Hello out there faithful readers. Your local Shadow Poet is here with his first story! (Band starts to play and confetti falls from the sky) Yes that's right, I am going from critic to author! (Does Might Gai signature thumbs up) The whole concept of this story came to me one day while I was watching Aladdin one evening (Yes, I still watch Aladdin even though I'm in high school. Do you have a problem with that?) and I thought "Hey, what if Aladdin had a friend, a fellow street rat like himself to help him out during the first movie? What would it be like?" and thus Aladdin and Cassim was born! Now please work with me folks, this is my very first time writing on fanfiction and it will be awhile till I get the hang of uploading this stuff. Also, by the way, I do not own Aladdin, the Aladdin franchise, the Disney corporation, nor any of its counterparts. I do, however, own Cassim and Babuk, my two original characters in this story. And that means they are mine, you cannot take them without my permission. I'm not afraid to sue. Sigh Why did you have to die Walt Disney? On with the story…

Chapter 1

Arabian Nights

Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where it's flat and immense
And the heat is intense
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home
When the wind's from the east
And the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down
Stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night

Arabian nights
Like Arabian days
More often than not
Are hotter than hot
In a lot of good ways

Arabian nights
'Neath Arabian moons
A fool off his guard
Could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes…

A merchant leaps off his camel and presses his hands together, bowing as you walk by him. The merchant is on the shorter side, with dark skin, a short curly beard, and a white turban almost as big as himself wrapped round his head.

"Ahh, Salam and good evening to you sir. Please, please, come closer… " he says. You walk up to him and stoop down until your noses almost touch.

"Too close, move back a little." You take a few steps back, and the merchant seems to relax. He lights a match, briefly illuminating the dark city street. He holds his hand over the match and begins to speak.

"Welcome to Agrabah, city of mystery and enchantment… And the finest curios on this side of the river Jordan!" he says, running over to his camel and undoing a clasp. Like magic, a stall packed with odds and ends, 'curios', pop out. The merchant runs behinds it and hangs a sign that reads 'open'.

"Look at this good sir," he says, holding a strange device, "a Ming vase, makes coffee and fries!" He pours some beans into the top and holds a potato under the bottom, swiftly dicing it into cooked fries.

"And, it will not break," he says hitting it several times against the stall. The top falls off and a spring pops out of it, causing him to frown. "It broke…" he says, throwing the broken device behind him. He reaches from beneath a shelf and pulls out a small white box.

"Ooohh, look at this. I have never seen one of these in one piece. It is the rare Pharaoh's Tupperware." He lifts the lid a little and blows a raspberry. "Still good"

You get tired of the man's antics and begin to walk away, but he runs from the stall blocking your path.

"Wait don't go! I see you are only interested in the exceptionally rare antiquities" he says, smiling mysteriously, and pulls out a brass lamp from his sleeve. You look closer at the lamp, it is of Byzantine style and is very old, dull, and has a small dent in the side.

"Do not be fooled by its humble appearance. Like many things, it is not on the outside, but the inside that counts" he says, lifting the little lid and peering inside. You begin to turn away but he blocks you path again.

"This is no ordinary lamp! It once changed the lives of two boys, both much like yourself. Perhaps you would like to hear the tale, hmm?"

You nod your head, your beginning to get interested in this lamp. Besides, this merchant will probably keep you here all night if you don't listen.

"Very well, it begins on a dark night, and a dark man, with a dark purpose…" he begins, tipping the lamp. A strange silver powder is poured into his hands and he throws it up into the night sky, where it glistens like a thousand stars.

A tall man, dressed in black and red clothes, sat atop a horse, waiting in the desert night. A blue and red parrot sat upon his shoulder, and his small black peer down at the man climbing the dune below them. The man, though short and fat, climbed the dune quite swiftly, his ragged clothes fluttering in the desert wind. He stopped a few feet in front of the rider and bowed.

"Do you have it, Gazeem?" said the rider, gripping the horse's reins. Gazeem stands and nods, pulling something from his pocket.

"Ay Jaffar, and I had to slit a few throats to get it" he said, holding the object up for Jaffar to see. It is half of a golden scarab, neatly broken down the middle.

"Excellent" said Jaffar, holding his hand out for the piece. Gazeem pulls his hand away.

"Uh, uh, uh. The treasure?" asked Gazeem. The parrot soared off of Jaffar's shoulder and grabbed the scarab piece out of Gazeem's fingers. As it flew back, it dropped the golden fragment into Jaffar's outstretched hand.

"Patience Gazeem, the treasure will be yours" said Jaffar, as he rummaging through a saddle pouch.

"Squawk, the treasure will be yours" squawked the parrot on Jaffar's shoulder, mimicking his master.

Jaffar held up another golden piece, the other half of the scarab. Carefully he placed the two together. As soon as the two halves touched, it newly formed scarab glowed and came to life in Jaffar's hands. Gazeem watched in amazement as the scarab took off like an arrow, leaving a trail of sparks after it.

"Quickly, follow the trail!" shouted Jaffar, spurring his horse and galloping after the scarab. Gazeem climbed onto the one he had brought and followed in suit.

Mile after mile the scarab led them throught the desert till it stopped at a single point. The scarab split in half, its pieces still glowing and fell into the sand. The sand began to rise up like a wave, until it formed a head of a giant tiger, its maw open revealing an orange light from deep underground. The two golden scarab pieces glittered as its eyes.

Gazeem and Jaffar slid off their horses, and Gazeem looked at Jaffar quizzically, as if asking him what to do.

"First bring me the lamp, then the rest of the treasure is yours" said Jaffar. Gazeem grinned greedily, and began creeping towards the mouth of the cave.

"Squawk, the rest of the treasure is yours" chimed the parrot. It then turned and whispered in Jaffar's ear, "Jeez Jaffar, where'd you pick up this bozo?" Jaffar held up his hand to silence him.

"Patience Iago, let us watch." Gazeem was just about to enter when the mouth of the cave moved, surprising him and causing him to topple. The head of the tiger spoke in a great gravelly voice, sand falling from the roof of its mouth.

"Who dares enter the Cave of Wonders?" boomed the giant head, its golden eyes peering down at the pitiful figure of Gazeem.

"It is I, Gazeem, a humble thief" he said as he gulped nervously and bowed.

"Only those who are the diamonds in the rough may enter the cave…" spoke the tiger, opening its mouth up wider as if inviting Gazeem into the cave. Gazeem carefully approached the mouth, and closed his eyes as he gingerly placed one foot inside. He smiled as nothing happened, and then began to proceed deeper into it. But then, the tiger head gave a mighty roar and Gazeem tried to run, but he was to slow. The mouth closed in a wave of sand and the head began to melt into the desert.

"The diamonds in the rough" spoke the head one last time before the scarab pieces slid off , their glow now lost.

Iago burst from a mound of sand and began brushing himself off complaining, "Ok, this was a complete waste of our time. We are never going to get that stupid lamp!" He flew over to the scarab pieces and grabbed them in his claws, and flew back to Jaffar, who was brushing himself off as well. Iago dropped dropped the pieces into Jaffar's hand and perched on his shoulder.

"Yes Iago, it seems that Gazeem was unfit to enter the cave" said Jaffar, clutching the scarab pieces in his hand.

"Oh that is such a surprise!" said Iago sarcastically, pacing on Jaffar's shoulder. "I have never been more surprised in all my life, why I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die from this surprise of this! I'm…. mmphh" said Iago, as Jaffar clamped his beak shut to silence him.

"Patience Iago, I know of a way to find these 'Diamonds in the rough'. The lamp will be ours. " he said climbing his horse and riding away into the desert.

Whew, ok. Glad that part is done. Next chapter is when Al and Cassim are running from the guards. Also, I plan on adding all the songs in here, but Im tweaking them so that Cassim fits in. Also, I might have the next chapter ready tomorrow or the day after. Keep your eyes peeled.