EXERCISE Myth-take Challenge #24

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Lstorm, May 12, 2013.

  1. Myths and legends could be said to be the prototypes of modern novels. They are stories in their own right, tales that were passed on for generations. Even today, some elements from the old myths remain in our stories and occasionally, they serve as inspiration.

    This week’s mythical element is: Jinn

    In Quar'an and Islamic mythology, a Jinn is a spiritual creature who lives in a realm unseen by humans. They are also one of the three sapient creations of God, with the other two being humans and angels. Like humans, Jinns can span the whole spectrum of good and evil, and surprisingly, they also have their own society. They are known for being fast beings who live in remote areas. There is also a belief that every single person has a Jinn attached to them, though that is not believed by everyone

    Your challenge is to write a story that incorporates your own take on this mythical element. The genre and setting of the story does not matter as long as the element remains recognisable.
  2. Hamza al-Hassan road down the dusty trail upon his camel's back. True, it was considered outdated now, but camels didn't guzzle gasoline like water, and if they died in the desert at least you had something to eat. He wrapped the cotton of his face-cloth tighter as the winds began to pick up; the old folk would say this was Djinn weather, bad luck for going out into the dunes, but he wasn't fooled like the children. He knew the old stories, certainly. Who didn't? Every Muslim heard them since birth, of the terrible and wonderful Creations of Allah the All-Merciful, revealed to us through the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him. Yet most believed that the days of miracles were long past. Certainly, guns and cell phones were becoming more important now than old books and half-forgotten fairy tales in this age.

    The sun shone down upon the man's back as he traveled, and he was glad for the white turban that covered his head and neck, and for his loose cotton robes. Modern clothing was comfortable, but not functional in the desert. The traditional robes, elaborate though they were, had been developed over thousands of years by countless craftsmen, and were much better for shielding from both cold and heat on the dunes. But perhaps there were a few things that the new age brought which were useful. He smiled slightly as he touched the sunglasses resting upon his nose. Yes, it was truly a blessing to be able to look out over the desert without squinting or going blind from the sun.

    It was about five hours into his journey that the wind began to shift, and there was a shadow on the horizon. The man frowned; it wasn't good to be out in the open during a sandstorm, but the nearest settlement was still at least ten miles away. He urged on the camel to a trot, and they made haste towards his cousin's home.

    The eastern sky was growing dark, like nightfall, though the sun was still directly overhead. Whispers seemed to float upon the wind, and almost the man fancied he could see flickers at the edge of his vision. Was that a ghostly army floating just above him? No, it couldn't be.

    He was nearly there. He could see the tent, it was only one more gallop. The camel was straining now, and the sand bit like bullets even through the cotton. He would make it, he was sure...




    No, not silence.


    Hamza. Wake up.

    He was in a cave. The cave was full of treasures of all sorts. But that couldn't be, that only happened in myths. Where was he? Where was he really?

    The vision shifted. He was in the grave, and the bones of his ancestors reached for him, and the demons of Shaytan were taunting him.

    But no. That couldn't be either. He fulfilled every law. He was no infidel.

    Once more it shifted, and now he was in a vast shadow, pressing in on all sides. Two flames flickered before him like eyes, and whispers were everywhere.

    Are you awake now?

    Who was this before him?

    I am your Jinn. I have always been your Jinn, though you did not believe.

    He believed! He had always believed! Only...

    You did not believe. You thought us only fairy-tales. You lost your Faith long ago. Now you must choose.

    Choose what? What was there to choose?

    To live as you had. To live in ignorance of Truth. To live in a world where the only important thing is money and weapons, cell phones, computers, gasoline, guns, and politics. Or to believe. To believe without evidence that the stories are REAL. That WE are REAL.

    He hung his head. He wished that he was just safe, in his cousin's home...

    But in order to wish, you must first choose.

    He thought about the price. If he believed, he had to throw away certainty. He had to throw away the certainty that everything he saw was real, that what he could see and feel and touch were all that there was. He would have to live with the knowledge that there was an entire world he could never understand, never truly know.

    Yet was that not the very essence of the Faith? Is that not what Allah the All-Merciful, and Mohammad His Prophet, peace be upon him, commanded? To believe in the unseen, and to accept ignorance, in Servitude? Was not the very meaning of Islam to Serve?

    And so Hamza made his choice. He would believe, though it cost him all his certainty and the world of science he had been taught to accept.

    Then, because of your faith... your first wish is granted.

    He was falling, falling, falling...



    He shook his head violently, coughing and coughing and sneezing, trying to rid his mouth of the taste and smell and feel of rough sand as strong hands patted his back.

    "There now, Hamza, you're safe now. You're safe. Good, good, easy breaths, slowly..."


    Hamza Al-Hassan left his cousin's home a new man. No longer did he ride the dunes when the wind was wrong. No longer did he walk through the shadowed valleys without bowing his head in prayer. When he passed by pits, he gave his regards to the ifrit within. When he prayed, he prayed earnestly with passion.

    The news railed on, proclaiming that science had won at last, that some new cure would fix everything, that the last edges of the map were filled in.

    He knew better. For he had seen that which could not be explained with his own eyes.

    He wished that he could share this Faith, this passion, with all about him.

    Your wish... is granted.
    • Like Like x 1