“Jeffery,” my friend Idris the djinn asked me, “where do you wish to go? I can take us anywhere in the world. All you need do, is wish.”
I was silent for a moment. I had been born into this life, as a gentlemanly blond baboon, on the train to Paris. Although I’d been told that I had been a rather hansom silver coffee pot before this change, I had only been aware of my own existence for three days. When I searched my hopes and dreams for anywhere that I would like to see, I was stunned to find that I had no hopes or dreams there to find.
My mind was brand new.
Seeing my distress at these unnerving thoughts, Idris gave me a kind smile and suggested a few options that I might chose from. Among others, he told me of a circus troupe: a talented bunch of magicians, acrobats, and tricksters who he personally knew well. He assured me that visiting them in their circus made entirely of ice, hidden away in a remote Nordic fjord, would be a lovely way to enjoy our new freedom. Intrigued, I wished that we were in Norway.
Idris took my hand and smiled. In the space of a single blink, we were suddenly standing on a light pack of snow. The air stung clear and clean to my bones, and tasted of ice. I pulled my tweed suit coat a little tighter around me to fight the sudden chill.
As I looked around, I was amazed to see the enormous mountainous ravine around us, and the tall, white-capped peaks high above. The floor the the ravine was filled with a solid slab of the glacier that stretched for miles up the mountainside. And there before us, nestled into the crook of the ravine, was a huge, glistening, clear blue tent made entirely of ice.
There was a long midway leading from the perfect sapphire mirror of the deep fjord behind us, right up to the ice tent. Little huts of cut ice, covered in fluffy white snow, glowed brightly in the shade of the mountains on either side of the long corridor of the midway, each one hosting games and treats of all sorts, along with fortune tellers, attractions, and conjurors. There were tall, shining slides of ice to ride on with small silver sleds, and a simmering merry-go-round of silver, white, and blue ice. Easily a hundred people in fur coats and mittens bustled excitedly about.
“My heavens!” I cried in joy to Idris. “Did you make all of this?”
“No, no.” He laughed, smiling brightly at the sights. “I only made the hall of mirrors. They built all the rest. It’s strange though…” he mentioned as he gave his shoulders a shake.
As he spoke and the appearance of his clothing changed instantly with the motion: his cream colored suit disappeared under a long white coat lined with silver fur and a plush, long, white scarf. I watched the spectacle with amazement, noting that with his paper-white and black-tattooed skin, all color had now left him save the pure gold of his eyes. Oblivious to the wondrous nature of what he’d just done, he continued to look over the circus.
“This place is usually crawling with people. I’ve never seen so few as this,” he added with a wave to the hundred or so circus goers.
“Must be the off-season,” I guessed.
“I’ve never known them to have an off season,” he muttered thoughtfully, turning to me.
He looked over my form—which barely reached the height of his knee, thanks to my much smaller stature—with a slight frown. I suddenly realized that I was absentmindedly hopping back and forth from foot to foot where I stood, in reaction to the ice under my bare feet. Although I rather liked my tweed suit, monocle and bowler hat, I couldn’t remember actually needing shoes before today.
“If you’d like something warmer to wear,” he said to me, “all you have to do is wish.”
“Oh, yes thank you,” I said, forcing myself to stop hopping. The ice bit into my toes. “I wish I was dressed properly for this terrain.”
Idris held his pure white hand open over my head. I felt a warm wave of air rush over me and my eyes snapped closed by reflex. My feet warmed instantly. I opened my eyes and looked over myself to see that I was now wearing an exact replica of what Idris wore: a silver fur lined white coat that swept the ice at my now booted feet, a rugged and delightfully warm suit beneath the coat along with a white waistcoat and scarf. I reached up to find a silver-fur lined hat on my head as well.
“Better?” Idris asked.
“Much better,” I said looking up to him happily. “Thank you. This scarf is amazingly soft,” I added, delighting in the feeling as I rubbed it at my cheek. Idris gave an amused chuckle and then offered to let me climb up onto his shoulder. I took the offered seat gladly, now able to see better over the meandering crowd.
“Where shall we go?” Idris asked me.
“Didn’t you say that you made a hall of mirrors?” I asked, not seeing it among the other delights as he began to walk along the midway.
“Oh yes, it’s over there in that cave,” Idris said, pointing to a newly visible sign that was labeled ‘The Cave of Infinite Wonders.’
“I should very much like to see that,” I said, struggling to contain my growing excitement. I could only imagine what sort of wonders my friendly djinn might have created.
“Then let’s go,” Idris said, picking up his pace. “The ringmaster is usually there when he’s not putting on a show. Let’s go say hello to him.”
And so we set off through the crowds, forsaking the delightful scents of the food and the amazing feats and attractions that surrounded us, heading into a cave of infinite wonders.
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