Samantha Redstreake Geary’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Jinn & Tonic
I twirl the heavy ring between my fingers, the ancient etchings casting eerie reflections on the polished bar’s sticky surface.
Disappointment didn’t mix well with the seven or so drinks I drowned my sorrows in. I felt certain I had made the biggest discovery of the century...now all I’m certain of is a nasty morning ahead and an embarrassing end to a promising career.
“That is an interesting trinket. Might I have a look?” a voice behind me purrs, laced with an appealing accent I can’t identify.
I swivel my chair around to meet the voice and almost topple to the floor amongst the remnants of peanut shells and spilled promises. My head stops spinning long enough to focus on the spectre that towered over me, her form shrouded in inky cloth that moved like living smoke.
She cocks her head, studying me intensely with striking violet eyes, their smoldering edges crinkle with hidden amusement.
My mind refuses to communicate with my mouth, which hangs open in disbelief.
“Your ring, it looks... familiar.” she whispers, edging closer to me. A current of sweet honeysuckle clings to the air around us, an impressive perfume considering the competing smells of the overcrowded bar.
It’s intoxicating...or maybe I’m just intoxicated...I should probably say something, I look like an idiot.
Before I can respond, she snakes a milky white hand towards me and gingerly removes the ring from my sweaty palm. She holds the glinting gold up to her face, a melodic tune pours from her lips.
“From ages long and secrets deep,
the hopes and dreams of life do keep,
until one finds the truth they reap.”
“That’s beautiful...did you write it?” I ask, mesmerized.
“Not I,” she replied, her voice hoarse with emotion. “It’s engraved into the walls of this prison with the blood of a powerful sorcerer.”
I stumble out of my chair and snatch the ring from her grasp, excitement and confusion wrestling in my gut. “You can read these symbols? That’s amazing! I mean, I’ve taken this to the top archaeologists in the world and not one could decipher it.”
“It’s an extinct script not used for more than 2,500 years.”
“But, how do you know it? Are you a language expert, because, I gotta tell ya, that would be stupendous! You could really save my a--”
“Aladdin. He bore the ring, among others.”
“I’m sorry, did you just say this is the ring of Aladdin? Are you serious? I mean, I knew it was ancient and my instincts screamed this was a career altering find, but Aladdin’s infamous ring...wow...that’s unbelievable! Could you write that down--the translation?”
She pins me with a searing glare.
“My apologies. I’m Dr. Galland. And you are?” I ask, hand outstretched.
“Jinn.” she offers, leaving my palm hanging empty in the fragrant air.
“Jinn, that’s interesting, sounds Arabic. May I ask how you came about this information--the ancient script and where you derived your sources?”
“My sources?” she asks, amusement lighting up her startling gaze. “I’ve been trapped inside the belly of that beast for eons. I am the only source.”
My mind struggles to wrap itself around the idea of this exotic creature, the possibilities kicking up a tempest that threatened to short-circuit all rational thought. “Whoa...I’m gonna need another gin and tonic.”
“As you wish.”
Like what you just read? Have a question or concern? Leave a note for the author! We appreciate your feedback!
My world is populated with all manner of speculative fiction, novel excerpts and groundbreaking collaborations with artists and composers. Unlock your imagination and step into a realm of possibility at WriterlySam.