Bartimaeus of Alexandria

Chapter 1


It was a hot day in Egypt. I knew that the day would hold some of the same events, but something told me it was going to be bad. It started out like any other day, Ptolemy's worshippers came to him with their problems, me, and a couple other djinn would have to go solve those problems. A lady came up with the problem of a new born baby.

"Rekeht, I want you to go with this kind lady, and help her watch over her child. When you come back in a few hours you will be done for the day. Does that sound okay my faithful friend?" Ptolemy commanded

"Yes my fair master, it does." I said as I leaned closer to his ear "but am I to just watch the brat while the mother cleans? Maybe change the diaper every so often? I don't see how this is a very dignant job. Well if I must Ptolemy." I whispered

"Madam? My friend is coming with you to watch over your child. You must tell Rekeht the name of the child, if he needs assistance, you will provide it. He is here to help, please do not order my friend around. For I have given him the command to leave if you do." Ptolemy told the woman in a wise tone of voice

"Thank you! Thank you oh benevolent king! I will make sure that he is most comfortable at my home! Come, my friend. Let us go to my home!" the lady called to me

After about two hours, my job was done. I came back to the temple smelling like a dirty diaper. I never want to have children! Ever! I thought to myself as I walked across the hot sand. As I reached the temple, I noticed something peculiar on the seventh plane, it was what looked like an imp, moving toward the window of Ptolemy's bedroom. Although Ptolemy had his share of imps, I didn't recall this one. Instantly I turned into a sparrow and flew up to the imp.

"What are you doing?" I asked curiously

"Shhh! You'll blow me cover guvna!" it said cautiously

"Ok, but what are you doing?" I said "Doesn't master want you going off somewhere else?" I tried to press my luck. Imps are not the smartest of all djinn.

"He does? Well where?" it said. Hooked, lined and sinker! I thought to myself

"He wants you to go straight to my essence!" I said

"Huh?" cried the little imp

At that I swallowed the imp whole. My essence enjoyed that greatly. I started toward Ptolemy's window. When I got there I changed my guise to form a scribe. Ptolemy was sitting in a chair on the far end of the chamber, reading a book as usual.

"You'll never guess what I just found!" I said

"I have news too. But you go first." He replied

"An imp was just crawling around the windowsill. It wasn't yours was it?" I stated

"No, I haven't summoned anything lately… what's that smell?" Ptolemy said

"I told you I didn't want that job of babysitting! Anyway, this imp was sort of plump. Boy, my essence has never had such a treat!"

"Right, well anyway. I have just been informed that the war has required many soldiers. I have decided to send you. If we win, I shall greatly reward you!" he said

"Gee, thanks!"