The Battered Lamp
Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Deceit of the Si’lat
© Copyright 2014, 2015
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Click here for Chapter 27.
Note: Thanks to b0b for being my beta reader.
Cast of Characters
Kyle Unmei Jr.: Half-Japanese/Half-Kurdish owner of Aaliyah and wielder of Earthbones. Poisoned by Burke as they fought.
Aaliyah Unmei: A Jann sent to marry the prophesied savior of the Djinn. Kyle’s First Wife. Kidnapped by Zaritha and taken to the Hidden Realm.
Fatima Unmei : Kyle’s younger sister and wife, wielder of Fireheart.
Christy Unmei nee Leonardson: Kyle’s long-time girlfriend turned third wife.
Fumi Unmei nee Nakamura: Kyle’s fourth wife. A succubus-like Yuki-onna and wielder of Windfeather. She is blind.
Britney Kingston: Kyle’s best friend since elementary school. She is a Rakshasa and has sworn to defend Kyle. She is a hermaphrodite and has claimed Phillipa as her mate. Wielder of Waterclaw.
Sultan Rashid ibn al-Marid: The despotic ruler of the Djinn and leader of the Marid clan. Wants Aaliyah dead to thwart the prophecy.
Hecate: The Dark Goddess that both Ms. Franklin and Burke served. Sent a familiar to seize Faiza’s soul when she died.
Faiza Unmei: Kyle and Fatima’s widowed mother. Killed by Burke. Her soul was stolen by a familiar of Hecate. Resurrected by Hecate as an instrument of the Dark Goddess’s vengeance against Kyle.
Makerah: An Unbound Marid, a Djinn that has violated the Laws of his people and escaped punishment through a dark ritual. A servant of Sultan Rashid and his son. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them.
Aljihm: An Unbound Ifrit and servant of Sultan Rashid. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them.
Aalizunah: An Unbound Si’lat and servant of Sultan Rashid. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them.
Jowdah: An Unbound Ghul and servant of Sultan Rashid. Killed by Zaritha.
Khiana: An Unbound Jann. Once a bitter rival to Sultan Rashid but now a servant of the Sultan. Ordered to hunt down Aaliyah and Zaritha and kill them.
Ms. Franklin: The deceased servant of Burke and leader of the coven. Also known as Celestite.
Principal Burke: The identity assumed by Alphonse of Toulouse, a nine-hundred-year-old knight. A warlock serving Hecate. Killed by Kyle.
Chyna Unmei nee Coel: Kyle’s first concubine. Ms. Franklin cast a spell on Kyle and Chyna, forcing them into a slave/master relationship.
Shannon Unmei nee Coel: Chyna’s hot mom and Kyle’s second concubine.
Alexina Unmei nee Kendrick: Blonde concubine.
Carla Unmei nee Tyler: Redhead concubine.
Antonette “Toni” Unmei nee Buckley: Cheerleader concubine.
Daniella “Ms. Capello” Unmei nee Capello: Kyle’s English teacher and concubine.
Lois Unmei nee Smilingfox: A lesbian Domme that serves Kyle as a concubine.
Ann Unmei nee Weaver: Fatima’s friend and strawberry-blonde hair.
Kayleah Unmei nee Peterson: Fatima’s bleached blonde concubine and former rival.
Teleisia Unmei nee Otis: Aaliyah’s African American concubine.
Phillipa Kingston nee Stoddard: Former member of Ms. Franklin’s coven where she was known as Jade. Captured by Britney, Phillipa submitted to Britney and became her mate, discovering that she is a masochist.
Mindy Unmei nee Stoneking: A nurse at the hospital where Fatima is sick and Kyle’s newest concubine.
Sable Unmei nee Purcell: Also known as Tourmaline, she was a member of Ms. Franklin’s witch coven. While fighting with Christy, she was hit by a Love Elemental’s attack and now completely loves Christy.
Zaritha Unmei: An Ifrit serving the despotic ruler of the Djinn and sent to kill Aaliyah. Joined Kyle’s harem to cement her alliance to attack Burke. Mortally wounded saving Aaliyah from Jowdah.
Shiekh Umar ibn al-Jann: Aaliyah’s father. Rules the Jann from Khoshilat Maqandeli.
Ishtar: The Goddess of Magic Christy, Sable, and Phillipa now serve.
Iris: The daughter of Ishtar and the spiritual guide of Christy on her path of redemption through the Spirit Realm.
Sarai: The daughter of Rashid. She is angry at her father and helps Kyle, pledging the Marid’s support to his rule if he overthrows Rashid.
Thursday, January 28th – Majlis al-Jinn, Oman
Kyle watched as the Marid Sarai, a gorgeous woman moving with grace as she danced in the center of the cavernous cave. Sarai, despite being the daughter of the Sultan Rashid, was opening the way for Kyle and his women to enter the Unseen Realm. He was going to rescue Aaliyah, defeat Rashid, and claim the Sultanate. There was nothing left for him in the real world.
His mother was dead and the police hunted him.
The Marid’s dance was fluid, her lithe curves shifting beneath her blue silk. Water trailed from her fingers, falling about her and wetting the rough, brown cavern floor in a circle. Power hummed in the air interacting with his aura. He gripped Earthbones in his hand, his katana flashing gold like it was reflecting unseen light.
“Be ready!” Shannon shouted to the concubines.
His harem encircled Kyle and his wives. They had all been enhanced by Christy’s magic, made faster, stronger, lethal. They were his protectors as well as his lovers. They wanted to fight with Kyle for their future. Part of him didn’t want any of his women to fight, but Britney had convinced him last week after Fatima’s coma.
They all loved Aaliyah and they had as much right to fight for her as Kyle did.
Fumi had a green arrow knocked at her bow, her white eyes flicking around. She could still see thanks to the power of her bow Windfeather. Fatima danced on the balls of her feet, Fireheart burning in her hands. Christy gripped her black staff and Kyle knew she readied to cast spells, Sable and Phillipa at her side to aide her. Britney was crouched low, her hair bristling, and black stripes grew on her face. She was ready to fight and plunge Waterclaw into their enemies.
Water fountained around the Marid, rising up in a column of pure blue before crashing into the high roof of the cave. Water rained warm down on them. The air distorted where the column had risen, writhing like heat waves dancing over a fire, and then daylight flooded through. A verdant oasis appeared through the distortion, crystal water beside green bushes and palm trees.
“Spread out when you’re through,” Shannon shouted and leaped through the opening. She had covered twenty feet from a standing jump, landing lightly on the sand around the water, darting to the right. The other concubines, all moving with grace that no human woman could attain, flooded through after her.
Britney was next, Kyle racing behind her. He reached the distortion, pushing through a thin membrane, and then he was standing upon the sand of another dimension. The sky above was dark-blue. A hot breeze blew through the greenery. Yellow dunes rose up beyond the oasis, and the wind carried the scent of dry dust.
Christy and the witches were the last to step through. All ready the concubines had formed a perimeter around Kyle, while Britney led Chyna and Alexina on a sweep of the oasis, racing around the water’s edge.
“What now?” Fumi asked as the distortion they passed through wavered and vanished.
“Do you sense any people here?” Kyle asked her. Her windsight was harder to fool than normal sight.
“Just our family,” she answered.
“Why didn’t we ask for directions from Sarai?” Fatima moaned as she looked about.
“Sahabah is to the south,” Sarai’s voice echoed through the wind. “It lies at the heart of the five tribes. You stand in the land of the Jann. I could have opened the portal to the other five tribes, but I think you will find your wife’s family the most friendly to your cause.”
“Thanks,” Kyle said, looking around, wondering where her voice had come from.
She did not answer.
“So, which way is south?” Fatima asked, leaning on her spear.
“No idea.” Kyle looked up at the sun overhead. It looked like it was noon. “Once the sun starts setting, I’ll guess we can figure it out.”
“Ishtar, your servant is lost in the wilderness, guide her path and point her north,” Christy chanted. Then her body spun, facing off to Kyle’s left. “Well, this way is north. So behind me is south.”
“Britney, have you finished sweeping the area?” Kyle called out.
“There is only harmless wildlife here,” Britney called back from the other side of the oasis. “We should find a way to carry water or I fear we will perish on the desert sands.”
“I can conjure water,” Christy called back. “It’s a simple spell.”
“Very simple,” Phillipa agreed. “Then we do not need to risk drinking from the oasis. Who knows what could be in the water. This isn’t our world. It could be enchanted or poisonous. And there could simply be microbes in there that would make us sick.”
“Genie flue,” laughed Fatima. “That would probably suck.”
“This sun will be punishing,” Fumi said. “I do not like this heat. We are not dressed for this.”
“Can you conjure clothes?” Kyle asked, looking at Christy.
“Master, something approaches!” cried out Toni, her auburn hair flying about her shoulders as she pointed up into the sky.
“Get ready, concubines!” Shannon called out.
Fatima fell into spear stance, fire burning at the straight-blade of her yari. Kyle gripped his katana, looking up at the swirling vortex rushing at them. Fumi fell back, drawing her arrow, Christy and the witches joining her, while Britney raced towards them, crashing through the brush.
“This might not be an enemy, Kyle,” Christy said. “We’re in the Jann lands.”
“Right. Let’s not do anything sudden. Just be ready.”
Britney stopped beside him, her triangular-bladed katar glistening with water.
The vortex hurtled closer, hissing as it flew through the air. It shot down to the ground, whipping up leaves and dust as it landed before Kyle. Then the vortex coalesced, forming into the shape of a young woman.
“Kyle!” his Genie wife yelled, launching herself at him.
Kyle dismissed Earthbones, throwing his arms wide to embrace the naked beauty of his wife. Her lips found his, her tongue thrusting into his mouth. He hugged her to him, pressing her lithe body to his strong form. He couldn’t believe that she was here with him. In his arms. His heart beat for joy. He ran his hands up her supple back and down to cup her round ass. She felt so wonderful, just as he remembered her.
She moaned into his mouth, her kiss growing more and more passionate. Her groin ground into his crotch, his cock swelling in his pants. She was inflaming his blood, his lusts pumping through him. He had so many questions for her, but all that really mattered was that she was in his arms.
“Where did she come from?” Britney asked.
Aaliyah broke the kiss, looking over her shoulder at the astonished women. “Zaritha let me go,” she smiled. “Oh, Kyle, I thought I would never see you again.”
He scooped her up in his arms, holding his wife. She was so light, like she weighed nothing. Her laugh was airy as she put her arms around his neck and gave him another hot kiss. The passion of her lips was a scouring wind blowing all thought from his mind.
“Zaritha let you go?” Christy asked. “That doesn’t seem right. Why would she capture you and then let you go? And wouldn’t the Marid’s have a problem with that?”
Aaliyah let out a moan in his lips, then broke the kiss. Kyle hated that. He needed to kiss her.
“Zaritha didn’t take me straight to the Marids,” Aaliyah answered as Kyle carried her to the sandy beach beside the oasis. “She had a change of heart. I was heading home to my people when I saw you.” She let out a happy sequel. “Oh, my husband, I am so happy to be with you again.”
He sat her down on the sand, laying out her naked body. Her round breasts heaved with her breaths, her dusky nipples hard and beading with something white. He thumbed her nipple, gathering the white substance on his thumb.
“I would not drink that,” Britney warned. “There is something very wrong here, Kyle.”
“I’m pregnant, Kyle,” moaned Aaliyah. “My body is beginning to prepare for the baby. My breasts ache! Please, drink of my milk.”
Kyle licked the drop off his finger. Bliss flooded his mind. It was as intoxicating as Fumi’s scent, and lust burned through his blood. His cock swelled as he fell upon her breast, sucking in the sweet milk. Aaliyah moaned and cooed, stroking his face as her hands reached down to his pants and stroked his aching cock.
“Oh, yes, my husband! Drink my milk! I love you so much! Oh, yes!”
“Aaliyah,” he panted between swallows, his lips moving to her other breast as her legs parted and her hairy bush pressed into his stomach, tickling him and growing hot with her excitement.
Shouldn’t she be shaved?
Her sweet milk banished that thought.
Fatima moved beside them. “Kyle, you need to stop this. She isn’t Aaliyah.”
Aaliyah’s hands guided his cock to her sopping pussy. He penetrated his wife, groaning for joy. “Of course she is, Fatima,” he smiled, seizing his sister’s hair and pulling her to his lips, kissing her, giving her a taste of the sweet milk.
Fatima moaned into his lips, thrusting her tongue deep into Kyle’s mouth as he buried his cock all the way into Aaliyah’s sweet cunt. Pleasure burned through him, Fatima’s spear vanishing into fire as she reached out to fondle Aliyah’s tit, squeezing and kneading, milk squirting out to fall on their skin.
“Umm, that is delicious,” Fatima moaned, leaning down to lick the milk off Kyle’s chest.
“This is ridiculous,” snarled Britney, striding up. “I will put a stop to this, Kyle.”
“Concubines, my wives and I are trying to have a moment, stop Britney.”
Kyle didn’t bother to look as he pumped his cock in and out of his beautiful wife. Fatima’s tongue licked down his chest, kissing and nuzzling where Kyle’s cock entered Aaliyah’s lovely body. Women yelled behind him, but he didn’t care. Fatima’s tongue flicked at Aaliyah’s clit, then she worked her way up Aaliyah’s dusky body and latched her mouth onto Aaliyah’s breast.
His sister looked so hot as she suckled at Aaliyah’s dusky teat and his cock fucked his wife harder, his pleasure rising. Aaliyah stared up at him with such hungry passion, her hips bucking up to meet his thrust. Milk leaked out of her other breast, and Kyle bent over to get a taste.
“Oh, yes. Suckle, my love! Feast on my milk!” Aaliyah moaned.
He had never been happier than sharing his wife’s milk with his sister while he fucked Aaliyah’s tight pussy. His balls boiled, slapping into her taint as he pounded her. Aaliyah’s moans rang out, mixing with the cries and shouts.
Darkness flashed out of the corner of his eyes. He turned. Christy appeared, folding out of the shadows, her black staff clutched in her hand. “This is ridiculous, Kyle,” she snapped, reaching out to him.
He seized her hand, pulling her close to him. She summoned the darkness, trying to pull him with her. He resisted, fighting off her power with his aura. Kyle knew his aura was stronger than hers, and he wasn’t going to let her take him away from Aaliyah. His mouth was full of milk and he pulled hard, jerking his wife down to him and he kissed her.
She stopped trying to steal him away as she tasted Aaliyah’s milk.
“That’s it,” laughed Aaliyah. “Feed her my milk.”
“She is dominating your master!” Britney shrieked in the background. “Fumi, talk sense into them!”
The pleasure crested in Kyle’s balls as he kissed Christy. He drove into Aaliyah and let out a shudder as his cum flooded her hot depths. She gasped beneath him, her pussy convulsing about his cock, milking all the passion from him.
“You’re mine, aren’t you?” Aaliyah purred as he collapsed on her, pushing Fatima’s mouth off her breast.
“I’ve always been yours, Aaliyah,” he sighed, nuzzling her neck.
“We’re both yours as well,” Fatima smiled, snuggling up on one side.
“Always,” sighed Christy as she nuzzled up to the other side.
“Good,” Aaliyah smiled. “Because the Marids have taken the form of your loved ones.” She pointed at the other women. “You must defeat them before they capture me again.”
“They’ll never capture you!” Kyle growled, standing up and summoning his sword. He looked out at the women. Britney, the witches, his concubines, and Fumi’s forms all rippled. They weren’t the women he loved. They were hideous monsters parading in their flesh. “I won’t let you harm my wife!” he roared.
Britney glared in frustration at Shannon and her concubines ringing around her, Phillipa, Sable, and Fumi. Beyond she could see Kyle writhing with the fake Aaliyah. Christy and Fatima cavorted with him, both fallen under the spell of her milk. Britney did not know what that thing was. She wanted to strike out, but the stubborn concubines were obeying their master.
“Look at them,” she hissed. “Since when does Aaliyah have breast milk?”
“Master gave us orders,” Shannon repeated.
“That’s right,” Alexina nodded, her blonde hair swirling about her body.
“I am your mistress,” Fumi repeated. “So stop surrounding us and help us save Kyle.”
Shannon frowned, glancing over her shoulder.
“Look at them. Fatima and Christy have fallen under the spell,” Fumi continued. “They went over to save Kyle and now they are joining him. Her milk is like my pheromones. They can control people with lust.”
“She’s a succubus?” gasped Toni.
“I think they’re right, Mom,” Chyna said. “Aaliyah’s pubic hairs aren’t shaved. She couldn’t have grown a bush that thick in a day. Besides, she knows Master’s preference.”
“We need to pull them apart and figure this out,” Lois agreed. She was the most dominant of Kyle’s concubines, the only one not submissive. “This doesn’t feel right. I’m with Fumi.”
“They’ll never capture you!” Kyle roared, rising up from Aaliyah’s embrace. “I won’t let you harm my wife!”
His sword appeared in his hand.
“Scatter!” Britney yelled and grabbed her mate, pulling Phillipa tight.
The concubines all moved with inhuman grace thanks to their enhancement. Britney scooped her mate into her arms and leaped as Fumi used wind from her bow to rise up into the air. The ground quaked and erupted where they had been standing—Kyle used his sword to control the element of earth.
“This is bad,” Phillipa gasped as they landed in the brush.
“Ishtar, touch my enemies minds and put them to sleep!” Christy called out and Mindy, Carla, and Ann fell to the ground, enchanted by Christy’s spell.
“This is getting worse,” groaned Phillipa.
“Work a counter spell,” Britney growled. “We need to find a way to contain them.”
She reached into Waterclaw and guided the oasis water. It rose in an undulating column, flowing through the air as Britney guided it. The water surrounded Kyle, Fatima, Christy, and the impostor, forming a dome of crystal water around them, rippling and flashing sunlight.
“I hope that works,” she muttered.
Red blossomed inside the dome. Fire slammed into the water. Britney fought against Fatima’s passion, trying to keep her barrier from boiling away. She poured all her will into Waterclaw.
The ground shook beneath her feet.
Britney reacted without thought. She seized Phillipa and jumped again. Dirt sprayed her back and a palm tree groaned, crashing to the ground. Her barrier didn’t seem to stop Kyle from commanding the earth to attack them.
“I am going to gut that impostor!” Britney hissed, letting Phillipa go, then turned and sprinted at the dome. It was a foolish act, but the change was on the Rakshasa, and she craved blood.
“Be careful!” Phillipa shouted.
The Rakshasa leaped, her triangular dagger thrust before her. The water parted, opening up to allow Britney to sailed through. She landed on her feet before the fake Aaliyah. The impostor yelped in surprise, milk leaking out of her breasts. Britney growled in fury and punched her katar at the impostor’s stomach.
A sudden wind caught Britney, pushing her back and slowing her attack.
“Help me, Kyle!” the impostor shrieked as she nimbly danced away from the tip of Waterclaw.
Kyle rounded on her, hatred burning in his eyes. “You tried to kill my wife!”
Fear beat in Britney’s heart as the ground rumbled beneath her.
Fumi stared at the dome of water Britney just leaped into, hoping the Rakshasa could accomplish something. Her own heart beat like a madman on drums. The man she loved was trying to kill her, and she didn’t know what to do about that.
The globe of water suddenly contracted into a ball, exposing Kyle, Christy, and Fatima. The ball of water was thrown into the air by an eruption of the ground, landing on the shore of the empty oasis. The water parted, revealing Britney standing at the center.
“That’s my wife!” Kyle roared and rocks began ripping out of the ground, hurtling at Britney. The Rakshasa whipped thin tentacles of water in front of her, smacking the rocks out of the air. The missiles came faster, but Britney never lost her cool.
Fatima’s fire roared at several of the concubines, distorting Fumi’s green vision as the air roiled in the heat and she could only hope they dodged the attack. She couldn’t worry about them know. Fumi saw her chance and drew back her bow, aiming at the impostor Aaliyah. Shannon and Missy dashed at Fatima, but Christy cast a spell, driving the concubines back.
Fumi ignored it all and fired her arrow at the fake Aaliyah.
Her arrow flew true, guided by the winds. Suddenly, the air whipped up around Aaliyah, blocking Fumi’s vision. Her arrow disappeared into the turbulence. When the air died, the fake Aaliyah held her arrow in her hand, twirling it.
“Nice try,” Aaliyah laughed. “Using a Si’lat arrow on me is cute.”
Is that what she is? A Si’lat? That made her a Djinn.
Fumi detonated her arrow, unleashing a gale of wind that threw Christy to the ground and should have sent the impostor sprawling as well. But her wind seemed to roll harmlessly off the Si’lat. Because Si’lat are made of the wind, like Jann are made of the earth.
“Fatima, the one with the bow is firing arrows at me!” the fake impostor gasped. “Save me.”
Fatima turned, setting her spear, and charged at Fumi. The air distorted around the burning tip of Fatima’s yari. Fumi flinched, her body remembering the pain of being burned by Zaritha’s fire. She reacted without thought, firing an arrow at Fatima’s feet.
The arrow landed and a gale exploded from it, throwing Fatima back. Fumi winced, hoping she didn’t hurt her wife. But Fatima could be as ruthless as Britney with her spear.
“What are we going to do?” Phillipa gasped.
“I don’t know,” Fumi groaned. “Kill the impostor somehow.”
Kayleah and Teleisia fell on the fallen Fatima, pinning her to the ground. For a moment, they pinned the small woman. And then fire burned around Fatima. Heat roiled against Fumi’s face. It was an inferno. Kayleah and Teleisia burst from the flames, crying in pain. Fire crackled, catching the green plants on fire, filling the air with boiling distortions that Fumi couldn’t see through.
“You bitches!” snarled Fatima from the inferno.
Phillipa grabbed one of the burned concubines, casting a healing spell as Fumi summoned a great wind to drive back Fatima’s flames. Fatima threw her fire at Fumi. So Fumi directed the wind, deflecting the hissing fireballs to the side and setting more plants on fire.
Christy appeared next to Fumi from the darkness. “Ishtar, defend your servant…”
Fumi couldn’t let Christy finish her spell. She turned her gust, slamming it into Christy. Her wife’s words faltered as the sudden blast knocked her off her feet, hurtling her towards a group of the concubines. They seized Christy, clamping hands over her mouth.
Finally, something in our favor.
Christy vanished, warping away with the power of her staff.
“Bitch!” Fatima snarled.
Heat rushed towards Fumi.
“You tried to kill my wife!” Kyle snarled over and over as he whipped rocks at the Marid pretending to be Britney. The evil creature used water to protect herself, blocking his attacks, proving she was a vile Marid.
This was getting nowhere.
So he charged forward.
The water, rotating around the Marid in snake-like tendrils, surged forward. Kyle commanded the rocks before him to rise up before the water. The Marid’s attack struck the rock, but instead of being stopped, they flowed around the rock.
“Fuck!” Kyle snarled as the water hurtled towards him. But the water didn’t slam into him. Instead, it rushed past him, swirling in a contracting sphere about him. The water almost touched him as it completely engulfed him. He moved his arm, the force of the rushing water slapping his hand back.
He was imprisoned.
“You have to stop fighting me,” the Marid shouted. “I am Britney.”
“Your lies are pathetic! Britney would never try to kill Aaliyah.”
“I will kill anything that threatens you. I swore to protect you, Kyle. When we met in the second grade. Remember the science fair? We were partnered together.”
“If you’re Britney, why would you have to kill my wife?”
Through the distortion world of roiling water, the evil Marid’s wavering form strode around his rock shield. Kyle struggled to batter through the water, but it slapped him back every time.
I have to do something about her water.
“That is not your wife!” she yelled. “Believe me, Kyle.”
“Why would I believe a filthy Marid!”
He commanded the ground beneath him to open, dropping into the earth. He controlled the element. With Earthbones, he ordered the rocks and dirt to open a path before him. He could feel where she stood, sensing the minute vibrations in the earth. Her steps circled; she was wary of where his attack would come from next.
Kyle was beneath her, ready for his strike.
He rose up, bursting from the ground behind her, dirt falling from his body. He raised his sword up, swinging a brutal cut at her back. But the Marid spun, impossibly fast. She had a katar in her hand, the triangular, punching dagger lunging right for his chest.
Kyle flinched, expecting the cold pain of the dagger plunging into his chest.
The strike didn’t land. The Marid stopped the katar right before hitting him.
His sword came down and she dodged to the left. His blade struck the ground. His ground. As she rolled, he raised the stone around her. She smacked into a upthrusting boulder, growling as she struggled to her feet.
“Please, Kyle!” she shouted as he pivoted and swung at her again. “You are my best friend!”
Kyle… Aaliyah’s voice whispered in his mind.
The Marid caught his sword on her katar and was knocked back by the force of his blow.
Can you hear me, Kyle?
The Ayubbad Wasteland
Cool earth was beneath her. She drew strength from it. The earth was pure and her body absorbed it, replacing her flesh tainted by the foul poison burning through her. Her body imbibed the strength of the earth. The wound on her neck knitted together, replacing her torn muscle and skin with the dirt until her flesh was once more unmarred.
Aaliyah opened her eyes.
For a moment, fear beat through her. Where is the Ghul?
And then she saw Zaritha’s head lying on her stomach. The Ifrit’s body trembled and shook, a festering wound devouring Zaritha’s flesh. The Ghul’s poison consumed her body. Aaliyah feared for herself, remembering the painful bite to her neck.
Aaliyah’s hand went to her throat. There was no wound, only piled dirt. “You healed me,” Aaliyah whispered. “Instead of saving yourself.”
Zaritha didn’t answer.
Aaliyah sat up, trying to see where she was. Rust-red rocks stretched as far as she could see, the wind hazing the air with bleeding dust. It was the blasted wasteland of the Ghul. She couldn’t stay here. She needed help.
Her eyes opened wide. I’m outside of the Sapphine Caves.
She was no longer surrounded by telepathy blocking sapphire.
Kyle, she sent out. Kyle, can you hear me?
Aaliyah! Are you okay? Are the Marids attacking you?
No, she answered. Wish me to your side, my love. Please.
I wish you were by my side.
Aaliyah’s power responded and she teleported, her body folding up and then unfolding beside him. “Kyle!” she gasped. Britney was lying before him, blood smeared on her head, while Kyle hammered his sword down at her. “What is going on?”
“That’s not Aaliyah!” a woman shouted.
Aaliyah turned to see herself, naked, milk leaking down her breast. She gaped in astonishment, her eyes darting about. The air was filled with the roar of a fire and the shouts and cries of women. Everywhere she looked was chaos. Christy was casting spells at the concubines, and Fatima and Fumi warred with wind and flames.
“What is going on, Kyle?” she asked her husband.
Kyle turned to face her, looking down at her, then at the impostor. “Aaliyah?”
“She’s an impostor,” the fake Aaliyah shouted. “Kill her, Kyle, before she puts you under her spell.”
I’m not the fake! she screamed into her husband’s mind as he raised his sword. His eyes were glazed, his mind befuddled.
But you are, he responded.
If I was the fake, why am I speaking in your mind? Is the other one doing that?
“Kill her, Kyle!” shouted her impostor. “Please, my love.”
“But, what if she’s real?” Kyle asked, shaking his head.
Britney stood up behind Kyle in a low crouch. Aaliyah shook her head at the Rakshasa. Then the Djinn faced her husband and his brandished weapon. She sent out her thoughts to his mind: Only the real Aaliyah can talk to you like this. It’s because of our bond. You freed me from my lamp. You’re the only one that can command my powers. Make a wish. Prove that I am your Djinn.
His sword lowered.
“No!” the impostor screamed. “You can’t believe her lies. I’m your wife!”
“You could be a trick,” Kyle groaned, his face twisting in painful indecision. “You could just be speaking in my mind.”
Then make a wish. In your thoughts! Prove which one is the real one!
I wish for the real Aaliyah to be at my side, Kyle thought.
Aaliyah granted his wish, flashing the few feet to stand beside him. “It is me, my love.”
He glanced at the fake.
“Don’t be deceived,” the impostor cried out, her hand sliding up to her breast and squeezing out a drop of milk. “Remember who fed you and gave you such bliss.”
Kyle trembled, his muscles tensing as he warred with himself.
“Use your sword,” Aaliyah whispered. “Stone is truth. And the truth banishes lies.”
“I will know the truth!” he roared and his sword burned with golden light. He slammed the point into the ground. A burst of golden light rippled from the blade, racing across the ground, Aaliyah, and Britney on its way to reach the fake.
“No!” The impostor flinched as the golden light rippled past her. Her figure rippled. She grew taller, her body more willowy and her breasts swelled, heavier than Aaliyah’s. She was a dusky beauty, her lips lush and cruel.
“Your lies are undone, Si’lat!” Aaliyah hissed at her.
“So they are,” the Si’lat laughed. “Such a pity.” Her hand flicked forward and a green knife, made of compressed air like Fumi’s arrow, tumbled through the air at Aaliyah’s breast.
Kyle moved before Aaliyah, pushing her back. He grunted in pain as the green dagger buried into his shoulder. “That’s my wife you tried to kill!” he growled and the earth shook.
The Si’lat danced as the earth erupted around her, dagger-like spikes bursting forth in clouds of dust, trying to seek her flesh. She moved with grace, her hands flicking another pair of daggers at Kyle. He swiped his sword to the side, knocking them from the air.
“You bitch! You tricked us!” screamed Fatima and a gout of flame soared at the Si’lat.
The Si’lat leaped out of the way of the fire as Britney surged around Kyle, racing at the impostor. Aaliyah smiled as fear danced in the Si’lat’s eyes as Britney’s katar punched at her flesh. She dodged the attack, whipping around Britney like the wind flowing around a pillar.
Kyle flicked his sword. A piece of one of the jagged rocks thrust out of the ground broke off and hurtled at the Si’lat. She dodged the first one, her black hair flowing. But not the second one. It struck her in the side.
“No!” she gasped, stumbling into Britney’s punching dagger. Waterclaw penetrated between the Si’lat’s breast, blood pouring down her cheek. She fell to the ground, gasping and wheezing before them.
Britney twisted her dagger, frowning. “There is something wrapped about her heart. A chain.”
“Break it!” Kyle screamed. “Kill the bitch, Britney!”
“Your will!” Britney roared.
“No!” the Si’lat cried as Britney shoved harder with her dagger.
The Si’lat’s body rippled. Water squirted out of her mouth and nose. More ripped out of her stomach. Then her flesh billowed away on the wind as she let out a strangled cry. A heart appeared, impaled by Waterclaw and wrapped in a diamond chain. The chain fell apart, the shattered links landing on the sand in a puddle of water. The heart beat once more, then blew away like the rest of her flesh.
Fatima strode up. “Is that really you, Aaliyah?”
Aaliyah smiled, looking around as her bedraggled family began to gather around. Teleisia, her concubine, limped forward, leaning on Phillipa’s arm. Christy helped Toni to her feet and Fumi tramped forward with Kayleah and Shannon.
Then Kyle, his shoulder bleeding, hugged her. “It’s really you,” he whispered. “How?”
“Zaritha,” she whispered. “Kyle, you need to wish her here.”
“Why?” he asked. “She’s our enemy.”
“Not anymore. She saved me and was badly wounded. She’s still alive.” Aaliyah squeezed him harder, his blood wetting her chest. “She’s your concubine, Kyle. She was caught between two masters, but she made the right choice and came to my rescue.”
“Okay,” Kyle sighed and made his wish.
Aaliyah’s power reached out and summoned Kyle’s concubine to him. Zaritha appeared on the ground, her body trembling and covered in a sheen of sweat. A quiet whimper escaped her lips.
“What’s she doing here?” Fatima asked.
“She needs your fire,” Aaliyah said. “She’s been poisoned by one of Rashid’s servants. A Ghul that almost killed us both.”
Fatima raised her eyebrows. “She kidnapped you and landed us in this mess.”
Aaliyah broke away from Kyle and walked over to the younger woman and hugged her. “She is one of our concubines, and she is wounded.”
“Why are we forgiving everyone that kidnaps you, Aaliyah,” she sighed.
“Because they are all Kyle’s women,” Aaliyah answered. “So will you be obedient to our husband’s will.”
Fatima let out a snort of laughter.
“Heal her, Fatima,” Kyle said, his voice firm. “If she was injured protecting Aaliyah, then she deserves to be healed.
“Fine, big bro,” Fatima sighed.
“You were able to forgive me,” Christy smiled. “I’m sure you can forgive Zaritha.”
“I haven’t forgiven you yet,” Fatima muttered, striding over to the Zaritha. “So, what do I do?”
“She is an Ifrit. She is fire made flesh, and she needs fire to restore her flesh. Engulf her with you passion.”
“I can do that,” Fatima laughed and fire burned hot, engulfing Zaritha.
“Wait, that is a Si’lat that attacked us?” Britney asked. “Air made flesh?”
“Yes, she was,” Aaliyah answered, looking over at the links of chains. What were those?
“Then she will heal. She blew away on the wind. She will absorb it.”
“She is dead,” Zaritha coughed, sitting up and staring at the chains. “She can’t heal from what you did.”
“You are sure?” Britney asked.
“We can die,” Aaliyah whispered. “You ripped her body apart with the water before she blew away.”
“She was Unbound,” Zaritha said, and Aaliyah shivered, remembering the Ghul. “When you broke her chain, you destroyed what anchored her in this Realm. She is suffering in Haawiyah where she belongs.”
“Who was she?” Fumi asked, kneeling before her. “Do you know her?”
“I presume she is one of Rashid’s servants,” Aaliyah said, shuddering in disgust at the foul things Rashid employed.”
“She is,” Zaritha said. “One of his five Unbound.”
Aaliyah turned to see the Ifrit sitting up, fire burning on her skin. “Like the Ghul.”
Zaritha nodded. “Five Unbound serve Rashid. That is, or was, Aalizunah. She enjoyed killing Mortals as they lay in her embrace.”
Fumi shifted. “A succubus?”
“Not like you,” Zaritha answered. “She would use more mundane methods to kill them. Usually, she plunged a dagger into their hearts when they spilled inside her.”
“Guess it’s a good thing she wanted to control you, big bro,” Fatima giggled. “You dodged a bullet.”
“You lay with her?” Aaliyah asked.
He shrugged, then winced. “I thought she was you.”
“You’re hurt,” Aaliyah gasped.
“A lot of us are,” Kyle said, looking around.
“We’ll take care of it,” Christy nodded, walking over to Kyle and laying her hands on him and began to heal him.
Rashid ibn al-Marid, Sultan of the Unseen Realm, stared in disgust at the broken chain of diamond. Jowdah had perished this morning and now Aalizunah. The Si’lat whore and the bestial Ghul were not the strongest of his Unbound, but it troubled him that two of his weapons were dead.
Could the boy actually unseat me?
He feared that Aaliyah must have brought her husband into the Hidden Realm. Kyle was more powerful than Rashid had imagined.. The prophecy tightened about his neck, a noose threatening to strangle him. He stroked his white beard, pondering what his next move should be.
Only the Ifrit could be trusted. The Jann would fall in line behind Kyle, and the Si’lat would swoon like the whores they are for the handsome youth. The Ghul would not care who ruled, and the Marid would question his strength. They all ready whispered behind his back, questioning what had happened to his children.
His enemies were all about him, sharpening their daggers, eager to see his fall. He had ruled the Djinn for two thousand years, crushing all who dared oppose him. But his enemies all had kin.
“You need an ally,” a hissing voice whispered from the shadows.
He stiffened, turning around. “Who is there?”
A distortion moved in his room. A being so hideous that light itself warped around it, unwilling to illuminate Erinyes’s foul visage. Rashid gathered his power, ready to lash out with water and drown Hecate’s foul daughter.
“What is your message?” he asked.
“My mother wishes an alliance,” Erinyes hissed. “Kyle and his women have wronged her greatly. They have slain and captured her servants, and one of his wife is a traitor.” Erinyes let out a skittering growl. “My mother wishes for their deaths.”
“And what is the cost?” Rashid asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Only to see her enemies undone.”
Rashid believed not a single word of it. Hecate’s offer always concealed a poisoned dagger. “What help does she offer?”
“Her newest servant,” Erinyes purred. “A woman that Kyle will not be able to raise his hand against.”
The Spiritual Realm
Faiza lifted her lips from her Goddess’s breast, the milk warm in her stomach. She licked her lips, kissing down her Goddess’s sleek belly. Hecate purred as she nuzzled at her belly, spreading the Goddess’s pale thighs open with her dusky hands.
“Do you accept me fully?” Hecate purred as Faiza’s lips brushed her black pubic hair.
“I do, Hecate.”
The scent of her Goddess’s arousal filled her nose, urging her lips to slip lower. She let the aroma guide her lips. Her tongue licked out, savoring the tart flavor, loving the silky feel of her labia as she pleasured her Goddess.
“Will you be my instrument of my vengeance? Will you carry my retribution to my enemies.”
“Yes!” Faiza gasped, licking her clitoris. “I will crush Kyle, Britney, and Christy.”
A memory tickled the back of her mind. Those names were so familiar. Faiza wondered if she knew Kyle before her death and rebirth. Was he the man who killed her? She tried to reach into her mind and unlock the memories buried by the trauma of her death.
“Will you be my avatar?” Hecate asked.
She looked up into the depths of her Goddess’s eyes. “I will be your avatar. I will carry your vengeance to Kyle.”
A face swam before her eyes. Dark, almond eyes, a youthful smile. Something stirred in her heart. Love? Did she love Kyle? She looked at her Goddess, opening her mouth, “Who is he to me?”
Hecate cupped her hands. “Your son.”
Memories flooded her mind, her life blossoming before her. She tried to pull back from Hecate’s grip, but the Goddess’s pale fingers were hard as iron. This was Hecate, the Goddess that put her daughter in a coma and tried to drain Aaliyah’s power.
This was the Goddess that Burke had served.
The memory of his whips and domination screamed through Faiza’s soul.
“No!” she shouted as the Goddess slipped into her soul. “No, no, no!”
“You said yes,” hissed Hecate in her mind. “You’re my avatar now.”
Faiza felt herself crushed down into her soul as Hecate possessed her body.
To be continued…
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