The following is the unedited excerpt from the novel INHERITED DJINN (Djinn & Bourbon Book One) releasing from Darkerwood Publishing in late 2018 (tentative):
In the dark corner, the bottle appeared to actually glow. I went over to it and grabbed it, turning the heavy glass in my hands. I shook it.
The thing inside said, “Hey, what the fuck, man? Why do you have to be a wanker?”
I looked at the bottle more closely. It was just a syrup bottle about ten inches tall, shaped like a thick woman, but it had a cork inserted in the opening instead of a screw cap. Someone had added a strange, but aesthetically pleasing symbol on one side in silver paint.
“Maybe there’s a light inside?” I mumbled to myself. The bottle was cold. Too cold for the ambient temperature of the room.
“Let me out.”
“How?” On a whim, and upon remembering Aladdin’s magic lamp, I rubbed it.
“Let’s start by taking out the cork, genius,” the thing said.
While the disembodied voice’s sarcasm and penchant for insulting me made me want to bury it in a deep chasm somewhere just to be a jerk, I wanted to know what it was and how it knew my uncle. I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t suffering from hallucinations.
I pulled out the cork, then rubbed the bottle again, just in case. The damn thing jumped in my hand and began vibrating. So I set it back on the shelf, stepped back and watched as the bottle danced across the flat surface, stopping dangerously at the edge. Reaching out, I kept it from going over.
A thin line of continuous smoke, quite a bit for the size of such a small bottle, streamed out into the room, billowing in front of the shelf, culminating into an almost solid figure. It didn’t disperse like normal smoke would have. It just went to the same place growing thicker and thicker until finally, a tall, thin man stepped out of the smoke wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. He wasn’t particularly built. His angular, bony features actually made him appear frail. He had the darkest eyes I’d ever seen. Even though he had humanoid shape, he wasn’t quite human. His skin had a strange blue tint to it. The thick smell of something sweet permeated the room.
My eyes went from the bottle, which had finally stopped moving and smoking, to the man standing in front of me. Was this some kind of joke? Maybe I was going crazy. “So…” I started, not sure what to say to a genii. “You’re a genii in a bottle?”
The thing looked irritated and his voice teetered on the edge of annoyance. “I’m a djinn, and that is my vessel.”
“The syrup bottle? And what’s that smell?”
The djinn looked around and sniffed at the air like an animal might. Then his dark eyes bore into my own and he deadpanned, “Syrup.”
I lifted a brow, not sure whether to laugh or run. “What…?”
“I am Paimon, djinn of the fifth order, ruler of two-hundred legions, and next after Lucifer. Got any port? Or bourbon?” The djinn moved past me and up the stairs.
I raced to follow, completely forgetting to turn off the light.
“Wait.” I wasn’t sure what to ask or say. After all, it wasn’t every day one saw a djinn emerge from a bottle. “Why were you in the bottle?”
The djinn had made his way to my uncle’s desk and found a bottle of bourbon and a highball glass in the bottom right drawer. I could only guess he’d done this before. After pouring himself a glass and taking a strong drink, Paimon smiled and sighed contentedly. “Twenty days. Where’s Harry?”
“You’re an alcoholic?” I asked. “And I told you, Harry’s dead.”
“Can’t be. I just saw him twenty days ago.” The djinn named Paimon sat back in the chair, a look of confusion knitting his brow. “Besides, Hemmy would have told me. Where’s Hemmy?”
“She works here, in this shop, with Harry. Where have you been?” Paimon shook his head. “You must be the nephew Harry told me about. Always told me how smart you were. How he wanted you to take over when he kicked off. And here we are. Harry is dead, Hemmy is nowhere to be found, and I’m stuck with you. An idiot.”