Every Wish Has A Twist!
As far as Sultans go, Aladdin was one of the best, following in the footsteps of his father-in-law with all the right qualities of a successful ruler. Aladdin loved Agrabah and did everything that he could to ensure that his once depraved kingdom flourished, that his people were cared for and lived without worry, and that the corruption Jafar had violated Agrabah with never reoccurred. The thing that Aladdin did not have, however, was royal blood, and that angered many of the royal suitors of neighboring kingdoms who had been turned away by Agrabah's princess, Jasmine. These kingdoms cried out against the placement of this "filthy street-rat" onto the throne of Agrabah. It was an outrage, an embarrassment. To be rejected and replaced with a common thief from the streets was a heinous crime in the minds of these princes, a crime that had to be rectified.
And so, Agrabah was at war, and there was nothing the sultan nor his wife could do to stop it.
"Where is he?!" Jasmine cried amidst the remnants of what had once been the Sultan's throne room. Everything was destroyed. Wooden entryways were splintered apart and littered the floor. The curtains had been burnt until there was nothing left but the scorched tops of the once beautiful fabric and the stench of the fire devastated Jasmine's senses. As she looked around, it was difficult to keep herself composed, but a long life of royal standing had served her well, and she swallowed her panic to address the Sultan's royal guards. "Where is the Sultan?"
Jasmine was lead through the heartbreaking remnants of her home, but she couldn't bring herself to think about anything other than Aladdin. At the start of the attack she had been whisked away, hidden from the conflict, set to wait in agony for the end to be revealed. And when it was finally revealed to her, all she could do was hope that Aladdin would survive his wounds.
But when she saw him, unconscious in his bed, skin ashen and covered in a thin layer of perspiration, decorated with bandages and evidence of warfare, she knew it would not be so. Aladdin had lived his life one swing ahead, but now the sword had caught up to him.
Hours passed. Jasmine never left Aladdin's side, her hand tightly entwined with his, his fingers pressed worriedly to her lips as she cried hot and silent tears of agony and whispered meaningless reassurances to him, how there had to be some way to fix all of this. But, Jasmine shut her eyes to block the falling tears, there was no way.
"We need a miracle.." She murmured.
Slowly, Jasmine lifted her head, and inch by inch her mind worked harder. A miracle. They needed a miracle. And Jasmine knew just where to find one. She grasped Aladdin's hand tighter and reached up to brush away the dark hairs against his clammy forehead, her fingertips lingering against the soft flesh of his cheek.
"It's going to be okay." She promised, though she knew he could not hear her. With one final kiss to Aladdin's warm fingers, Jasmine stood and ran.
The harsh wind lifted loose sands from the never-ending dunes and ripped it through the scarf that protected the Sultana as she rode through the desert in search of the Cave of Wonders--the magical cavern that held exactly what Jasmine needed to save Aladdin and restore peace to Agrabah. She traveled what seemed like days, Aladdin's increasingly probable death looming higher and higher over her like a monstrous tidal wave ready to crash down and destroy her entirety in mere seconds. Her entire world, gone in mere seconds.
Could she be making a mistake? By venturing away from Agrabah, could Jasmine be throwing away the last moments she had with Aladdin? Would the last moments of Aladdin's life be spent alone, in agony, wondering what had happened to her, where she had gone, why she had left him, if she couldn't make it back in time to save him?
As Jasmine began to pull on the reins of her camel, slowing the pace as she fell deeper into thought, the animal's movements stopped, and did not continue. Jasmine, brow furrowing in confusion, gazed at the sands around her, not seeing anything out of the ordinary that would have caused her camel to pause.
Curiously, and still taking a look around the sands surrounding her, Jasmine quickly dipped her hand into the satchel at her side, and pulled out the half of the artifact she'd only heard stories of. She then reached into her scarf and retrieved the other half from it's separate resting place. In her hands, Jasmine held the two pieces of the Golden Scarab Beetle, found in Jafar's quarters after his banishment from Agrabah. The beetle was said to be the key to the Cave of Wonders, and while Jasmine had never seen the magical artifact be used, it had clearly worked for Jafar.
Without hesitation Jasmine connected the two halves of the beetle. As soon as the halves formed one, the artifact seemed to come to life, suddenly buzzing and moving as though it were a real-life creature of the sands. Albeit startled, Jasmine released the golden bug and watched as it zipped straight into the sand beneath her camel. Moments passed.
Jasmine's lips parted as she gazed beneath her, astounded at what had happened. The Sultana was no stranger to magic, but she had never expected for the artifact to simply plunge itself into the sand and never come up. But Jasmine refused to lose hope. She slid down off of her camel and dropped to her knees in the sands, and began to dig, determined to find the beetle again and use it to fulfill her purpose.
As Jasmine dug, sifting through the rough sand, she was so focused on finding the beetle, on saving Aladdin, that she hardly noticed herself rising until a tiger's roar erupted around her and suddenly the sands burst upwards, throwing her off the side of a tall, newfound dune. The Sultana steadied herself at the foot of the dune, recovering from her brief moment of weightlessness, she pushed to her feet and started at what had sprung up before her. It was the entrance to the Cave of Wonders, enormous tiger head and all.
"Who dares disturb my slumber?"
Jasmine, having been staring in wonderment, swallowed her awe to reply.
"I am Jasmine of Agrabah," she said. "And I am here for the lamp."
"Know this, Jasmine of Agrabah: only one may enter here. One whose intentions lie within the heart." With that the entryway's mouth enlarged, and the jaw dropped like a snake, large teeth of sand jutting from the yellow dunes.
Jasmine should have been afraid to go in. But Jasmine knew no fear as she stepped forward. She would die in the beat of a heart if there was even a chance to save Aladdin. So, without fear, she slipped through the entrance of the cave, knowing that if she touched anything inside other than the lamp, she would never see Agrabah again.
Jasmine walked among endless riches, not paying a single second of attention to any of it. Jasmine knew she did not have the time to stop and smell the roses. She had to find the lamp.
It didn't take long for her to find the lamp at the very top of a long stretch of stairs, just as Aladdin had described in the countless times he had relayed the story of his adventure within this Cave of Wonders to her.
Climbing the stairs was easy. But picking up that black, twisted lamp at the very peak, and gently rubbing the palm of her hand against it's smooth metallic side, was one of the hardest things she'd ever done.
When Aladdin described his first time meeting Genie, he made it seem like such a magical, astounding experience. But as the Sultana of Agrabah stood and watched the red smoke pool out of the dark lamp in her hands, all she felt was dread. And when the smoke formed the body of the man Jasmine hated the most in this world and the next, all she wanted to do was smash the lamp into the broken pieces it deserved to be in.
Jasmine stated up at the scarlet red mammoth before her, easily the size of a full-grown elephant. As Jafar's genie eyes landed on Jasmine, a sense of alarm washed over her, and she wanted to run. But she stood her ground, head held high and fist tight at her side.
Jafar's red lip pulled into a disgustingly hateful smile at the sight of Jasmine before him, and very slowly he allowed his size to compress until he was near the height he had been as a human. The genie stared down at the Sultana.
"Isn't this a surprise." He purred, eyes narrow and full of distaste for the human woman before him. "Tell me, princess, what has you so desperate that you come to me?"
"I am no longer princess." Jasmine defended, an air of defiance around her words as her chin raised and she eyed Jafar with near as much disgust as he did with her.
"So the public came to their senses and overthrew your line, then? Well, what else did you expect, allowing such trash to set foot near the throne."
Jasmine bit her tongue. "I did not come here to speak. I came for a wish. And you are going to grant it."
"Am I?" Jafar cooed. "And what exactly brought this on?"
"Nothing of importance to you."
Jafar smiled. "You've not changed, princess. Still so defiant by nature."
Jasmine steadied her eyes hard on him, to which he simply smiled coyly at. The Sultana knew she did not have the time to deal with Jafar's ways. She came here for a reason.
"I'm ready to receive my wish now."
"By all means," Jafar purred again. "Wish away."
Jasmine held the lamp a bit tighter in her hands. She knew better than to blindly trust Jafar. But what other choice did she have? Luckily, Jasmine knew not to ask Jafar for something as direct as to save Aladdin's life. No, Jasmine had thought long and hard about what she would wish for, and she knew that it had to be something that she would be able to control. So, as much as she knew it was a bad idea, Jasmine voiced her wish.
"Jafar," The genie quirked an eyebrow. Jasmine swallowed, and nodded once. "I wish for you to give me the sorcerers powers you once possessed--the ones you wished for before you became a genie--so that I may save Aladdin's life and return Agrabah to peace."
Slowly, and to Jasmine's surprise, Jafar's coy smile slipped from his face, and was replaced by a look of surprise, as though he were truly shocked by what Jasmine had wished for. As though he disapproved. But, before Jasmine could comment on the shift in emotion, the know-it-all within Jafar returned, and the scarlet man held up his hand.
"Of course, princess."
And with a snap, Jasmine's wish was granted. At first, nothing was different aside from the odd staff that had materialized in her hand. It had the face of a tiger that strongly resembled her old pet Rajah. Nothing else was different. But as the seconds ticked by, something began to change, and not for the better. Jasmine had expected to feel some surge of power, or some overwhelmingly explosive desire to use her newfound magicka. But instead, all Jasmine felt was... wrong. Like there was a part of her missing. Like some piece of her soul had been ripped away and replaced with something else--with something darker.
Jasmine's gaze moved to Jafar, who was once again smirking with a knowing look in his eyes that Jasmine did not like one bit.
"What did you do?" She demanded. "You did something--something is wrong. What did you do?"
"I granted your wish."
"Liar!" Jasmine yelled out, unable to keep her regal nature any longer. As the seconds continued to pass she began to feel worse and worse, dirtier and dirtier. "Jafar, what exactly did you do?"
Jafar's smile grew. "You wished for my powers, did you not?" Jasmine shook her head in confusion--she didn't understand what the genie was getting at. "Congratulations, sweet girl. You have my sorcerers abilities. And a part of me, as well."
"I... I what?" She shook her head, still not getting what he was saying.
"In addition to my powers, I gave you the part of me that worked best with them. I'm sure that, with time, you'll figure out exactly what part that is. And don't bother wishing it away. You know well that anything you think up, I already have a hundred different tricks up my sleeve."
As Jasmine stared at the ground beneath her feet, silent as a roaring panic swirled within her mind, Jafar leaned closer to her, lips pulling back into a grin that showed all his teeth.
"Every wish has a twist, my dear."
Jasmine wished Jafar away after that, and he and he his bottle disappeared from her sight almost instantly. Jasmine, too caught up in the horror of her mistakes, didn't stop to think of how that might have been a bad idea. At that point, all Jasmine could think of was how could she control this supposed piece of evil within her, now intrinsically connected with the powers she had wished upon herself.
She stayed in the Cave of Wonders for awhile before she was finally able to snap herself out of it and use her sorceress's powers to return to the Palace of Agrabah in mere seconds, materializing inside of the room she had left Aladdin in before she left.
The second her body was fully transported from he Cave of Wonders to the palace, Jasmine reeled back as a harsh wave of uncontrollable darkness rushed through her body, dampening every corner of her mind and every inch of her soul. When the darkness settled, Jasmine did not feel the same as she did before. A piece of her had been stripped away.
Jasmine pulled herself together, and looked towards the bed she had left a day ago. To her relief, Aladdin was still there. But to her horror, he looked so close to death that the simple sight of him was haunting. Still, Jasmine moved towards her love, tears stinging at her eyes.
Jasmine swallowed the lump in her throat and wiped the forlorn tears from her eyes as she watched Aladdin's chest heave only slightly. With a gentle, tearful smile, Jasmine took a step back from Aladdin's bed and held forward the staff that had come from the wish she made with Jafar. And, slipping her eyes shut, she felt a warmth surge through her. The warmth soon left, and was replaced by a bitter cold, but when Jasmine opened her eyes, Aladdin was surrounded by the only possible physical manifestation of the surge of warmth she had felt. She watched, remaining focused and calm, and slowly began to see the scrapes from Aladdin's shoulders and chin healing over. She held it and, finally, the clammy, colorless tone to his skin left. Jasmine lowered her staff, and smiled with tears slipping down her cheeks.
"I promised you things would be okay." Jasmine said in a gentle voice, wondering if Aladdin could even hear her. Jasmine reached out to take his hand, but recoiled at the last moment. Whatever Jafar had done to her, had changed not only her capacity for magic, but it had changed her soul as well. She was no longer just Jasmine of Agrabah. She was something else. She could feel that dark part of Jafar within her, laughing at the outskirts of her mind as it knocked, very gently, with a single knuckle on the protective wall the remnants of herself had built to keep him at bay.
But walls never held forever. One day hers would come crashing down, and when that happened, she might hurt someone. She might hurt Aladdin--that thought was one she could not handle.
Jasmine had always made rash decisions, but they were never as awful as the decision she was about to make. Running away from the palace or going for a magic carpet ride where not near as drastic as what she knew she had to do. Jasmine had to leave, and she knew it. It was the only way to ensure that Aladdin and the rest of Agrabah remained safe. So Jasmine, with a heavy heart and many shed tears, hurriedly conjured up a letter while Aladdin was still unconscious. And, laying the letter gingerly under his arm, she tapped her staff against the flooring and transported herself away, pondering on the last thing Jafar had whispered to her before she wished him away.
"Every wish has a twist."