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(A short story of 5076 words)

Naz and the Djinn


by Sandra Horn

When Naz opens an old bottle he finds on the beach, he gets the shock of his life: out comes Azrael, the Djinn, who has been trapped inside for thousands of years by a magic spell. The spell can only be broken, and Azrael set free for ever, by smashing the seemingly unbreakable bottle. Azrael demands Naz's help to do it. The two set out on a hilarious quest which includes a steamroller, a purple toad, a snooty girl and a troupe of Boy Scouts. All the while, Naz tries to stop Azrael causing too much mayhem, and it isn't long before he wishes he'd never met the Djin at all.

Naz and the Djinn is a fun-filled read which offers a modern twist to a traditional tale and will delight readers from 7-11.

It’s not fair! I’m in trouble I haven’t done anything! All I did was find an old bottle!

There was a storm last night. I like going on the beach after a storm. The sea washes up all kinds of stuff – driftwood, bits of rope and nets, shells, seaweed. You never know what you’ll find. Mum was pushing my little sister in the buggy and she said I could walk on the beach if I stayed close and didn’t pick up any nasty rubbish. There was a steamroller up there mending the road, and my little sister wanted to watch it. I mooched along, keeping an eye out for treasure. It was mostly broken floats and sandhoppers. I was just about to give up when I saw something red and round and shiny in the sand. I bent down and tried to pick it up but it wouldn’t give.

I brushed the sand away, put both hands round it and pulled. Up came a weird-looking bottle. It looked very old. The glass was scratched and milky; so I couldn’t see inside. The red shiny thing was the stopper.

I pulled it. It didn’t move. I twisted it. Nothing happened. I twisted it the other way.

One, two, three – out it came, with a great whooshing noise! A big purple cloud appeared over my head! I started to run but my legs were all jelly. Then, a LOUD voice boomed out.

‘What is your wish, O Master?’ Then it muttered, ‘So soon! It is but five hundred years since the last time!’

‘Oh no! Mum! Help!’ I squeaked. I tried to push the stopper back in, but my fingers were too shaky. The cloud shrank and dropped down beside me. It was a man wearing a purple robe. On his head was a gold turban fastened with a red jewel as big as an egg. He knelt down and bowed until his nose touched the sand.

‘Azrael the mighty Djinn, at your service, O Master,’ he said, ‘your wish is my command!’

‘Sorry – what?’ I said.

He sat up and stared at me.

‘Make thou a wish,’ he said, slowly, ‘And I shall grant it – is that beyond thy power of understanding?’

‘Wow!’ I said, ‘You mean it’s like Aladdin?’

‘May his name be ever remembered and honoured!’ said the Djinn.

‘So can I wish for anything?’

‘Yes,’ said the Djinn, ‘the fairest princess in the land...’

‘No, thanks! We’ve already got one. My little sister is all the princesses I can handle.’

‘A palace wrought of gold?’

That sounded neat. But I didn’t think my mum would want all that polishing. And what if people came round and tried to nick bits of it? Nightmare!

The Djinn was drumming his fingers and whistling through his teeth.

‘What thinkest thou of riches, then?’ he said.

‘Great idea!’ I said. ‘Could I have lots of pounds, please?’

‘Pounds? What is that?’

‘Well, it’s – money.’

‘Listen and hear, O my Master,’ said the Djinn grumpily, ‘I can offer thee sacks of gold pieces from the treasury of Suleiman the All-powerful. I can offer thee chests of priceless gems from the secret caves of Fatima the Beautiful. Of pounds I know nothing.’

‘Everybody knows about pounds,’ I said, ‘even my little sister!’

‘And has thy little sister been shut in a bottle for two thousand years?’...

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