Friday, June 3, 2011

Djinn's Klämdagar (يوم الضغط الجن و)

I rub the gris-gris between my forefinger and thumb, tugging on its leather thong, holding the klämdagar in my other hand. The Swede in me amused at the manipulations of language. The dagger has clams glued to it with djinn blood, language twisted from its original meaning -- squeeze day.

Dusk settles over Timbuktu's walls. The few hundred of us remaining pray, reciting the verses the marabout taught us. Djinn devils dance across the desert, rebounding off the salt slab wall. Our Qur’ānic chants fill the void. Hope forcing us to believe. Otherwise, we'd go mad.

Dip... slide... claw! Dip... slide... claw! The djinn resound like a drum circle. Our lips quiver. A wisp of djinn magic steals Haidara from the wall. Dip... slide... claw!

Dawn rises and the djinn retreat. Our numbers thin, I worry our days are numbered. Exhausted, I kiss the klämdagar and slump against the wall.


  1. Argh! Such a tease! ;D

    You explode outwards from the detail of the dagger to scant, evocative details of the wider world. Their future seems pretty bleak...

    Loved this. =)

  2. I like desert settings and I like the arabic/urdu thing in the title. It sounds like Timbuktu and it's people are in trouble.

  3. Definitely the most evocative of your stories that I've read, Aidan. So suggestive that is managed to entirely mislead me with the mash-up of Swedish and Middle Eastern elements. Thought it would go after anti-Islamic politics. In very little space it turned out to be a very different piece.

  4. @JohnX, I apologize for being a tease. I wanted to write something short, and ended up 50% longer than I had originally planned. (I wanted a drabble, but there was too much good stuff to cut this down to 100 words).

    @Sonia, growing up in the midwest of the US, I find deserts entirely too dry, but they have a beauty too and I find they attract my writing eye.

    @JohnW, I didn't intentionally plan to mislead you; the klämdagar gave me an in to this world and I had to follow where it led.

  5. Very evocative piece of writing, feelings if weariness, fear, determination all mingled together in this short.

    Very nice!

    Helen - helen-scribbles

  6. Very punchy and descriptive piece.

  7. The reference to djin reminds me of a wonderful French animation I've seen some years ago. That was a children's story though, yours is sharper, which is good! I love having new perspectives on know subjects.

  8. Hi there Aidan - a lovely, detailed feel to this, while being awesomely compact. Circling Djinn, a battle that may soon be lost, intriguing Arabian words. I like it.