The late summer sun was sinking below Manhattan’s skyline. I was outside on the castle’s tallest tower, human. As the last ray of sun faded from view, I felt a pang of pain just as hairline-like cracks appeared on the gargoyles. By the time the clan was fully awake, I was back in my gargoyle form.
The nine of us filed into the TV room. Within twenty minutes, we all were either laughing, talking, reading, or watching TV. Brooklyn and I were sharing a play, taking turns reading it. The play was Romeo and Juliet. The intercom on one wall buzzed and said, “Hello?” It was Owen.
“Yes?” Goliath replied, pushing the reply button.
“There is a letter for someone there. Could you send someone to retrieve it?” asked Owen.
“Of course,” Goliath signed off. Then he sent Angela to get the letter. Meanwhile, we were guessing who the letter was for. Minutes later, Angela returned, envelope in her claws.
“The letter’s for Jasmine,” Angela said, before anyone asked. She handed it to me. I looked at the return address.
“It’s from Genie,” I said, delighted that Genie actually wrote me a letter.
I opened the envelope and removed a piece of paper.
“Would you please read it out loud?” requested Goliath.
“All right,” I agreed. “It says Dear Jasmine, What’s going on in Manhattan? How’s Aladdin? How about you? The clan? Rose? I know I’m asking too many questions, but I would like to know how life’s going.”
“There’s something I need to tell you, so here goes. Jasmine, last week, your father,” I swallowed. “died.”
I dropped the letter and gasped. Father was dead! I covered my face with my hands and cried, while saying, “No, no.” Brooklyn held me, wrapping his wings around me, while Goliath picked up the letter and read the rest.
“I extend my sadness to you I know how you must feel. Please tell Aladdin. I know he’ll comfort you as well as your friends. Sincerely, Genie.”
“Jasmine, we’re very sorry that your father is…gone,” apologized Elisa.
“And remember you still have the clan,” Angela said. “And Demona,” she added in a low whisper.
I wiped the tears from my eyes. Angela was right. I still had the clan with me. As well as Demona.
“I think we better leave,” Hudson said. I watched as everyone, except Goliath and Brooklyn, left. It was just the three of us.
Brooklyn’s wings were still around me. But they unfurled as Goliath took me in his arms. His wings then went around me.
“You may have lost your human father, but you still have me,” Goliath whispered in my ear.
“I know…Father,” I whispered back softly. This was the first time I called Goliath, Father. I wondered if it would be the last time.
Brooklyn suggested that he and I should go to the library to finish our reading of Romeo and Juliet. And we did.
After reading the play, Lexington came in and asked if we could have our weekly reading session. Brooklyn said yes and we settled down with the books we had last time. Lexington with The Industrial Revolution, Brooklyn with American History, and I with Mexican History. North American past was our group’s choice that time.
We read until an hour before dawn. As we headed toward the towers to take a late pre-dawn flight, I felt very dizzy. I stopped walking and panted like I had ran.
“Brooklyn, I think I’m sick,” I called before I collapsed.
I moaned as I came to consciousness. I opened my eyes and saw the clan, Xanatos, and Owen looking at me with concern.
“Jasmine, can you hear us? How do you feel?” Xanatos asked. By then, sleep was starting to take me over again as well as a wave of pain.
I closed my eyes. “The pain, the pain,” I moaned before I fell asleep.
I heard a voice. It called my name twice. Then, it yelled, “JASMINE, WAKE UP!”
I sat bolt upright, “What? Who?” I saw Puck and Alex standing at my bedside. I groaned, “Why don’t you go bother Demona, Puck? No, scratch that. Go bother a mugger.”
“But I have something to tell you,” Puck said, in a serious un-Puck-like way.
“What? Did I get a serious disease?” I asked anxiously.
“No. Owen and Xanatos discovered that you’re…part fay,” Puck said. “Isn’t that great?”
“Great? Great? No, it’s not. I’m supposed to be part gargoyle, part human. I am NOT part fay!” I shouted.
“You are now. The spell we cast on you seemed to work too well. Your body absorbed some of the magic and was working on building it up inside your heart until it spread through your system. That’s why you collapsed. And by the way, you dreamed yourself back to human form.”
He was right. It was daylight. Cloudy, but daylight. I wasn’t wearing my amulet and I was certainly human.
“And because you’re inexperienced, I now have more chances to be the Puck,” the fay explained. “So let’s begin our lessons.”
“Hold it. What if I don’t want to use any magic?”
“You’ll die. Remember, you may be part fay, but you don’t have immortality. Magic, but not immortality.”
I sighed, “All right. I’m ready. But I refuse to practice any magic on anyone. Deal?”
“It’s a deal. Let’s start with teleportation. All you have to do is think of where you want to go and you’ll be transported there.”
Now here’s what I didn’t understand. One minute I’m in the infirmary, thinking about the castle parapets, the next minute I’m actually on the parapets. Puck and Alex appeared behind me.
“Excellent for your first time. Alex is too young for this. But not the next lesson. Levitation. Lift yourself off the ground like this,” Puck demonstrated. It looked easy enough.
Alex and I practiced our levitations for awhile, then Puck was ready to start a new lesson.
He led us to a pile of rubble and instructed us to make a life-size stone statue of anyone we could think of. Alex went first and a stone statue of Owen appeared.
“Very nice Alex. Jasmine?” Puck gestured to me. I stepped over to some rocks and waved my hand. The rocks swirled together and formed the form of…my human father.
“Incredible. Haven’t seen your father for three years and you still know what he looks like,” Puck praised. While he talked, I felt a pang of remorse and sadness in my stomach. It was too much. I turned and floated down to the next tower and let tears of sadness roll down my cheeks.
I felt an arm on my shoulder and Puck saying he forgot the fact that my father was dead until he just remembered. I said that it was all right. Puck stopped lessons for the day and I walked to my room and slept the rest of the day away.
I woke up before sunset and went outside to change. While I waited, I wondered if I should tell the clan what happened while they slept. I decided not to tell them right away. Maybe later. The sun disappeared from the horizon, and the gargoyles’ stone skin cracked and flew through the air, while I changed back to my nocturnal form.
Goliath turned around. “Jasmine, you’re awake. How are you?”
“I’m feeling much better now,” I replied. We joined the rest of the clan, who had the same reaction. As we turned to enter the castle, we came face-to-face with Xanatos, holding a scroll.
“I have an urgent message for you, Jasmine,” Xanatos announced, handing me the scroll.
The clan stood around me as I opened the scroll. There was nothing on the parchment, but a mouth. Then, the mouth spoke.
“Princess, I’m in the Land of the Black Sand with Carpet, Iago, and Abu. Mozenrath plans to attack Agrabah using his magic to keep the Mamluks from falling apart. We’re here to keep him from leaving his kingdom. Pray that we don’t- Augh! We’ve been found out! Jasmine, HEEELLLP!” the mouth said. Then the scroll disappeared.
“Genie,” I said softly. I clenched a fist and my eyes lit up.
“Mozenrath’s not going to get away with this,” I growled. I headed for the edge of the tower and leaped off. The next thing I know, Xanatos’ helicopter appeared in front of me.
“Hop in. I’ll take you and the clan to the enemy’s lair,” offered Xanatos.
I glided in and saw the clan in the back and Fox at the controls. I headed towards the back and sat between Goliath and Brooklyn.
“Where are we headed?” asked Fox.
“The Land of the Black Sand,” I told her. “And hurry, please.” I didn’t even want to think about what Mozenrath could be doing to my friends right now.
Hours later, Xanatos called me up front to check the scenery. Below us was a huge stretch of sand. I was home. After ten minutes I spotted swirls of black sand in the white sand.
“Stop here. This is the edge of Mozenrath’s kingdom,” I said. Goliath got up and looked out the window.
“The clan will go on alone. Wait here until we get back,” Goliath ordered Xanatos. He turned to me, “Lead the way, Jasmine.”
I glided out of the door and the clan followed. I remembered that Mozenrath had magic detectors, so the only way in was to glide above the city and enter the citadel through a window. I looked behind me and saw the clan already searching for Genie and the others.
I banked to the left and glided to Mozenrath’s lair. I heard Brooklyn glide up next to me and ask, “Jasmine, where are you going?”
I answered, “The Citadel. There,” I pointed in front of me. I smiled,” Just follow me.” As we glided above the Mamluks, I wanted to laugh. Mozenrath wasn’t thinking about winged rescuers.
I went through one of the Citadel’s windows and folded my wings. The clan followed suite. I walked down the hall, my back near the wall, checking around the corners for undead guards.
At last we came to Mozenrath’s dungeon. Pushing the door open, I peeked in and saw Genie, Abu, Iago, and Carpet shackled to the wall.
“Genie,” I called, running to him and hugging him.
“Jas,” Genie whispered. Then he called, “Look out!” I felt a magical blow behind me and I fell unconscious.
“Wake up, gargoyle,” a voice called to me. Then, I felt a slap across my face. That woke me up. I found myself shackled and my clan in a cage of thick steel. And staring at me was Mozenrath. I knew that I could get loose, but I wanted Mozenrath to think I couldn’t.
“Well, I certainly wasn’t planning on having gargoyles coming to the Genie’s rescue. Now I can destroy nine gargoyles along with Aladdin’s sidekicks before I go to attack Agrabah,” gloated Mozenrath.
“That’s not going to happen, Mozenrath,” I growled.
“Oh, really?” Mozenrath said. “Look out the window.”
Looking, I saw sunrise coming. I closed my eyes and focused on my human form. As my clan turned to stone, I gasped in pain. When it passed, I was human and Mozenrath was staring at me, shocked.
“Princess? You’re a gargoyle?” he gaped in surprise.
“Yes. Now, I’m going to deal with you,” I spat at him.
“You can’t stop me,” Mozenrath declared. He stepped over to my clan and aimed his gloved hand at…Brooklyn!
“NO!” I screamed and teleported out of the shackles and tackled Mozenrath before he could fire.
We tussled and rolled on the ground. He landed on me and I pushed him off with my legs. I pushed so hard, that Mozenrath crashed into the wall with a thud. He fell to the floor, unmoving.
I freed Abu and I ago. Then Abu feed Genie, who freed Carpet. He made the cage around the gargoyles vanish. Then, he turned to me and asked how I got loose. I told him what Puck told me and Genie looked impressed. I added that I needed to tell my clan. With that out of the way, Genie and I put Mozenrath in the anti-magic manacles that Genie was in.
At sunset, Genie and the others watched as the gargoyles awoke and I changed to my gargoyle form.
“How did you all get free?” Elisa asked.
“Yeah, you were shackled pretty tight,” Lexington added.
“Jasmine saved the day,” Genie answered.
“How?” Angela questioned.
“Well, yesterday, Puck told me that, uh, I was, um, was-part-fay,” I said in a rush. I looked down. I wasn’t sure how the clan would react. When no one spoke, I dared to look up. Everyone was gaping at me.
“How can you be part fay?” asked Goliath. “It’s not possible.”
I explained about the favor’s apparent side effects and that I wasn’t immortal which explained the “part” concept of part fay.
Genie and the others returned to Agrabah after wishing I could go. I promised that I’d come back for a visit soon. Then, the clan and I headed back to Xanatos’ helicopter and returned to Manhattan.
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