The fisherman and the jar

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Best of a thousand and one night

Fantasy / Mystery
Age Rating:

The fisherman and the jar

The fisherman and the jar

The Sea was peaceful and pacific that day, it had been so for the last fifteen days, and the fisherman realized that no amount of fish would save him from certain despair by the end of the month. Every fisherman knows that troubled waters are intricate and full of opportunities, meanwhile silent waters are destitute and scary. His favourite catch was the trout, though he never sold it when he did pull it out of the sea. Who else deserved those sea queens better than himself. Thanks to the trout, his body aligned and functioned all together in harmony, unlike any other food. He actually decided to become fisherman, the minute this fish was in his mouth. It was more than just the health benefits, it was a sadistic love story between a predator and its prey. In this relationship the predator loved his prey unconditionally, the kind of love where the lover pays no heed to its mutuality.

He was growing damn old, and his strength was decreasing day after day. Catching a trout was not an easy task to do, however his body could still afford to pull it out. His professional routine consisted of throwing the net four times a day and only four times. He despised the number seven which was used fanatically by the Canaanites everywhere even while knotting, he didn’t even care to know why. Number four was his favorite personal lucky number, although he was beginning to doubt that lately. His net was ready to be cast, and so it went through the water, penetrating it to a certain level. On pulling it back up, he noticed that the weight was somewhat abnormal. It must be tuna, or a baby whale, not a trout in all cases. He kept pulling up in vain, until he had to dive in, only to see for himself a dead donkey. Firshemen should be patient after all, it is their first and utmost quality. So he made up his mind for the next cast, only to find a pitcher full of dirt. He began to lose control, as he threw the net violently and what did he net this time : pottery and glass. He started thinking that the net was jinxed, but it couldn’t be. It didn’t make sense, he had been using it for several months already. On the fourth and last cast, he called upon the name of God :

“O merciful of all, and provider for all.”

He sat and waited, being aware that patience paid dearly when in time. After a while, the net got heavy, it could only be a precious fish that would save the day. He didn’t have to dive because it was lightweight. He carelessly hoped for a colorful big trout. But it wasn’t, it was something else, an object made of copper because of the yellow color it displayed from afar. The closer it got the clearer it became. It was a copper jar with the seal of Solomon, when he grabbed it. The fisherman overjoyed knowing that a finely crafted copper jar could sell for many trouts.

He did not hesitate to open the copper jar, ignoring that curiosity killed the cat. He didn’t even have the time to fully remove the cap, as a blue plume of smoke came out and condensed into a creature of whom he heard only in ancient tales, the demon himself was plain to see. He was as blue as the sea from which the jar came, he presented himself as the following :

“ My name is Belial, the leader of darkness”


The fisherman trying to gather himself, his first words were merely mumbles “whazzzzz, whezz, whozzz “ in the second trial, he managed to say something :

“ what are you, sir ?”

“ As I said, my name is Belial and I am the leader of darkness”

“Nice to meet you Mr Belial” The fisherman welcomed the demon hypocritically.”

“ Hold your tongue and never pronounce my name on your lips again, otherwise I burn you on the spot.

Oresle how would the fisherman know that Belial went by the name of king of darkness, prince of evil, agent of divine punishment, sometimes he was merely described as a rebel. He operated on three areas of human affairs : fornication, wealth, and pollution of the sanctuary. It was him who inspired the Egyptian sorcerers which was precisely the reason why King Solomon jailed him eternally.

Tell me old man, is King Solomn still ruling this land ?”

“ King Solomon has been dead for four hundred years now”

Suddenly Belial sprung jubilating the most wonderful news aside from breaking free. His jailer ceased to exist at all.

“ You made my day old man. For this reason, I am going to grant you the choice of your own death.”

“Sorry what…”

“ You heard me”

“ Is this how you pay back favors, this is not only injustice, this is lawlessness, madness.”

“ I am as absurd as your favorite number four. I was watching the whole time”

“ What else do you know about me”

“Everything out of my sight is not my area of expertise.”

The fisherman, still bewildered by his demonic presence, asked “ Let’s stick to my destiny, why do you want to put an end to my life ?”

Belial settled on the ground and took a stance as if he was going to relate. He found it sweet to explain evil in its meticulous details like a freak prizing his filthy habits.

“ Where do I begin, old man, after King Solomon had enclosed me and sealed the cap on top of me, I immediately repented and asked God for forgiveness which I was never conceded. In the end, I tried a devilish game of ours, it works all the time. The first hundred years I made a vow, whoever sets me free will be granted all the riches he wishes. None of that happened. As for the second century of my imprisonment is concerned, I swore to make my savior the most attractive person on earth, which never happened either. Then came the third century, despair was beginning to stifle me, I made a different vow, the greatest wish ever, I vowed that whoever sets me free will have wealth, health and wisdom for the rest of his life, yet you were not yet born. Finally came the century of total anguish, in which you were born, So in my furious rage, I swore that the person who sets me free shall have my ultimate wrath.

The fisherman almost fainted before Belial was done talking and when he came back to life under the tickling of Belial, he started pleading for his life. He tried every way of crying, he tried sobbing, he wept, he even thought that he was shedding tears of blood. It was useless, because Belial has no empathy or whatsoever towards humans.

The old man in his distress thought of an old trick, the human game, which works all the time because it touched the sensitive chord of demons, vanity.

He faked hopelessness and agreed to be burned to ashes, justifying that no worm should ever feed on his flesh. Belial impressed by his choice started to focus the fire inside, and just as he prepared to shoot it, the fisherman stood up shouting :

“ I don’t actually believe that a big fella like you could fit inside this tiny copper jar. It is impossible.”

“ Who the hell are you to talk to me like that, I can do whatever the hell I want.”

“Except shrinking, I just don’t buy it.”

Belial eager to show off he said to the fisherman.

“ Watch out”

He shrank and placed himself inside the jar as fast as a lightning flash, meanwhile the the fisherman's hand was already putting back the sealed cap on and took no time to throw it back to the sea.

The end

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