The Wishing Map 27

“From the moment they’d met, all pretense of politeness had been nonexistent, which generally means you’re either going to be someone’s enemy or their best friend.”

Mitch Teemley

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Note: To read The Wishing Mapfrom the beginning, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter Seven: B’frona (Continued)

Previously:The millboy B’frona was asked by the pixie king to lead Gina to a place where her hungry dragon hatchling could eat. 

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Look Closer

No more laundry, please!Be kind to your washing machine.

Had one of these when I was a kidI had one of these when I was a kid.

Time TravelAh, I remember when I first visited am going to visit here.

Ravages of tobacco - couple in their 20sThe ravages of smoking. This couple is in their 20s.

Violin InteriorWho wouldn’t want to spend time inside this beautiful…violin?

Me and my tiny friendBe careful with your tiny friends. It’s so easy to misplace them.

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Jesus GO!

pokemon-go

In less than two months Pokemon GO has become the most popular app of all time!  But could it be that Jesus came up with the idea first?

Gracefully graying Mike is in his front yard shushing through fallen leaves when his bright red rake hits a bright blue sneaker.

“You’re standing in front of Charmander!” Janiece, a caustically clever teen, protests.

“Sorry, Charmander,” Mike says to the empty space behind him, “I didn’t see you there.” He turns to Janiece and smiles. “Still don’t.”

“We’re playing Pokemon GO!” Janiece’s 10 year old brother Noah shouts.

“So how do you play it?” Mike asks.

“You have to have a modern phone,” Janiece snides, gesturing toward his house. “Not one of those—“

“Telly phones? But then you probably mean the kind without tails.” Mike pulls a digital phone out of his back pocket.

“Great!” says Noah. “Now you just gotta download the app.”

“Got it. What are the rules?”

“Gotta catch ‘em all!” Noah enthuses. “Pokemon means ‘pocket monster’ and there’s like 150 of ‘em. Maybe more!”

Janiece rolls her eyes. “You don’t really want to hear this, do you?”

“I do,” says Mike.

“Well, first you have to go—“

“Go and look for ’em. Got it.”

“Right, go. But then you have to capture them, and train them.”

“Hah!” Mike laughs. “I’ve been doing that for years!”

“What? No, this is new.”

“No, it’s pretty old, actually.”

“How old?” Noah asks.

“About 2,000 years.”

“You’re not that old…are you?” asks Noah.

“Me? Oh, no, I’m only a few hundred. But the version I play is. It was invented by Jesus. You’ve probably heard of him.”

Janiece rolls her eyes again.

“Yeah. In church!” Noah shouts.

“Well, sure, but he’s not just there. That’s the whole point of my version, Jesus GO. You try and see him everywhere.”

“Hey, Miss Karen said that last week!”

“That’s our Kids Church lady,” Janiece explains.

“But I didn’t know it was a game!” Noah exudes, scanning his phone. “How do I get the app?”

“Don’t need a phone,” says Mike. “You download Him here.” He taps his heart.

“That’s totally different!” Janiece objects.

“Actually, Jesus’ rules are pretty much the same. First, he said to go into all the world…”*

jesusfishermen“Go!” Noah echoes.

“…and tell people about him, making Jesus followers out of them…”

“Capture!

“Yep. He captured me. Changed me forever!”

“You?” Noah asks, puzzled. “You’re a Pokemon?”

“Well, Pokemin, actually, Pocket Minister.”

“You’re a pastor? Like at a church?”

“Nah, but wherever I go I try and teach folks to be like him. Jesus told us to makes disciples out of people—that means train ‘em to be Pokemins! Only to do that you need to not just see Jesus everywhere, you need to be Jesus everywhere. That’s the advanced version.”

“Whoa! How do you do that?” Noah asks.

“Only Jesus can be Jesus!” Janiece objects.

“Exactly!” says Mike. “That’s why I downloaded his Spirit into me. So people can see him in me”

“Are there upgrades?” Noah asks.

“Oh, yeah, every day.”

“So, are you like him?”

“Working on it.”

Noah signals for Mike to bend down, then stares intently into his face. After a moment he steps back and announces, “Yep! I see him!”

“Well, all that’s cool, I guess,” Janiece says, “but there’s other stuff in Pokemon GO that your version doesn’t have.”

“Like?”

“Like Pokeballs.”

“Bible verses!” Mike points to his head. “I download ‘em all the time. Next to letting people see Jesus in me, there’s nothing better for capturing Pokeyhearts.”

“Potion? That’s the medicine that restores Pokemons.”

“Prayer! Wouldn’t be caught dead without it!”

“Incense? That lures wild Pokemons to you.

“God’s love. It’s what captured me!”

“Gyms? Those are the places where you do battle.”

“Work. School. Supermarket. Family reunions. Wherever people are is a spiritual gym. Big challenges—even for advanced Pokemins!”

Noah suddenly runs off toward the street corner. “I’m gonna see how many more Jesuses I can collect!”

But Janiece lingers. She turns. To her astonishment, no one is there. Only Mike’s rake. Standing. By itself.

“Holy…!”

But then the rake falls over and, as her eyes follow it down, she sees Mike on his knees searching among the parti-colored leaves.

“Dropped my no-tail phone.”Presentation1

Janiece gets down on her knees too. She spots Mike’s phone and hands it to him. She asks, “So…if I wanted to learn the advanced version, the, you know, be-like-Jesus version, what would I have to do?”

“Actually,” Mike says with a smile, “here on your knees is the perfect place to start.”

*Matthew 28:18-20

(Above copy and concepts may only be used with written permission)
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“Get Real.” Sincerely, God

Live Life

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7 Views on Writing

Writing critics

  1. Hey, remember that scene where the alien bursts out of the guy’s chest?  “If a story is in you, it has to come out.”  ~William Faulkner

  2. Write without restraint! And then…restrain, restrain, restrain. “Write drunk, edit sober.”  ~Ernest Hemingway

  3. You can’t steer a parked car. “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”  ~Jodi Picoult

  4. Everyone already knows you’re crazy. You might as well capitalize on it. “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”  ~E. L. Doctorow

  5. Just fake it till thou makest it. That’s what I did. ~William Shakespeare  “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”  ~Richard Bach 

  6. Like people from Missouri, readers live in the show-me state.  “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”  ~Anton Chekhov

  7. Put them out of their misery.  “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now while they’re happy.”  ~Dorothy Parker

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Fool’s Odyssey 26

Fool's Odyssey

To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.

Chapter Seven: Good Friday (Continued)

Previously: In the California foothills, The Fool eavesdropped on a group of school children preparing to search for Easter prizes.

(NOTE: Read Fool’s Odyssey 25 before the passage below)

The teacher finally finished her briefing.

The little caissons squirmed with military joy.

The last point she made was this:

“Whenever you find a gift, be sure to say thank you

to the Easter Bunny who put it there for you to find!”

 

Then the troops broke like shrapnel

and fired in a million directions,

looking for the gifts the Easter Bunny had left.

 

All except one kid.

He just sat there thinking, I think,

about everything the teacher had said.

Then after the longest time he turned

and very deliberately began walking

away from the school and up toward the hills.

I thought for a moment he’d seen me and was coming to me,

but he hadn’t and he wasn’t.

 

He had the greenest eyes and the jettest hair—

he looked as though he might just walk past the mountains

or even through them.

 

Within a moment he was beginning to walk past me.

I thought he’d say something, but he didn’t.

He just walked on.

Where was he going?

 

I decided to follow him.

He knew something,

and I wanted to know too.

 

I caught up with him on the other side of the road

and up into the forest a ways.

“Hi!” I said, out of breath.

He stopped and turned around,

and said “Hi” back,

then started to walk on.

 

“Wait!” I said.

“Where are you going?”

He stopped and stared at me for awhile,

then finally said,

“I’m going to find the Easter Bunny.”

 

And then I understood.

I finally understood.

To be continued.

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41 Years Ago Today

Vietnam Mem'l Wall

By the time the war ended, 58,220 American soldiers had died in Vietnam. And, in a strange irony, 50,000 of the people they’d gone to save had been evacuated to the United States. It was the largest airlift in U.S. history.

I remember when the refugees arrived at the Marine Corps Air Station in Orange County, just minutes from where I lived and studied at the University of California, Irvine.

During that long, hot summer of 1975 (the hottest in thirty years), wave after wave of uprooted Southeast Asians settled into reinvented lives. “Little Saigon” in Garden Grove became the largest enclave of Vietnamese (over 200,000) outside of Vietnam. Nguyen Cao Ky, the former president of South Vietnam, ran a liquor store there.

I sensed some sort of circle had closed when, in the mid-90’s, I overheard a couple of teenagers drooling in “totally” SoCal girl accents over a dress in a mall window. I turned to see two first generation Vietnamese-Americans.

Today, while the airlift generation’s grandchildren play, the soldier’s grandchildren plan trips to the Vietnam Memorial. Nothing happens the way we expect it to. Lives that were supposed to go on end. And lives that were afterthoughts continue.

In honor of those who gave their lives.

And those whose lives were changed forever.

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