The Key and the Chain (eBook)

56 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 04/01/2016
  • ISBN: 978-1-943528-54-7
  • Model: 9655 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 4 Flames


Aisha, a lonely and lustful angel, craves relief. Sakeena, a shape-shifting jinni prostitute, can fulfil Aisha's every whim. But Aisha finds Sakeena's illusions might not be enough for her, and that true satisfaction always comes at a price.




Aisha watched. Listened. Burned with quiet desperation.

The whole world sprawled beneath her. Wings outstretched on either side, riding on the unseen spiritual currents that criss-crossed the earthly plane, Aisha witnessed almost every moment, heard nearly every conversation. Every human soul that hustled and bustled through their mortal lives, forging their paths to redemption or damnation, was within Aisha's range of perception. She caught the human experience from beginning to end. And she despised it.

She was seventy years into a one-hundred-forty-year assignment as a watcher, tasked with observing the humans and keeping an eye out for influence from the Enemy. It was a passive role given her millennia-long lifespan; this assignment should have been little more than a blip, a dull stretch endurable through simple fortitude. But the last seven decades had dragged ever so slowly. As she took in every mortal moment--from birth cries to the weary rattle of death--the years had stretched into an eternity.

She'd felt the first stirrings of angry contempt just over a decade ago; now, hovering and watching and listening, the seething cauldron within was starting to bubble over. Seventy years, hovering, quiet and unseen. Seventy years, listening to every moment, from trivial to transcendental, all of it blending into the same tedious static.

The tips of her wings were twitching. The years of boredom and loneliness caught up, and she let out a long sigh.

It was time. One of her wings pulled in, and Aisha peeled off and dived gracefully. She was descending, down to the surface of the earthly plane. She was going to stop by her nest and retrieve a small satchel of silver pieces.

After that, Aisha would visit the jinn brothel.

Aisha had first heard about the brothel centuries ago. And, watching and listening, she had picked up other fragments of information--its location in a remote Central Asian desert, isolated even by the standards of the unseen world, the price in silver pieces for a session with a jinni whore, the guarantee of privacy that all patrons were given, with incantations in place to ensure no client would encounter any other inside.

And, most importantly, she knew that there was no violation of her heavenly oaths in going. Jinn were not demons or Fallen Ones, but natural inhabitants of the earthly plane, created by the Almighty alongside mankind. Dealing with them, although discouraged, was permissible when there was need.

And Aisha felt need.

She gathered the necessary silver, then took flight again. She was detached from the world now, no longer watching and listening. The silence was blissful.

As she flew, slipstream trailing behind her, she pondered this decision. Questioned it, doubted it, wondered if she should turn around. But the curdling resentment, the frustrated boredom... Fulfilling her duties was becoming difficult. The brothel might be the cure. Cast in this light, the act of seeing a prostitute was more than justifiable--it was righteous.

So she remained shut off--her perceptions turned inward, no longer able to witness the world--and flew to meet her destiny.


Once she found the brothel and slipped inside, Aisha's comforting wall of rationalizations began to crumble. Fears reemerged, her wings twitching with the desire to take flight.

The reception area--a charitable term for the bare, dusty mouth of the cave--contained no furniture except for a long wooden desk, behind which sat an elderly female Angel, her hair as white as the crumpled feathers of her wings. She looked up at Aisha and smiled in a way that was both motherly and professional.

"Hello, dear," she said. "You're here on business, I presume?"

Aisha nodded, heart pounding.

"We'll waste no time. I am the madam; it is my duty to ensure you both pleasure and privacy. If you managed to locate us, you are well-informed enough to be aware of the price..."

Without a word, Aisha deposited a leather pouch with the appropriate funds on the table.

Nodding, the older Angel said, "The room is lit by the light of a single day; you will know how much time you have by the amount of light left. Our workers are very professional and should be able to accommodate your needs. As a starting point, would you prefer a man or a woman?"

Aisha managed two quaky syllables. "Woman."

The madam nodded. Reaching under the table she withdrew first a dull bronze key, then a length of chain, manacles on both ends.

She slid the key to Aisha. "This will get you into the room." She then passed over the length of chain, the links grinding together.

"This is for your protection, should you decide that you cannot fully trust your companion."

Aisha reached forward and plucked the items up off the table. The key felt too light, the chain too heavy.

The madam gestured behind her. "You will find the doorway down there. The only stipulation of entrance is that you must remove your clothes first; no items or clothes or weapons can be taken inside, save for the manacles."

Aisha finally spoke up. "Why? Doesn't that... I mean..."

"For the protection of our workers, my dear. Our clients tend to be Angels, our workers are jinn. It's created problems in the past. So the rules are--you go in bare, they submit to the chain. A delicate balance, dearie, but one that's worked so far."

"But what if I still do not feel comfortable? Is there more that I can ask for, beyond the chain?"

"The chain will ensure no real reach or movement is possible beyond what you want," the madam said, "but if you ever feel less than comfortable, you are free to leave at any time. Besides"--the madam smiled without any humour--"this establishment exists not for comfort, but for pleasure. Sometimes they're the same; sometimes not."

Aisha could only manage a vague "hmmph" in response.

The hallway was a short walk. Aisha was soon in front of the heavy wooden door.

Tucking her rustling wings tightly behind her, she dutifully stripped off her white robes and left them in a pile. Being totally naked--her grey flesh gleaming in the dull light--made her feel terribly vulnerable, but she was committed now. No turning back.

The bronze key went into the lock and turned. The twisting of the gears was a barely-audible snick, the mechanics quiet and inoffensive. The door opened with a creak and, for a moment, Aisha thought her heart--angelic or not--would stop in terror.

You need to do this. It's for your health, your work, your very oaths.

Aisha crossed the threshold.

The room's banality eased her mind--small, boxy, undecorated walls coloured light blue. No bed, just an empty floor that felt soft beneath her feet. No visible light source, but the room was evenly lit, light radiating from the walls and producing a feeling like morning sunlight--a warm, inviting glow. The only other noticeable feature was a number of metal rings that lined the wall, placed at varying heights and angles, clearly meant as anchors for the chain.

The room had another resident, sitting in the corner, looking at Aisha with wide eyes.

"Hello..." the woman said.

Aisha stepped into the centre of the room and gazed down on the other woman, feeling doubts dissolve. Behind her, the door closed with a delicate click.

"Hello, I'm Aisha. You are...?"

The girl rose, her body unfurling like a flag. She was as tall as Aisha, slim and sinewy. Her curves were barely concealed by a near-transparent gown of red material, giving her body a crimson shimmer.

"I'm Sakeena," she said, "I'll be your companion for this session."

"I'd assumed as much," Aisha said, trying to smile warmly.

She was wary, despite the madam's assurances. This was the closest she had ever been to a jinni since she'd met them in Solomon's army, centuries ago. Back then they'd been heroic creatures, warriors of light. Now they were known better as murderous tricksters.

Sakeena stepped closer, and Aisha got a better look at her angular face, brown hair, and dark eyes. "Lovely to meet you," Sakeena said.

She cupped one of Aisha's hands and planted a kiss. Her lips made Aisha's flesh tingle.


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