Making Changes II
The ability to freely change forms the way Ali does… you can’t lie and say it doesn’t sound enticing. Being forced to deal with a time limit hinders what you feel could be a lot of fun, given how you did accept this wish’s parameters in the first place. So, you do feel strongly that accepting would be wisest.
‘Alright, Akam,’ you say after giving it some thought. ‘That’s a really generous offer, so, I accept - and thank you. I didn’t want to demand you let me have the same ability Ali does, so I appreciate that you’re open to doing it unprompted.’
Akam chuckles. “Ah, Master, you are a good mortal.” He smiles wide. “Don’t tell anyone this, on the off chance we meet other djinn and their masters, but… it’s not uncommon for a djinn to tweak the wish they’ve granted. Now, whether that tweaking is positive or negative depends on the djinn and the master, and on the wish, I suppose. Be that as it may: it is decided.”
He brings his hands together, and red sparks begin to surround them. His hands end up glowing with red, and, without a word, he releases a small flashing orb of red light that instantly envelops you. Your vision goes white with flickers of red as warmth fills your insides. You clamp your eyes shut, a sensation of electricity shooting all through your body for a few seconds.
When the sensation subsides, you blink a few times, your vision adjusting.
“There,” Akam says. He is smiling proudly. “You no longer have a time limit that keeps you in one form for a set period. Now, you may switch between five forms every twenty-four hours, including your human form. Since you’ve been a human and a falcon already this day, along with your current wolf state, that means you may switch between those three for the remainder of this day. And, you have two additional spots, should you want to tap into those.”
‘Thank you,’ you reply.
You feel giddy at this, and, since you’ve spent so much of the day in a wolf’s body, you decide you want to go back to being a falcon. Thus, you close your eyes and begin to visualize yourself in the winged body you were in earlier.
At once, you can feel your body begin to change.
Your body starts to gradually shrink in size, although most of it is the front portion of your lupine physique shrinking down - your hind legs and forelegs also shrink down with your body, but your forelegs change the most. Your claws vanish from your forelegs, and you feel your paws merge into a single stub, but already, you feel the fur beginning to mold itself into feathers.
Your bones bend and crack. You hear them breaking and snapping as they change structures - but there is no pain, just like before. No pain, no discomfort, only the sounds that you don’t even feel a need to flinch at echoing around.
Your hind legs become smaller, yes, but the paws separate into talons, the claws extending out to grasp onto the ground and hold your weight as the rest of your body bends into its new placement. Your former front legs sprout an array of feathers as they reposition themselves at your sides, and in no time, your chest and belly and back have shrunk, becoming much smaller, too.
Your upper body is the last to change, you feel.
Your snout hardens, your nostrils growing slender and with that, your sense of smell weakens, too. Your ears are absorbed into the side of your head, and thus, your hearing also weakens to a degree, too. But you feel your eyes staying much the same, with only a tingling rush to tell you that your vision is now much clearer than before. You confirm this when you reopen your eyes.
The world looks bigger when the transformation is complete. You are a falcon again, smaller and less imposing, but, blessed with wings once more.
You test your wings by flapping them a few times while staying grounded. You haven’t lost the sensation of flying, thankfully, and you just know you can take off without any trouble. You smile internally at this knowledge, then, look to Akam. The genie hasn’t budged, although he DOES appear bigger now.
“Splendid,” Akam says. “Now that you’ve returned to the shape of a falcon, I presume you intend to fly to where we once were, yes?”
You nod, only to pause. ‘How do I find that spot, though?’
Akam smiles. “Do you recall what I said to you when you first became a falcon? When I mentioned how you were able to leave that domain if you willed it, because it was based heavily on what you desired most in that moment?”
You wrack your brain, and, you do recall that. ‘So does that mean if I want to go there, I simply need to think I want to? And a path will open up for me?’
‘I see… okay.’ You glance over to the vase, which hasn’t budged from where it rests. You then return your gaze to Akam. ‘Would you rather I carry the vase? I don’t want to keep demanding things of you, Akam. You’ve done a lot for me as it is, since, well, I’ve only used two of the three wishes this whole time…’
“Oh, I don’t mind, truth be told,” Akam says, and he shrugs. “To be honest with you, Master, I’ve enjoyed myself so much this day, I don’t care if you decide to withhold your third wish for a while. Now, if I disliked your demeanor, then, it would be different.” He waves a hand off. “But that isn’t the case, so there’s no need to be concerned over bothering me, or boring me, for that matter.”
He zips over to the vase and picks it up with a grin. “I shall carry Alajeem, since it’s no issue for me. He’s not that heavy, after all. You may lead the way, and, when we arrive, you can be the one to choose where we put this old fool.”
You nod. ‘Alright. Thank you.’
You shift your focus to your wings, and give them another brisk flap. You mostly do that to test the wind direction, and, when you are satisfied with how the air feels around you, you launch yourself upward. Your body jolts up, and with ease, you take flight, flapping your wings to pick up speed.
It takes hardly any time for you to become airborne. And you abruptly feel at awe - you nearly forgot how fantastic it is to be able to fly like this.
You begin to soar through the air, above the trees beneath you. Akam is behind you, flying with the vase in hand - he looks at ease, and you get the sense he doesn’t mind you taking your time. There’s no rush in going back to that strange area with the shop where you first stumbled onto the lamp.
‘This is amazing,’ you think to yourself.
You fly around for a while, your gaze flicking down to the trees, to the path you and Ali took earlier, and to the lake you both dived into, too. Everything looks crystal clear and beautiful, even with the sun slowly beginning to set.
You soak the atmosphere in for a long few moments of steady silence.
The wind brushing against your body, the lightness of being able to glide through the currents, the lasting beauty of the landscape, the serene peace…
You soak it all in, and you sigh internally. But then, you decide, you can always do this another time - you made a promise to the old djinn, so you focus on wanting to return to that area in the woods. You concentrate on it, until you feel a strange tugging sensation in your stomach. You turn your neck to the direction the tug is coming from, and you can see something underneath you.
You turn your body and drop down, enough that you see a strange path that wasn’t there before - it’s nestled among the trees, big enough for you to fly through. You flutter in place, and glance toward Akam, who nods to you.
With that, you move toward that opening, and when you fly through it, you find yourself in a familiar location: the area with the strange shop is to your left.
Written by Hollowpages on 15 February 2021