An Aladdin fanfiction.
Like others have been, Mozenrath finds himself trapped in an unpleasant reality. However, not everyone is as lucky as Aladdin. Mozenrath may not be able to escape his fate.
“Ah, the Shoes of Milouwen... Yes...” Pulling a box from the cabinet, the shopkeeper blew off a layer of dust. The box was opened to reveal two red jewels held safely in place within, each about an inch and a half long and cut to resemble shoes. “They are very powerful. - And very expensive!” she said.
He shot a bluish flame of magic from his gloved hand. It singed the wall over the surprised shopkeeper’s shoulder. “You will give me the Shoes of Milouwen!”
Genie pointed toward the jewels in Mozenrath’s hand. “With those, he can change powers like pairs of shoes.”
Aladdin held up the Shoes. “Genie, I got them! Now what?”
Mozenrath shot a blue flame at Aladdin, knocking him off Carpet, and inadvertently making him let go of the Shoes.
“The jewels!” Iago yelled.
“My Shoes!” Mozenrath knocked Iago out of the way during the race for the falling Shoes. Before he could reach them, they hit the floor and shattered. “No!” he yelled.
Mozenrath fell to his knees, pushing his hands into the jewel dust around him, but finding nothing to salvage.
“Heh. That was almost too easy, Mozenrath,” Aladdin said with a smirk, his hands on his hips. “C’mon, guys, let’s go.” Aladdin crouched into a better position as carpet swooped around the room to gather up Abu and Iago.
Mozenrath lifted a handful of the red dust, staring at it in his opened palm. He watched as it began to fall between his fingers. “It’s not fair,” he said sadly. He ground his teeth. His fist closed tightly around the dust in his hand, and he flung it away in anger. “It’s not fair! Aladdin always has things so easy! It should be me!”
Mozenrath’s expression changed suddenly, as though he had just noticed something. His voice suddenly quiet, he said, “Xerxes... I...” The room started to tilt.
Xerxes turned in time to see Mozenrath collapse onto the floor. Xerxes sped to his side, but he seemed to be unconscious. “Master?!” Xerxes flew around to butt against his arm. “Master okay?!” Xerxes continued to flit back and forth, not sure what to do.
Chapter One: Nonrefundable
Mozenrath rolled over and pressed his face farther into the pillow, trying to block the light shining through his eyelids. It was odd really. Not many rooms within the citadel would let in this much sunlight. The windows were small and few. It was designed as a stronghold to keep things within, away from invaders. Large windows and balconies would be a vulnerability. He opened his eyes.
This wasn’t his citadel.
He sat up. The walls were tinted blue, with red and gold trim, and furniture and pillows decorated the room. A large window was on his right, and a door on his left. How did he get here? The style of the room reminded him of Agrabah’s palace. Did Aladdin bring him here? Mozenrath dismissed that thought. He knew Aladdin, and, though he was generally a good person, he wouldn’t be stupid enough to leave his enemy unchained and unguarded. How he could have gotten here without Aladdin’s knowledge, though, he didn’t know. Whatever the case may be, it was best he not remain in the bed. Mozenrath moved to take off the covers, and noticed his right hand. “My gauntlet!”
He frantically started rummaging through the covers for the missing glove. Every so often, his eyes flashed up to look elsewhere in the room. The pointless search went on until the image of his hand filtered back through his mind. He stilled. The cover he was holding slipped from his fingers. Widening his eyes, he turned back to his hand. “What?” he said in surprise. Fingers fumbled with the dark blue sleeve, pulling it up past his elbow.
The arm was whole, and matched his other one - which, at the back of his mind, he noticed wasn’t quite as pale as he remembered. “How is this possible?” It didn’t make sense. Nothing could give him back his right arm. He wiggled his fingers, and turned his hand over a couple times. He checked the arm from every angle he could. He couldn’t see anything wrong with it. He touched it. The skin felt real, and it was warm. And, it could feel. Realizing this, he touched the cover with his right hand, and rubbed the fabric between his fingers. He did the same with the fabric of the shirt he was wearing, and with the unfamiliar jacket he woke up in. Wanting something else to touch, he reached up and twirled a lock of hair between his fingers.
“Aladdin? Are you in here?”
Suddenly recalling where he was, Mozenrath glanced toward the closed door. “No, not the princess,” he moaned. “I can’t let them find me without my gauntlet!” He rushed behind the long curtains, and focused on taking silent breaths as he heard the door open. Her footsteps padded lightly around the room, and Mozenrath could tell she didn’t know an evil sorcerer had been in that bed moments earlier. If he waited until she left, maybe he could search for his gauntlet, and possibly get back to his citadel before being discovered.
He held his breath as she passed close to his hiding place. His fingers twitched. If he took her hostage, he could use her as a bargaining chip to get his gauntlet without any real effort on his part. Of course Aladdin would give up the gauntlet in exchange for his precious princess. Wait! What was he thinking?! He can’t do that! He’s completely powerless without the-
The curtain jerked away and his heart skipped a beat. The princess was right in front of him, holding the curtain in her hand. If she weren’t in the way, he would’ve made a run for it. Instead, he tried to step deeper into the curtains.
“There you are, Aladdin.” It was then that he realized she was smiling. “What are you doing behind the curtain?”
His eyes drifted to look over his shoulder. Aladdin wasn’t there. “I’m not Aladdin,” he said with a shake of his head, unsure of whether he was addressing the princess or his own train of thought.
He should have realized it earlier. Waking up in Aladdin’s palace, wearing different clothes, the princess coming into the room to look for Aladdin? He did not want to be stuck in Aladdin’s body again. He had tried it once before and that plan hadn’t even achieved what it was supposed to. The only reason he had wanted to do it then was because the gauntlet feeds on a person’s life and he’d thought switching to a stronger body would last him longer. It took him several hours of floating in a stupid cage for him to realize, while he was in Aladdin’s body, the gauntlet had still been feeding on his life energy and didn’t hurt Aladdin at all. So it must not be the strength of a physical body that the gauntlet feeds on. And besides not wanting to see his archenemy’s face in the mirror every morning, he could never get used to looking down and seeing Aladdin’s calloused hands instead of his own, or-
But he hadn’t seen Aladdin’s hands earlier. They were slightly calloused, and the skin was a little darker, but he’d still registered them as his. And his hair was still curly. He half-consciously ran a hand through his hair as he stepped away from the curtain to glance around the room. There was a silver bowl filled with fruit somewhere in the room. There. He pushed past the princess, who was saying something he wasn’t listening to, and looked at the reflection in the side of the bowl. He had that feeling of recognition, which was even more convincing than seeing his own features. He closed his eyes as he exhaled a relieved breath.
“...won’t talk to me.”
Mozenrath usually liked that desperate tone. He looked up, and noticed she was talking to the genie - which must’ve entered the room when he hadn’t been paying attention. Either that, or it had entered the room with the princess and Mozenrath just hadn’t noticed. It was hard to hear a genie’s footsteps. His mouth, on the other hand, wasn’t always so quiet.
Neither of them seemed particularly worried that he was in the room, and he found himself silently assessing them. The princess looked distressed, her hands clasped in front of her and a worried frown on her face. However, she was still attractive - if he were interested in pampered princesses. The genie, though in his usual, confident pose, looked puzzled. Mozenrath never had the opportunity to look at him like this before. There wasn’t time to properly observe the being while in the middle of battle. His blue coloration seemed translucent, but also gave off a faint light. It was probably quite normal for a being composed entirely of power, though it was still interesting to observe. The genie’s head turned, and he must have noticed Mozenrath looking.
“C’mon, Al, tell us what’s eating you,” he said, a pleading note in his voice. For a moment, the genie’s hands were transformed into uncontrollable carnivorous plants.
“I’m not Aladdin!” Mozenrath insisted.
The genie turned toward the princess with a shrug. “Maybe he hit his head.”
The princess responded by bringing a hand to her mouth and widening her eyes. It would’ve been amusing if she were worried for anyone but him. Instead, it was just annoying.
“Aren’t you even capable of grasping the concept of four simple words?!” he asked. “I. Am. Not. Aladdin!” At least now he had their attention. Just that was able to calm him down enough to give a proper rant. “Do I look like I have poofy hair?” He tugged on his hair. “Do I look like I’m wearing a smelly vest?” He gripped a handful of dark blue fabric. His audience wore blank expressions - not that he expected a response. “No!” He started pacing in front of them. “I have nice hair. I wear blue silks. I have a fair complexion. I have good posture. I stand at a respectable height. I have achieved a position of power. I will be the most powerful ruler the seven deserts has ever seen!”
He paused just long enough to calm down. He glanced toward the other two in the room. “Now, class, who does that describe?”
Mozenrath couldn’t tell anything by their expressions, and they weren’t saying a word. Then the genie caused some kind of glowing sign to appear. It seemed to be made out of a long tube twisted into the shape of Mozenrath’s head, and below, the name ‘Aladdin,’ flashing on and off with a faint buzzing sound.
He let out a frustrated yell.
The princess gave the genie a weary look that said to stop it, and reached out to put a hand on Mozenrath’s shoulder. “Maybe you should get some rest.”
Mozenrath avoided the hand before it could make contact. “I don’t need rest, Princess. What I need is to get away from you fools.” With that, he left the room and took long strides down the hallway.
It was all so frustrating. No matter what he said, they still believed he was Aladdin!
He paused as something occurred to him. Could it be some kind of spell? Or an object? It couldn’t be the Stone of Transformation. The legendary Rose of Forgetfulness? No, not that. He needed to look up some information - and he couldn’t help but smirk as he realized he knew just the place to do it. He continued his way down the hallway, now with a destination in mind.
It was a section of the palace he had found while seeking out a base of operations for one of his takeover attempts - yes, he’d gotten into the palace before it truly started. It had been a good attempt.
He didn’t pay it much attention at the time, but there was a lab in the section’s top room. Not as good as his own of course, but in this case, useful. He had meant to catalogue everything in it after securing the palace, but had never gotten the chance.
Just as Mozenrath came to the hidden entrance, he heard an annoying squawk of, “Hey, what are you doing entering Jafar’s old chambers?”
Mozenrath turned his head to confirm it was Aladdin’s parrot. “Get lost, bird.” He batted at him, but the parrot flew out of reach.
“No way. Whatever you’re planning, I want fifty percent.”
Unable to do anything about the bird, Mozenrath stepped through the entrance and onto a spiral staircase made of stone. This part of the palace had a different feeling than the rest. It lacked the smooth walls or marbled tile floors, and the windows seemed to let in less light. It reminded him a bit of his citadel - or at least the less dressed up parts of it. Something about bare stone walls seemed to hint at hidden power and secrets. It was probably just superstition, based on some laboratory owners seeing no point in decorating. Though, Mozenrath sometimes imagined he could feel traces of old magic clinging to stone walls. As he ascended the stairs, the bird followed him. Mozenrath decided to just ignore him. It couldn’t be that difficult, right?
When getting to the lab, he immediately made his way to the wide bookcase to the right of the door and started scanning its contents. He reached for a thick blue volume, then sat down at the table to look through it.
“Is it big? Tell me it’s big. Lots of gold, right? I want to make sure my fifty percent’s worth it. I wonder what I should buy with my share. Or maybe I’ll just keep it all to swim in. On second thought, I might use a little for a good moisturizing conditioner. This heat really dries out my feathers. See, look at this - split ends.”
“Don’t you ever shut up?!” Mozenrath said as he looked up to glare.
The bird ruffled his feathers. “Well sorry for trying to be sociable.”
Just as Mozenrath turned back to the book, he heard the bird’s talons clicking against the table, and then saw his large beak lean over the pages he was flipping through.
“What’re you looking for, anyway?”
“It’s none of your business!” Mozenrath yelled. He jerked the book from the table as he stood. “It’s not in here anyhow,” he said as he replaced the book and pulled another from the shelf.
“You know that I know most of what’s in those books, right?” the bird asked, gesturing at the new book with one foot.
“I don’t care,” Mozenrath said as he sat down again.
He suddenly felt something hitting his head, and looked up to realize it was the parrot. He could only stare, startled that anyone would dare touch him. Though he couldn’t help thinking he really should’ve been used to Aladdin and his friends invading his personal space by now.
“Use that head of yours!”
Another knock on his head. Mozenrath swatted the bird away, only for him to perch on the back of a nearby chair.
“If you tell me what you’re looking for, I can give you the information.”
Mozenrath narrowed his eyes as he studied the bird. He might’ve been overly trusting, but he wasn’t stupid. The bird had proved to be tricky in the past. Though, right now everyone thought he was Aladdin, and this was one of Aladdin’s sidekicks. Mozenrath wondered whether or not it would hurt if he used the bird to make his job easier. He tried to weigh the risks involved.
The bird wasn’t paying attention to Mozenrath’s stare. After an initial roll of his eyes, he flew over to glance at a few objects that were already lying on the table when they entered the room. He then started browsing the shelves, though didn’t appear to see anything he was interested in.
“Something that could make people believe you’re someone else.”
The bird didn’t seem surprised by the sudden response. He turned around to answer, leaning against the books behind him. He seemed almost too relaxed as Mozenrath’s eyes searched him for signs of falsehood. “If Jafar had something like that, he would’ve taken the Sultan’s place years ago,” he said with a dismissive wave of his wing. He held up one finger. “He did have the snake staff, but there was only so much it could do.”
So the bird didn’t know of anything. Mozenrath sighed as he glanced back down at the book in front of him. If the bird knew what he was talking about, there probably wasn’t anything in these books, either.
“No, the only thing I can think of is one of the ancient spells of the Witches of the Sand. That’s some powerful magic. The whole town was under the spell. Changes everyone’s memories. Doesn’t affect us animals, though. It was called the, um, The Shifting Sands of Time.”
Mozenrath frowned. For some reason, an image of red sand came to mind. Red sand sifting through his fingers. But it wasn’t sand, it was... His eyes widened. The Shoes!
The chair fell over as he bolted upright, but he didn’t care. Ignoring the spots in his vision that suggested he stood too quickly, he ran out of the room and down the stairs. The Shoes were the last thing he had come into contact with - they must be the cause.
“Hey! You’re not going after the treasure without me, are you?! We’re partn-!”
The door slid shut. Without stopping, Mozenrath took off down the hall.
“I’m here about those worthless rocks, the Shoes of Milouwen!” Mozenrath yelled from the top of the steps. He didn’t bother to walk farther into the shop or look for the shopkeeper. He was furious. He bought those things from her - she should be the one to come to him; she should take the blame; she should fix this.
Deep inside the shop, a hung curtain shifted as the woman emerged from a back room. “I no longer have the Shoes - I sold them to a customer just yesterday.” She then made a broad gesture with her arm. “However, I have a wide selection of other-”
“I already know that!” Mozenrath interrupted as he stormed down the steps. He brought his hand to his chest. “I’m the one you sold that rubbish to!”
The shopkeeper opened her mouth, looking as though she was about to shake her head and deny it, but then paused and shut her mouth. After a moment of studying his face, she narrowed her eyes. “You broke the Shoes, didn’t you?” she accused, pointing a finger in his direction.
The anger left him. “Wha?” he asked in surprise. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go. He was supposed to be blaming her, but now she was blaming him instead.
“When the Shoes are destroyed, their full power is released at once.” She poked a finger in his chest. “And I offer no refunds!”
“You never told me that,” he said with a slight whine. It wasn’t his fault he hadn’t known not to break the Shoes.
“Did you pay full price?” she asked. “I think not! Now leave my shop!” She turned to walk back into the other room.
Mozenrath was a bit dazed. That hadn’t gone as planned. Not that he had bothered to make a plan. Somehow, just seconds after he’d entered the shop, that woman had turned the tables on him and marked a clear end to the conversation, leaving him to stare after her as he was now. He wanted to argue farther, to say something more, but couldn’t seem to come up with one good question to ask or any argument he could make. She seemed to suggest the Shoes had some kind of power he hadn’t heard of, and that it was his fault this happened - whatever this was. As he saw her pull the curtain out of her way, about to disappear from sight, he widened his eyes, recalling the point of his visit. “Wait!” He held up a hand despite her being out of his reach. “You have to tell me how to reverse it!” he said in a rush.
She paused in the doorway, still holding the curtain open as she looked over her shoulder. “I don’t have to tell you anything.”
Mozenrath saw her raise an eyebrow. Following her line of vision, he realized he still had his arm extended in a desperate ‘reaching’ gesture. He dropped his arm quickly.
She turned fully around to face him. A grin stretched across her face and displayed her missing tooth. “But I can... for a price.”
“How much?” he asked, searching her face as though it would tell him just how desperate she thought he was.
“For thirty silver pieces, I tell you about the Shoes.”
His mouth dropped open. She thought he was very desperate indeed. She couldn’t possibly expect him to pay that much for something she should have told him from the beginning. “I’ve paid less than that for-”
“Plus the amount you shorted me earlier. - Take it or leave it.”
Mozenrath had no real choice in the matter. He hated that. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find the answer elsewhere. None of the writings he had found about the Shoes mentioned this type of reaction. The shopkeeper knew she was his only known source of information, and she was taking advantage of it. If he were in a better mood, he would’ve said something clever, perhaps a creative threat on her life worded within a ‘choice’ given to her, but instead, he kept his mouth shut and started to reach for a coin pouch.
As focused on the situation as he was, he’d forgotten he wasn’t wearing his usual clothing and startled himself when he didn’t find money where he had expected. He took his eyes off the woman long enough to find a coin pouch, and he started to take some coins out of it.
“The pouch will be enough.”
Mozenrath stared blankly as he let the coins fall back into the pouch and let the pouch drop into her awaiting palm. He didn’t know why he had that much money on him, but he knew it was more than she had asked for, and that she would omit relevant details if he mentioned it.
She put it in the large purse she wore on her right side, patting it twice before turning her attention back to him. “The Shoes of Milouwen hold the ability to take what another has.”
“Yes, the power of a magical being or sorcerer,” Mozenrath quietly specified. He didn’t want to upset her, now that she was willing to talk to him, but he was eager to hear what she knew. “Get on with it,” he prompted.
“Ah, but that is not all.” Her eyes brightened and her voice gained more emotion. She proceeded to tell her tale, drawing out some words, while pausing after others. “The Shoes were made to do no more. However... when they are broken, they are at their most powerful. When the magic is fully released, it can take whatever is desired from a person.” She made a wide, overarching gesture with one hand. “Even their very life.” One gesture glided into another as her hand came to a rest, pointed in his direction. She said no more, as though waiting for a reaction.
It dawned on Mozenrath what she was suggesting: that he had used the Shoes for that very purpose. Sure, he had wanted to take Aladdin’s life, he’d wanted that for a long time - but not like this! He wanted to see Aladdin dying at his feet, his eyes filled with defeat and despair as he took his last breath. And afterward, he definitely did not want to take over where the street rat had left off.
“I did not-” Mozenrath started, but then paused. What exactly had he done after the Shoes broke? He recalled digging through the jewel shards to try finding anything left intact. Then Aladdin had said something about ruining his plans being so easy, and had been entirely too happy about it. He had been thinking about how everything always went right for Aladdin. For a second, he had wished his own life were like that. Mozenrath swallowed. Did he really do this? Had he really been thinking he wanted his life to be like Aladdin’s?
No, he had wanted Aladdin’s luck - Aladdin’s luck! That was what he had been thinking of. Aladdin’s method of success.
However, Mozenrath supposed ‘luck’ itself wasn’t something possessable. Perhaps this was the only way the Shoes could achieve the desire.
But he hadn’t activated the Shoes. Aladdin hadn’t even been close enough to use them on if he had.
Though again, according to the shopkeeper, their power would have already been released. He wouldn’t have needed to activate them. Was the physical limitation also gone when the Shoes were at full power? It was possible.
He frowned. “Fine. How do I reverse it?” He knew he couldn’t use the Shoes, as they were destroyed and their power used up. He wouldn’t allow himself to think there was no possible way to fix this.
“You must make things as they should be.”
Make things as they should be? Everyone should think of him as himself instead of Aladdin. But convincing the street rat’s friends wasn’t possible; he was sure of it. “Tell me another way.”
“There is no other way.” Her face showed nothing.
“Of course there is! I paid you, now tell me what it is.”
She still wore that stubborn expression. “The effect can only be undone by correcting what has changed.”
“No! There must be another way!” Mozenrath seized the front of her cloak with his left hand and pinned her against the wall, paying no mind to her slightly startled expression. He clutched the fabric of her clothing tighter as he yanked her up to eye level, his face mere inches from hers. “Tell me another way!” he yelled in her face. “I already tried that and it didn’t work!”
Darkness slowly rolled over shopkeeper’s features and her eyes flashed dangerously. “Then you will remain like this forever!” Spit flew from her mouth from the force of her last word.
The room suddenly seemed too quiet. Mozenrath’s right hand was fisted, frozen in the air in a ready position for attack. His left hand was white from clenching the woman’s clothing harder than needed. Spit slowly ran down the side of his face, having landed there from the shopkeeper’s retort. He made no move to wipe it off. His mouth was locked in an angry expression that displayed teeth. His eyes, on the other hand, flickered around the shopkeeper’s face as they transitioned between expressing fear or anger.
His fingers shifted to a better hold on the shopkeeper before tightening his grip. He tensed his upper body, preparing to strike her. Then his fingers completely loosened, and she dropped back to the floor.
He took a step back, his expression still undecided.
Then another step.
Fear clearly flashed across his face for an instant and he turned and ran.