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Upon Emerging from a Brazen Vessel

by Luc Reid

Know then, O Magnificent Liberator, that for the first hundred years after which Solomon (on whom be peace!) imprisoned me in this brazen vessel, I was as one shadowed by a dark cloud and counted myself, though a mighty Djinn, as pitiful as the meanest worm! And I swore oaths promising great riches to him who freed me. But five hundred years passed, and none came to free me, and so black was my mood that I swore to kill him who opened up this vessel, in the manner of his choosing.

O my Liberator, I see that you are trembling. Fear not, and trust in Allah, the mighty, for I will not harm the least hair on your head, but rather grant you gifts beyond imagining!

So did a fisherman come to snare my vessel in his net, and he released me. And when I spoke to him of my vow, to my shame he used my pride against me and tricked me back into the vessel and cast it back into the waves, where it lay until you struck it with your JetSki but five minutes past.

And know you, O Liberator, on whose head may Allah shower every blessing, that for centuries I cursed the fisherman, and wept, and pounded with formless hands on the vessel around me, and beat my formless brow against the leaden seal, and despaired.

Yet within my despair Allah sent me a vision, a vision of a portly Mexican named Pepe, and I began to weave stories in my head of Pepe's adventures. O, Magnificent Pepe! And always the adventures would end in his being sat on by a donkey or falling in some ordure or other foul thing. O Pepe, my greatest friend!

And when a thousand years had passed Allah granted me the wisdom of Pepe, who always laughed when he was sat upon by a donkey, and it came to me that my happiness was in my own hands, though I had none, and always had been, and from then I cared not whether I was released or imprisoned forever, and I rejoiced and praised the name of Allah. After three thousand years, Allah had granted me a gift beyond imagining, a clear and vibrant joy that cannot be troubled or suppressed.

And that, beloved Liberator, is why I must imprison you in this brazen vessel and cast it into the sea.

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