Arabian Nights in New York

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Arabian Nights in New York

Post by Moon Ray on Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:09 pm



635

The djinni Aodhfin went to the king in Brega, looking for his wife. He did not go gladly, even hopefully, as befitted a man eager to unite with his lifelong mate. In fact, he had put off this journey as long as he could, but his deadline was rapidly approaching. In three days he would anoint the Master of Beasts and guide him through the Land of Fire, and it was not a task he could complete without his ordained partner at his side. Because she guarded a starstone, and therefore was of special interest to the High King, Aodhfin went to Brega to learn of his wife.

Flying, Aodhfin took less than two hours to cross the two hundred and fifty seven miles from his home in Mount Sanai to Diarmait’s stone castle. It was comfortable flying, for the air was dry for a rare spell over the green plains below the northern hillside. To a mortal, the frigid air so high above the ground would have been deadly, but djinn carried heat in their veins, ideally equipping them for the higher reaches of the stratospheres. Aodhfin wore only the full red pants, which tightened around his ankles before touching his gold trimmed slippers, and he felt no discomfort. The sun pressed against his back and shoulders, like the heavy hand of a father guiding a cherished son.

When he arrived in Brega, one of the servants, called by the wall guard, took him into a private receiving hall. They moved soundlessly through the shadowy gray corridors, seeing no one in passing. At last, he was led into a chamber lit by a hearth fire that burned to the height of a man. Foreign carpets decorated the stone walls between brackets of torches. There were pockets of well-dressed people, chatting softly and in good humor, and the biggest pocket gathered about the carved throne.

The servant left Aodhfin there, when he gestured for the guide to return the way he had come. Clearly the man would have preferred to stay, making sure that Aodhfin did not disturb the king, but very few people would gainsay a djinni –particularly this one. Aodhfin crossed his arms, waiting courteously in the entrance, framed by shadows. He was nothing if not respectful of the humans’ sense of propriety.

In a matter of moments Diarmait waved away a tray of meats, scanned the chamber, and met the eyes of his visitor. He straightened and nodded shortly.

“Diarmait mac Áedo Sláine,” Aodhfin said, stepping forward. The room quieted to watch his arrival.

“Ah. Lord Djinn, welcome to my realm.” The king spoke with arrogance in his eyes and Aodhfin felt his fires burn stronger under that gaze. “We have waited for your visit with great anticipation.”

“I wish I could have come sooner,” Aodhfin lied.

“As do we. A fire spirit was sorely needed at the Battle of Loch Trethin, where the sweet voiced devil spawn, Conall Guthbinn, slew my brothers.” The human challenged him, but Aodhfin only bent into a very shallow bow. There was no possibility that he would have joined the fighting in that feud. “Fortunately, I now have the power I need. The Kings of this land will never need prostate themselves before one of your kind, ever again.”

There was a general tittering around the chamber and Aodhfin felt misgivings twist at his intestines.

"My elder brothers will be avenged," Diarmait promised. "Against Guthbinn, who spilled their blood with his own hand. And against you, who abandoned those good men, and our king, to their deaths."

"Diarmait son of Áedo Sláine," Aodhfin warned. "My powers extend beyond your comprehension."

"Not any more." The human king drew his hand from the folds of mantel, turning it over to reveal what he held. Aodhfin hissed softly, the heat in his body spiking even as the lit torches and fire place brightened fiercely.

An elliptic sapphire sat in the king's grip. The light in the room hit the surface, and the gem seemed to burst with its own internal fire in response. A six fingered start radiated off the peak, and behind it the dusty light of the universe glowed with muted beauty. This was the queen of the starstones -the largest, the most powerful.

"That doesn't belong to you!" Aodhfin objected. The air rumbled like gathering thunder. "You have no right to use it!"

"No," agreed another voice. "But I do." Aodhfin barely felt the stone floor strike his kneecaps as he met the eyes of his wife. She stood beside Diarmait, an arm encircling his shoulders. "Isn't that right, beloved?"

"Kenna-?" He didn't have the words to express the raging storm and confusion in his mind.

"With this, all doors are opened." She touched a finger to the starstone in Diarmait's palm and the light rose up to meet her, twining around her fingers. "The worthy become masters. The chosen become kings." She gripped the light as if it were a physical thing and it sharpened into a short spear. "And Aodhfin becomes a slave."

Aodhfin gasped as the spear of light plunged into his stomach, knocking the breath from him. But he barely registered the sensation. "Kenna... Do you hate me this much?" The magic of the starstone was constricting him, binding his limbs to his side, crushing his ribs.

"You have no idea," the other djinni murmured, "how
much I hate you."

"I was going to lock you in a lead-stoppered bottle and fling you into the sea," Diarmait commented. "There the ocean could be your prison for all eternity. But I have another idea. I will put you in a lamp, and use your great magic to illuminate a dusty pit at the bottom of my castle's foundation. And my enemies will see that even the djinn dare not stand against my kingdom."

Aodhfin gasped again as the magic pushed his body smaller. He would remember Diarmait's words later, but for now all his attention was on his wife's black stare, seething with hatred deeper than any Aodhfin had ever seen.

----------------------------------------------------------



2012

In a small park, lost between an abandoned church and a corner supermarket, the stone walls of the ancient grounds-keeper's house were completely overrun with climbing vines and the wide verdant leaves of wild saplings. An arch marked the side entrance to the park, where humble gardeners could slip in and out unnoticed. Even in the time that it had been in use, such men would have had to stoop to pass below the arch. Now a wrought iron gate was rusted shut over that entrance. And -almost lost in the vines- a lantern hung at the peak of the arch, waiting.

The light of the lantern should have been long lost, but to a careful eye it was apparent that a pale orange glow still lived beyond the dirtied glass panes. It didn't flicker like candle flame, nor was it as steady as an electric lamp. The glow looked more like a reflection of the sunset than anything else -except that the sunset never rested on the lost New York City park.


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Re: Arabian Nights in New York

Post by Samdarkblood on Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:29 am

He stumbled along the once hopeful streets, his light brown hair hanging in his face. How could one simple screw up, ruin his whole life. Brett had never roamed these streets like this before, he had always hopped in the nearest taxi and gone to work. He wasn't a bad man, he just wasn't as good as he could have been. It would take a miracle to even come close to fixing his life. Who would he turn to, who would care. No girlfriend, family hundreds of miles away, no nothing. He stumbled upon an alley way,that didn't seem too dangerous, this was the only place he had, this was him...home now.
The streets lead to an old park, looked like no souls had been there in ages. He looked around and a stone arch caught his eye. It was beautiful, and odd looking. the lantern was so out of date. Brett climbed up the arch and delicately grabbed the lantern. He hopped back down and rubbed the lamp with his jack. This lamp was far too beautiful to remain here.

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