The Prince & The Jinn
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was an unhappy young girl named Cinderella. Unhappy she was as her lovely mother was dead and her father had married another woman.
A widow with two daughters, her stepmother didn’t like her one little bit, saving all her love for her own daughters. That Cinderella can understand. Her stepsisters were 2 of the most beautiful young maidens in the kingdom and countless suitors had come to their house asking her father for their hands. All were rejected. The men left disappointed but Cinderella considered them lucky. Though her stepsisters were beautiful, they were also haughty and vain creatures and they do not have the humble personality needed to be good wives.
However Cinderella could understand why her stepsisters were full of themselves. They were beautiful and wore the best dresses, shoes, shawls that money can buy; they ate the most delicious food, and slept on the most comfortable beds in the kingdom. At home, they enjoyed every home comfort.
But for poor Cinderella, there was none of these luxuries. Her dresses were her stepsisters’ hand-me-downs. Her meals were nothing but scraps and leftovers. No nice bed and comfort for she as she had to work hard all day cleaning, washing and cooking for the whole family. For Cinderella was a plain girl and it was believed that splendid and elegant clothes would be wasted wore by a girl as plain as her. Only in the evening, after everyone was asleep would she be allowed to sit by the fire and rest.
One day, beautiful new dresses arrived at the house. A foreign prince had arrived in the kingdom seeking peace between the 2 kingdoms and a ball was to be held at Court to honor the prince. The stepmother and stepsisters were getting ready to go to it but Cinderella wasn’t. She didn’t even have to ask as she knew it would be a waste of time. A plain girl like her would not catch the attention of a prince.
As her stepsisters left for the castle, the poor girl wash the dishes, scrub the floors and made the beds of her stepsisters. Despite the luxuries they had, Cinderella held no animosities to her stepmother and stepsisters. It’s not their fault that they were beautiful and she was not.
As she sat near the cinders of the fire, she murmured, “I wish I was beautiful.”
Suddenly something amazing happened. There was a burst of light and a man appeared out of thin air. Cinderella was about to scream but found that no sound could come out of her mouth.
“Don’t be alarmed, Cinderella,” said the man. “The wind blew me here to grant wishes and so I shall. I know you would love to go to the ball and so you will!”
Cinderella tried to get up from her stool but found that she could not moved her legs. “How can you go to a ball dressed in rags, you asked?” the man said. “The servants will turn you away dressed as you are!” The man smirked and with a flick of his hand, Cinderella found herself wearing the strangest dress she had ever seen. It was a black gown that covered her from her neck to her feet, with matching gloves and a pair of soft shoes.
“Now that we have settled the matter of the dress,” said the man, “we’ll need to get you dressed like a proper lady.”
The man went through the house and picked up a pumpkin, a candle, 4 matches and a handkerchief. “Come out of the house with me Cinderella,” said the fairy. Cinderella found that she could move and fearful of the strange man, followed the man out of the hose.
With a flick of his hand, wonders happened! The pumpkin turned into a sparkling coach, the 4 matches became 4 black horses and the candle turned into a coachman dressed in a smart uniform and carrying a whip. Cinderella could hardly believe her eyes but the man is not done. The man then put the handkerchief on top of Cinderella’s head and with a wave of his hand, turned them into a veil.
The man waved his hand again and a full length mirror appeared out of thin air. Cinderella saw herself in the mirror and could not believe it. “The veil is called the niqab,” the strange man said. “In the land of the prince, proper women do not show their faces to strangers, especially strange men. The prince will see that you have respect the customs of his kingdom and will be happy. Not only that, with the veil you do not have to worry about being recognized by your stepmother and stepsisters.”
In truth Cinderella had not considered that yet, but thinking about it she knew the man was correct. Her stepmother and stepsisters would be angry with her if they saw her at the ball.
“Quick!” the man ordered. “A real lady should never be late for a ball!”
Cinderella entered the coach in a daze but before she set off, the man had a warning for her. “I dressed you in the fashion the prince would be happy to see as this is how the women of his land dressed. I had taken your voice because women in his land do not speak to strange men. However my magic will only last till midnight, so remember this. You must leave the ball before midnight for that is when the spell will end. Your coach will turn back into a pumpkin, and you will be dressed again in rags.” Cinderella found that she was still unable to speak but she was happy she was going to the ball and smiled.
The strange man smiled and said, “I was right about you Cinderella. For you do not have beauty on the outside, but you have a kind heart and your eyes are the most soulful in your kingdom. Soon you will soon see the Prince, in whose honor the ball is being held, and he will be enchanted by the loveliness of your eyes.”
Cinderella nodded and she was off.
When Cinderella entered the ballroom at the palace, a hush fell. Everyone stopped in mid-sentence on seeing the woman in the strange dress. As she walked slowly across the ballroom, curiosity became admiration as everyone admired the beauty of her dress and the elegance and grace of her walk.
Everyone and that included the prince. When the prince set eyes on Cinderella, he was struck that a woman in this foreign land would know of the customs of his country and was intrigued. He walked over to her, bowed deeply and asked her to dance. To the great surprise of all the young ladies in the ballroom, Cinderella refused.
Cinderella had never being invited to a dance before and so, never learned how to dance. She was happy just to be at the ball and in the presence of this strange, exotic prince. Far from being offended, the prince was delighted.
Not only does this woman know of the customs of his country, but she was also modest and pure, refusing to dance with a strange man. Totally unlike these other women who threw themselves at him like whores.
All evening the prince hovered around Cinderella. “Who are you, fair maiden?” the Prince kept asking her, but Cinderella could not speak and would only shake and nod her head at the questions of the prince. The intrigue of the prince turned into passion as not only does this foreign woman (for she must be foreign as no woman from his land would have blue eyes) know of the customs of his country, not only was she pure and modest, she also follow purdah; the practice of woman who did not speak to strangers as their voice was awrah.
Cinderella had a wonderful time at the ball for all the attention she was receiving but, all of a sudden, she heard the sound of a clock: the first stroke of midnight! She remembered what the strange man had said, and without a word of goodbye to the Prince, she turned and ran down the steps, out of the palace.
The Prince, who was now madly in love with her, ran after her but as he reached the steps, Cinderella had already entered her coach and sped off. The prince found a veil by the steps and went to his host, the king of the kingdom. The prince said to him, “Go and search everywhere for the girl who was here today. I will never be content until I find her! Find her and our countries will have peace forever between us.”
So the king’s men and the foreign price went around the city with the veil and got all the women to try it on. So it was when they got to Cinderella’s house. The stepmother and stepsisters tried it but the prince said that they were all wrong but when it was Cinderella’s turn… he shocked everyone when he said this was the girl.
“This girl cannot have been at the ball,” said the stepmother.
“No, this is the girl.” The prince was certain. “Look at her eyes. There can be no mistaking such soulful eyes. This was the beauty from the ball.”
“Forgive me my Prince, but Cinderella is no beauty. You ought to marry one of my two daughters! Can’t you see how ugly Cinderella is! A girl like her is unfit to be the wife of a prince”
Suddenly she broke off, for the man had appeared in a flash of light.
“You!” the prince exclaimed.
“Yes my prince,” the man bowed to the prince. “It is I. The jinn you free from the magical lamp.”
“You did this?” the prince asked.
“I did nothing but fulfill your wishes my prince,” the jinn said. “When you freed me, you were granted 3 wishes. You wish for peace in your land; you wish for prosperity for your people; and you wish for 4 wives of purity, grace, and modesty.”
“And you picked Cinderella?” the stepmother asked in wonder. “But she is ugly!”
“Beauty of the skin fade with time,” said the jinn. “But beauty of the soul…” The jinn raised his hand and in a flash, Cinderella appeared in a splendid dress, with a niqab that only allowed her eyes to be seen. Her stepmother and stepsisters gaped at her in amazement, for her blue eyes were shining with youth and beauty.
“You were the one who left the veil on the steps?” the prince asked.
“Yes I was the one who left the veil,” said the jinn.
The prince nodded and said to Cinderella, “Come with me, my lady and I shall present you to my father as my bride.”
“Not yet my prince,” the jinn said. “Your journey is not yet over.”
“Not yet?” the prince asked. “Why not mighty one? You have granted my wish for peace in my land and gave me a modest wife. You are free my jinn and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“You wish for 4 wives and I shall grant them to you; Cinderella is but the first,” The jinn said. “Continue with your journey to visit all the other kingdoms as your father ordered and when you finally return home, all your wishes will be granted.”
And so the prince continued with his journey as his father and the jinn wished, but now he was not alone for Cinderella had joyfully went with her prince. Walking forever behind him in her niqab and her beautiful blue eyes, they lived happily ever after.
You can enjoy the next part of the journey in GhostWriter’s The Prince & The Enchanted Princess.