This was never supposed to be a series. I wrote it for fun and boy was that an accurate description of the process. Samuel Thorne's tales have quickly become some of my favorite pieces I've ever written. I hope you enjoy too!
The cave was not quite what I was expecting. Despite the promise of riches and supreme power, I was instead surrounded a legion of the dead. Corpses stretched out as far as my limited vision could reach. I had a creeping guess as to what resided within.
As I began to slip away from the festering pile of gore, a woman’s soft but deep voice called out from behind the bodies.
“Simpletons,” she sighed. “Unworthy, brainless, simpletons. It’s rather like handing a monkey a machete and expecting a good result.”
I was speechless as the brilliant blue-tinted woman walked toward my location. Her hair was a shimmering silver and seemed to be disturbed by a non-existent wind within the cave. The sparkles in her nude form caught my eye. I had never seen something that was simultaneously so horrifying and alluring.
“You’re different, aren’t you?” she whispered. “I can tell by the look in your eyes. They all barged in expecting some sort of fairy-tale. A beautiful slave who was willing to fulfill the most profound wish of your soul.”
Though utterly stunning in every way, I began to notice certain things that were just a touch off about her. The brilliant luster of her silver hair dissolved to what appeared to be a smoky hue down at the base of her bouncing curls. Her stride was sensual, yet her feet seemed to have almost no impact with the ground beneath them. Although her breasts bounced slightly with each step, there was no real reason for them to be doing so—unless she was not quite what she had been purported to be.
“I thought Djinn were restricted to their lamps?” I asked, trying to get a rise out of the unquestionably powerful being. I questioned my choice even as her eyes flashed a brilliant white hue.
“Odd choice, Samuel,” she hissed. “One does not usually offend the all-powerful creature who holds the very fabric of life and death within her hand.”
I took a step backward and decided that if I was to survive, I’d need more intelligence than the drunken farmers had provided.
“I wish for you to tell me your life’s story!”
She faltered as though smacked over the head with a bat. The creature was a Djinn alright. Although majestically powerful and notoriously wicked, she was bound by a certain set of rules.
“Fine,” she growled. “I once was like you, ignorant and free. I was a farmer’s wife. I had a thirst for power and—more. When the bandits swept through our village, it might have been thought a betrayal to beg them to take me along, but I did not care. As I crept from tent to tent satiating my every desire, I felt more alive than I had been in the years leading up to my capture. I traveled with them for over a year, until I realized they viewed me as no more than a slave. I would be no one’s slave. At least, that was what I wished for.”
I examined the shimmering demi-goddess and she seemed to be telling the truth. I knew that it had to be true, even if obfuscating her true intent. That was one of the laws Djinn were governed by.
“When I encountered him, it was much like how I met you. The men I’d traveled with were searching for a power that could utterly annihilate the competition. They wanted to be the undisputed rulers of the region. They wished to remain undefeated for as long as they lived. I watched the Djin summon a concocted hollow of bone and flesh. The hideous creature looked about as mighty as a throw rug. ‘Strike it down,’ he said, ‘and see your wish granted.’”
She laughed as she looked down to the crusted blood on the cave floor.
“As his sword sliced into the undead, a wave of explosive flame shot up the blade and pierced through our leader like a lance. It jumped from member to member until it reached me. The flame died out and I was left alone with the Djinn. It looked on my pathetic corporeal form and smiled.”
“What is your wish, master,” he asked.
“I thought I was smart about the whole thing,” she sighed, “and for many years I was. One day, when felled by an enemy, I wished for him to save my life.”
“And that’s how you ended up here?” I grunted.
“In the very cave where I first met the Djinn,” she replied. “Now, knowing that I am bound to you, what is your second wish, master?”
Samuel pondered his second wish, knowing that he would have to be cautious and wise.
“What would you wish?” I asked.
“In my current form?” she smiled, entertained, and bemused by his question.
She sauntered closer to the man and ran her ethereal hand up his stomach as she wisped around his body.
“Maybe I’d ask for a night of pleasure with myself,” she giggled, nibbling at my ear, “perhaps all the riches in the world.”
“No!” Samuel answered sharply, causing the Djinn to recoil. “I didn’t say what should I wish. I said, what would you wish?”
Her jaw dropped. She had never been asked that before. Something inside her compelled the Djinn to tell the truth.
“I suppose I’d wish to feel something again,” she mewed softly. “It’s a lonely life, here. I am not confined to a brazen fixture, but I cannot leave this wondrous cave. I am compelled to challenge mortals’ intelligence when they enter, but to what end? I would wish to taste food, make love, even feel pain, just once. In permanence would be lovely, but a single day of pleasure, pain, or any kind of emotion at all would be my deepest and truest wish.”
“That’s it then,” I smiled.
“What’s it?” she asked, taken aback.
“I wish for your wish, exactly as you just stated it, to come true.”
The Djinn opened her eyes wide as she stumbled backward, her feet suddenly seeming to impact the cave floor. The pale blue of her skin began to yellow as she clutched out at the air with real lungs. She smiled and laughed like a child as her hands ran up and down her body, feeling real warm skin for the first time in millennia.
“You?” she muttered. “How did you?”
“You said it yourself, Djinn,” I replied. “You were once like me. I just wanted you to be afforded one more moment of pleasure, whether it’s for a day or an eternity.”
“And I assure you, I will return the favor magnified tenfold!” she cried out as she leapt into my arms and kissed all along my jawline, making her way to my mouth. Her tongue darted between my lips and I felt nauseous. It was like a bundle of earthworms. Rotting flesh, polished to a beautiful silken feel, was all that I held in my arms. It was not true mortality for the Djinn, no matter how she aimed for it to be. Her hand shot down my trousers and I pulled my eyes open.
“Wait!” I called out. “I cannot make love here, surrounded by the dead. It would not be at all enjoyable for me.”
“Oh, I assure you I could make it beyond anything your mind could fathom” she lustfully groaned.
“I am sorry,” I replied. “I will bring you wine and food from my camp, but I cannot make love to you here.”
She frowned and looked at me as though I were offering her an appetizer when she really craved the main course.
“How far is your camp?” she whimpered.
“Just outside,” I smiled. “There’s a soft bed there, too.”
The Djinn began to march ahead of me. “We will be back inside before nightfall, but where else am I to find a living man to fuck before this gift dissipates, you stubborn ox.”
“Sorry to be so peculiar,” I replied. “You are truly unmatched in your beauty. I cannot wait to provide you the ultimate release.”
“Ultimate release, hmm?” she whispered. “Someone is confi—”
Her words caught as she felt sunlight on her arm for the first time in centuries. The woman took a step outside the cave and looked up at the sun with all the adoration of a child. She breathed in the hot air and it filled her lungs.
“Oh, it’s perfect, Samuel,” she spoke as she turned to face me with the biggest smile she could muster.
I almost felt guilt at her unadulterated happiness as her tattered face turned back to face mine. What looked to be strips of leather, bound by ethereal glue, held the mummified bits of flesh in place as she began to stumble under her own weight. She remained blissfully unaware as her bones began to turn to dust.
“I know,” I replied as she sunk down to the ground.
The last bits of her began to unravel as she released a breath of smoky death. She was smiling even until the end. I looked to my lashed horse and he returned my stare as if to say: “Can we go home now?”
“Let’s go, Beast,” I grunted, stepping over the disintegrated Djinn who broke her own rules. “We’ve got a reward to collect.”
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