Djinn: The Discover of a Lifetimebysoiledprairiedove©
Dr Madeleine Whetstone watched several lithe Arab workmen, dressed in their customary jelabiya, a long robe of once-white cotton. Most of the older men had the long gowns hitched into the belts at their waist and looped to crudely cover their groin, and some of the younger ones had dispensed with the covering on their tops, choosing instead to push down the blouse-like gown and to wear the cotton as a sarong. It was a pleasing sight that did nothing to cool Madeleine's libido, which had been overactive since she had arrived in this stultifying, Abrahamic land a year ago.
Though, to be honest, she knew enough not to act upon her impulses lest she spell certain disaster for her shaky standing in the Egyptian archaeological community. Her personal situation had not been much better in England. Women rarely attained a doctorate in any field, much less one as esoteric as hers. She'd had very few beaux in her life, none of them serious, and only one had managed to divest her of her burdensome virginity and give her a continued measure of respite from her physical cravings. The experience had been less than stellar, especially with the threat to both their careers had she ended up in the family way. They had parted company after a year. She hadn't even given him a thought when she had left England for the shores of Africa.
Sometimes, though, in the middle of a cold desert night, she wished that she could find a man who would challenge her, make her wanton. She wanted a man who would be all the things that she had renounced on her chosen path, but most of all, she wanted to remain her own woman, a respected archaeologist, not some breeder of Empire bound sons.
She turned her attention from the sweating men, to the sketch she had made of what they were doing, but alas, her attention was once again pulled to the site as a great shout rose from the group.
The men moved around a large cover stone over the entrance to what she hoped would be the discovery of the century. Several heaved against ropes that had been hooked into the stone itself, their strain evident in the tautness of their leg muscles and the sweat that soaked through their cotton garments. A young boy was dispatched to her side, "Mem, Mem! Dr Nassir said to tell you that the stone has strange markings. He thinks you should see them! Now, Mem! Come! The doctor doesn't like to be kept waiting!"
Dr Salim Nassir's dark, hawk-eyed gaze caught hers, and he sneered slightly through his silver-shot beard. He was the director of antiquities at the museum for which they both worked, and a renowned scholar of all things Egyptian. Madeleine stirred from her camp stool, not relishing the move into the sun from the shade of her tent, set up on the side of the hill for the best vantage of the three week old dig. She donned the pith helmet that she had cadged from her older brother, who had served his military conscription in India rather than the European theatre of the War to End All Wars, before she left England for the hotter, sunnier climes of Egypt.
Making her way down the loose rock strewn gravel of the basin, she arrived at the older man's side. "You requested me, Dr Nassir?"
"Yes, Madame, we have found a strange line of petroglyphs at either side of the structure." His English was precisely spoken, and did nothing to cover his scorn for her status as the lead archaeologist of this particular dig. His refusal to use her title rankled her nearly beyond reason. However, twelve years of scorn in the English academic world helped her to mask her ire. Though his scorn was no less, and no more derisive than the treatment she received from her Western compatriots at the museum, but it somehow stung more. His influential regard would never be won, simply because of her gender, no matter how well received her articles were to any publication in the world. Gathering her scattered thoughts, she finally peered at the markings as she observed, "I've never seen these types of glyphs before."
He barked something in Arabic and the workers halted. She was aware that at least two of the younger men leered at her trouser clad bottom, whilst the more seasoned labourers flopped onto the ground, covering their eyes with the length of cloth left loose from their turbans for that purpose.
Madeleine moved to the side of one stone and looked at the strange markings. The petroglyphs were definitely a new language; they resembled cuneiform since the language used hash marks and geometric shapes to convey meaning, but the glyphs seemed to be grouped into long, rambling strings rather than succinct word groups. In that, they resembled ancient Egyptian tomb spells, but the resemblance ended there. She ran her hand over their surface, attempting to clear some of the years of sand from their surface, and felt an oddly caressing surge of power under her fingertips as she drew away. The feeling stayed in her hand even as she moved back to Dr Nassir. She said, "I've never seen their like, before."
She rubbed her still tingling fingertips against her trousers. She smiled sweetly and asked, "You do have a linguistics expert at the museum, don't you?"
"But of course, Madame. We are a thoroughly modern institution." Nassir's answering smile did not reach his eyes. "I'll send a boy to telegraph him. He might be able to be here by tomorrow afternoon."
"That would be most excellent, Doctor." She turned her back on her colleague, saying over her shoulder, "Now, let's get this tomb opened. I can't wait to see what's beyond that stone."
An hour later the cover stone was rolled to the side, obscuring one side of the strange writing. The tomb, if that was indeed what it was, lay open, a dark, cool hole in the sweltering heat of the afternoon. The workmen were all away, saying their afternoon prayers before they began their rest period. Even Dr Nassir was in the same occupation. It was one of the drawbacks of allowing a superstitious native to achieve such a position of pre-eminence in the museum, but it also afforded Madeleine an opportunity she might not have had otherwise. She carefully made her way to the structure, pencil and sketchbook in hand, her folded camp stool hanging from the rucksack in which she carried the tools of her trade.
When she got to the opening, she lit a candle and placed it just inside the doorway. It would do no good for her to enter the structure only to die of anoxia. When the candle did not gutter or go out, she reached into a small cage that held a pearl-grey, ringed neck dove. She gently grabbed the bird and stepped into the mouth of the first room. She let it go, and it fluttered about the room and past the first stone lintel that might open into the burial chamber itself. When the bird flew back to her and landed on her outstretched hand, she placed it back in the cage and then lit the torch that she had retrieved from her pack. It was time to explore.
She entered the antechamber fully. She didn't know what she had expected, but the unadorned sandstone of what could have been an ordinary cave, was not it. She began measuring the room, pacing off the size with a surveyor's wheel. She noted the exact spots where crude benches had been carved into the stone and the location of an oddly shaped flat stone in the centre of the floor. When she finally crossed to the door of the next room, a tingle of anticipation shivered down her spine as that strangely caressing power she had felt in her fingertips enveloped her body.
Putting down the same candle she had used at the first doorway, she waited impatiently for the process to begin over again. She ascertained in moments that the air was fresh, and she crossed the threshold.
The sumptuous, gilded room was not what she expected. No one in their right mind would expect such pristinely preserved and perishable artefacts to be present in a tomb of great age. She moved through the luridly coloured fabrics that lined the surfaces of the tomb, careful not to touch them. Textiles of a mere hundred years of age would crumble given the right circumstances, though, if this tomb were ancient Egyptian, Madeleine would eat her brother's pith helmet, buckles and all. Disappointment threatened to subsume her love of the discovery, but she quickly squelched it. Even if this was just some Bedouin thief's cave there were certainly discoveries to be made. The strange petroglyphs on the outside of the cave spoke to that fact.
She made a circuit of the room, carefully noting the positions of articles that caught her attention. When she reached the back of the room, the air shifted. A refreshingly cool breeze in the stifling afternoon desert heat stirred the air. A curtain of finely woven, blue linen lifted, revealing another room beyond. Madeleine carefully lifted the fabric, which felt crisp and fresh under her fingers, and saw that the lintel of the new doorway was carved with the same type of glyphs that had adorned the outer wall. She didn't bother with the bird which sat by the first door, and stepped through the portal.
A dizzying wave hit her as she crossed the threshold, and for a moment, she fell against the stone of the wall, her eyes closed against the nauseating motion of the room. When she opened her eyes, she screamed.
A cinnamon-skinned man clad in nothing more than a smile and some jewels, lay on a raised dais in the centre of the room. He stretched in a cat-like gesture, highlighting his lithe, oiled muscles and masculine beauty. His hair was unfashionably long, curly, and so black it appeared blue. As he brought his graceful hands down to his lap, Madeleine gave into the urge to follow the gesture. Her eyes lit on his flaccid member nested in a dark, silky bed of hair. As she stared at him, his manhood stirred to life, lengthening and broadening in an alarming manner. None of her former partners had been that well-endowed. She fought the urge to dwell on the alluring picture he made with his glistening bronze skin and wickedly gleaming eyes, to bring her gaze back up to his tawny one. Feeling uncomfortable heat suffuse her cheeks, an answering pulse of awareness pulled at her lower down. He regarded her from his position with a cool air of insouciant humour, his perfect, feathery brow drawn up in an expression that mocked and invited her. "So, you are the mortal who was prophesied to set me free. How interesting."
His speech, though perfectly understandable, was strange and stilted, as if he had just learned to speak the words aloud. He patted a spot on the dais next to him, "Join me before you rescue me. The goddess, my Queen, in her infinite wisdom, has seen fit to give me respite from my long exile, with you, my little savage."
"I-I don't think...," Madeleine began, before she lifted her chin, and in her best approximation of English school-girl hauteur, proclaimed, "That, sir, is not going to happen."
She turned to leave the room only to find that the door had disappeared. "Let me out of here!"
Another strange shifting of the air brought Madeleine to her knees, her eyes once again closed against the tilting of the small corner of world in which she resided. When she opened them, a pair of perfectly formed, and if it could be said, beautiful feet was in her line of vision. She leaned back and followed lissom legs to a proudly jutting cock so near her mouth that she could almost taste the sweet flesh. Her quest stuttered to a halt as he reached down to her, extending a masculine hand with perfectly manicured nails towards her. "I mean you no harm, fair one."
"Could you... cover that... that... your...," she said over the rapid tattoo of her heart. She stuttered to a halt, her cheek brushing his erection, and he smiled, revealing a row of perfect white teeth behind the cupid's bow of his full lips. Pushing his hand aside and careful not to brush his jutting member again, she rose with far less grace than she would have if she had taken his assistance, "Oh, for heaven's sake, put some clothes on!"
"Ah, I wasn't aware... are you a maiden?" He looked distinctly less pleased at the prospect than Madeleine would have expected given the culture in which he was raised.
"Wha—how is that any business of yours, you loathsome... kidnapper?!"
He tilted his head as if in thought, his tawny eyes undoubtedly taking in her state of panic, no doubt, the gold chains at his throat, wrists, and ankles tinkling in the heavy silence of the room. He finally said, "So, not a maiden, then. Tiamat, the Queen of Heaven, surely has blessed me with one of her own temple's priestesses. Come, I will honour you with braised lotus blossom and honey before we commence."
He drew closer to her, enveloping her with the scent of sandalwood and myrrh from his skin. She shrank against the wall. "Please, I'll... do anything..."
"I live in hope, my flower." His eyes lit with lascivious mirth as he waved his hand. The room filled with the scent of well-cooked food, under the succulent odour of meat lay an undertone of honey, almonds, and roses. Madeleine raised her chin imperiously, and he inclined his head in a gesture of munificence that one should not have as unclothed as he was. He said through his clenched, perfect teeth, "As you wish, my gazelle."
He lifted his hand and a blue nimbus surrounded it before he drew it down his body. The air shimmered and then he was clothed in a crisp, white, linen kilt and a heavy, lapis blue robe embroidered with the same glyphs that were on the outside of the tomb. Behind him lay a table covered in sweetmeats and delicacies with a decidedly ancient flair. A whole peacock sat in the centre of the table, its skin crispy and golden, the tail feathers, obviously reattached after cooking, splayed as they would have been in life. Two small rubies sat where the hapless fowl's eyes had been.
It was then, with that inexplicable display of magic, that Madeleine knew that she was dreaming. She had probably been overcome by the heat or misjudged the quality of the air in the chamber. The tight ball of tension that had been hovering in her shoulders and radiating down to her stomach released enough that she shivered as if chilled. The man's sardonic gaze swept her from the top of her purloined pith helmet to the scuffed tips of her boots. "It seems, my lovely savage, that you also need a change in costume. Your clothing's functionality leaves too much to the imagination. I would feast my eyes on your opalescent flesh, and marvel at the tamed fire in your hair before I partake of your sweeter pleasures."
He stepped forward again, plucking the helmet from her head, snagging the short strawberry blonde locks as he did. He threw it heedlessly to the side and then raised his hand. Once again the air shimmered, and Madeleine gasped as the harshness of military wool and khaki was replaced by the slither of silk. The sudden absence of any foundation garments caused the coolness in the chamber to make her nipples pucker. The naked desire she saw in the man's regard of her new state of undress caused heat to pool in her loins.
He once again raised his hand for her to take, the lapis and gold bracelets on his wrist catching the light as he did. "Come, let us feast before we couple."
If this was a dream, and Madeleine was almost certain of the fact, she decided that she would partake of all the pleasures that this particular imagined incubus had to offer. She took his arm, and with a rare smile said, "Before we commence with our more carnal pleasures, don't you think it might be nice to exchange names?"
"Ah, I always forget how much stock you mortals put in the small exchanges of knowledge." He laid his hand over hers, caressing first her fingers and then further up her arm. "Very well, my sweet Madeleine, if you give me one kiss from those lusciously ripe lips of yours, I will grant your wish."
"Of course," She answered and puckered her lips in preparation, dismissing his knowledge of her name as anomaly of her dream state.
He pulled her close to his hard, warrior's body. He was a massive specimen of humanity; Madeleine's five foot six inches seemed dwarfed by his looming presence, yet she felt no real threat. He lifted her chin and ghosted a caress of his lips over hers. "Those were not the lips I was speaking of, my springbok."
Madeleine's blood seemed to catch fire at his words, rushing to her womb with such heat that she felt she might burn up. She played along with the dream, however and said, "Why, of course, how utterly silly of me."
She ducked under his loosened grasp, "Please, sir, do what you will. I will have your name one way or another."
With that comment, she strolled towards the dais and climbed onto it, her heart-shaped bottom in the air, her gaze cast over her shoulder at the incubus. After a moment's hesitation, he followed her overt invitation.
Madeleine's dreams were about to come true.