[part two]

Chapter Six,Guessts of Eljinn

It was almost morning when the pilots announced they where approaching Eljinn. All the children, who had slept wherever they could during the night, some even on bathrooms, woke up and rushed to the window to see it. The city was built on a green hill, a small oasis in the middle of the desert. It had a rounded wall, and inside where small conic towers of all sizes. In the center of the city was the school,a massive building, that resembled very much the Taj-Mahal Amelia had seen in a picture once. Behind the school building, there was another tower, the tallest in the city, that ended up with a massive onion-shaped doom on the top. Once they landed, the borrowed kids rushed at the doors and formed an impatient crowd. Amelia and Sven were the only ones left behind. They kept standing at the windows, enjoying the spectacle through the glass. The tower was the thing that made the greatest impression on Amelia.
‘’I wonder what that is’’, she said.
‘’That’s our dormitory’’, said Sven, ’’We gona a live in a tower, like Rapunzel. Cool, isn't it?
‘’You know any other word besides cool’’, said Amelia.
‘’I know synonyms of it,’’ said Sven.
They both laughed. While Amelia kept staring at the giant tower, Sven did something weird. He approached one of the tables, took four empty bottles and put them on his sack.
‘’Why do you need those for’’? said, Amelia
‘’I am a collector of empty bottles’’, said Sven proudly.
‘’A collector of empty bottles’’, said Amelia,’’ Well, that’s a new trend in town’’.
‘’Yes, Sven’s trend’’ said Sven believing he had fooled Amelia on his true intentions.
She grabbed him from the hand and said ‘’Come one’’, and they united with the rest of the kids. Suddenly they spotted miss Windsroar and Eugene, and opened the way to them, pushing everyone aside.
‘’Hey, be careful’’, said one of the kids, that they almost pushed to the ground, but Amelia and Sven paid no attention, and kept pushing until finally, they reached Eugene and Miss Windsroar.
‘’Good morning’’, said Amelia.
‘’Good morning Amelia, how was your night’’?, said miss Windsroar.
‘’Dark’’, said Amelia speaking about the moment when the lights on the zeppelin went off, ‘’I couldn’t see anything. I had to sleep where I was, on the chair.’’
‘’I‘m sorry, but it happens all the times on long flights.’’, said miss Windsroar, who had disappeared a couple of seconds before the lights had gone off.’’Anyway, no more worries. It's over now.
‘’Yeah, I hope so’’.
Finally, the door was opened and the borrowed kids rushed out. A crowd of people was waiting for them. On the walls were written the words ‘’Welcome borrowed ones’’.When they saw the children, the people started clapping their hands, while the towers removed their roofs like they were heats, in a sign of respect. A band played a cheerful music, which, as Amelia later learned, was the anthem of Eljinn. Above their heads were four big balloons. Upon seeing the borrowed kids approaching, their pilots drop sacks after sacks of papers on them. There was even a red carpet stretching from the zeppelins station to the school. Everything looked like an official ceremony.
‘’They are treating us like heads of state. Are we so important?’’, said Amelia to professor Windsroar.
‘’No’’, she replied, ’’but you are the future, that’s why they love you. Enjoy the spectacle’’, she added, ’’it's all for you today’’, and separated from them and entered in the cheering crowd.
‘’Are all these people jinni’’? said Sven to Eugene.
‘’Some of them’’, said Eugene, ’’The others are ex – jinni, allowed to stay in Eljinn after retirement’’.
‘’Retirement’’?What is that?
‘’When a jinni decides to end his service, he gives up his powers and his carpet. After that, he is awarded 120 years of free time. You can do whatever you want with that amount of time. It's all yours to spend’’.
‘’But, without powers and a carpet what can a jinni do, ’’said Sven?
‘’All the things that the future dead do, ’’said Eugene, ’’paint, trade, go fishing or play chess or poker, but no tricks included. Some adopt children from the future dead, and create families. Others take positions in the bureaucracy, and they became drivers of the zeppelins, window cleaners, street cleaners, cooks and blacksmiths.’’
‘’A bureaucracy of cooks and blacksmiths, ’’said Amelia, ’’I like it.’’
She wanted to ask Eugene about a lot of other things, but a sudden movement of the mob separated them. Amelia now found herself among some unknown kids, who kept pushing forward to reach the school. Having no other choice, she just gave up and allowed the crowd to carry her. Inside the school, the walls were painted with all kinds of scenes, depicting all the history of the jinni from the day they where created. There were also mosaics and three reliefs, but no statues. The first relief, a high three dimensional one, depicted angel Algadin with books in his hands approaching planet Earth. The second one, a mid relief, showed Algadin at the top of a mountain. This time he was throwing pages of books to the humans who stood below him. The third relief was a sunk relief. Algadin was now depicted as a human being, chained at the top of the mountain, while the eagle was feeding him. Another thing that attracted her attention was the carvings on the walls, that looked just like honeycombs.
‘’They are fairies nests’’, she heard a voice behind her. It was Eugene, who had just made it to the school, with the last group of kids.
‘’You have fairies here’’, said Amelia.
‘’Yes, thousands of them. They are the only source of lightning in the city since the day fire was abolished’’.
‘’Where are they now?’’, she said.
‘’They are in the oasis nearby. They hide all day under the leaves of the trees,to escape heat strokes. Fairies are very sensitive to heat. Half of them die from heat strokes every year. Fortunately for us, they are also sensitive to cold. Every year half of them die from cold stress. That’s why they return to the city after sunset, when cold starts, to find shelter’’.
‘’I never thought there would be fairies in the desert’’, said Amelia, ’’how did they come here?’’.
‘’They have always lived here from the first day of creation, when this place was a green jungle, with lots of rivers and lakes. Once the rivers and lakes dried out, the land became a desert, and most of the fairies died. Those who were left alive hid in the remaining oasis. When the first jinni came here, the fairies were almost extinct. So, we decided to build these nests for them. They keep the fairies warm all night. Here, try this’’, he said and put his hand inside one of the nests. Amelia did the same. The nest was really warm from the inside.
’’The building sucks the sunlight during the day, and releases the heat during the night through these holes, warming up the area and keeping the fairies alive’’.
‘’Cool’’ said Amelia, and then added ‘’ how do the fairies survive in the desert? What do they eat’’?
‘’The manna,’’ said Eugene, ’’the divine food that Garu created for the children of Margoll, the newborn Madgogs. It has been falling from the sky since then, and it still keeps them alive. The Madgogs feed first, and once they finish the fairies collect what the giant perverts have left. Water is more difficult to find, but the fairies are like camels, and they can reserve most of it in their bodies.
There were no stairs at all in that school. Only carpets flying horizontally and vertically all the time. While Amelia was talking to Sven about this, a pair of snakes surrounded them, and Amelia practically threw herself on Sven’s arms. Eugene, who had started to dislike the growing intimacy between Amelia and Sven, grabbed the snakes and started playing with them.
‘’Is that safe?’’, said Sven, and Eugene signaled ‘’yes’’ with his head, and threw one of the snakes at him.Amelia quickly separated herself from Sven, and the snakes, apparently a creation of Eugene, evaporated.
‘’Come on, let's go to the attic now, ’’ said Eugene .’’The ceremony for the newcomers is starting’’.
They jumped on one of the carpets and flew up. But Amelia, always curious, wanted to see more of the school. So, they made a brief stop at every floor. The second floor was full of classes and cabinets. The most impressive was the class of ears and eyes, where the exams were made, with its walls covered in living ears and eyes. Some people were cleaning the ears with giant sticks covered in cotton, while the others where dropping buckets of water on the eyes. Some of the eyes even had glasses. One had a monocle. The third floor was totally dark and surrounded by doors with iron bars, who resembled those of the old castles.
‘’This is the correction facility,’’ said Eugene, ’’all the jinni who break the rules are thrown in here for ten years, ten months, ten weeks and ten days’’.
The fourth floor was the residence of the teachers, with small mansions, surrounded by fountains and gardens with beautiful flowers. A small artificial sun, created by the waves of mirrors pointed at a silver ball, lightened this luxurious hideout. The whole area resembled the neighborhoods of the upper classes in the world of the future dead.
When they arrived in the attic, the banquet had already begun. On the tables, there was enough snake snack for everyone, a lot of manna for dessert, and of course plenty of jinn tonic to drink. They sat on the last chairs still unoccupied, at the end of the table, right where the entrance of the attic started. From there it was difficult to spot the teachers, who looked more than a mile away. Amelia had a great desire to see them, and she would stand up each time one of them would make a speech, to take a better look. First to speak was miss Windsroar, who apparently was the headteacher. She stood up and approached a couple of horns, who served as microphones. She welcomed the borrowed kids in the name of all the teachers.
‘’What is miss Windsroar going to teach us?,’’said Amelia to Eugene
‘’The elements of the sabra,’’said Eugene.’’We jinni have great powers, and we need a strong sabra to control those powers. If our sabra becomes weak, we become evil.’’
After miss Windsroar finished her speech, a tall man in a blue dress, stood up and approached the horns. He was vice headteacher Firdus Algus, nicknamed ‘’Al-Goose’’, for his long neck. He was the teacher of magicnetics. Third came a very fat woman, whose name was Miss Golosal.
‘’She is the Glossary teacher’’, said Eugene, ’’ we call her miss Colosal, because of her weight. She teaches hebrew and arabic, the languages of Magicnetics’’.
After miss Golosal came a nice athletic couple, Mirhani and Mirhana Moorhen, who worked as flying instructors, both dressed in black suits that looked like a mixture of a burkini and a surf costume. Then came a very old woman covered with a kind of white nurse costume. She was deaf and dumb, and professor Algus translated her signs for the children. She resembled aunt Helga, and even had a walking stick like hers.
‘’Who is that woman’’, said Amelia?
‘’ Aunt Healness, the aromatherapist’’, said Eugene, ‘’we call her aunt because we love her. She will teach you how to heal your illnesses using the smells of the plants. She got hundreds of jars filled with plant smells at her hut. Most of her lessons take place in the oasis, and are like picnics.’’
For a moment there was a misunderstanding among the teachers. Two or three of them had gone near a man and were trying to convince him to say something to the kids, while he refused. Finally miss Windsroar whispered something into his ears, and he stood up. He had a cubic face and cubic noses and eyes, while his ears were so attached to the head that it was difficult to spot them. Unlike the other teachers, who had pony tales, his hairs were cut short. He stood up, said just ‘’welcome’’ and then went back into his seat. He looked like someone who had capitulated in life.
‘’This man doesn’t look like he has much to say’’, said Sven,’’ the lessons with him are gone be boring .Is he a jinni’’?
‘’No’’ said Eugene,’’ he is a future dead, the only future dead that teaches in Eljinn. He was once a borrowed kid and had a great desire to become a jinni, but he had no sabra. So, he was assigned the duty of the fairy teller. In his lessons, he will read you fairy tales, and you will have to memorize them as your homework’’
‘’Where does he find the fairy tales,’’ said Amelia, ’’ do you have a library here?’’
‘’No, unfortunately, we no longer have a library,’’ said Eugene, ’’ the city was burned three times, and the libraries also. But mister Losenhope doesn’t need one. The jinni provide him with stories of their life all the time. It's the obligation of every jinni to confess to him everything he has done in one year of service. Those who don’t want to confess must hand over their diaries to him. Professor Losenhope memorizes them all, and transforms them into beautiful fairy tales.’’
‘’I can’t wait to join his lessons’’, said Amelia, ’’ I love fairy tales’’.
‘’Yeah, me too, ’’said Sven.In his mind, Losenhope had just become the most important of the teachers.
‘’Those fairy tales are beautiful ‘’, said Eugene,'' We have infiltrated some of them into the children literature of the future dead, to make their offspring love us. Its all to easy to borrow them after that’’.
Finally came two very small, very old women, with hairs like cotton balls, and ‘’ballooned’’ faces, both of them rupt up in a single dress who looked more like a spool.
‘’The Fingerhut sisters, the tailors who make the carpets and the costumes for us, ’’ said Eugene,’’ they have a boutique at the ‘’Fourth-Fifth’’ avenue. You see their hair? Its made of natural cotton, the only cotton produced in Eljinn, and they use it to make underwear.’’
The sisters stood up and one of them walk right, and the other one walked left, so they didn’t move at all. Finally they decided to speak from where they were, and nobody heard what they said. The banquet lasted until midnight and by then most of the borrowed kids were exhausted. Some had already put their heads on the tables and where napping. One was sleep roaring. This signaled the end of the banquet. Miss Windsroar and the team of teachers retreated on their mansions. The borrowed kids who were awake woke up their friends who were sleeping, and those who refused to move were carried out.
.’’ I hope we find a soft place where to sleep tonight’’, said Sven,’’ that wooden coach on the zeppelin broke my neck’’.
‘’Today you are guests, and you will sleep in the houses of the citizen,’’ said Eugene, ’’Just go to the first door you see, knock, say you are students and you will be accepted.’’
The children flooded the streets and started knocking on the doors. When one wold open, two or three students were allowed in, and then the door would close again. The rest of the students moved on to find another door where to knock, while their crowd became smaller and smaller, until there were only two students left out, Amelia and Sven. They came around the city, hoping to find an open door, but they were all closed. Eugene, who advised them not to worry, had disappeared. Miss Windsroar also. They felt abandoned.
‘’Such hospitality’’, said Amelia,’’ they open the door, allow someone in, and say to the others to go **** themselves’’.
‘’Fuck them’’, said Sven.
‘’Sure, but what we do now. We can’t sleep on the streets’’.
‘’You are right. It's getting so cold out here’’.
When all hopes were lost, they finally spotted an open door and almost run towards it. Although the door was open, they knocked. An old man appeared at the door. He was dressed like a middle eastern shepherd, in a tunic with attached waistcoat, a belt, a headpiece and was keeping an alpenstock in his left hand.
‘’Oh, finally some guests for me’’, said the old man,’’ Please, come in guests,'' I got plenty of food,and warmth in my house’’.
The house was small, a room and a half all in all.Two beds, one double deck, and one table in the middle, three chairs and an ornamented closet where all its furniture.
‘’You live alone here, mister’’? said Amelia
‘’Yes,’’ said the old man,’’ I have been living here all alone, since I was divorced’’.
‘’Oh,I am sorry’’
‘’Oh, you don’t have to. It was a bad relationship’’, said the old man.
‘’My name is Amelia’’, said the little girl,’’ and this is my friend, Sven the Fin from the lakes of Finland.’’.
‘’It's my great pleasure to meet you Amelia, and you also Sven the Finn…whatever you are’’ said the old man staring at the empty bottles that Sven was carrying..His last words stunned Sven.He thought the old man had discovered his secret. Amelia also became suspicious, but quickly forgot everything, when the old man said next ‘’ my name is Gog’’.
The name made no impression on Sven but terrified Amelia.
‘’Gog?, she said,’’ Gog of the legend, the father of the Madgogs’’?
‘’Oh, I see you are familiar withthe legend,'' said the old man.’’I hope you won't run away now’’, and stared for a moment at the little girl, to see her reaction. Amelia, frozen from fear, made no moves,'' Well, I see you have no intention of running away. You are a brave little girl’’.He took a big egg, and approached the table. Amelia’s face panicked upon seeing the egg, as she thought Gog was going to force her to hatch it. But Gog cracked the egg and cleaned the shell, and she saw that it was a boiled egg. Gog cut it in three pieces and offered two of them to his guests.
‘’Where did you find such big eggs’’, said Amelia before starting to eat.
‘’My Moa birds make them’’, said Gog.
‘’And how did you boiled it,there is no fire in this city’’.
‘’I boiled it in the desert’’, said the old man.’’All the people of the city cook their meals in the desert. They prepare them in their houses, and they fly to the desert, open holes in the sand and bury the stooge. In two or three hours,the meals are ready. If they want bread, they just hang the dough on the clothesline, and in a couple of hours they have some nice sun baked breads, like this one’’, he splashed one of the breads on the table, ’’ We call it ‘’sun breed’’.It’s a little hard for me to chew but for you, it's just perfect. Work for your teeth’’.
‘’I like it,’’ said Sven after tasting a piece of it,’’ and I like the name to. Sun breed. Sounds god’’.
‘’Of course, you like the name,’’ said Gog,’’ you have an obsession with mating and breeding. You just have to find the one you are searching for.’’ Sven didn’t respond. Clearly the old man had discovered his secret, but how? Then he remembered about his empty bottles.
‘’So, why have you decided to become a jinni’’?
‘’Because the jinni are good, and they want to help the future dead,’’ said Amelia, while the old man laughed in an ironic way.
‘’What is there to laugh about’’, said Sven.
‘’You are so naïve, but I don’t blame you. I was the same as you are now at the same age you are now. I had a jinni back then, he belonged to the tribe of Ifrit.’’Amelia and Sven stopped eating and stared at Gog.’’Oh, they haven’t told you about the Ifrit. They are one of the two tribes inside the single house of the jinni. A black scorpion is their symbol. Wicked, headstrong and sometimes evil is the Ifrit, always living with the past and thinking of revenge. Just like the scorpion, he kills himself when is encircled by fire. So did my jinni’’.
‘’What about the other tribe’’?Are they any different? ,'' said Amelia.
‘’Quit different’’, said Gog,’’ they are called Marid. A red horse is their symbol. Quiet, astute and cunning the Marid are, always thinking of the future, if there is anything like that ahead. Just like the horse,the Marid jump’s inside the circle of fire to escape it. They fought three civil wars against each other these two tribes, and I am afraid a fourth is coming soon. Your teachers know that, that’s why they send you to the world of the future dead after you graduate, to survive. Once Eljinn is destroyed again, and the jinni here exterminated, you will be called back to rebuild everything like it has happened so many times before.’’
Amelia and Sven stared at each other. Was Gog telling the truth, or was he just making up lies?
‘’I don’t believe you Gog,’’ said Amelia.
‘’Of course, you don’t,’’ said Gog,’’ and you shouldn’t. If you believe me, you will all disappear into the world of the future dead, and never come back. That will be the end of the middle class and, to be honest, that’s what I want because I will then be allowed to reunite with my family. After all, I am not on your side. I am the father of the Madgogs and the Darguards, your arch enemies.’’
‘’The father of the Darguards?’’
‘’I am,’’ said Gog, ’’ I divorced Margoll centuries ago, that’s true, but I still meet her from time to time to mate with her. That’s how the eggs that produce the Darguards are conceived.’’
‘’And the jinni know about that, don’t they? ‘’said Amelia.
‘’They do, ’’ said Gog, ''but they tolerate me because they need my wool to make their carpets. That’s why they allow me to stay here in Eljinn and provide me with food and shelter.’’
‘’Forgive me for interrupting you,’’ said Sven who had followed in silence all the dialog between Gog and Amelia, ’’ but will you be so kind as to explain to me who the Darguards are, and who is this Margoll you mentioned?’’
Amelia explained.
‘’So, you brought in life the one thing that can kill us, ’’said Sven, and this man who is feeding us now, is its father’’, and he pushed way the egg he was eating.
‘’You don’t have to worry about me,’’ said Gog, ’’I am not your enemy. I care for you as I care for my own children, and I don’t want any of you to be captured and send to the Nogo valley, a terrifying place that is.’’
‘’The Nogo valley,’’ said Amelia,’’ the place where the jinni are executed. I would like to see it.’’
‘’Aren't you afraid,’’ said Gog?
‘’No, because I am not a jinni yet.’’
‘’Alright, not jinni yet,’’ said Gog with the same voice of Amelia’s, ’’I will send you there, but it’s a long way and we gonna need a flying carpet. When you find one, come back to meet me.’’
‘’I will,’’ said Amelia, ’’ I promise.’’
‘’It's getting late now,’’ said Gog,’’ you have to go to school tomorrow, and I have my sheep to pasture. There is your bed,’’ he pointed ate the double decked bed’’, sleep long and dream even more.’’
Amelia walked to the bed and feeling suddenly very tired, just plunged herself into the first deck. Sven, on the other hand, waited until Gog fall asleep, and after hearing his roaring, he too jumped on the second deck of the bed. A new day was ahead and he wondered what news would it bring.

Chapter Seven,Roommate for Amelia

The next day, at 6-30 exactly, a screaming voice coming from outside the house, woke her up. Amelia opened the window and saw a man in a carpet, flying around the city with a megaphone in his mouth, shouting ‘’ borrowed children, wake up and gather into the schoolyard’’.
It was Fatigue Flugelhorn, the town crier, who also served as Eljinn’s postman and journalist, publisher of the ‘’Eljinn Snapshot’’, a magazine that reported the strange things happening on the city every night, each one with a different picture.
’’Hear me …hear me. Borrowed kids. The first day of school is about to start. Hurry up or you will miss the lessons’’ he screamed, not giving a damn that his screaming where not only waking up the borrowed kids but the whole town. An old woman opened the window and shouted ‘’You woke me up you idiot’, and Fatigue replied ‘’ shut up and go back to sleep you old wreckage’’.
The old woman didn’t took so well her comparison with an old wreckage. She went inside, grabbed a bow and then pointed at Fatigue and said ‘’I will bring you down like a bird, asshole’’, and launched the arrow. Fatigue saw it coming, and moved left, while the arrow flew on his right and hit a chimney. The woman, angry that she had missed, prepared another arrow.
Amelia closed the window, and looked around. Gog was still sleeping. The shouting of the town crier seemed to have had no effect on him. In the table, she found two cups of milk and some bread. One of the pieces of bread had holes in it.
’’Rat’s’’, she said, but it wasn’t the rats. The old man had just taken some pieces of the bread and blocked his ears before he fell to sleep last night. Amelia ate the piece of bread that was untouched, drunk both the glasses with milk, and only after finishing everything remembered about Sven who was sleeping on the second floor of the bed. Maybe he was hungry.
’’Fuck,’’ she said, ’’I ate everything. Well, what’s done it's done.’’, she cleaned the table and hid the glasses under it. Then she woke up Sven.
.’’ No breakfast’’, he said upon seeing the empty table, ’’such hospitality. And I truly hooped for a glass of milk’’.
‘’Forget about the milk’’, said Amelia,’’ we have no time’’, and walk out. Sven followed, whispering to himself ‘’No milk in the shepherd's house. Someone tell him about it’’.
The streets were full of children and they were all heading for the school. She looked around for Eugene, but he was nowhere to be found. The creek’s of children, coming from four directions, guided by the town crier with the megaphone, united together and formed a big river that flooded the schoolyard.
‘’May I have your attention please’’, said the town crier, ’’I want you all to stay here and be patient. Your teachers will come soon’’.
After a couple of minutes, the big doors of the school opened, and all the teachers walk out one by one, and formed a line in front of the students. In the middle of the line was professor Windsroar. She made a sign with her hand and the crowd of kids separated into four columns.
’’That’s better’’, she said.
Five teachers came forward, and each one of them was assigned a column. Amelia was assigned to the column headed by teachers Mirhana and Mirhani. That meant her first lesson was going to be a flying lesson. She felt excited. It was exactly the kind of lesson she wanted to start her first day of school with. Mirhana took them outside of the city,where the desert started. Soon Mirhani joined them.
‘’My name is Mirhana Moorhen, she said,’’ and this is my partner Mirhani, but I guess you already know that so let's not extend on ceremonies. Mirhani approached and whispered something into her ears, and she approved with her head.’’Now, any questions?’’
One of the kids raised his hand,
‘’Yes? Brief please.’’
‘’Is it true that you people live mostly in the sky’’?.
‘’I see you have learned a few things about us’’, said Mirhana,’’ yes it is true, I and Mirhani live mostly on the sky. That’s why we wear these costumes by day, to protect ourselves from sunlight. We only come down for the lessons, for eating and some other stuff humans do’’.
‘’What other stuff’’?
‘’Lets put it like this: We live in the sky, that’s for true, but we can’t poo as birds do. Did I make my poop clear''?
The students laughed. Mirhana’s cheeks became red from shame. She slapped them and the red disappeared
‘’I meant, my point’’ she said
‘’I thought you came down to mate’’said the boy and the kids laughed again.
‘’Actually, we do that in the sky’’, said Mirhani, ’’ but its none of your business and I hope you won't start spying on us after we teach you how to fly’’
‘’Isn’t it boring to live up there, always in the same environment?’’ said another kid.
‘’Sky is never the same environment, ’’ said Mirhana,’’ it changes constantly. Now it's blue and quiet, afterward its grey and noisy. And we always find stuff to do up there. During daylight, we lie on our carpets and watch the world below us. When night comes, we count the stars on the sky until we fall asleep. Some times we feed the migrating birds. They truly are hungry. Other times we use our powers to change the environment. We change the colors of the sky for example. It's fun to fly when you change the sky’’, she raised her hand and made a sign like she had a brush on her hand,’’ as I said, what is blue, becomes red’’, and the sky became red.
The children were amazed.
’’And after red, orange it get'', and the sky became orange, ’’or yellow, and green, and black, and blue back.’’ she said and the sky became blue again.
‘’Why do these people speak with verses’’, said Amelia.
‘’I heard they are poets’’, said one of the kids.
‘’Altitude can be very inspiring’’, said Mirhani stepping forward, while Mirhana stepped backward like in a dance,’’ you will find out yourselves when you climb up there. But, besides writing poetry, feeding birds and counting stars, we do some other more serious works, like measuring the weather, and notifying the people of Eljinn about upcoming sand storms and sand devils that are a big threat. Lately, our most important duty is to keep the Madgogs on check, and sound the alarm whenever one of them approaches the city’’, and he stepped back, while Mirhana stepped forward with the same choreographic movement.
‘’Now we start our flying lessons,’’ she said,’’ You must know that the passion of the future dead for flying is old as they are. It starts when their parents carry them in their arms as a newborn. That’s the sweetest moment in a man's life, the first time he is separated from the ground and lifted in the air’’, she grabbed one of the kids, and lifted him in the air.’’As the future dead grows and starts walking, that feeling fell’s asleep. Today, we gone wake up that sleeping feeling of yours’’, and she drop the kid down. The kid sunk into the sand up to its knees. Mirhana then turned to Mirhani and said ‘’We won't fool them for long with poems and games. Where are the carpets’’?
’’I don’t know’’, he replied,’’ They should have been here already’’.
Mirhana turned to the kids and said ’’ any more questions? It seems we have some more time for them’’.
‘’Can you tell us something about the Madgogs and the Darguards,’’ said one of the kids.
‘’Oh, well, I believe Mirhani knows more about them’’.
‘’We are not allowed to speak about them’’, said Mirhani,’’ what you need to know you will learn on your next lessons with professor Algus’’.

A couple of minutes later a bunch of flying carpets landed in front of them. But Mirhani wasn’t happy.
’’Very few’’, he said,’’ not enough for everyone. Not even for half of them. If we separate the carpet, half of them will get none, and they will rebel.’’
‘’No problem, just tell them to put out their paper numbers. I am sure half of them have thrown them away or lost them..’’
.Mirhani made satisfactory laughter and turned to the kids
’’May I have your full attention, I wish. I want you to show me the paper numbers you took yesterday’’. The students started searching in their pockets. Half of them found the papers, while the others, just like Mirhana had predicted, had either lost them or thrown them away.
’’All those who have the paper numbers will be given a carpet, said Mirhani,.The rest of you, who lost the papers, will have to buy them. The carpets are equipped with a magicnetic field, which keeps your bodies attached to the carpets. So, you won't have any problem staying on them. Just be careful not to fly very fast, otherwise, the wind in front of you will become so strong, that will wash you way. And don’t fly on a stormy day, and under heavy rain, because the carpet will get heavy and land on the ground. Once the carpet becomes wet, you must wait for it to dry out, which requires a lot of time. Now, all those who have the paper numbers, jump on the carpets.’’, he turned on Mirhana
’’Have you shut off the magicnetic field?’’.’’
‘’Yes’’, she responded’’.
The first group climbed on the carpets, and something like a bumper car game started. The carpets only climbed two or three meters, then blocked each other's way and clashed. Half of the students fell to the ground. Mirhani and Mirhani tried to instruct them, but nobody listened, and they continued to clash with each other, because it was fun, until they too fell on the ground.
’’Traffic block’’, said Mirhana, ’’ typical for new beginners’’.
‘’These kids are very stubborn. It's gone a be very difficult for them to get the driven license’’, said Mirhani and ordered the kids to try again, and this time follow his instructions,.They obeyed, and this time they flew, but on different directions. It becamechaos in the air. Some of the students flew so far, that Mirhana had to switch on the magicnetic field once more, to make sure they wouldn’t fall from their carpets and disappear into the desert. Still, it took a lot of time for them to find their way back. Mirhani got angry, He threatened them that if they would continue playing games, he would give the carpets to the other students, who had become jealous of seeing their classmates flying in the sky.
‘’How are we going to climb on the tower without carpets, ’’ said one of them.
‘’Your classmates will give you a ride, ’’ said Mirhana, ’’ each one of you with no carpets will befriend one with a carpet. But you must settle this between you.’’
Meanwhile, the students with carpets reached the dormitory, and they made a couple of circles around it, to pick the best rooms. Although Mirhani told them to chose the rooms accordingly to their tickets nobody obeyed, and he just ignored that, fearing an uprising in the sky. Once they unpacked their bags, they flew back to carry their classmates to the dormitory. Amelia was one of the unlucky students who had lost the ticket, so she had to be pleased with the room Mirhana choose for her. There was nothing to complain about anyway. The rooms offered almost the same view, since the tower was build in the middle of the city and above every other building. And finally, as Amelia realized after a while, the dome itself was a rotating dome. When Eugene came to see her a couple of hours later, she looked very pleased.

‘’So, what do you think’’, he said?
‘’I love it. Its everything I had in mind…’’
The room had one bed, one table, one chair, one closet, one bathroom and one lamp for the fairy. The lamp was the thing that Amelia liked the most. It looked like a mini royal bed, surrounded with royal curtains.
‘’You just forget to mention the rotating dome. It was the real surprise’’, she said.’’How fast does it rotate?’’
‘’Once in twenty four hours’’, said Eugene, ’’ tomorrow you will wake up with another view outside your window’’.
‘’I can’t wait to see it.’’
‘’Your fairy will come before sunset’’, said Eugene,’’ give it enough food and water, and it will enlighten your room all night.
‘’All night? Does it mean I have to sleep with my lights on?’’
‘’Just pull down the curtains of the lamp before you go to bed, and then pull them up each time you wake up, and then again pull them up, and then pull them down, and …’’
‘’Alright, enough. I got it, ’’ said Amelia, and opened the door of the bathroom, and saw there was no shower in there. Only a floating toilet bowl, that had to be pulled down each time someone wanted to shit, and a small tap with very cold water. She walked out, and asked Tom if there was any hot water nearby?
‘’Why’’, he replied?
‘’Because I want to take a shower’’, she said.’’Don't you jinni ever do that’’?
‘’Of course, we do that. All the time. We have two public baths in the city, one for the adults and one for the minors’’.
‘’One for the adults, one for the minors’’, said Amelia repeating his words, ’’ And where does a 143 years old teenager like you wash, to the adult's bath or to the students one’’?
‘’As you said, I might be 143 years old,’’ but I am still a teenager, so I wash myself to the minors bathroom. If you want, I can show them to you’’.
‘’Not a bad idea’’, said Amelia, ’’ but don’t I have any more lessons today?
‘’No, that’s all for today’’, he said,’’ we only have one lesson per day in Eljinn, and three days of lesson per week. By the way, I brought you this’’, he unpacked a sack, and four big books came out of it.
‘’They are my old school books’’, he said.
Amelia took them. The first was the book ‘’Basic Magicnetics’’, the second was the book ‘’Darguards and Madgogs, How to find you’’ and the third ‘’One thousand and one wishes for new masters’’.
‘’A book for our masters,’’ said Amelia, ''are we going to teach them?’’
‘’Guide them. Most of the time the masters are confused and don’t know what to wish for. Some have so many wishes that they can’t decide on one. Others make bizarre wishes and even harmful ones. This book is a menu of healthy wishes for them to pick up.‘’, said Eugene about the third book.
The fourth book was named ‘’Recipes for the kitchen of wishes’’.Amelia opened it. On the first page it was written ‘’although easy it is, perhaps difficult may look, to erase your doubts, open this book’’.Then came the first recipe: ‘’How to make sweet salt’’.
‘’That doesn’t sound so easy’’, said Amelia, ’’ how can you make sweet salt’’?
‘’Each wish has its own recipe’’, said Eugene, ’’ you follow the recipe and all too easy it will be’’
‘’Well, if you say so’’, and she threw the books on the bed, something Eugene didn’t took so well.
‘’Tomorrow we have to go shopping’’, he said staring at the books, ’’ to buy some other stuff you gone a need’’.
‘’Thank you Eugene’’, said Amelia and approached him, ’’ I had sworn not to talk to you for a month after you ignored me at the bus, but now I have changed my mind.Just don't dare to ignore me again,or I'll kill you.’’
‘’Of course, I won't’’, he said,’’ you are my friend. Nothing has changed between us. Come now, let me show you the bathrooms’’.
He opened his carpet and they both jumped on it and flew out. First, they made a couple of circles around the city since Amelia was curious to see everything, and when they arrived on the bathrooms it was already afternoon. The bathrooms where just what Amelia had expected, oriental and sunken in hot vapor. The floor was covered with stone plaques. Some of the plaques where rounded, and had holes in them, and that was the place where the geyser was. When someone wanted to clean up, he would step on one of these plaques and immediately the hot water wold pump up from the underground.
Amelia finished bathing, and walk out. Eugene was waiting for her at the entrance. He accompanied his friend to her room and said goodnight and good sleep. Amelia had already closed one of the frames of the window when she spotted a boy in a carpet making circles around the city. For a moment that boy stopped, saw Amelia and made a hand salute. Amelia responded in the same mAmeliar, and he approached. What had seemed like a boy was actually a girl with a big traveling bag on her back.
‘’Hi’’, said the girl,’’ how are you’’?
‘’I am fine, thank you. How are you’’?
‘’Not so good’’.
‘’Why, what happened’’?
‘’I lost the key of my room, and I am locked out. Can I stay at your place for tonight’’.
‘’I am sorry but I don’t have an extra bed’’, said Amelia
‘’That’s ok’’, said the girl, ’’ I can sleep on the floor’’.
‘’Well, if you are comfortable with that, welcome in then’’.
The girl entered the room. Amelia closed the window behind her and took a quick look at the girl. Her clothes where dirty, partially torn apart, and judging from her hair she looked like she needed an urgent bath.
‘’My name is Amri’’, she said.’’Amri Asahara. I am an ex princess’’.
‘’Ex princess’’? said Amelia,’’ well, I can't say I am glad to meet you. I got bad luck with royalties. By the way, have you anything to do with a woman called Margoll? Are you an offspring of hers perhaps?''
’’No'', said Amri, ''I have never heard of her. I belong to the family of Asaharans. My family controls the sand fields of Asahara, in the eastern part of the middle world’’.
‘’The sand fields of Asahara’’, said Amelia,’’ isn’t that the same place where the Madgogs live’’?
‘’It is’’, said the girl,’’ but there are not only Madgogs there. Under the sand there are hidden treasures, diamonds and rubies like this one’’, she took of one of her rings, and gave it to Amelia.
‘’I guess your family is very rich’’, said Amelia, and put the ring on her pocket, while Amri payed no attention,’’ why did you left them then?
‘’To search for my mom’’, said Amri,’’ she was thrown out of the palace after I was born.
‘’Thrown out of the palace?Why?’’
‘’Because she gave birth to a daughter for the third time. In my family, a woman who fails to produce a male heir for the third time is exiled, and her daughters are closed in a dark area of the palace until they reach the age of marriage. I never saw my mom, and I never saw my father either, I don’t even know who he was, she said laughing’’.
‘’And your sisters, you remember them’’?
‘’Not visually’’, said Amri, ’’ It was always dark in the room where we lived, and we couldn’t see each other. I only remember their voices and their breath. In our family, we have a very warm breath. It kept us alive on that cold cell during the nights. But then one day I woke up, and I felt cold. I searched around in the darkness, and I couldn’t find their warmth. My sister's warmth had disappeared. I realized they had been taken, and I was left alone until the day of my marriage came. It was the happiest day of my life because finally, I escaped the palace’’.
‘’How old were you’’?
‘’I was 11 years old’’, said Amri.
‘’11 years old? You mean you were a child bride when you escaped''?
‘’Yes’’, said Amri.’’They arranged my marriage to a 67 years old warlord. I still remember the moment when I first meet him. He had some red yes and a long beard. He kissed my hand and told me he was preparing the gift for our wedding, a beautiful wooden bed. He wanted me to choose the color of the sheets. Still frightens me when I think about it.
‘’Yeah, really frightening’’, said Amelia, ‘’thank god you escaped’’.
‘’I have to thank the Madgogs for that’’, said Amri,’’ they stormed the palace searching for women ,and one of them kidnapped me. When they arrived in Orgyn, the oasis where the Madgogs gather to mate, he saw I was very little, and he threw me away. The Madgogs only like fertile women who can produce heirs. I walked into the desert and after some time I found a tribe of nomads, and I became part of their tribe. When we arrived in a city, I liked the place and I separated from the nomads, and l lived in the streets for the last three years, among gangsters and thieves. They taught me how to steal and beg, to survive’’.
‘’Hmm, now I see where the piercing and the tattoos come from’’, said Amelia.’’And how did you ended up in Eljinn’’?
‘’Accidentally, said Amri,’’ it’s the story of my life. I was born accidentally, kidnapped accidentally, and borrowed accidentally. If my life will end one day, believe me, it's going to be accidentally. By the way, I lied about the key. I don’t really have a room.,Those bastards didn’t give me one, because they didn’t like me. Nobody has ever liked me since I was born’’.
.’’ We have a lot in common you and I’’, said Amelia, ’’I lost my mom too as a kid. My father lost his mind after that, and a horde of barbarian relatives sized my rooms and kicked me out.’’
‘’I will seize one tomorrow too when all the children go to school’’, said Amri.
‘’Seize one? You mean…by force’’?
‘’Of course,’’ said Amri,’’ it's my right to have a room, everyone has one’’.
‘’It's not fair this way,’’ said Amelia.
‘’Is it fair that I have no room?,’’ said Amri,’’ it's my right to have one, it doesn’t matter how I have it. One bird flies away, another one takes his nest. In nature, this happens all the time’’.
Amelia silenced, approached the window and saw the city below her. From her room down to the school there was a mile to be crossed, and without a carpet, that was impossible. Mirhana had advised her to find a friend with a carpet until the time to take her own carpet would come.
’’They didn’t give you a room,’’ she said after a while ‘’But I see they gave you a carpet’’.
‘’Yes, but I would prefer a room. You can’t sleep on a carpet you know’’.
‘’I would like to have a carpet’’, said Amelia,’’ or at least a roommate who has one.
‘’Because tomorrow it’s the second day of the school, and I have to climb down the tower, and I don’t see how I can do that without a carpet’’.
‘’I can give you a ride ‘’, said Amri,’’ as long as you allow me to stay here’’.
‘’Ok’’, said Amelia,’’ we have a deal then. I will share my room with you, and you will share your carpet with me. I hope you won't kill me and seize the room’’, Amri didn’t respond,’’ But as I said before, I don’t have an extra bed’’.
‘’No worries’’, said Amri,’’ I always carry this with me’’, she opened her bag, put out something like a packed plastic sheet, and splashed it on the ground. Immediately a small inflatable tent was formed.’’Have a god night roommate’’, she said, and entered in and closed the entrance of the tent.
Outside the sun was setting. Amelia was tired. She put her head on the pill and tried to remember something that Eugene had told her, about someone that was to arrive after sunset, but unfortunately for her, sleep arrived first.

Chapter Eight,The Nogo Valley
It was already five a clock in the morning when they woke up. They cleaned their faces with cold water, drunk a little from the coffee that Amri had saved, then the little street girl opened the window, and saw outside the body of a dead fairy.
‘’What is this doing here ’’, she said, and took the dead fairy in her hands, and started rotating it like a doll from all sides.
‘’My fairy’’, said Amelia,’’ It must have been knocking on the window all night. How didn’t we heard anything’’?
‘’Well it doesn’t matter now, Its dead anyway’’, said Amri and handed the fairy to Amelia, and after collecting her tent, she opened the carpet.
‘’Where are you going’’, said Amelia
‘’To the school’’, said Amri,’’ where else’’.
.’’ What? I don’t believe it. This poor creature has died, my heart is broken, and you are just departing for the school like nothing has happened?. This is sad’’.
‘’Listen, roommate, I didn’t came here for mourning. I came here to became a jinni. If you wanna stay here all day and mourn for that little creature, do it. As for me, I am going to school’’
Amelia was shocked by Amri’s coldness. She kept the fairy on her hands and then approached it to her face. It was cold like every dead creature is. Amri, although not touched by the dead fairy, thought she had a debt versus Amelia.
‘’What are you going to do with it?’’, she said in a soft voice.
‘’I will find her family’’, said Amelia in a ceremonial tone’’, and I will hand this body to them’’
‘’But her family comes after the sunset’’, said Amri biting her tongue not to laugh,’’ all the fairies come after the sunset. If you keep it here until then, it will stink. Dead things stink horribly you know’’.
‘’What should I do than’’?
‘’Give it to me’’ said Amri, and grabbed the body of the dead fairy and threw it out of the window.
‘’You cruel’’, screamed Amelia., ‘’Why did you do that? Have you no feelings’’?
‘’Dead is dead’’, said Amri calmly,’’ what god will it do to the dead if you feel for them’’?
Amri’s logic was cold and realistic. Amelia collected herself, washed her tears and decided it was better to change environment for a while. They both jumped on the carpet and flew to the school. Before arriving there Eugene saw them, and he approached on his carpet.
’’Where are you heading, he asked’’
‘’To the school, were else’’, said Amri.’’
‘’It's very soon’’, he said,’’ it doesn’t start before nine a clock.’’
‘’Wow, that’s a long time. What we do until then?’’
‘’I don’t know about you, but I feel hungry now’’, said Amelia’’
‘’Come with me’’ he said,’’ I know a nice breakfast place. After that, we can go to the bazaar to order some stuff you gona need’’.
Amelia accepted. Amri also. She was hungry and curious about the bazaar, a place where there is always something to steal. Their first stop was at ‘’The Gnomes’’, restaurant, where they ate breakfast. The restaurant was small, and the chairs and the tables were also very small. They ordered fried eggs. When the gnomes brought the plates, Amelia wasn’t surprised they too were small, and the eggs also very small.
‘'These eggs look like pigeons eggs’’, said Amelia.
‘’They are snake eggs’’, said Eugene’’, and swallowed four eggs at once. Amelia and Amri first hesitated, and wanted to see what would happen to Eugene.
‘’Aren’t you going to eat them?’’, said Eugene after a while. The girls stared at him for a moment. He showed no disturbing signs, and they waited no more. They made a frontal assault on the eggs, and after a minute breakfast had ended
.‘’ I didn’t know you had Gnomes in Eljinn’’, said Amelia,’’ I guess they have been living here from the beginning, like the fairies’’…
‘’No'', said Eugene,'' they came later, They are offspring of the fairies who mate with the human's thousands of years ago., According to the legend, the first humans who came here fell in love with the fairies. They proposed to them, but the fairies refused because of the human's size. Then the humans made traps and captured a lot of fairies. They used the male fairies as cheap labor, and the female fairies as their sexual slaves’’.
‘’And the Gnomes were born’’, said Amri,’’ that makes perfect sense’’.
After devouring the eggs, they ordered a teapot of coffee. Amelia drunk a little, and then spit it.
’’What is this disgusting thing?’’, she said.
‘’It’s a tea plot’’, said Eugene.
‘’What is a tea plot'', said Amelia?...
’’Oh, just a joke of the gnomes’’, said Eugene.’’When you ask tea with sugar, they drop salt instead, and when you ask coffee with milk, they drop yogurt instead. That’s why they call it a tea plot. Sometimes they put silly peppers in fruit juice, and clients start jumping like crazy’’.
‘’Silly Gnomes’’, said Amelia, and pushed the tea plot away.’’Well, we better go now, before they offer us something weirder’’.
They stood up and walk away. Upon arriving at the door, Amelia turned her head at the tea plot. She saw one of the gnomes who approached the table, took the tea plot and started drinking all of it. Another gnome approached and asked for some of it. The first gnome refused, and a fight broke between them.
Once out, Eugene gave a letter to each one of the girls. In it was signed the price of the food they had just eaten.
‘’What’s this’’, said Amri.
’It’s a bill’’, said Eugene.’’As long as you will live in Eljinn, you will receive bills for everything you get, starting from shelter, food, clothes, carpets and so on’’.
On the ‘’Meltdown’’ street, were three hundred red skin blacksmiths worked, they ordered their lamps. A whole line of small furnaces stretched from one side of the street to the other. The blacksmiths were dropping scraped metals inside the furnaces.
‘’What metal do they use for the lamps’’ said Amri.
‘’The golden brass’’, said Eugene,’’ it's an ancient alloy prepared with three metals, gold, silver and copper. It's very resistant, and it doesn’t rust’’.
Once the scrap was melted and transformed into the golden brass, the blacksmith drop it on a stamp of clay, and soon a red lamp was prepared. He then took it and sunk it in the water, and when it came out of the water, the lamp shined like gold. The blacksmith took a knife and started carving the numbers 4562 on the lamp. Amelia ordered that lamp for herself, and the next one for Amri as a gift. The blacksmith gave her back a letter, like the one the gnomes had given her. When Amelia asked for the lamps, the blacksmith refused to give them. Eugene explained to the girls that they would get their lamps only after graduating, and it made them very angry.
‘’What do you mean after graduating,’’ said Amri,’’ we paid for them, they are ours now.’’
‘’Of course,’’ said Eugene,’’ they would be registered in your name, that’s for sure, and handed over to the central bank of Eljinn. But until you graduate, you will never see them again.’’
‘’Very well then,’’ said Amelia and approached the blacksmith and handed over the bill to him,’’ here take it, I don’t want the lamp. I changed my mind.’’
The blacksmith showed here a sign on the wall where it was written ‘’no regret is accepted’’.
‘’Go in hell,’’ said Amri, and grabbed the bills from Amelia, torn them apart and drop them at the blacksmith's face.
‘’Show me the way,’’ said the blacksmith, speaking for the first time in his life, and approached. All the other blacksmiths of the street did the same, they abandoned their duty, approached and surrounded the three kids. Tall, muscular and wearing ancient sandals and dresses, they looked like the three hundred spartan ready to strike.
‘’What is going on,’’ said Amri.
‘’Just wait and see,’’ said Eugene.
The blacksmith took the pieces of the bills from the ground, filled his mouth with them and started chewing them. After a minute or so, he pulled them out like razors. Eugene took all of them, and the blacksmiths returned to their jobs, opening the way for the kids to flee.
‘’You shouldn’t have torn those bills,’’ said Eugene, ’’ bills of Eljinn are contracts if you don’t respect them there are consequences.’’
Amri looked at the razor bills, and thought it would be impossible to tear them apart now unless she wanted to cut her hands. Amelia took them and carefully put them in her bag.
‘’Will all these debts we are carrying, we must start searching for a job’’, she said.
‘’Or an easy way to make money’’, said Amri.
At the ‘’ Fourth-Fifth’’ avenue was the boutique of the Fingerhut sisters. Upon entering, the three friends were surrounded by floating balls of wool, hundreds and hundreds of them who looked like little planets. They pushed away the balls and opened their way to the sisters. Amelia ordered a blue uniform for Amri, and one for their friend Sven, as a gift. She paid these gifts with the red ruby she had taken from Amri, and this time they were given no bills. Dazzled by the breakfast at the gnomes, and her first shopping experience in Eljinn, she had totally forgotten about the dead fairy. But when miss Golosal entered the classroom, a surprise was waiting for her. The teacher was carrying a big bottle full of sand and was breathing heavily. She splashed the bottle on the table, took a deep breath, and then unpacked a handkerchief. Inside it, was the dead fairy. The teacher put the dead fairy on the table.
‘’Shame on one of you,’’ she said,’’ this is not how we treat fairies in this city.’’.
Amelia felt a fist in the stomach and turned left, searching for Amri’s eyes. Amri pretended not to see her. The sadness of the morning had captured her again, and she wanted to cry. But then the teacher did something unexpected. She covered the fairy with the handkerchief, opened the bin, and threw the fairy in it.
’’That’s better, she said.’’
One of the students raised his hand
‘’Yes, what is it’’
‘’Aren’t you suppose to bury them? Every dead thing is buried’’.
‘’It will be buried with the garbage in the desert’’, said miss Golosal.
‘’I mean a real burying, with a ceremony and sad music, and priests’’.
‘’We don’t do those kinds of ceremonies in Eljinn’’, said miss Golosal,’’ and we don’t have priests here. Besides, dead is dead, and a ceremony for the dead is a ceremony for death itself. We jinni don’t pay homage to death’’.
‘’That’s cruel’’, said one the kids.
‘’It's not cruel to say the truth’’, said miss Golosal,’’ what is dead is gone forever, and a ceremony won't bring it back’’.
Amri turned her head into Amelia's direction. Amelia turned her head in the other direction.
‘’Now, the first lesson for today it’s a simple one,’’ She took the big bottle of sand and passed from table to table, dropping an amount of sand in front of every child,’’ you must transform this sand into a sand devil, saying the words ‘’Rise up sand, from where you stand, up to the sky, if you can’’.
‘’What is a sand Devil’’, said one the students
‘’It’s a tornado of sand’’, said miss Golossal.
‘’We have to transform this tinny sand into a giant tornado’’?
‘’A tiny tornado’’, said miss Golossal,’’ you start with a tiny one today. Later, when you learn to manage your powers and control your sabra, we will continue our lesson to the dessert, where you can form real sand devils. Now start. Good luck’’.
The children started repeating the words, but nothing happened. The sand didn’t move an inch. Miss Golossal waited patiently for ten minutes, and then opened the bottle of sand, and said ‘’rise up sand, from where you stand, up to the sky if you can’’.Immediately the sand started rising up from the bottle. A long sand devil was created, and almost reached the roof. Then she repeated the same words over and over, and all the amounts of sands on the children's desk raised up and formed small sand devils, who looked like the offspring of the big one of the bottle. The sand devils lasted for a minute then they all came down.
‘’Now try again’’, she said.
The children tried again. Some of them succeeded, while others just managed to move the sand, but no sand devils came out. On two or three occasions the sand raised up and splashed into the faces of those who had misinterpreted the formula. Nevertheless, by the end of the lesson hour, all the children had finally managed to make sand devils, and she felt proud of them. It was the first time in the history of Eljinn that a whole class succeeded in making sand devils in less than one hour. She said nothing to the children, fearful of rising their pride levels. Before leaving, she gave a test tube to each one of them. Inside every test tube, there was a worm.
‘’This are butterfly worms. It will be your homework to transform this worms into butterflies, said miss Golosal.’’,Next time we meet, I will check your progress. Until then, goodbye.’’
.Once the lesson finished, Amelia remembered about the promise of Gog, to send her to the Nogo valley if she would find a carpet. She turned to Amri and explained everything. Amri, with her adventurous spirit, quickly got excited, and of course, she accepted. They both flew to the home of the shepherd. He was making cheese at that moment, so he was pretty busy, but he had given his word and he accepted to escort them to the valley. They flew together, and all the time Amelia kept asking him questions. One of the things she was most interested in was the appearance of the angels.
’’The angels,’’ said Gog,’’ are made of a special divine liquid, a kind of predecessor of natural water. If the humans are seventy percent simple water, the angels are a hundred percent made of this holy water. The substance is clearer than crystal and makes them invisible. It also gives them the ability to repair their bodies faster than any other creature does.
’’Why to repair their bodies? Are they vulnerable to something?’’
‘’Yes,’’ said Gog,’’ they are vulnerable to each other. Because they are made of liquid, they are all very unstable mentally, and constantly clash with each other, or make idiotic things, as children do, and they get hurt all the time’’.
‘’So, the angels are unstable’’, said Amri,’’ are they nuts perhaps’’?
‘’No’’, said Gog, ’’ I wouldn’t call them nuts, but they are unpredictable, like every unstable creature.’’
‘’Is it true they have wings?'', said Amelia,'' and they use them to fly on us’’?
‘’I have never seen an angel with wings’’, said Gog.’’And they don’t need to fly. Like every liquid creature, they use the water circulation system to travel. They fall on earth like rain, and they evaporate and climb back on the heavens again’’.
The last words put the little girl's fantasy to work. Now both of them where fantasizing love stories with these angels.
’’I forgot to mention,’’ said Gog after a while,’’ but when we arrive on the valley, try not to speak at all, otherwise you gone a get us into troubles’’.
‘’Troubles?What kind of troubles,’’ said Amri.
‘’It’s a guardian at the entrance’’, said Gog,’' his name is Iblis. He is the person to whom the jinni are handed over after they are captured. He is the one who ties them on the sticks and burns them. He has been living in the valley all alone for five hundred years. When Garu created him, he forgot to put a tongue on his mouth, so he can’t speak. Some people say he did that on purpose, to prevent him from speaking since the Nogo valley is a secret full of secrets. Nevertheless, he can hear very well, even the lowest whispering at a long-distance’’.
‘’You mean he can hear us talking now’’?
‘’He already has, I am afraid ‘’, said Gog,’’ that’s why I propose to keep our mouths shut until we arrive at the entrance of the valley’’.
The idea that someone far away from them was listening to everything they were saying, paralyzed their tongue. Feer engulfed them. Amri approached Amelia and put her arm under hers, while Amelia grabbed Gog from his clothes. Once entering the valley, the ghosts of the dead jinni appeared and started making circles around the carpet.
‘’Don’t be afraid’’, said Gog,’’ they are just dancing’’.
Once the ghosts disappeared, they saw from above the entrance of the valley. They landed. Gog was calm, while Amelia and Amri were shaking from fear.
’’Mind your tongue now,’’ said Gog, and knocked on the iron door in front of them. After some time the door opened roaring, while dust fell from all over the rusted iron. Then the Iblis appeared. Gog put his right hand on the chest and bowed. Iblis also did the same, and moved aside, allowing them to enter. Amelia didn’t lose the chance to take a quick look at him, although Gog had said that the Iblis hated being stared at. The Iblis was almost the size of professor Altus, but more robust. All his face was covered in black mud, with the exception of his red shining eyes, and his triple ears one above the other. He looked like a very hairy creature from the inside since his hair had pierced his clothes and formed little forests above them.
Although the Iblis was quite scary, the horror show still lied ahead. And it was breathtaking. They just couldn’t believe their eyes. In front of them where hundred and hundred of skeletons, tied on the sticks. They walked between the skeletons, and on the ground saw pieces of other bones, pieces of skulls and hands and legs scattered all over the ground.
‘’So, this is the infamous graveyard of the jinni’’, said Amelia,’’ the place where the jinni gets executed’’.
‘’Yes’’, said Gog,’’ this is it. The Nogo valley, the valley you are not suppose to go’’.
‘’Looks like a forest of skeletons, said Amri,’’ Count Dracula would had been jealous about it’’.
‘’Why don’t they bury all these bones’’, said Amelia while avoiding to step on them.
‘’The Iblis does that all the time’’, said Gog,’’ but the bones resurface again, forty days after they are buried. So the Iblis has to bury them, again and again, all the time, for all eternity’’.
‘’Like Sisyphus who had to carry the stone again and again, and each time he would reach the top the stone would fall and he would start over’’, said Amri,’’ I am starting to feel pity about Iblis’’.
‘’Yeah, me to’’, said Amelia.
While they were going deeper and deeper, they heard the door opening. Then they saw Iblis pulling the body of a jinni who had just been delivered to him. Completely ignoring Gog and the little girls, the Iblis just walk to a stick he had implanted on the ground, tied the jinni on it, and put his body on fire. The jinni, who woke up when he felt his flesh burning, tried to free himself but it was impossible. He started screaming from pain and repeated the word ‘’Ima’’ several times. Amelia and Amri, just like Gog had instructed them, had totally chained their tongue. Later Amelia would say that she had forgotten she even had one. Perhaps they would have stayed there and enjoy all the horrific scene of the burning if Gog had not pulled them towards the door. They had lost every sense and only collected themselves after they heard the door closing. The girls were frightened, and also angry since Gog did nothing to save the boy.
‘’We could have helped him’’, said Amri.
‘’No’’, said Gog,’’ we couldn’t. And we had no right to interfere. That was his destiny’’.
‘’You are a coward’’, said Amri, and grabbed Gog from its robes.
‘’You don’t know the power of the Iblis, child,’’ said Gog calmly,’’ that’s why you unleash your tongue. If you knew, if you had seen what I have seen, If you had seen angels squeezed by him, you would swallow your tongue once and for all’’.
‘’You mean the Iblis could have killed us to if we had tried to intervene’’?
‘’Yes’’, said Gog,’’ without hesitation. He has full powers inside his territory and can kill anyone who tries to stop him, either a jinni, an angel or a future dead be it’’.
‘’So, there is nothing you can do’’, said Amelia more to herself’’, there is no escape. If you are caught you are caught, and it all ends there’’.
‘’I am sorry’’, said Gog,’’ but this is the life you choose for yourselves’’.
‘’And I thought the streets where tough’’, said Amri,’’ I miss them already’’.
‘’That word that he repeated, '' Ima '', what does it mean’’, said Amelia?
‘’It’s in hebrew’’, said Gog,’’ it means mother’’.
Amelia and Amri didn’t speak. They where now both thinking about their moms, and how they would call them when their turn to be executed wold come.
‘’What we do now, Amri’’, said Amelia after a while.
‘’What do you mean what we do. We just go forward, that’s what we do’’, said Amri,’’ there is no going back now. If we stay here and don’t become jinni, we can do something else. But, to hell with everything, I want to become a jinni’’.
‘’Yeah, me to’’, said Amelia, always doubting if she really meant that.
‘’We better go now’’, said Gog,’’ it's getting cold here’’.
They jumped on the carpet and flew back. Before departing the valley, they were once again surrounded by the ghosts of the dead jinni. Among them, they spotted the face of the boy that was just executed. He was smiling. He was free.
Upon returning to Eljinn, they encountered Eugene. He said he wanted to show them something interesting, but Amelia wasn’t interested in any more surprises. Amri, on the other hand, wanted to wipe out the Nogo valley from her mind and accepted his offer. First, she accompanied Amelia at the room and then flew back to the school. Eugene was waiting for her.
‘’What are you going to show me’’, she said.
’’ A knighthood ceremony’’, said Eugene,’’ that’s how we call it when a student graduates from the school of Eljinn and takes the official title of a jinni’’.
The ceremony was held in the basement of the school, in a secret hall. Once arriving there, Eugene gave a headscarf to Amri and told her politely to cover her head and face. Amri accepted, and they entered the hall. It was a tiny place, not at all the fantastic huge area that Amri had imagined for such an important occasion. On the right were the fifty oldest members of the Marid tribe, and on the left the fifty oldest members of the Ifrit tribe. When the time came, a student covered in a blue mantel appeared and walked at the center of the hall, where miss Windsroar was standing. He kneeled in front of here. Miss Windsroar put out a book, and the student kissed it. It was the constitution of Eljinn. Than miss Windsroar started reading the words of the ceremony, and the student repeated them:
’’As a member of the jinni nation, I consider all the jinni as friends. As a member of the Ifrit tribe, I consider all the jinni of my tribe as brothers. I will uphold the constitution, obey the laws, serve my future dead masters. If I fail, may I be forgiven. If I betray, may I be spared..’’
Miss Windsroar handed him a golden circle, with which he rupt his ponytail, a lamp and a ring with a black horse carved on them. She then grabbed him from his ponytail and said: ‘’The human is dead. The jinni is born. Long will live the jinni’’.
The teachers and the hundred old’s, stood up and they repeated like a chorus the words ‘’Long will live the jinni’’.When the ceremony ended, the teachers walk out, while the members of the Ifrit tribe approached the new jinni. Each one of them grabbed the carpet where the jinni was standing, and they carried their new member out of the hall.
‘’What are they doing’’, said Amri?
‘’Just a symbolic gesture of brotherhood’’, said Eugene,’’ its to say that we all count on each other’’.
The ceremony left a strong mark on Amri. Now more then ever she wanted to become a jinni. When she separated from Eugene, she did something she hadn’t done for months. She went to the baths and took a shower. Upon returning to the dormitory, she revealed everything to Amelia. Amelia, still in shock by the experience on the Nogo valley, was delighted to, and regretted not having participated at the ceremony. That boy had been the last student of the old generation that was graduated. Now, to experience something similar, she would have to wait for her own ceremony, years and years later.