You soar above the shop for a moment, your eyes flicking about, to and fro - you take in the sights of the little area that seems to exist separate from the world you live in. It’s odd, of course, to consider it, yet given everything else you’ve done and been through, you feel you’ve grown to accept it… sort of.
‘Akam, may I ask a question?’ you inquire.
The djinn is flying close behind you with ease, and he chuckles. “Of course.”
‘This… area,’ you say. ‘Is this attached to the… erm. Sorry, I forgot the term that Alajeem used when he talked about your world. Ara… mock…’
“Araamakka, Master,” Akam replies. His voice sounds like he’s right beside you, even if he technically isn’t. “And, yes, you could perhaps say that’s the case - although given what Alajeem told you, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you might be confused, as this is very much a corporeal location.”
You slowly circle about the air, gliding at the high altitude.
‘A little bit,’ you admit to him.
Your eyes scan the strange clearing, and you wonder what lies within the large cave you didn’t explore before, or through the tree. Both areas are still there, and the openings remain somewhat tantalizing to you, even now. If this place is tied to the magical realm where the djinn come from… does that mean the cave and the hole in the tree lead to other side worlds? Or, somewhere else?
“I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to explain a bit more,” Akam remarks after a moment of silence. “I would define this region as…” He pauses, and you peer over at him to see him looking thoughtful. “Ah!” He grins. “I would describe it as a Shard, if you will - a piece of something whole that, ages ago, broke off, and has remained broken off since, just hovering precariously out of reach.”
You envision yourself furrowing your brow. ‘Um…’
He chuckles. “Apologies. Let me try and put it into digestible words.”
Akam shoots forward to join you, as you continue to lazily glide about.
“Imagine your world, your universe, as a solid object,” Akam says. “Let’s pretend, perhaps, that everything that exists here that is mortal is put into a large mirror hanging on an imaginary, invisible wall, hmm?” He nods. “And at some point, ages ago, a piece of that mirror was broken off. However, rather than drop onto the floor, that shard of mirror stuck to the wall instead.”
You soak this in, and eventually nod. ‘Okay. I think I see now.’
“We djinn have our own terms for it,” Akam says. “But, to prevent any confusion, I feel that Shard is a most befitting translation - Shard represents the dynamic this domain has in conjunction to the mortal world of yours.”
‘You mentioned before, I think, that normally, people can’t come here, right?’
“Yes,” Akam replies. “The average human has no way of finding this Shard, or any Shard for that matter. And yes, before you ask,” he smiles wider, “there are many, many Shards split throughout your world. World meaning, not just your planet, either, mind you: your entire universe houses numerous Shards.”
‘Whoa,’ you think, staring at the djinn.
Akam’s eyes sparkle. “Regardless, Master, you recall correctly. The average human cannot find a Shard, or any Shard. Even if a human somehow knew of the existence of magic, of djinn, of the Shards, if they tried to search every nook and cranny of Earth, they would never find anything. It’s more a case of the Shard finding YOU, as it were. Thus, the nature of Shards is quite random.”
‘Do the genies control the Shards?’ you ask.
Here, Akam pauses again. He frowns, once more looking thoughtful. He remains silent for a few minutes as you fly about, for you aren’t in a rush to go landing in the shop just yet - Alajeem can wait a while longer, after all.
“Yes… and no,” Akam says eventually. “On the surface, the answer is ‘no.’ I have no power over this Shard, where you found me, nor any other. But, I suppose in principle, the answer leans more toward a tentative ‘yes.’ As in, our nature is responsible for the splintering of this domain INTO a Shard.” He frowns again and eyes you. “Does that make sense to you, Master?”
You reflect a little on his words. ‘I… think.’
It takes you a moment to mull all this over, if only to ensure you grasp it.
‘Do you mean that, say, the fact genies exist is what made Shards?’
Akam nods slowly. “Yes, yes, I would say that’s an astute way of explaining it.” He gives you a wry smile. “How odd it must sound to you, to speak to a being that has existed for centuries, with all these powers… yet I don’t have the answer to the biggest questions. Certainly, I wish I did, but, I sincerely am not entirely aware. Perhaps the oldest among the djinn may know in full.”
‘That’s alright, Akam,’ you say.
He nods once more, a grateful expression on his face.
“I can, at least, give you my assumption,” Akam says after a beat. “This is something I know other djinn feel, for in the past, we discussed such things when we were able to speak freely: I believe deep down that the Shards which exist, wherever they may be located, came about because our realm, the Araamakka, began to seep too much into the mortal sphere of existence.”
You flutter your wings, and you angle your body toward the shop as you listen.
Akam continues. “Obviously, when magic slips into something that is not born from magic, it has consequences. And whether it was by the hands of djinn that have existed for far longer than myself, by accident to some degree, or by the magics themselves acting on their own, these Shards were essentially born by splitting apart of your world off from the rest. In doing so, these Shards became a conduit of sorts for that magic, hence how they even exist.”
‘That’s… truly fascinating to think about,’ you reply.
It’s a lot to think about, too, and you take your time reflecting on this new information. In a way, while it’s a lot, you can comprehend enough - this pocket world, this Shard, is filled with magic, which explains (in some faint way) how it can exist separate from the normal world. There are still plenty of questions that come up in your head, but, you don’t delve into those just yet.
Your attention flicks to the shop, and then to the vase, and you decide that you should continue on with your original goal in coming here in the first place.
You do feel you could keep soaring around like this, feeling the freedom of the skies and the wind on your body - and talking with Akam is both insightful and pleasant. Yet, you also know you have the business with Alajeem to get to, so you ponder if you want to keep doing one thing, or, switch gears to the other.
Do you want to stay above in the sky for a while longer, and perhaps even explore this Shard with Akam? Or do you want to drop down to the shop and find a suitable spot for Alajeem, then go exploring later on?
Written by Hollowpages on 18 February 2021
A New Nest