The Djinnhar

The Djinnhar
an 18+ rated Deharan Fairytale
by Topaz

Story Notes

Author email: Topaz172@aol.com

Synopsis: A Phylarch gathers the harlings around the campfire for a storytelling. Long Long ago when humans roamed free ….. A Varr warlord seeks to gain control of the ancient Lamp of Legend. If a mere human like Aladin could do what he did, think what it could do in the hands of a superior wraeththu intelect? For schoolboy Jaysel Harcourt every certainty has been shattered, the impossible is mundane and and his humanity is a thing of the past.

Entirely Original characters (although Sixteen har Tuaththua cameos)

Mostly Set during the Human period with Wraeththu very rare. Storytelling part set at an undefined point after the fall of the Varrs

The Djinnhar

“Gather around harlings, it is time for your bedtime meditation.” said Sixteen har Tuaththua, waiting patiently as his sons Linx and Brendion along with their friends Lalallil and Rook discarded their card game and scrambled over to sit at the log fire.

“Close your eyes harlings and imagine a time long long ago when humans roamed wild, a time when the bad hara weren’t locked in the forests of gehenna and a time when the spirits of old had not yet become the dehara who watch over us.”

*Will this be a scary story Phylarch Sixteen?* sent Lalallil silently his pale blue eyes wide.

*Its got humans, Duhh!* sent Brendion contemptuous of the slightly younger harling.

*Your hostling and I started out human* Sixteen reminded him gently. Sometimes the harlings found it hard to accept the truth that their grown ups hadn’t always been wraeththu. *Anyway, close your eyes and picture the scene, a big building called a school, the place where humans sent their young to learn. Our story starts on a sunny afternoon just as the young are going home to their fathers and hostlings….*

***

“See ya!” shouted Jaysel, stuffing the football into the top of his rucksack and heading toward the school gate while the other human-boys waited for their parents or the yellow bus.

Gran’s house was only five miles away and he preferred to run it rather than hang around.

Just as he reached the highway a tall thin man dressed in a slightly too small pin-stripe jacket and bits of dark glass in front of his eyes to protect them from the sun’s glare, stopped lounging against the wall and moved to block the way.

Jaysel slowed down, not liking the way the guy was looking at him. Behind him an engine revved and wheels squeeled. He glanced around at a van, (thats a vehicle like a cart but without a horse to pull it) speeding toward him and then he felt damp fabric being held over his nose and mouth.

Girls began screaming; but by then it was getting unnaturally dark and he was so very tired.

***

*what’s girls?*

*They have them instead of harlings*

*Yeah only they’re stuck being soume all the time*

*gross!*

***Jaysel glared at his captor impotentently.

“You are Jaysel Harcourt of the Carnarvon Harcourts?” asked the tall thin man with long dark hair, black painted lips and black painted nails.

*I bet they’re really wraeththu!*

*Hush Brendion, yes they are, but this is a time when humans don’t know about wraeththu yet.*

One of the un-named hara pushed Jaysel in the back when he didn’t reply.

“Yeah” he said through gritted teeth, seeing no reason to deny it. It wasn’t like he was actually important or rich. The only thing he could think was that Gran had worked for the guy who’d discovered Tutankhamen, but so what? That had been, like, ages ago.

“Excellent” replied Black Lips “You boy are going to make me rich beyond the dreams of avarice and as powerful as The Aghama himself.”

“No. I won’t.” replied Jaysel getting a push in the back for his back chat.

“You won’t have a choice boy.”

“Look you, I don’t know what you think, but just because my Gran worked for that Carnarvon dude when she was young doesn’t mean he gave her any of ol’ king Tut’s gold. For fuck’s sake that was all put in museums over a century ago.”

Black Lips smiled, as if Jaysel had told a really good joke.

“You really don’t know?”

“Know what?”

“Who you really are, or in this case, what you really are.”

Jaysel said nothing for a moment, bad enough to be kidnapped, but this guy clearly had no inner balance and was quite mad.

“What I am?” He glanced at the guards “You two need a new criminal mastermind, this one’s broken.”

This time the guards didn’t hesitate and Jaysel found himself looking at the knots in the floorboards as he tried to breath.

“Enough.” snapped Black Lips “Get him up.”

Jaysel was dragged back upright as he was told wiping blood from his lip and wondering if he was imagining the loose tooth.

“Do please stand over there.” instructed Black Lips pointing gracefully at a chalk circle traced on the floorboards.

Seeing no reason not to, Jaysel did as he was told, the two hara didn’t follow which was good. The further away they were the better.

Once in the circle he noticed that two parallel lines breaking the circle and leading to a second, far smaller circle set a few feet away.

***

*Its a Majhahn!, I bet* sent Linx

***

Jaysel was about to ask what was going on when Black Lips placed his Gran’s oil lamp in the second circle. A chill ran up his spine, the lamp meant something, Gran had told him never ever to touch it.

“Where did you get that!”

“From your ‘grandmother’s’ cold dead hands.” replied Black Lips, glancing to the corner of the room where a human head lay facing away away from them. The hair a familiar curly grey.

Jaysel felt grief, but only for an instant, he knew he should feel more but there was nothing. No tears, just a vague sense of regret. Somehow he felt there should be more for the woman who’d raised him, but …nothing.

“No tears?”

“No Master” replied Jaysel, his eyes widening as he realised what he’d just said.

“Hmmm.” said Black Lips his eyes narrowing “It’s time we were properly introduced, I am Gothalim har Varr, And do you know who you are?”

“Yes Master, Jaysel Hha..h..” Jaysel felt his fear reach new levels, he couldn’t seem to say his surname and something was making him think another name. He tried to resist saying it. But resistance, as they say, is futile “h..har Varr. I am Jaysel har Varr, Master.”

“Excellent! That will do for now.”

“What are you? Some sort of mind controlling hypnotist? mM…Master.” snapped Jaysel, his mouth blurting the word even though he tried not to.”

“Not at all, I have powers of course, but in your case, I am merely well educated. All of this originates with you. The whole Master/Slave thing, it’s in your nature, in your DNA if you will, assuming you have any DNA that is. Now, Go to your lamp, little Djinn and come back to me as a Djinnhara worthy of my time.”

Jaysel watched in horror as his fingers turned to sand, dissolving like the grains in an egg timer. He opened his mouth to scream but he was already coming apart.

After a moment, wind like a miniature tornado whipped at the heap of sand, lifting it into a dust devil that spiralled along between the chalk lines toward the spout of the battered old lamp.

Jaysel Harcourt’s clothes lay empty like a discarded cocoon.

***

*Can a majhahn really turn someone to sand?* asked Linx nervously

*No, not really, and the sand isn’t because of the majhahn, but we’ll get to that in a minute*
replied Sixteen

*Is Jaysel dead?* asked Rook, holding a fur covered luck charm and stroking it.

*No, he’s not, do you want to know what happens next?*

*Yes!*

***

Jaysel blinked in surprise, looking around he appeared to be in some wierd brightly lit bedroom. Cautiously he moved to the window, realising that the room must be at the top of some tower. There were no walls as such, just four pillars supporting a canvas roof. The only thing between him and an impossibly long drop were flimsy curtains of white silk. At the bottom a dusty flat roofed city sprawled toward the horizon.

He wandered over to the makeup table, picked up a half used stick of kolh and putting it back in the second drawer where it belonged. He shivered, it was like he knew this place, like it had always been his.

It was a great shame that Mistress Gran was finally gone, she had been a good one, wishing only for a son to care for. In fact it had been such a good life he’d even made himself forget who he was in order to better enjoy the experience.

Now that that wish was finally fading the whole turning to sand, the lamp, the compulsion to obey thing, all of it was back. He was a Djinn and there was no way of getting around that.

Something inside him shifted. It was an odd sensation, not painful as such but not something he’d felt before, almost as if his liver was pulling upward and his kidneys twisting a bit to the left.

A Djinn always changed, morphing to match the new Master’s needs, having a new shape, face and personality; male or female usually it was nothing to worry about, just like changing clothes.

Only this time The Changing was going further and deeper creeping into the essential parts of himself that he’d always assumed would never change.

Feeling panic for the first time in millennia he tried to gather the bits of himself that he valued most and throw a mental shield around them. It was vital that he hold on to the core of his self.

The mental shield evapourated like mist on a summer day. Silently he mouthed the word ‘No’ but that didn’t stop the process, his entire self shifted seeking a new internal balance. It was weird almost like being completely sane for the first time ever.

With trepidation he turned toward the mirror, one never knew what exactly what one would look like. Having spent a few decades as an overweight blue Buddha it was always a worrying moment, this time more so.

The reflection looked like the version of himself that young Pharoah Tut Ankh had shaped; lean and delicately athletic, looking about 20 years old with curly shoulder length hair. His skin tanned and glistening as if permanently oiled and down below, the simplicities of male or female were gone, combined into organs that he instantly understood were called Ouana and Soume. As Master had commanded, he was no longer a Djinn, he was something new, a Djinnhar, reshaped to understand and serve a Wraeththu Master rather than a human one.

He posed and then turned around inspecting. The new body looked very good, whatever else he was, Master Gothalim had excellent taste.

Now that his central self was stable Jaysel could feel the cosmetic changes around the edges. Bits of his personality that Master Gothalim wanted ‘just so’. An escalating desire for the joining called aruna and an obsession with looking seductively attractive seemed to be the most prominant traits. Obviously his Master intended for him to serve him in his bed as well as grant his wishes. Jaysel had no problem with that, it wouldn’t be the first time. Most of the thousand and one massage techniques he’d trained in ought still to work on a wraeththu body.

Taking the kohl from the makeup drawer he quickly applied the black lines around his eyes and then picked up one of Tut Ankh’s old kilts, (such a shame about the chariot accident Ankhy had been shaping up nicely). He paused briefly sniffing the ancient fabric that still smelled of the teenage Pharaoh, before wrapping it around his slender waist.

Now letting a new Master shape your entire psyche was a hazard all djinn had faced since the beginning. Safeguards and wards had been set, even if the Jaysel no longer remembered them. The single enchanted grain of sand that was the ‘real’ Jaysel was immutable and had a single imperative etched on its surface. Written in a dead language no longer remembered even by the djinn themselves, were two words…. ‘no cheating’.

Jaysel felt the tug of the outside world and watched excitedly as he began to dissolve, Master was waiting and his new Djinnhar was eager to experience the adventure of a completely new life with a Master that clearly intended to love and care for him intimately.

***

Jaysel har Varr flowed eagerly into the room and posed, legs apart hands on hips, ouana tenting his traditional Egyptian kilt.

“Your wish is my command Master!” he said, feeling new and eager to please.

“Remove the kilt”

Jaysel obeyed letting the fabric drop. Master paced around him examining him from all angles and smiled broadly “So, I was right, I have complete control over your form and personality.”

“Yes Master. Do I please you?” asked Jaysel.

“You will…” replied the Master leering “But first to business. I know I have to be careful with wishes around you. So here’s how it is. If I want to wish for something I will say ‘this is an official wish’ if I use the word wish in any other context you will not act on it. Got it?”

“As My Master commands.” replied Jaysel bowing at the waist.

“This is an official wish. I wish to be fabulously rich.”

For an instant Jaysel har Varr morphed backward, looking like Jaysel Harcourt the schoolboy.

“You forgot one thing Gothalim har Varr, no, make that two things…”

The evil wraeththu stepped back reaching for a staff festooned with the skulls of sacrificed animals. Time slowed and the black nailed hand stopped inches from the staff.

“…first I’m sentient, I’m a servant, not just a tool. You took a life to gain my service, that’s cheating, that was mistake number one. Mistake number two is not fully understanding how the contract between us works. You make the wish, I interpret it and make it so. Your wish is granted oh Master.”

Reality rippled and Jaysel’s form reverted to that of a Wraeththu dressed in the garb of a Pharaoh.

Smiling, Jaysel walked over to the six foot tall pile of Mississippi mud pie and ran a finger through the creamy chocolate filling, examining it and then licking the finger clean.

“Chocolate, ‘Fabulously Rich’ chocolate.” he murmured to himself, as the last vestiges of his previous self faded blissfully into the new. Mistress Gran was avenged and the tiny grain of sand at his core settled back into its millennial slumber.

The two hara who’d acted as Gothalim har Varr’s enforcers were moving slowly toward the door, both looked like they were going to be sick.

“Freeze” Jaysel ordered

The two hara froze, their clothes turning to white marble, trapping them instantly.

Jaysel smiled again. It wasn’t a nice smile.

“You see, I’m going to explain some things to you. My Master wanted me to look and act like a wraeththu kakkene, eager to give pleasure, but also to be cunning and manipulative. Unfortunately Master is now ‘Fabulously Rich’ and really in no condition for taking aruna with.”

One of the hara, whimpered.

“Oh don’t worry, I’m no Pelkist. But I do think that you two need punishing.”

Jaysel wandered over to the nearest marble encased har and ran a finger along his cheek.

“You need time to think about your crime, a human lifetime as a statue should be sufficient” he said, raising his hand and stroking the trapped har’s head.

The Varr began to sob as Jaysel removed his hair as if it had been a wig and proceded to run his fingers over the newly hairless head.

“There, there. Don’t worry, not long now” he cooed continuing to stroke the smooth head until he felt the new eunuch respond, like a cat, pushing his head up to get more contact with the stroking hand. Gradually the trapped Varr’s skin became darker, until it was glistening black obsidian. Slowly the statue moved until it was stood to attention, the marble clothing shattered leaving it naked and utterly immobile.

Once the second har was similarly punished, Jaysel made a shrinking gesture with thumb and forefinger reducing the two to a size that could be easily carried in one hand.

Freedom. For the first time ever Jaysel was free. He could do whatever he wanted, create anything, go anywhere, experience anything…and he instantly hated it.

***

An hour later the contents of Gothalim’s lair had all been turned to sand, even the skull staff was dust, (although it had resisted for almost a whole three blinks of an eye). The only things left were a stolen shoulder bag that still had the sales tags dangling from it, two small obsidian statues, and a battered old lamp.

Jaysel lay on the floor hands behind his head….bored, bored, bored.

Sure he was a Djinnhara now, but the annoying Djinnish insecurity was still there. Making his own decisions still terrified him. ‘No’, he’d decided, what he really needed was a new Master to tell him what to do.

Of course the new Master would need to be a Wraeththu and that seemed like it would be a problem. He’d let his mind roam through the entire city and it rather looked like he’d used up the only three.

He would have to search further and if no suitable wraeththu were found, well that wasn’t entirely insurmountable either.

***

Part 2

Two weeks later…

“I hate you! I wish you were dead!”

The human boy colapsed.

“Mark? Mark!” screamed the ex-girlfiend

Jaysel hurriedly slipped away through the gathering crowd. It was one of the good things about human civilisation, you could be a completely different species walk around in just sandels and a Pharonic kilt and not get more than a second glance.

This was the third time a wish had been accidentally invoked. It was a symptom. His power wasn’t fooled by his current Master being only a little bit dead, and with no one to focus on, it granted any wish said within Jaysel’s earshot.

Theoretically some human or wraeththu could wish to be alone and wipe out both races entirely. Where would he get aruna then? Causing one of the other near sentient species to evolve enough to fit the role would be tremendously inconvenient and probably take decades.

Jaysel sighed and morphed the white pleated kilt into jeans and shoved his hands into the pockets. The obvious option was to find a nice warm uninhabited desert to hang out in, but he remembered trying the whole hermit thing about eight thousand years previously. He’d been happy with it then, but his current self had new needs, endless sand and timeless solitude would be just be way way boring.

It all hinged on carefully selecting the right Master and getting him to make the correct wishes. Most importantly the Master needed to be wraeththu so that he could finally slake the desires that his ex-Master and his new biology had planted in him.

***

Alex Carlyle fumbled with the lock of his room. At the start of term he’d figured it would be cool, living on campus, away from home able to do anything he chose. Unfortunately the room mate he’d ended up with had had exactly the same idea. Brad had decided that he no longer needed to tidy stuff, he could let his shit stay wherever it fell, leaving the room permanently looking like it had just been robbed or bombed.

If the mess wasn’t bad enough, the jock seemed to be turning into the archetypal arrogant quarterback, treating Alex like he was some geeky embaressment.

“Sometimes I wish I had a different roomie” he shouted in frustration, reaching up and slamming the second door bolt across.

***

Jaysel blinked, looking around. One moment he’d been slipping away from the girl and her dead boyfriend, the next he was in the room he now remembered sharing with someone called Alex.

He’d never seen the place before but at the same time ‘knew’ that he belonged here. Obviously his power had chosen to grant another random wish.

Outside, someone was rattling keys in a lock so Jaysel quickly waved a hand slowing down time. He needed a chance to get his bearings before he met this Alex creature.

The room had two cramped looking single beds and the look of a stereotypical college or university dorm.

Around him, the remnants of the previous occupant were already turning to sand. The discarded laundry and sports trophys collapsing into miniature dunes, one of which looked suspiciously humanoid in shape.

With another wave of his hand Jaysel caused a breeze that scattered the sandy outline, leaving the floor feeling nice and gritty.

Aftrr a moment’s thought, Jaysel placed The Lamp and the two statues on the shelf above the bed. It was one of the rules, The Lamp wasn’t allowed to be hidden and it was a Master’s responsibility to ensure its safety.

A few quick additions, regular human clothes hung on a clothes rail, a scattering of text books and the room looked like he actually lived in it. Satisfied, Jaysel speeded time back to normal and turned to greet his new roomie.

***

“Hey!” said Alex, noticing the foreign looking dude wearing only a pair of jeans. “Who the hell are you?”

“I am your new room mate, I am Jaysel har Varr.”

“Where’s Brad?”

“You are confused, do you not remember? Brad won an exchange scholarship to Alexandria U.”

Alex frowned, but a second later he remembered very clearly how excited Brad had been at winning the lottery and travelling abroad. This guy was obviously the Egyptian dude Brad was swapping with. Yes, it was all very clear now that he thought about it.

“Well Jaysel, Welcome to the good ol’ US of A. I wish we get on better than I did with Brad, he was a bit of a jerk to be honest.”

“Your wish is my command” replied Jaysel in a voice that Alex thought seemed a little too friendly in someone he’d just met.

Although, now that Alex thought about it, Jaysel did look kind of interesting; he was lean and tall, giving the impression of inner strength, but without being muscular, his eyes so very friendly, but also kind of innocent.

Alex shook his head trying to clear it. He wasn’t gay, but he’d still felt ‘something’. Embaressed by the warm inner feeling of rightness, Alex hastily moved to his side of he room and switching on the PC. Hopefully doing homework would get his mind off the bit of perfection who now shared his room.

For Jaysel the effects of the accidental wish were equally profound. Where before he had been entirely interested in his own plans for finding a Wraeththu to be his new Master, now, thanks to the wish, he desperately wanted Alex to be the only one giving the orders. The snag of course was that he was human. Completely the wrong species.

Jaysel sat on his sandy bed and watched Alex with infinity patience. The human was a relatively good example of his species. Fortunately, The Rules allowed for a certain amount of tweaking,Less fortunately something like changing the boy’s species was going to require an actual proper intentional wish.

Alex hesitated and then continued typing at the PC, not noticing that his posture had shifted slightly and that the muscles of his arms and torso were slightly less well defined but at the same time considerably stronger. Nor did he notice that the dark roots of his bleach blond hair would never again require a treatment to keep his hair colour perfect.

Jaysel lay back and waited patiently, for now just looking at his new friend and potential Master was sufficient. In his mind a fantasy version of Alex danced gracefully amongst a shower of petals that matched
the shimmering colours of Alex’s perfectly proportioned ouana.

***

Alex glanced at where Jaysel was watching him. It was kind of irritating that the Egyptian kid was always around and always seemed to be watching. But it was also kind of flattering because the expression on the dude’s face was always one of longing.

In the week that he’d known Jaysel he’d never yet warn a shirt, Alex figured that displaying such a perfect physique every day was a bit boastful. In fact it was also kind of distracting in an interesting sort of way.

It didn’t help that there had been some sort of mix up in the course assignments that left him sharing every class with his handsome roommate. Quite why his electronics degree required him to take classes in ancient middle eastern archeology, heiroglyphics, pharaonic linguistics and mythology was a mystery. Heck, even the admin staff had admitted it was a bit odd. But when he’d insisted they change it back, they’d got a frosty determined look that said it was more than their job was worth to change it back.

Jaysel really did look exceptionally fine though. The way his chest almost looked oiled.

“Alex!, Jaysel!”

Alex blushed and quickly glanced back at Professor Murray; around him the rest of the archeology class snickered.

“You are here to study, not gaze longingly at each other. In fact, that goes for all of you. I really wish you people could just be honest about your feelings, that way maybe you’d be ready to concentrate on my lecture and not be constantly fantasizing over each other.”

Toward the back of the room Jaysel’s eyes widened. He’d been looking at Alex and running through yet another theoretical conversation where he explained everything to Alex and got him to make the wish and lived happily ever after. He’d almost been taken unawares. The power was already gathering within him, ready to alter reality and grant the scholar’s wish. Quickly he focused his entire mind guiding the effect and constraining it, it was one of the bonuses of being a Djinnhar that there was at least some conscious control, his Djinn form would simply have done it all subconsciously.

The class was about to be emotionally honest, there was no stopping that; but the extent of the honestly could be tweaked. Those who hated would glare at the offender and returned their attention to the white board, those who felt love, would feel the need to express it fully and passionately.

“So be it” he wispered quietly, adding soundproofing to the walls, a lock to the door and the mental equivelent of a do not disturb sign.

Across the room the students ignored the lecturer as they shifted around to focus entirely on those they loved.

“Jaysel?” asked Alex, clambering over several couples who were gazing deeply into each others eyes in order to perch on the desk in front of him.

“Alex?”

“I feel I have to tell you something”

“And I have things I have to tell you too.” replied Jaysel, feeling an icy chill of alarm, the wish had specified honesty, and he was no more immune than the humans.

“I…I can’t seem to keep my eyes off you. I know you’re my friend, but sometimes I have this urge to take it further…you know…gay.” explained Alex, looking at his hands and blushing.

“When Brad left, you said that you wished I would be a better friend. My people believe wishes have a sacred power, and so I am your most loyal friend. If you wish us to be lovers as well, all you have to do is wish it.” explained Jaysel, feeling desperately constrained by the honesty compulsion. “But you should know I’m not the same race as you.”

“Look, I’m no racist. It doesn’t bother me that you’re Egyptian” said Alex, his lip curling in disgust at the thought

“No! that isn’t what I mean” said Jaysel, a tear forming, he could feel reality twisting around. Alex was about to wish something and if he phrased it badly….

Alex couldn’t help himself, he reached forward and brushed the tear from Jaysel’s smooth cheek. It felt so good, so right. His friend obviously felt the bond between them and this messed up cultural baggage that the exchange student clearly meant he’d been as shy about it as Alex himself had been. It was all bullshit anyway and it was time to be honest.

“I wish we were lovers.” said Alex

“Your wish is my command” replied Jaysel with relief “I’ve been trying to think of a way to get you to say that for almost a week now.”

“No way!”

“Yes, way”

“I’m so sorry, you must think I’m so thick. I felt it from the moment I saw you. But I didn’t know what it was.” said Alex, feeling an odd discomfort below his stomach.

They kissed, or at least it started out as an intention to kiss. As their lips neared, Alex and Jaysel sighed becoming lost in a kaleidoscope of feelings as their breathes mingled.

The sound of the bell snapped Alex out of it.

For a second the world seemed to contract in around him. He was sharing breath in the middle of a classroom full of humans all of whom sat facing forward as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

“The class is finishing..we…we should..” said Alex.

The noise of seventy students stuffing un-read text books into their bags and the charge for the door interupted any further conversatin. He wondered if it had been some sort of dream, only Jaysel’s warm hand in his told him it wasn’t.

As they walked down the corridor Alex became increasingly tense, there were humans everywhere, it made him nervous, the way they smelled, the way they looked at him, sort of hostile but not even sure themselves why.

Only Jayel’s hand around his shoulder prevented the tears from starting.

***

Something was up with the apartment . The campus issue single beds had been replaced by a four poster emperor-sized double bed draped in white silk that looked like it couldn’t have gotten up the stairs let alone through the doorway into their room.

It was clearly one hell of a prank, but Alex couldn’t figure out who’d done it. He didn’t know any of the other freshers well enough to be the butt of jokes and it had to be waay too soon for his suddenly public love-life to be the reason for it.

All thoughts of Jaysel set aside, he made a quick check to see if anything had been stolen.

“I have something I have to tell you.” said Jaysel seriously

“I love you too” replied Alex, guessing.

“No. Its to do with the reason the beds have changed and the reason the humans frightened you so.”

“What?”

“The beds, I made them become one so that you may be comfortable while we take aruna together.”

“I don’t understand”

“I..I’m not what I appear to be and neither are you, not anymore.” replied Jaysel, finding it difficult to admit what he was. “Watch”

Alex’s eyes widened as the massive bed split in two, the bit where the single beds had joined turning to sand and colapsed as he watched.

“That happened because I have a power. I’m a djinnhar”

“Djinn? like Aladdin?”

“No. Aladdin was a Master, not a Djinn. It’s not just the beds. I’ve changed some things about you too.”

Alex backed away slightly, horrified. “Changed me? What do you mean?”

“I grant wishes” snapped Jaysel, “It’s what I’m for. You wished for a friend better than Brad, I became your friend, the professor wished for emotional honesty and we became emotionally honest; and you, you wished that we were lovers. That last wish was the one that changed you”

Alex distinctly remembered that final wish, and even though he was scared shitless couldn’t help but admire everything about Jaysel, and now that he thought about it he knew it was a new feeling, that he hadn’t needed Jaysel so badly before he’d wished it. Not that the past mattered now that he’d accidentally become Jaysel’s perfect mate.

“So I wished that we were in Love,; that’s a change I can live with. Hang on though. that can’t be right. If you’re a Djinn you have a Master. What are you doing granting random wishes?”

“I don’t have a Master. The last one made a foolish wish that killed him.” replied Jaysel “Until I find a new Master, I am condemned to grant any wish uttered within earshot.”

“So if I said I wished there were cheerleaders in the room?”

The cheerleading squad sceamed collectively. Apparently they’d been in the changing rooms, some were still in uniform, some had their normal clothes half buttoned and a third group had been in the showers.

“I wish these girls were back where they came from” said Alex quickly, somehow a room full of female humans was a lot better demonstration than the bed trick.

The cheerleaders vanished

“Please don’t say any more” Jaysel said looking serious and moving to sit on the large bed that reformed under him “If you’d said ‘…weren’t here’ instead of ‘…back where they came from’ they’d be dead right now. As long as I am Masterless I can’t interpret the intent of a wish with any accuracy.”

Alex sat at the desk, looking at the Djinnhar who seemed worn down and sort of defeated.

“I could be your Master then. Would that work?”

Jaysel looked up hope burning in his eyes. “You could, but there’s a price. Every time I get a new Master, I change to suit his vision of what I am. I won’t be the ‘me’ you see before you. I will be the version of me that’s in your mind.”

“I don’t get it, is that so bad?”

“The problem is that you still haven’t understood how much you’ve changed. If I’d made love to you as.. a human, then you’d have died in agony. So the wish turned you into a Wraeththu… like me except without the wishing power. Normally the transformation would be extremely painful, but I love you, so I damped down the pain and made the change go faster. Only I did such a good job you still haven’t noticed. The complication is that you don’t think like a Wraeththu yet, If you become my Master without understanding your soul, and my soul, then I won’t be the same person I am now when I return.”

“Hold on. Scroll back a minute. I’m not human?”

Jaysel waved a hand and Alex felt the chill of air where clothes had been a moment before. Looking down Alex felt a weird duality he was looking at an ouana that pulsed with colour, an organ he’d never seen before and yet one that felt utterly natural and right. Now that he was thinking about an inner calmness welled up within that seemed so much more sensible than the constant fight or flight instinct that ruled the human mind.

“So I don’t dare be your Master until I fully understand myself?” Alex smiled “I have a better shortcut. I wish that I fully understood what I’ve become.”

Jaysel grinned a white toothy grin “Brilliant! So be it. The lamp is over there between the two statues.”

Alexil har Carlil nodded and picked up the ancient artifact. A Sandy wind scratched across his arm and when he glanced around Jaysel was gone.

Alex might have worried that he’d gotten it right, but Alexil didn’t. All his wraeththu senses sang with the joy of balance and rightness. Looking down he shifted posture to something slightly more ouana than soume. When Jaysel emerged he figured it likely the Djinnhar would tend more toward the aspect of Lunil of the calm waters than Agave of the feiry passion.

***

Jaysel reformed within the lamp, the room now looking more like a copy of the room he shared with his new Master.

This time there was no conflict, instead of pain and confusion, The Changing was a renewal. He had purpose again and the love of his Master made him twice as strong.

Quickly Jaysel har Carlil desolved into sand and flowed back into the waiting arms of his beloved. It was time that they both learned why Black Lips Gothalim had made his Djinnhar so obsessive in his need for something called Aruna.

***

*Did they live happily ever after Phylarch Sixteen?*

*If you ever find Immanion City, you can ask them yourselves*

The End

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