What if…there was an updated story of I Dream of Jeannie, with the djinn having the main (1st person) POV (Zahira), and the guy was not in the airforce but in the army out in Iraq. “Johnny” finds a bottle while out on patrol for mines. He cleans the bottle off back at camp, and voila out pops a female djinn – whom he first suspects is a local birka-dressed woman spy, maybe a suicide bomber. She’s annoyed at first and then quickly realizes this guy is not your average Arab man but someone who might be able to free her from her prison if she plays her cards right.
Thoughts: Djinn come in various species, but are all basically elemental spirits. Zahira is an air spirit. She knows of fire spirits, and water spirits and land spirits. She has friends who are air spirits. Air spirits all seem to have adult attention deficit disorder and are always attracted to shinny sparkly things, which is how they become captured. Back in the day (think King Solomon’s time), human magicians would capture air spirits and enclose then in small spaces (anything would be small after having all of the earth’s atmosphere to travel around in). They would then bargain for letting the spirit out of their containers in return for “three wishes.” The wishes take so much energy that they shorten the lives of the air spirits, but the djinn would do anything to get out of their small magical prisons. One djinn was stored in a fancy jeweled box. His name was Jibril, and he managed to escape by tricking the magician who had captured him. His escape gave hope to all of the other djinns in captivity. Zahira had been captured by an evil man, who asked her small things that she could do easily and when she would exhaust herself, he would let her go – only to capture her again once she was recuperated. She couldn’t help but fall for the same trick over and over (like an addiction) even though she knew it was bad.
The bad guy…Perhaps Jibril made a pact with the magician to help him catch other djinns with some special irresistable thingy (and thus Zahira was captured). Now, two or three thousand years later, Jibril capturing lesser djinns himself and using them to prolong his life (?) or something twisted and evil. Johnny helps Zahira conquer the evil djinn and she’s freed from her bottle. She chooses to stay with him because they’re in love and HEA.
Other info: Johnny returns from Iraq to his girlfriend and Zahira doesn’t like her. The girlfriend suspects that he’s been cheating on her – even though nothing has happened between Johnny and Zahira yet.  Zahira discovers that the girlfriend has been cheating on Johnny while he was away, and is torn about telling him, but decides to anyway. He gets mad at her, accusing her of wanting to break them up so that she can be his girlfriend. She denies it, although secretly that’s what she’d like. Johnny catches his girlfriend cheating and breaks up with her, and apologizes to Zahira who tells him to just ask for a stupid wish and get it over with. (earlier she told him what wishes to do djinn’s). (She must have saved his life [in Iraq] by using her powers but told him it didn’t count – even though she was somewhat diminished – because he hadn’t officially wished for his life to be saved. He was grateful.) They make up. Johnny is sent to Afghanistan for another stint and he takes Zahira’s bottle with him. Things are very dangerous there – and the rebels seem to have strange advantages. Zahira sees a friend djinn and they chat briefly. She tells Johnny that she suspects another djinn is involved with the rebels. Jibril is working for the head bad-guy (bin ladin?) and is trapping other djinns so that his own vitality isn’t used up.

Advertisements