To a local observer, there was nothing suspicious about the beautiful, tall woman with the long black hair who casually roamed the town streets. Nothing set her apart from any of the villagers, except the fact that no one had ever seen her before. Her large green eyes were friendly, and a casual smile would flicker across her face when those eyes caught the gaze of another pair. She turned many heads as she continued smilingly on her way, and didn't seem to mind the many stares she got from the men.

It wasn't until she had finally found a deserted alleyway that she could slit her eyes and gnash her teeth in disgust at these wretched humans. Even taking the form of one made her feel sick. But she had to be here. There was no choice in the matter. She, along with her two closest companions, was on the hunt. They needed a new slave. So they were searching this city for one.

For thousands and thousands of years, her people had been the servants to humans, arrogant male humans. Trapped in lamps and forced to give three wishes! Many genies like her had been destroyed in attempting to fulfill their masters' wishes. There were so few of them left, only a couple hundred. But then, they had risen to power. No longer the slaves of mere mortals, their powers could be realized. And being the leader of her people, it was her task to find another human to serve as their slave. Their last one had somehow managed to escape, and so they were without. So they searched for the right type of man.

She grew lonely. Closing her huge green eyes, she muttered, "Come to me, my companions, Selina summons you."

Without warning, an extremely good-looking man of about twenty-five with vibrant orange eyes and red hair appeared before her. He bowed. "Hello, Selina," he said softly. "Leah will be coming along in a minute, we split up about fifteen minutes ago. She took the darker side of Lorric."

Selina nodded at the man. "Thank you, Rob."

And sure enough, within seconds, Leah blurred into view. Her medium-length blonde hair flowed into a ponytail and her baby-blue eyes smiled. "I haven't found a whole lot," she sighed. "There aren't a whole lot of really fit people here. Maybe we should look somewhere else."

Selina shook her head. "No," she said. "The crystal indicated that the right man was here. We're just looking in all the wrong places. Cast the messenger spell, Rob."

Rob nodded, and waved his hands in a complex pattern. "Now all we have to do is wait for the messenger to find us and bring us to him."

They waited. Nothing happened.

"This is ridiculous!" spouted Selina. "I don't understand this. Where is our messenger?"

She stormed out of the alleyway, only to be knocked down by an unseen object. Seething, she stood up and glared at her attacker. Then her expression changed.

Lying on the ground before her was a boy, no older than sixteen, shaking his head as if to clear his thoughts. He was wearing loose, baggy clothing, and his skateboard lay several feet away from him, its wheels spinning frantically in the air. He grinned up at Selina apologetically. "Sorry 'bout that," he said, hopping to his feet. "Y'alright?"

Changing her attitude completely, she shrugged. "I'm fine," she assured him. "Just.try to watch out."

He smiled, seeming relieved that she wasn't angry. "I'll do my best," he said, picking up his skateboard, and went on his way.

Selina's eyes grew wide with purpose, and mouthed "Follow him!" to her two genie friends. The three of them slunk to the shadows, and followed the cheerful boy.