Falcon: Free Flying
You admit that you are inquisitive about seeing what sort of person it is that has been touched by magic like you - but, after a moment of flying there in sync with the car, you decide you would rather enjoy the freedom of flight a bit longer instead. Besides, you think, you have to consider what you’d like to turn into next. And, along with this, you feel you can stumble onto this person, or someone else like it, in the future.
For now, you veer away from the car, and you halt the ability of yours to see auras since you’d rather just fly around the cityscape.
“An interesting choice, Master,” the genie remarks. “But a fair one nonetheless.”
You flap your wings, and your mind wanders a bit as you soak in the warm sun’s gleam upon your back. You really enjoy this sense of freedom - birds have it best, you feel, if this is what they experience when they fly.
‘Tell me something,’ you say after a moment. ‘Earlier, when I mentioned setting you free as my third wish, you said that freedom for a djinn isn’t the same as what I imagine it to be. What did you mean by that?’
The genie is silent for a moment, but you wait - you can feel that he is gathering his thoughts and perhaps choosing the way he wishes to answer.
“To be perfectly honest, Master, many djinn do not desire to be ‘set free’ like that,” he replies eventually. His tone is calm, and there is an underlying current of thoughtfulness to it. “It is because we would not know what to do with ourselves, I suppose - and because the freeing of a djinn would sever their connection to much of their powers. In a way, it is almost damning a djinn to free them, though there are circumstances where that isn’t the full case.”
You steady your pace, and glide for a bit on the currents of wind that carry you like unseen hands.
‘Really? I… hadn’t thought of it that way before,’ you admit. ‘You lose your powers entirely?’
“Mm. Not entirely, no,” the djinn replies. “Our power is split into two forms - that which we possess naturally, and that which is tied to the lamp we live in, or the vase, or whatever it is we call our abode. If we are ‘freed’ in the sense you are thinking, then our lamps become inactive. They lose the power they held, and in doing so, we lose access to that portion of our abilities.”
You glide to the left, tilting your body as you fly around the side of a building.
‘I see now,’ you reply. You understand what the genie is saying - it makes sense why he would decline wanting to be set free like that. ‘So you lose your home, and you lose a portion of your powers. But you retain some of it?’
“Yes, Master,” the genie answers thoughtfully. “I think, worse than losing our home and a portion of our innate powers, however, would be that we lose our purpose. We djinn are bred by magic to create magic - it is in our essence to use our powers for whatever means we need them for, and that is primarily in the form of granting wishes.”
‘You have no choice in the matter?’ you ask as you right your body.
The genie chuckles. “Master, you are truly a fascinating human to converse with. I have spoken to some much like you, and I always enjoy it. Your curiosity thrills me in ways I cannot articulate through words.”
There is a pause, and you can sense that the djinn is going to continue, so you wind up spotting another building free of birds for you to perch on. You dip down and fly toward it, waiting for the genie to continue his explanation.
“Ah, but, to further your desire to know more,” the djinn says, “the ‘choice’ you ask of is not a part of the process. We know our lot in life is bound to our powers, and to using our powers for others. I feel no obligation to be freed of this, nor do I feel any inherent desire to change this, either. Because to me, granting wishes for humans is not a chore, nor even a duty - it is a part of who I am, of what I am. And I know this to be the case for all djinn. It’s innate within our makeup that we think, feel, and operate this way, if that helps explain.”
You eventually arrive at the building and stop to perch. The djinn’s words echo inside of your head, and you soak them in.
‘I think I understand,’ you say. ‘Then, for djinn, it’s not a matter of… free will, I guess?’
“Free will does not exist in our vocabulary,” the djinn replies, and he floats to hover before you so that you can see his calm, oddly gentle features. “We have no term for this in our society, and frankly, many a djinn finds the notion to be terrifying.” He pauses to stroke his chin. “With exceptions, of course.”
You nod and absorb this. It has been a fascinating day to learn about these beings that you never once expected to exist. To find that magic is indeed real, and that the djinn that exist have their own rules and codes is just… well, as a fantasy lover, and someone that enjoys dabbling in reading or appreciating any sort of fantastical medium, it’s basically a dream come true for you.
“Now then,” the djinn says. “I hope I’ve sated your current thirst for knowledge for the time being, Master. I find myself to be curious, in fact, as to what form you will be taking when the time has ended. Which, so you know, will be rather shortly. You can probably fly down to a secluded area in the woods there, and by the time you’ve landed, and decide, it will have been two hours.”
You blink, then turn your head to the area he is indicating, a small wooded area that you think might be where you came from in the first place. Perhaps you went in circles? You shrug this off, and, you decide to take off to do just that - and you drop down toward the forest as your mind wanders.
What will you turn into next?
Written by Hollowpages on 08 July 2020
Choices, Choices… II