins drag them around the ice cream ocean making ripples in their wake, they decided to get out and turn the ice cream ocean back into water. Which was now an easy task for the three, when they worked as a team. After turning the ice cream ocean back into water, the girls washed the excess ice cream off by dipping into the fresh, cool, clear water of the real ocean.

Ryan and Kathy ran up to their children and gave them all a big hug.

Kathy spoke “We saw what you are capable of. How did you learn to do that?”

Then she saw the three medallions around her kids’ necks given to them by Pana Man Quan.

Zoe took this one “These Medallions of the Dragon that each of us have were a parting gift given to us by the head monk of a Tibetan monastery”

Kathy was so proud of them, she would believe anything.

Genie waited patiently for parents and children to finish their “moment”.

Then he said “From the progress you girls have shown, you have definitely earned your three wishes”

Joey thought for moment “I wish for ice cream to be wiped from my memory”

Genie granted Joey’s wish and wiped all memories of ice cream from her memory.

Chloe spoke next “I wish for more self control so prior events never happen again”

Genie granted Chloe’s wish and Chloe was given more self control.

Zoe was next “I wish to never injure myself while playing sport”

Genie granted Zoe’s wish by casting an aura of protection around her.

Ryan asked the girls “Have you decided what kind of birthday cake you want for tomorrow?”

Chloe, Zoe and Joey said in unison “Black Forest please”

The next day, which is the triplets combined birthday….

Joey rubbed the lamp, making Genie appear.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Genie exclaimed.

The girls were nearly scared out of their bedsocks! After their nerves settled, the three got changed for their birthday party. It was a memorable event, there were lots of balloons, party food (like Fairy Bread and Chocolate Crackles), all the girls’ friends from school arrived at their house with birthday presents for each of them. Chloe introduced all the guests to Genie, who was wearing a party hat for the occasion. The triplets showed everyone their power of telekinesis and how they could make things appear just by concentrating. Even Genie had a great time, showing the guests little tricks he could do (he didn’t want to steal the triplets’ thunder). When it was time to cut the birthday cake, all the guests gathered around the kitchen table and started to sing Happy Birthday to Chloe, Zoe and Joey who were standing in front of their Mum and Dad, with huge smiles on their faces and red cheeks, from blushing so much. Then they each got to cut a slice of birthday cake for themselves, with their parents’ help. The triplets, now 11yrs old, couldn’t have asked for a better birthday party.

Suffice it to say, the girls were never called “The Three Drips” again. Chloe, Zoe and Joey were the smartest kids at school after Operation Genius.

This next story is written in first person and as a five day adventure. There are some video game references in it, so how many gamers can pick them all up.

Day One

I joined the group of warriors known as the Companions today. I made friends with Aela the Huntress right quick, probably because our skills complement each other. I am a martial arts master and Aela is a master of the Bow and Arrow. I was shown around the Companions’ HQ, Jorrvasker, shown where I can rest my head (sleep).

Aela and I went on some starter quests for the head of the Companions, Malborn, to show him what I’m made of no doubt. Our first task was to clear out a bandit camp called Redorans Redoubt. When we arrived at the camp, they were small in number. Aela and I agreed that she would stay back with her bow, to keep me covered. I kept to the shadows and snuck into their camp. Without noticing me, I sprang into action! Putting the first bandit to sleep silently, I moved onto the next two. Knocking them both out with a tabi boot to the side of head, I hit the ground running. With one more bandit left in my sights, I used my Ninpo: Way of the Tornado Kick. First, I said its mantra TATSUMAKI-SENPUKYAKU. Then came the action, me spinning through the air like a man possessed, reaching the bandit standing 3 paces away, kicking him in the legs, torso, arms and head multiple times before I touched the ground again. Aela took out one bandit that started approaching me. She couldn’t believe what she just witnessed! Asking where I learnt such an amazing technique, I simply replied “I’ve been training for 30 years. It just comes with experience. Same thing with accuracy with your bow. Experience is your teacher”

We headed back to Jorrvasker and Aela started telling all the other Companions what she witnessed.

Day Two

After much discussion while I was asleep, Malborn told me while I was eating breakfast, that I was an exception to the rules and to meet them out back after I was done eating. So that’s what I did. I headed out to the courtyard to meet the rest of the Companions. First thing Malborn wanted to see was the Ninpo that Aela witnessed me slay a bandit with. So I agreed. I asked for some room (because I didn’t want to accidentally hit anyone) and Way of the Tornado Kick has a wide Area Of Effect. Everyone backed up slightly, I said the mantra, then came the action! Malborn saw me lift off the ground, spin round and round with one leg outstretched and go forward about a meter. Malborn was speechless.

He asked all the others to join him in making a decision. Malborn wanted me to join them in the secret chamber in 5 mins. Aela was to stay to show me where the chamber was. 5 minutes later, I followed Aela into the chamber to see all the Companions gathered around a fountain. Then Malborn instructed me to drink from it. Honestly, I was a bit hesitant to start with because the fountain was filled with red stuff. I asked “What will happen to me?”

He answered, “Your strength will increase tenfold, you will be able to run faster than a cheetah, not mentioning the perks” I liked the sound of that, so I took the cup that I was offered and drank. Then I transformed into a werewolf!

Day Three

Malborn told me “Now you are truly one of us. Now is the time to tell you of something we have been trying to accomplish for centuries. The eradication of the Daedric Lord Sheogorath. He is the Lord of Madness. To make it even harder, he can inhabit the mind and body of ANYONE. So far we’ve tracked him to a forbidden city called Elenwen. That’s why I need you and your stealth skills to enter the city unseen! Usually we have a strict No Killing rule but to take down Sheogorath, I’ll waive that rule, temporarily…. We don’t know who or what you’ll face while in Elenwen, so we can’t offer any help about that I’m afraid. From what I saw in the courtyard, you’re the best of us so any and all combat is up to you to decide how to deal with”

I had to pack a few essentials because I left the next day. Of course I took my ninja gi, complete with tabi boots. I was also given an earpiece so I could keep in contact with the Companions at any time. I meditated for the rest of the day and my aura started glow, which I found out later at dinner. We had roast boar, which Aela had slain on one of her hunts. Day Four Today, I leave for the forbidden city of Elenwen. Malborn wanted to put a camera on my headband, so they could see everything I could see. It is a forbidden city, after all…..

The last thing I packed were my trusty Nunchaku. If a fight was unavoidable, they have never let me down. I said my goodbyes to everyone, put the earpiece in and turned the camera on. All the Companions went to Malborns PC, which was connected to the camera by Wi-Fi. Amren, the One Handed weapon master was the first to speak. “Don’t forget to collect anything you find lying around, no matter how insignificant. It may come in handy later.”

I answered him “Will do Amren, just like you showed me. Take nothing for granted, right?”

“That’s exactly right” Amren replied. I walked for hours before anything happened. Since I was dressed in plain clothes, two street punks thought they could jump me. Boy, were they wrong! I dropped them both with two punches (one each). Everyone, still crowded around Malborns PC, saw what happened. In my earpiece, I heard a sigh of relief, which had to have come from Aela.

So I gave her a little reassurance “I know you were worried Aela but I had their number. I’m fine, not a scratch.”

I thought to myself “For a woman who hunts down beasts every other day, I am extremely surprised to see her as such a pile of nerves! I thought Aela had ice in her veins, like me. Guess I was off base with that” Another few hours passed, then an assassin tried to kill me! I’m having none of that, I thought. So I used one of my other Ninpos, Way of the Lightning Flash. First, the mantra “HYAKURETSUKYAKU” This one is where I down the opponent, then use three consecutive, lightning imbued Somersault Kicks. After I finished him off, I hear on my earpiece, comments like

“Where did that come from?!?”, “Damn man!” and “I knew you had skills but that was some next level shit!” It was time for me to get some sleep, I was near the entrance to Elenwen. From what I could see, two Trolls were guarding the entrance. I booked a room at the Winking Skeever Inn, now I used my intel on trolls and asked everyone back home what I should do.

“As big as they are, trolls have one weakness: Flame. I could use Way of the Inferno to cook their ass. Or wake up early and sneak past them. What do you guys think?” They haven’t seen Way of the Inferno before so I expected this response

“We haven’t seen your Way of the Inferno, so everyone thinks you should cook them” Said Malborn

“But just remember, I’m not inside yet. There might be more trolls inside. Or beasts even bigger.” I said. Malborn replied “Do what your instincts tell you. They’ve never steered you wrong before” That was what I needed to hear. Someone who trusted my instincts.

Day Five

I woke up early and donned my ninja gear, to get ready to sneak past the trolls. Up and at ‘em, I told myself. I headed outside and quietly toward the two trolls who were sleeping. I fashioned myself a crude grappling hook (It was actually a grappling beam that Samus Aran gave me after we talked the night before and Samus respects ninjas for their unarmed combat. Samus gave me the beam and told me to “point it at any hole” and it will grab. I asked if the beam was silent, Samus said no, so she made some reparations to it to make it silent. After I told her about my mission to destroy Sheogorath, Samus gave me her Hyper Beam, the beam which she used to destroy Mother Brain with). I took the grappling beam, now silent, to the wall and fired it at a hole in the top. I went zooming to the top of the wall. I took a moment to take in my surroundings, enemy placements, possible routes to take, etc.

I wanted to enter combat as little as possible. There were two formidable foes I could take out with my shuriken (throwing stars), so I pull out two shuriken and throw them with force at the targets. Both hit their marks in the head! They drop like a stone. Now’s my chance to enter Elenwen undetected! Down I jump staying in crouched position, no one saw me! Everyone back in Jorrvasker is still watching. They see the three bandits ahead of me as I do, then I hear on my earpiece

“Use Way of the Tornado Kick to take out those three just ahead” said Aela

“Good thinking Aela! But on one condition”

“What’s that?”

“When I get home, there is a big glass of mead and some roast boar.” I say

Aela says “I think we can manage that”

“Awesome. You guys ready? TATSUMAKI-SENPUKYAKU!” The action follows the mantra and I lift off, spinning round and round, going forward one meter, and taking out the three bandits.

I hear in my earpiece “Man, I’ll never tire of seeing that!”, “Too awesome”, “Any other bad guys better watch out!” Even though I’m crouching, a troll is headed my way. It’s time to use Way of the Inferno, I notice it has white fur so it is a Frost Troll. Which makes it even more susceptible to fire.

I say “Everyone want to see me immolate a Frost Troll?”

I hear a resounding “YES!” Looking around, making sure we are the only two around, I prepare. I enter Horse Stance, do some slow Tai Chi movements, bring both my hands back to my waist, say the mantra “HA-DO-KEN”, then thrust my hands forward and a fireball leaves my hands at the same time, hitting the Frost Troll, immolating him. I had one more trick up my sleeve but I had to rest. Using two Ninpos back-to-back was extremely exhausting! I found a place to sit and meditate for 5 minutes to replenish my Ki and Energy.

I said into my earpiece “I still have one more Ninpo you haven’t seen. But now you have seen Way of the Inferno”, which was met with comments like “That Troll had no chance!” and “Damn, you BBQ’d his ass!” Trolls can usually regenerate their health but not when they are on fire. Hence their weakness to fire. I started to sneak further into Elenwen. The further I went, the stealthier I had to be, if I wanted to avoid fighting, that is. There was still one problem. No one knew what, or who Sheogorath could be. All Malborn knows is that he dresses quite outlandishly when he is himself and has an Irish accent.

If he has occupied someone’s mind and body, that person will not be “themselves”. They will act out of character, so they’re the signs I must look for. “Any ideas, anyone?” I said, while looking around so everyone could see everything I could. I stuck to shadows, staying out of sight.

“What about that Sabre Cat up on its hind legs?” said Veezara, the Two Handed weapon master. I went to get a closer look. Hiding behind a well, I peeked around the corner. After a few seconds, the Sabre Cat went back down onto all fours. It was just a pet of a few bandits. When the Cat went back to all fours, the bandits saw me looking at them from the well. I didn’t want to fight, but I had to survive! These bandits were more resilient than the others, first I fought them hand-to-hand, then I whipped out my Nunchaku when they brandished weapons. I disarmed them easily but nothing I did seemed to finish them off! I thought “Ok, last resort” I got into my fighting stance, clenched both fists (which I normally don’t do when just standing in fighting stance), waited for them to attack, said the mantra “SHO-RYU-KEN!” then the action followed. I jumped into the air, countered their attack, gave them an almighty uppercut, which knocked their heads off, revealing Sheogorath! I heard comments from everyone in Jorrvasker, who were still watching “Dude!” “What was that?”

I replied “That was Way of the Punch” Then Malborn in a frantic tone said “There he is!! That’s Sheogorath!! FINISH HIM” My gaze turned to ice as I met Sheogoraths eyes. “TATSUMAKI-SENPUKYAKU!” As I spun round and round, landing kicks everywhere, the Daedric Lord of Madness met his end after a blast from Samus’ Hyper Beam. Everyone witnessed it, from Malborns PC. I could hear murmurs of consent, Aela was crying because it was over.

I said “Everyone, I’ll be home tomorrow”

To which the reply was “We’ll be here” After a long walk and a few inconsequential battles on the road, I arrived back at Jorrvasker. I opened the front door and was greeted with cheers, slaps on the back, gifts made by the Companions themselves. Then I saw the person I most wanted to see: Aela. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug I have ever received. Amren presented me with a War Axe, Veezara gave me a Warhammer. That night, they made good on their word. I got to sit in Malborns chair at the head of the table (One time deal, he said) and I was given biggest glass of mead I have ever seen, then came the plate of roast boar, compliments of Aela. It was a lavish feast, with all the fixins! It was a night to remember, to be sure. Veezara could hold his liquor the best out of all of us. Everyone ate, drank and wanted me to keep telling stories about my training until the sun came up

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