Releasing the Djinn epilogue

 

"You what?!" Idrak could feel his voice shake the earth around them, echoing off the nearby mountains.

 

It had been two days after their ordeal with Calypso, and he had taken his wife across the world atop a snow-covered mountain somewhere deep in the Nepalese region. With the use of his magic and his own body heat, he shielded the tiny woman beneath him as he laid her down on a bed he conjured from thin air. As always, she clung to him with desperate need as he explored her soft, responsive body. It was the offhanded admission afterward that broke the spell of tranquility.

 

Kneeling upright on the bed, he glared at Nadira's shocked and confused expression as she stumbled over her words.

 

"I…I gave her the stone necklace," she repeated.

 

"And?" he repeated doing his best to keep the rage from his voice, but he knew he was failing. "Repeat the last part you told me," he demanded.

 

"And she gave me a kiss," Nadira looked away from him in embarrassment. "She said she would give me something more valuable."

 

Idrak could feel his resolve slipping as he ground out the words. "And just what did you get from the witch whose son imprisoned me for centuries?"

 

With wide guilt-filled eyes, Idrak watched her shrink away from him as she whispered. "I don’t know, I didn’t get a chance…"

 

"Nadira," he roared, jumping from the bed, not caring of his nudity. Pacing back and forth near the side of the bed, he clenched his fists in an effort to keep them away from her neck. "You allowed a witch to touch you after giving her my stone, a stone that happens to conceal whoever wears it from my magic and all for a "gift" you have no idea about?"

 

"Idrak, please, I…"

 

Unable to stand it anymore, he grabbed her. Scenarios, terrible twisted scenarios filled his head as he tried to second guess the witch.

 

"Idrak?" The worry in her tone was audible, and Idrak wanted to say something snide about worrying too late and at the wrong person, but he didn't have time for that. Opening up a portal underneath her, he shoved his wife into it, nearly allowing himself to smile cruelly at her startled yelp as she fell backward into their bedroom and flopped unceremoniously into their bed.

 

"I will deal with you later after I clean up your mess."

 

Closing that portal, he opened up a new one and stepped out into the middle of the Pacific ocean at the furthest point from any land. Taking on his larger form, he waited.

 

Minutes passed, and nothing happened.

 

"Calypso," he shouted, knowing the evil witch could hear him. "Do not force my hand." He would turn this whole goddamn ocean to sand if he had to.

 

Water began to churn. Swirling and rising into a shape, the deep gray water began to take form. Rising to meet him face to face, the gigantic watery form began to define until Idrak could see the familiar outline of the woman. With a sudden force, the water sluiced off the giantess leaving behind a towering Calypso.

 

"What do you want?" Golden eyes narrowed mockingly at him as she sized him up.

 

Idrak did not waste time. His hand shot out fast and enclosed around her throat. Immediately the sea around him exploded and he could briefly see down to the farthest, darkest depths of the seafloor. Tightening his grip around her neck, he ignored the pain of the water spearing through his body in the witch's attack and let his mind picture where he wanted to go. With one breath, they were gone.

 

"IDRAK!" the witch screeched an unholy shattering sound as she looked around. They were in his territory now, a product of his imagination, a dimension he called the nothing.

 

Void of life and light, the nothing contained no ground, no sky, no air, no temperature--just nothing. Holding her still by her neck Idrak let himself expand to his environment until he was just a face within the darkness. He watched unmoved and detached as her pupils widened and then constricted in terrifying fear. He knew what she was seeing, and even though he never viewed his own face in this form, he knew exactly how he looked. Cutting a jagged scar into the darkness, his white teeth glowed in the dark while his eyes blazed like two pools of maddening white light.

 

"Tell me what you did," he commanded.

 

Idrak could feel the witch's throat bob beneath his palm as she swallowed nervously. "Has she ever seen this side of you?" she boldly asked.

 

The floating smile grew larger. He had to give the witch credit for her brass. "No, unlike you, she will never give me a reason," he answered simply. "Now, tell me what you did to her for the stone."

 

He could see thoughts race through Calypso's mind as she tried to think of a response, most likely some witty barb.

 

Tightening his grip, he enjoyed her spasm of panic as she renewed her clawing at his hand at her neck. "I will not ask again," he said impatiently.

 

"Immortality, you ungrateful bastard," she finally hissed. When he did not reply immediately, she continued with a strained smile of satisfaction. "Surely a djinn who never ages and never dies would want his wife at his side."

 

Whatever he was expecting, this was not it.

 

Idrak began. "I…"

 

"I knew you could not give it to her," Calypso interrupted, a measure of confidence pouring back into her voice as she read the monstrous face's expression. "Yes, I figured out how your magic works, all based on your logic, right? If you can conceive it, then you can will it. Immortality was something I figured out long ago at the birth of my first son…a mother should never have to endure the death of her children."

 

"Then why didn't you give that gift to your worthless son," he countered, wanting to shake the witch to death just thinking about her spawn.

 

Sadness and fury simultaneously dampened and lit her golden eyes. "I…he was beyond my control or help; immortality would solve nothing," she whispered.

 

"More like, make him into a bigger piece of shit than he already was."

 

Calypso jerked in his hold and he could feel her power crackling under her skin.  "Do not test me, djinn."

 

He realized she was attempting to absorb him, but it would not work. One cannot absorb nothingness.

 

Ignoring her threats, he allowed his thoughts to stray back to Nadira. He purposefully did not think of his wife's future. The thought of her growing old and dying drained every ounce of happiness from him. He did not want to spend what little time he had with her worrying. From the moment he took his wife into his life, he decided he would live every moment he could in that moment and he would deal with the future when it happened. Eyeing the struggling witch, he wondered if what she said was true. Although admittedly not once in his encounters did Calypso ever lie to him. The witch was too prideful for deceit, she thought herself all-powerful and without the need for the convenience of lies.

 

"What do you want with the stone?"

 

Her eyes practically set him aflame. Her struggle became chaotic as she flailed in his grip, and Idrak wondered if the thrashing witch would break her own neck. "For instances like this, you bastard!" she spat. "I should have worn it, but I thought you reasonable!"

 

Not bothering to hide his amusement, he let go of her neck. With a thunk, the witch fell into the ocean that appeared beneath her dunking out of sight below the lapping waves.

 

Back to his normal horned form Idrak turned in midair. "Stay away from my wife, Calypso," and though he did not see her, he knew she was there and knew she could hear him.

 

"Are you sure djinn?" her disembodied voice cut through the sea wind as one last retort. "When your daughter is born, she will be a witch, a powerful one at that," Calypso's voice was grave, causing Idrak to pause as his mind reeled at her words. "With powers rivaling yours and surpassing even mine. You will need my help in training her, Idrak."

 

A child? A daughter at that. How was it possible? He never knew he could even sire kids. Djinn were created, not born. Looking up to the sky, he thought of the creator's will and not for the first time, just what in the hell he intended for Idrak's life. Created and left without guidance, filled with unimaginable power and left to play around the world, was this the plan all along? To sire a witch, someone like the witch of the sea. Someone with dark eyes and dark hair like the angry little wife, who was probably waiting for him with daggers in her eyes, that he left plopped on his bed.

 

Not turning back. Not saying anything more, Idrak blinked out of sight. His wife, his love, and the possibility of a family. All things he never conceived, all things he never dared wish for himself. But every single one, he would hold onto with everything he had.

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