In Genie Us by Glaze72 – Chapter 2: She Dreams of Gene Eh?
I can’t sleep.
She had grown up in a noisy house, and three years at the University of Louisville, either living with a pack of girls on her dorm floor, or with her three roommates once she moved into an apartment, meant that she had grown used to a certain amount of background noise. But her older sisters were married and out of the house, and now it was just her and her parents. Around her, the house seemed almost eerily silent.
She sat up, fluffed her pillow, turned over, and flopped back down. Through the open window came the sounds of crickets and other nighttime insects. Down the street, Thor, the idiotic boxer that belonged to the Wengers, barked at something invisible. A soft breeze touched her cheek, but it could not cool the frustration in her blood.
He’s wrong for her. Anyone with a lick of sense can see it. She turned over again, seething. A couple of months ago, after Allison had floored them all by accepting Brad’s engagement ring, she and Wendy had very carefully tried to point out to their friend that the older man was not exactly prime husband material. They drew attention to his immaturity, the fact that he already had a DUI arrest on his record, and that Allison had twice come within a whisper of breaking up with him when she found out he was cheating on her. What, they had asked, made her think that he was going to change?
But it hadn’t done any good at all. Allison was like her, the youngest child, and she didn’t have the sense to see that the world was a lot bigger than their own slice of Kentucky. Maybe if she had gone to college, like Shanaya had, her horizons would have expanded a little, and she would know that the first offer wasn’t necessarily the best one. But her grades hadn’t been great and her family wasn’t as well off as Shanaya’s was, so she had settled into a comfortable rut, working as a receptionist for a law firm and living at home.
Oh, to hell with it. She wasn’t going to be able to sleep, and now that school was out for the summer, she had no reason to get up early anyway. She spared a thought towards masturbating to take the edge off, then shook her head with a grimace. All too often these days, any time spent tickling the pink, as her older sister put it, inevitably turned into a fantasy session where her gorgeous blond friend played a starring role. And now that she was engaged to Brad, thinking about Allison just made her angry and frustrated.
Brad suspected her secret obsession with his girlfriend, she was sure. He was just waiting for the best time to make sure everyone knew about it. Brad had too many prejudices against gay people and minorities for her to ever feel at ease in his presence. Oh, he tolerated her for Allison’s sake, but she had seen him, looking at her with a nasty smirk, as if her thoughts were written in great big letters on her face. It would only be a matter of time before he mentioned it to Allison, and when he did he would be certain to make it as cruel and hurtful as possible. He was the sort of person who would put off punching you in the gut now if it meant he would have the opportunity to stab you in the back later.
She threw off her covers and turned on the lamp, squinting against the sudden glare. If she was going to be up, she might as well get something done, she thought, and she padded over on bare feet to her vanity, where the necklace and the cleaning kit were waiting. The gold winked up at her from the black velvet cloth where she had laid it earlier in the evening.
Yawning, she sat down and went to work, carefully scrubbing each disk with the tiny brush that came with the kit, then dabbing some of the cleaner onto an old rag and polishing it. The work was oddly soothing, especially when she could see the change in the necklace as, row by row, it took on an added shine and luster.
She finished the front, then flipped the necklace onto its back, repeating the process. As she cleaned each link, her brows drew down in a frown. Inscribed on the back of every disk was a single sigil. Not in English, of course. But it was also not in the Devanagari script, which she might have expected on a piece of her grandmother’s jewelry, but in what looked like Arabic letters.
But what did it say? Devanagari could be infuriatingly difficult to translate, since there were so many different dialects in Hindi, and even now things like spelling were still not uniform across the vast country. What was legible in one province might be complete gibberish a hundred miles away. But if the letters were in Devanagari, she would probably be able to puzzle it out. But this was Arabic, of which she did not know a single word. And was this supposed to be read from left to right, like a book? Or down each diagonal? Or, as she vaguely recalled, from right to left, since Arabic laughed in the face of western conventions. Or could it be a code of some sort?
Shanaya could never resist a puzzle. As soon as she was done cleaning the necklace, she got out her computer and a pad of paper, writing down notes as she absently chewed on a stray lock of her hair.
Two hours later she closed her laptop, and sat back in her chair, rubbing her grainy eyes. She thought she had the code broken, but what she had found made her shake her head. How in the world had Grandmother Chanda gotten her hands on a necklace that had a spell for summoning a djinn, of all the crazy things? And what was more, written in a foreign language, which had caused her no end of headaches? It seemed completely unlike her stumpy, down-to-earth grandmother to own anything that smacked of magic or the uncanny. The old woman had been almost annoyingly unimaginative, curling her lip at movies and television and what she saw as the profligate waste of western culture. How many times had she smacked her granddaughters across the shins with her cane and told them to get their heads out of the clouds and back on the ground where they belonged?
Who knows? Maybe it came to her from an older relative, just like it came to me from her.
Her fingers traced the finely-drawn letters, engraved in the gold with incredible skill. “Ali Allah hamal Jinni,” she whispered, reading the summons. “Muschna al aman Majirr Al-Amari. Closun ontei. En tien Allah clumon.”
There was a faint sound in the bedroom, as if someone had popped a bubble. Shanaya spun around in her chair, her mouth falling open in shock. Kneeling on her bedroom carpet was an incredibly good-looking man. Even she, who never gave a man’s physical appearance any more notice than she had to, would be forced to admit that he was a stunner. His hair was coal-black, his body spectacularly muscled without being too bulky, and his face gorgeous, with high cheekbones, fathomless dark eyes framed by thick lashes, an arrow of a nose, and oddly full, sensuous lips.
And at his groin…she swallowed, looking away. Impressive was one way to put it. She was sure that some of her college friends would have fallen on the man with squeals of rapture. But for her, the sight of this man’s tumescent penis, waving in the air like an obscene dowsing rod, left her feeling more than a little bit ill.
She stared at him. He stared back, his head swiveling wildly from side to side, obviously looking for someone or something which was no longer there.
“Oh,” he snarled, in an oddly high-pitched voice. “You nasty little bitch. You had better not be telling me that you just summoned me!”
He fell back dramatically, his forearm over his eyes. “No one is ever going to believe this!”
“You’re a genie,” she said flatly, fifteen minutes later.
The strange man had just finished a rather comprehensive breakdown, which she had barely been able to keep from becoming a full-scale screaming fit. The gods only knew what her parents might think if, drawn by his shouts, they had burst into her bedroom to find a naked man there. Just the thought made her want to die of potential embarrassment.
He flapped a hand at her. “Guilty.”
“I thought you guys were stuck in lamps, not necklaces.”
The man shook his head. “Oh, gurl, you are so wrong. First of all, those are fire djinn.” He shuddered in mock distaste. “Nasty, unpleasant brutes. No sense of fun at all. I’m a water djinn, and we’re ever so much nicer.”
She could see a fire djinn being trapped in a lamp, but…”Water? From a gold necklace?”
Carefully, as if he were wary of touching the necklace itself, he shifted the cloth it was lying on, light dancing off it like ripples in a stream. “See?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“And we’re not trapped in the lamp, or the necklace, or whatever. We’re merely bound to it.”
“Such eloquence,” he sniped. “Typical. Djinn are not trapped within an object, human child. We are bound to it. Do you think a being such as myself would consent to be stuck in a smelly oil lamp for decades, subject to the whims of a bunch of jumped-up primates? No. I am bound to the necklace you are holding, mortal girl, the same way my other cousins, the ones who could not avoid it, are bound to lamps and candelabra and rings and vases. Once, long ago, a distant ancestress of yourself tricked me and bound me to this necklace. Though she was decent enough to not ask too much of me.”
“How did she do it?” Despite the impossibility of the situation, she found herself fascinated. “My name is Shanaya, by the way.”
“Charmed,” the genie muttered sourly.
“And what’s your name?”
“Hah!” His black eyes snapped at her. “I am bound to the necklace already. Do you think I am going to give you even more power over me? Now, I am your servant. But I have no desire to be your slave.”
She blinked, remembering half-heeded tales told by her father’s parents when her family visited them in India. Of sorcerers and heroes and the unexpected luck of youngest sons. Memory flipped a card over, and she read it. “Names have power.”
A slow clap. “Bravo. And why in the name of the seven netherhells did you summon me now?” His voice took on a petulant tinge. “And just when I was going to finally get my mouth around the most gorgeous cock in the astral plane! I’ve been trying to get in his pants for centuries and you had to go and spoil everything!”
Parent Post: In Genie Us by Glaze72 – Chapter 1: Something Old
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 2: She Dreams of Gene Eh?
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 3: A Change Will Do Her Good
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 4: Morning Would?
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 5: Eaten Out