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The lamp was not as she left it. Instead of the cozy apartment with red brick walls and creaky wooden floors, Alessia stood on a disc that floated in space. The sun blazed far out ahead of her, and the moon danced behind her. The disc itself had been cut from a strange golden marble and polished so much that Alessia could see her reflection.

A man sat in the middle of the disc. His billowing pantaloons and curl-toed slippers were cut from a purple cloth, and laced with designs threaded in pink. He wore them well. His body was well muscled and he had a wide barrel chest. His skin was a deep tan and his thick braided hair pulled back. He opened his eyes.

“Hello, Alessia.” His voice was the male voice that trapped her in the lamp, “I am Rayad.”

The genie stayed where she was, as she tried to decide to join him. “Are -- are we in the lamp?”

Rayad smiled at her, “Let this be your first lesson, Genie Alessia: It is not the lamp, or a lamp. It is your lamp.” He stood up, revealing his six foot plus height and walked to her, “And yes, we are inside the vessel you have been bound to.”

Alessia took a step back from the man. She had long learned to be wary and cautious on the streets, and those instincts were hard to ignore. But he wore a gentle smile and extended his hand out for her to take.

“I understand your trepidation, Genie. But I will not and cannot bring you harm. Your lamp would not allow it.”

Alessia gently reached out her hand to his, “Allow it?”

“Your vessel can and will protect you from physical and spiritual harm.”

Rayad gestured and a pair of gold and purple pillows appeared on the disc. He led Alessia over to one of them. She sat down and admired the soft fabric. Rayad took the other cushion, sitting with his back rod straight and legs crossed. Alessia, though, kept her legs curled close to her chest, arms wrapped around her knees.

“You talk as if the -- my -- lamp is alive.”

“In a way, it is. Not alive like you or I, but the Djinn and Genies who have come before you have left a mark upon the lamp. Imbued it with a portion of their spirit. In time, you will leave your own mark upon this vessel.”

“I don’t intend to stay here that long.” There was a touch of defiance in Alessia’s voice, but Rayad took no offense. Instead, he cocked his head and looked at her curiously.

“Why is that?”

“What?”

“Why do you not wish to be a Genie?”

His question took Alessia aback. She wanted to shout at him, to be angry. To demand he set her free. But her anger was gone. Vanished, as if it had never been. And without her anger, she had no choice but to think clearly. “I . . . I don’t want to be a slave. To be forced to do things I do not want to do.”

“I see. And what would you think if I told you that neither of those things was true?”

Alessia scoffed, but said nothing.

“I have been, in my time in this lamp, a counselor to chieftains and emperors, I have found loves for the lovelorn, and been a muse to artists and philosophers. All that I did without them commanding me.”

“But . . . what if my Master is none of those things? What if he just wishes that I keep his house clean?”

“Then you would clean his house. But a Master who uses a wish for a clean house is not a Master who will have your lamp for long.”

Alessia rested her head on her knees, “I still don’t like it.” She muttered.

Rayad laughed, “You will.”

Then the Genie furrowed her brow, “You said that you spent time in this lamp.”

“I wondered,” Rayad said with a smile, “if you would notice. Listen to the words your Masters say. Language is not a firm medium.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“You didn’t ask one. You should speak with clear intent.”

Alessia uncurled her body. Despite herself, she began to like this Rayad. “Was this lamp . . . did you . . . Were you once bound to this lamp as I am now?”

“I was. I was, in fact, the first occupant of this lamp. You are the fourth. In a way, you are my my great granddaughter and my heir.”
The hair on Alessia’s neck stood on end, “There was a man outside, who worked for Carmine Salvatore. He called me Mahreen’s heir. Was Mahreen the Djinn of this lamp before me?”

“Indeed she was. This lamp was her home for five centuries, after it claimed her in Persia. She was beloved to my people and to her Masters.”

“Did she serve Carmine Salvatore?”

“Yes.”

Alessia waited for a moment, thinking that Rayad would continue. His previous answers to her questions had been much longer. “Can you tell me more about Mahreen?” She asked.

“I will not.”

Will, not can, Alessia thought. Rayad was hiding something. “Why not?”

“Many reasons. Not the least of which is Carmine Salvatore.”

“I can deal with him,” Alessia said, thinking back to the way she handled Francesco earlier, still learning her powers.

“I want to be clear about something, Genie Alessia: You are not to get close to Carmine Salvatore and his men. You are to run from him.”

“What if my Master commands . . .”

“Convince them otherwise. Carmine Salvatore is most dangerous man I have ever known, and he is obsessed with Mahreen and all connected to her. Had I my way, your lamp would be 12,000 miles away.”

The suddenness and force of his words took Alessia by surprise. He was afraid, and his fear crossed into her. She knew his power first hand. He had been one of the djinn that bound her to this lamp. That he was afraid unsettled Alessia, but she tried to mask her fear.

“You don’t have to tell me twice.”

“I am glad.” He closed his eyes, as if he was focusing on something far away and very quiet, “I believe you are about to be released once more. Remember your lessons, Genie Alessia. And farewell.”

Rayad vanished then, and took with him the burning sun and dancing moon. The golden dais and the twinkling stars. Alessia’s lamp returned to the form that she liked: the little French apartment that overlooked the city of the Djinn. She took the pillows that Rayad had left her and hugged it closely. She felt less afraid about being a Genie, but much, much more afraid of Carmine Salvatore.
I've been meaning to get more Alessia stories out. I have a lot of really cool ideas and world building I want to do. The world of the Djinn, Genies, Lamps, and Masters can be wonderfully rich.

Keep an eye out, too, because parts 1-4 of this story will be getting updates shortly. And a more consistent naming convention.
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:iconavaunni:
Avaunni Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Are you going to continue the story? It's really good!
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2015
I really want to, but I got stuck badly on Part 6. I may have to sigh and rewrite that part and try and move on.
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:iconavaunni:
Avaunni Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Come up with anything yet?
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner May 7, 2015
I wish.
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:iconbud89:
Bud89 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
Interesting story, especially with a rookie genie that doesn't know what to do with her power and her master that doesn't know what to do with her. I hope you continue with it.
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Thanks. Parts 3 and 4 have now been revised, and I think it's clear that Alessia's Master has things figured out a little bit more than she does.
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:iconbud89:
Bud89 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Awesome, so you are planning on continue this?
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
Yes, indeed I am. Any thoughts where it might go? Things you want to see?
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:iconbud89:
Bud89 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
No thoughts or things I want to see, I just want to read your work. :)
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:iconmichal1970:
Michal1970 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Hmm, the part of her anger being taken away and that it makes her think more clearly. So she will be able to give her "master" god advice and interpret wishes wisely.

The fact that a mighty Jinn is afraid of Salvatore (and that she is not stupid enough to not listen to that), gives me even higher hopes for the quality of this story.
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
True. Though, she's a twenty year old who just got turned into a Genie a few hours ago. It'll be a while before she find true wisdom. For instance, she stole a precious lamp from Carmine Salvatore, a man so dangerous even the Djinn fear him.
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:iconmichal1970:
Michal1970 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
OK replying to my self! I'm starting to questioning my sanity!

No I wanted to press "return" and ended up pressing the "add comment" button instead - still not used to the screen keyboard of a tablet.

So!
Will Alessia only grant three wishes? Or will she grant them as long as someone owns her lamp?
Will I be able to have her turn me into different things? And will I be safe doing this?
If I end up in trouble after a wish would she be able willing to come to my aid? I'm thinking something like wishing for a collar that transforms the wearer into a cat/dog. And once I wear it, I will not be able to take it off and therefore be stuck.

Now I'm hitting the "add coment" button on purpose ;-)
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:iconanimelover1808:
animelover1808 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
I look forward to more of this! Any other ideas you plan on working in the future?
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
To be honest, not at the moment. I have some ideas.

What did you like about this story?
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:iconanimelover1808:
animelover1808 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013
I liked her anger being taken away. It just works making her more of an obedient Genie!
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
I like that, too, though I wasn't thinking of making her more obedient at the time.

I'm curious to know if there's anything in particular you would like to see in this story, keeping in mind it's not really going to be a TF story.
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:iconanimelover1808:
animelover1808 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Hmm not sure besides TF lol! I don't know what I would want if there is no TF maybe she becomes a more knowledgeable genie and doesn't mind the life of it anymore?
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:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
She will be learning a great deal about being a Genie. Her lesson isn't quite over yet.

But, more as a thought experiment, if you found Alessia's lamp, what would you wish for?
Reply
:iconanimelover1808:
animelover1808 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
It would be probably some evil power like the ability to transform someone into whatever I want and transform their mind! ;)
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