Night was falling fast and the thick clouds covered the sky, threatening to rain at the slightest provocation. I was already on my way home, I was slowly trudging past the empty university grounds. At the crossroads, I noticed the form of a girl peering into all four directions and occasionally glancing at the parchment in her hands. I looked at her in mild curiosity, but that was a mistake because all the ifreet needs is just a single look to trap you. She beckoned to me, and I approached her. The deserts of suburbia are not all that different from the deserts of arabia, and so I immediately knew that this one had assumed human form for some purpose. Now I only had to find out if it was benevolent or malignant. Like you might have imagined, I am not too eager to get my life’s energy sucked out of me, so I approached her warily.

She looked asian, and she claimed that she got here only the day before and was seeking a house. She asked me if I knew of a particular road. We spent many minutes in miscommunication before I realized that it was a test. The ifreet wanted me to do it a favour and then I would be granted a wish. Or even three wishes. I have seen enough bad wish movies to not be careful. She even told me her true name, but only after I asked her. I looked at the parchment. it seemed to be a map. But the house she wanted was hidden. I decided to take my chances, and though I could hardly see her face in the darkening night, I agreed to lead her to the destination. But there was a problem- I didn’t know where it was. I took a wild guess and headed off in to the inner depths of suburbia. After crossing many roads, and likely houses, we finally arrived at the one the ifreet sought. This was it, I thought, I will get a wish fulfilled now. Or get my soul ripped out.

The ifreet turned to me. I could see its face clearly now. It bowed.


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