So this is a short story I wrote over the summer that takes in the world of the Arcane Realm. I hope that you enjoy it and be sure to leave comments about the story, characters, even the setting if you’d like. And don’t forget suggestions for stories you would like me to do or any themes you might like me to tackle.
Whoo! A tug on the cord above him made the train’s whistle bellow its presence to the world. A young man looked out through the side window of the car to enjoy the wind rushing past his vessel. His wavy black hair rode the prevailing winds a bit before he returned to operating the console that moved the train forward. “Looks like the whistle survived the crash yesterday, l wonder…” The conductor of the vehicle lost his own train of thought when his eyes caught a glimpse of something. “What’s that glint?” he thought to himself. The train began to slow its journey hovering just above the desert sands until it stopped and landed on the ground. Sulei then grabbed his vest hanging on a hook in the conductor car and walked through a few cars until he stopped at one with a bed. “Roxie…Roxelana…wake up please”, he whispered while poking a lump under the sheets. After a few, a person got up from under the sheets with a serious mess of black curls where a head should traditionally be. “Listen sweetie, I’m heading out to bring something in but I won’t be long. Also the hot water’s back so you can take those waterfall showers you love so much.” The woman in the bed responded by holding her thumb up, followed by plopping back into bed. Sulei soon opened wide his door, and gazed at the golden hills of the dunes before him. His ocher tan and sky blue eyes almost glowed in the radiating sunlight. Walking down to the last step before the desert, he put a single foot on the surface before quickly pulling it away. “Yep, definitely hot”, he thought to himself before putting a pair of sandals on his feet. Once he recaptured the sparkle from earlier within his sight, the trek toward its source began. A few sand dunes later, the treasure hunter pulled out a small paintbrush and began to sweep away the sediment from the metallic spot once claimed by the desert. After some excavative brushwork, Sulei began to wonder as he lifted the object into view, “It can’t be…it’s just a regular one, right?” In his hands was a brass oil lamp, once buried underneath the desert. He instinctively wiped the broad side of the lamp with his palm to get a better look but what followed was an odd white mist escaping from the spout. The white cloud quickly ignited into a fire of the same color. “Yup, it’s one of those”, the spectator commented. The pillar of white flame became bigger and larger until it started to come together to form something in the air. What was once a large flare, was now revealed to be a humongous man towering over the many sand dunes around him. He was adorned in a vest with a turban wrapped around his head. Below his torso, was a wisp of translucent mist trailing from the lamp in Suleiman’s hand. The mystical being that sprung forth from the artifact spoke with a booming voice, “OH MASTER WHO HAS RELEASED ME! I AM THE SPIRIT OF LAMP FROM TIME LONG PAST. AS A SHOW OF GRATITUDE, I SHALL GRANT YOUR HEART’S GREATEST AND DEEPEST DESIRE.” Suleiman was a mere ant compared to this almighty being towering before him. Even as he tried to look up, there was no sight of his face due to its height. All Sulei could do was cup his hands around his mouth and shout, “Hey! You’re a Jinn right?” The spirit somehow managed to hear him and once again with his booming voice responded, “CORRECT, I CAN GRANT ANY WISH THAT YOUR MORTAL MIND CAN FATHOM AND MUCH MORE. Suleiman continued, “Do you want to come to my house for dinner? My wife and I are planning on something with lamb.” The mighty Jinn responded, “VERY WELL I SH-wait, what?” suddenly losing his echo for a mild mannered voice. “I said lamb, and could you shrink down here? This is kind of a strain to do, you know?” Sulei answered back. The jinn followed his suggestion and then the impossibly huge titan became the same size as Suleiman himself. “See isn’t that much better.” Suleiman greeted the spirit of the lamp. He then picked up the oil lamp that the jinn once called home and continued, “You know thinking about how early it is, I guess we’re really eating breakfast. Ah well, come with me and we’ll discuss it with something in our bellies”. He looked over to the wish-granting entity who now appeared before him as a tan middle-aged man adorned in a lime-green tunic and baggy white trousers with his feet bare in the sand. Looking on, Suleiman could now make out that the vest he wore in his original form was embroidered on the edges with sliver script. His new feet were rather large and somewhat disproportionate with the rest of him. The wielder of the brass commented on his new associate. “I see you acquired some legs, and my taste in fashion”, he answered back while using one of his hands to pull his own beige baggy pants to give his spirit a quick glance at them. “Well let’s not keep her waiting”, he finished. The jinn asked his new caretaker, “Not to question you master, but you could always call on me to bring you to your home-Nah,” his master interrupted him. “I wouldn’t want to bother you for something as little as that, besides I want to see the look on your face when we get there. Also you can call me Suleiman. “Very well…Master Suleiman”, his spirit companion responded. Suleiman rolled his eyes and made his way towards his locomotive home, looking at the lamp in his hands and the jinn following behind him. Once he arrived inside, he announced, “Honey, I invited a guest over for breakfast, let me know if you’re awake! After a moment a feminine voice answered, “Yes, I took a shower and l am getting my clothes on now.” Her spouse told her, “Okay, we’ll just look around in the kitchen then.”
The two walked over to a dining car with typical kitchen amenities. Suleiman walked over to his boxy copper stove, turned a dial to start the hissing of gas and lit a match above it to get a fire going on top. He went over to a marble-topped stand where a pitcher was waiting in a bowl, washed his hands with soap and by pouring water onto them. Then he took a burlap sack from a cupboard above the sink and put in its contents of lentils in an iron pot of water. After putting the pot to boil, he then went into a tall wooden cabinet where he checked the drawer above holding a small tank of gas. He open the oak furnished doors to take half a dozen eggs in a carton and a slab of lamb in the other hand. He cracked the eggs into a frying pan and placed the meat into a separate boiling pot. Suleiman looked over to his guest who was trying to visually absorb all the foreign cooking devices in front him. Suleiman told the spirit, “Don’t worry I’m a bit of an expert in the kitchen…Oh you’ve probably never seen a gas stove and fridge before. Yeah, they’re marvels of technology alright, the fridge is like an icebox but a tank of gas does the cooling instead. Best part is they came with the train when I found it.” He stopped stirring for a second to open the fridge within his guest’s view. Although there wasn’t a lot of light coming into the box, you could make out that it mostly stuffed with various meats inside. “Not your average steam train is it?” the current chef smiled. “I might try to figure out more about how this stuff really works, maybe make enough money from patenting them to make us set for life. Cross our fingers, and we’ll get lucky enough for this train’s to provide for our new family someday soon.” “I see you’re doing breakfast for me, again”, the voice from earlier said coming closer. In the doorway was a golden toned light brown woman with curly black dreadlocks down to her shoulders, sporting a thin violet tunic with pearl white seams draped on her figure down to her knees. She was leaning on the door opening, staring at Suleiman with her green eyes and a coy smile. “Sorry Roxelana, but we haven’t had a guest in a while…and I got kind of excited.” She wagged her finger in his general direction and told him, “Now, now, showing off will do you no good, you know. Of course I’ll let it slide if I can set the table and lay out some drinks for us.” With a nod from her spouse, she turned to their guest and said to him, I hope you stay for the meal, my husband’s not just a handsome face, he knows his way around the kitchen too”. She then left the car to get the supplies. Suleiman stared off to the distance sighing, “That woman, no wonder I love her” and went back to cooking their breakfast. Finally the table was set and a bowl of lentil stew with lamb and scrambled eggs was placed for every one along with a glass full of sparkling water. Before eating the couple closed their eyes, bowed their heads, and Suleiman spoke, “Bismillahi wa ‘ala baraka-tillah” and Roxelana followed with “Bismillah”. After which, the two began to eat the food in front of them. Their guest who opened his eyes after following his hosts asked them, “I take it that you two are of the Muslim faith.” Suleiman took a moment to swallow and responded “Oh yeah, since birth in fact.” “Well, not me”, his wife added “but ever since Sulie’s family came to Erisija Village, it was getting popular there. When I decided to marry him, I made a commitment to embrace the five pillars and enjoy the lifestyle”. Suleiman looked to his wife with a smile and he responded the same. “And of course, I support her with it whenever she asks. I’ll always have my culture but more than anything, I just want her to have a happy life.” The genie nodded in agreement. “A fine pair you two are indeed, although I must say. I’ve travelled the Earth at least once yet I haven’t heard of a human settlement called Erisija Village before.” The couple slightly titled their heads before Roxelana asked the jinn, “Uh what exactly is an Earth? Is that a country from before the Ghul Wars or something?” Their spirit friend gave them his own look of puzzlement at what he just heard. Suleiman snapped his fingers just before he exclaimed, “Oh I see, you must be a jinn from Earth, not from Kaf like us. I was wondering why you were in an abandoned oil lamp. He went on, “At first I assumed you took refuge in a metallic object to recover from injuries but why do that in the middle of the sand dunes? Your lamp must have been transported to our world from a random portal popping up. Speaking of which…” Suleiman put his arms under the table to take out the brass lamp from before. “I took a look at this thing on the walk over here. You were only in it for about 20 years, meaning if you didn’t recognize the fridge then chances are Earth must not have an equivalent of that device either, at least not yet anyways.” “How could you have deduced that?” Asked his faithful servant. “Well you should know, it’s easy with a simple mana detection spell.” Suleiman put his hand near the brass when a blue light emitted from his palm. A violet swirl that mimicked a flame was suspended between the lamp and his hand. The flame then formed itself into indigo script floating just above the brass object. “See?” he showed to his guest confidently. He then looked to his new friend with his jaw dropped and bulging eyes. Suleiman answered back with a confused face and a shrug of the shoulders. “What? You’re actually like this is some impossible weird spectacle or something?” Sulie then relaxed when a moment of clarity hit like Cupid’s arrow. “Oh right, I didn’t even get to tell you yet. See, I look human as does my father but my mother was a jinn, Sil’at tribe to be precise, so I inherited spell craft from her. It’s also why I probably didn’t react like you expected to your grand entrance,” he said with a big grin on his face. Their guest recovered from the shock with a redness in his own. Roxelana got into the conversation, “Aw, you’re blushing, mister…” She waved her hand in the air to make up for the loss of words and quickly darted her eyes towards her husband. Sulie’s own eyes opened wide in the realization. “Ah, I forgot to ask you for your name. I’m so sorry.” His guest consoled him, “It is fine, and Elijah you may call me.” The food cooling contraption and your unexpected gift of magic did surprise me but I’m still not convinced I have traveled to the fabled alien world.” Roxie sighed and moved her chair from the table, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you but my legs and feet feel asleep after finishing the meal.” She then stretched her legs and slipped her feet out of her slippers to gently rub her feet. Elijah jumped up from his seat upon seeing this and exclaimed, “Egad! What has happened to your feet woman, why do they look like that of an ape?” To be fair, her feet were nearly identical to her hands, each with a grasping big toe not unlike her thumbs. She answered “I just washed them, they shouldn’t look that bad.” Afterwards, a skinny long appendage covered in the same shade of black hair of her locks came from behind the woman to scratch the top of her head in confusion. Elijah continued to shout, “And now she has the tail of a monkey, WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? Suleiman stood up to respond to his hysterical guest, “Calm down, besides where you come from, apparently humans don’t have tails and prehensile feet? I think you’re the weird one here, mister.” The woman narrowed her eyes at the earth bound spirit,” Pardon me, but I had a tail and these feet the whole time, you just wasn’t paying attention before. And I don’t know what a monkey or ape is, but that sounded like an insult to me. Next you’re going to say that none of your humans have smooth eyelids like mine either” she said while pointing at them. “My apologies, this is all really hard to accept”, he sighed just before falling back into his seat. “And you would be surprised, a very large number of them have those kind of eyes actually”, he retorted. “Really?” Roxie said looking a bit intrigued, “Tell me more why don’t you.” Suleiman though for a moment, “How about this, the spell bounding you to the lamp is easy to break, but I need to get supplies. Luckily the capital city, New Jinnistan isn’t far from here. They should be able to give you some records, ID, and you can live your life here.” “Why are you changing the subject dear? His lover inquired. “No, wait, you would do that for me?” Elijah asked. “Sure, Eli, I’m not going to leave someone from another world behind in the cold. Hmm, but I do need to start the engines.” As he ran, he told his wife to put up the rest of his food in his quarters for later His wife told Elijah with a smile and a roll of the eyes, “Looks like he’s showing off again.” Suleiman ran to the car with a control console right in front of him. With both of arms on the controls and a tail growing behind, he used all three to push buttons, and flip some switches until he grabbed the key in the ignition. “Let’s go everybody”, he muttered under his breath as he turned the key to start the engines.
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