Excerpts: “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” and “The Prince and the Jinn”

September 26, 2011

Here’s a short excerpt from “The Prince and the Jinn,” the story which inspired “The Dream of a Thousand Nights.”  That excerpt is followed by a very short excerpt from “The Dream of a Thousand Nights.”  You’ll see a great deal of similarities between the two, I think!

Excerpt:  The Prince and the Jinn

Once upon a time, in a rose-scented garden in the shadow of the Zagros Mountains, the Prince of Isfahan sat on the grass, his eyes closed in meditation.  His long, dark hair blew gently in the breeze that wafted through the fragrant orange groves.  Dressed in fine purple silks, his skin shone like the surface of the moon, and his broad chest rose and fell with each deliberate breath.  But despite the beautiful evening and the lush cocoon of the trees and flowers, the Prince’s heart was heavy and his soul was lonely, for this day marked the fifth anniversary of his wife, the Princess’ death.

Each night since her death he had let his dreams wash over him, allowing them to lift the fog of sorrow for just a short time.  In his dreams he was no longer alone, and his heart was alive with joy and peace.  But each morning he would awaken and the dreams would fade, replaced once more by pain and emptiness.

I wish to die, he thought.  I wish to leave this world of pain and lie beside her once more. 

“Is death truly your wish?” said a voice from nearby.

“Who are you, that you dare interrupt my solitude?” the Prince demanded.

The stranger smiled at him: a man with hair the color of fire, a face both handsome and defiant, with brown eyes full of challenge.   The Prince thought him vaguely familiar, although he could not remember when or where they might have met before.

“I am Jinn,” the man replied, unmoved by the Prince’s wrath.  “I am called Tamir, and I will grant your wishes.”

“Wishes?” the Prince inquired.  “What need have I of wishes?  I have everything a man could possibly desire.”

“And yet you asked for death a moment ago, my Prince,” the Jinn responded.  “For a man with everything, your heart is quite tumultuous.”

Excerpt: The Dream of a Thousand Nights

As he had done so often in the two years since he had become king, Neriah sat on the grass in the rose-scented garden in the shadow of the mountains, his eyes closed in meditation. His long, dark hair blew in the soft breeze that wafted through the fragrant orange groves. Dressed in fine purple silks, his pale skin shone like the surface of the moon, and his broad chest rose and fell with each slow, deliberate breath. But despite the beautiful evening and the lush cocoon of the trees and flowers, his heart was heavy, and his soul was lonely.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpts.  By the way, a version of “The Prince and the Jinn” will appear as part Dreamspinner Press’ Halloween promotion in October.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about the promotion soon!

Peace,

Shira

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