Tales of the Asp: Djini , by Aidan Butler

     Before being driven out of town by murderous gangs of vigilante parents and incomprehensibly verbose, balding prosecutors, the Asp expounded his encyclopaedic knowledge of djini to many intellectually defenseless children. One of the children was Barry Koestler, the eldest son of Marvin Koestler, who owned two local restaurants and a small club that featured dixieland music and cajun-style cocktails.

     The Asp pointed out to Barry, who was seven at the time, that while most djini dwell in brass lamps or ornate colored-glass bottles, djini are really a quite varied species.

     "Lamp djini grant wishes, do they not?"

     "Uh, yeah...rub the lamp, you get three of 'em."

     "Right. But there are also other types of djini. Have you ever seen a loose pair of ragged, soiled pants lying, say, beside a road?"

     "Sure, I guess."

     "Well, there's also a species of djini that lives only in discarded pairs of pants. If you pick up the pants and massage them all over your bare body, so that the grease and filth soaked up by the fabric stain your skin, a pants djini will rise up in a billowing purple cloud before you and offer to get you pregnant. Now, this is actually how your Mom got pregnant with you, Barry."

     "Um...I didn't know that."

     "Well, it's true. Thank God for pants djini, because your father's impotent. Which means, I'm afraid, he's incapable of pleasing women in bed."

     "Huh. Yeah, Mom says he just snores."

     "Right, well, there you go. And there's also a very modern type of djini called the mailbox djini. They're very elusive indeed. But they're also wonderfully generous djini. To summon them, what you must do is find a particularly shiny, new mailbox -- like, say, your neighbor Mr. Koehnle's mailbox -- and for fourteen consecutive days, take out the mail as soon as it's delivered, then dispose of it before anyone can read it: hide it, bury it, burn it, whatever. If you do this for fourteen consecutive days, on the fourteenth day that you remove the mail, a wet, multi-colored djini will spray out of the box at you -- like someone squirting a powerful hose in your direction. Each differently colored liquid making up his body will taste like a different fruit. And this fabulous mailbox djini will offer you awesome, godlike powers -- like the power to create life, or the power to melt skyscrapers, or the power to enslave people by whispering their names. Doesn't that sound like something you'd enjoy?"

     "Yeah! That'd rule, big-time."

     "Well, my very favorite djini, Barry..."

     "Uh huh?"

     "My favorite is the glue djini."

     "What's he like?"

     "The glue djini lives in small metal tubes of model glue."

     "That stuff stinks."

     "But if you inhale it persistently enough, a warm, fuzzy djini will rise up like a thin haze in your vision. And the djini will begin massaging your consciousness with countless tiny, warm fingers. You'll begin to hear wonderful, high-pitched bells. And your mind will become something like a rain cloud, roaming across the irregular hills of human reality, nourishing the whole world with its residue."

     "I don't get it."

     "Oh, Barry. The glue djini feels wonderful. And after you absorb the glue djini a few dozen times, you gain the ability to see the future, and to look deep into people's souls. By peering into their souls, their most embarrassing secrets are revealed to you. And then you can blackmail them with what you learn!"

     "Oh, cool!"

     "And the best part about the glue djini is that they're really easy to summon. All you have to do is sniff lots and lots of glue. Matter of fact, I enjoy the glue djini so much, I carry around tubes of glue with me all the time. Here, Barry -- would you some glue? I've got some extra."


     The Asp gave Barry several tubes of highly toxic model glue, accepted his thanks with a humble smile, and gave the boy brief instructions on how to best ingest the fumes.

     As Barry's brain tissues withered and rotted from the deleterious fumes, his young spirit soared across the endless, crystal sea of intoxication. His abstract reasoning skills deteriorated completely. He lost the ability to distinguish his parents from motor vehicles, and began having lengthy monosyllabic conversations with trees.

     The Asp treasured his memories of Barry long after fleeing our town. Often while summoning the penis djini in crowded movie theaters, the Asp reflected on his relationship with Barry -- how much he had helped him grow, how deeply he had enriched the boy's world. If only he could share the acid fruit of his imagination upon all people like he had done with Barry!

Tales of the Asp
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