Stretches of sand as far as the eye can see, collapsing in untidy rows before the heat of the unforgiving sun. Casting its harsh rays upon the golden grains, and the brown necks that travel across it. Merchants of all kinds, some dressed in maroon and purple silk, with golden chains around their wrists and necks and golden teeth in their quick mouths, with a train of camels of strong legs and absent thirst, then there are those dressed in rags, with one camel to a ship load, unwashed for days, but dragging themselves along to make a living.
Within the city walls, brick houses and shiny objects line every street, women selling fragrant perfumes of pink and green, cloth of reds and whites and blues, or colourful birds twittering away in little straw cages. Begging children wearing nothing but dirt and resentment, running up to travellers and pulling on their sleeves. Stray cats watch on the rooftops, eyeing the hectic, cramped town alleyways. Stands lined with red, juicy apples, ripe mangoes and bright yellow bananas, tempting every theif to try their luck. Old women draped in cloaks hide under bridges, beckoning you with a story of your future, the possibilities, the failures and the dreams yet to come.
In the center of the bustling city is a great, white, marble structure. The palace. Where the king sits upon his throne, fanned and hand-fed grapes by exotic women. Bengal tigers roam around the premises, guarding the royal family. Jasmines and hisbiscuses line every bush, embedding their sweet, floral scent into every wall, and drift from room to room. Fountains pour out glittering, clear water in the middle of every garden, only to be caught by mystical mermaids, it is in this house alone, where poverty is not present. No trace of the city outside the walls can be found within them, in this house, even the maids wear slippers made of jewels.
"Genie, where are we?" Stephanie asked as she opened her eyes and saw a very unfamiliar place.
Genie put his arm around her, "We're in Agraba, land of the thieves. I see you are now convinced that I am what I have been saying I am all along. Oh, but I have been very rude. May I ask your name?"
"It's Stephanie. Stephanie White."
"Well, Stephanie. Be careful in these lands. The locals have hands the speed of light, and mouths of a snakecharmer and his flute. Do not stray, and you will be fine. Now let us go look for my former master, I have come to understand he is a king now."