The Wishing Map 2

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Note: To read the Preface and Prologue to The Wishing Map first, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter One: The Double Moon

“Zachary Zinn rode like the wind on his faithful steed, El Furioso,” Zack narrated as he pedaled. Zachary Zinn wasn’t his real name, of course. It was his alter ego, a super-hero with a crooked grin and muscles like veiny boulders, disguised as an ordinary kid, who bore a striking resemblance to Zack. El Furioso was the winged, midnight-black demon stallion Zinn had saved from Hell.

Zack had been drawing pictures of ZZ and Fury for two years. One day he’d publish his first comic book, and the rest would be history. In the meantime, he was Zachaeus Elliot Dore, named for the shortest guy in the Bible.

To Zack, imagination was everything, and pretend was the fountain through which imagination sprang to life, but recently that fountain had sprung a serious leak and now he was desperately trying to repair it. That was why he was pedaling so intently toward Minzer Reservoir. Laced with wispy upside down clouds floating in sky blue water, surrounded by the green-souled Kleemuk Hills, Minzer Reservoir was truly beautiful, but that wasn’t why Zack was headed there. It was because he hoped to find kids younger than himself to play with.

For the skeleton in Zack’s cupboard was that he still loved to pretend—deeply, desperately loved it. But when you’re almost thirteen, the list of guys your own age that are willing to play make-believe starts getting painfully short.

Zack’s mid-life crisis had begun a month ago when his best friend, a middle school giant named Arman Artunian, left for Armenia. “I gotta go hang out with foreigners I’m supposed to be related to,” Arman had complained. And now Arman, whom Zack had never passed more than two days without seeing, was gone—for nearly four months. It might as well be forever.

Zack was lost in thought, his principal address lately, as he pedaled down Third Street past Mike’s Bikes: Sales and Service that hot June morning…which may be why he failed to notice that the normally cheerful one storey blue and yellow building that housed Mike’s Bikes had just risen six feet off the ground and was beginning to twist and maw at the air like a voracious cinderblock shark.

It should not have been able to do this, of course, but there it was, salaciously sucking in everything around it: manicured boxwoods, sleek Euro bike racks, a passing cat. Its entrance awning flailed like a blue and yellow striped tongue, its tinted doors gnashed like big glass bicuspids. It was furious—furious because something had escaped its jaws.

That something was a startlingly large, alarmingly red-headed woman who’d passed under the awning just a moment before. She was tightly clutching what looked like a worn, rolled up carpet, and seemed intent upon preserving it at all costs. “Hah! Missed me!” she shouted as she hurried on.

At first the three other passersby simply stared, then one screamed, another walked into a juniper bush, and the third, an elderly lady from South Carolina, managed to faint. A passing driver in a pink Maxwell Florists van swerved, but then adjusted his mirror, cursed its “&#!?>!*%! wobbly bolts,” and drove on.

The startlingly large, alarmingly red-headed woman, now a building away, turned to chiropractor Marc Neitterbaum as he entered his office and said, “Sorry.”

Dr. Neitterbaum blinked and mumbled, “Mmm-hmm.” He hadn’t seen a thing.

The entire incident lasted less than a minute. As quickly as it happened, it simply un-happened. Mike’s Bikes shuddered as if awakening from a nightmare, wafted listlessly down onto its foundation, and went back to sleep. The building’s human contents—Stu-the-Bike-Repairman and two wiry guys in tight checkered shorts—like travelers in a large passenger jet, had only felt a minor rumbling. Doors, shrubs, bike racks, and cat were all returned to their rightful places, and none seemed worse for the wear, although the cat hissed at anything that came near it for the next several days.

Of the three passersby, the man who’d screamed swore off coffee forever, the woman who’d walked into the juniper bush started regularly wearing her glasses again, and the old lady from South Carolina made an immediate appointment for an adjustment with Dr. Neitterbaum. Within the hour, all were convinced nothing had happened. Because if there was anything the citizens of Middleton knew for certain, it was that if you can’t explain a thing—it didn’t happen.

The red-headed woman, whom no one recalled having ever seen before, hurried quickly on. And Zack Dore, who by now was five blocks south, had missed the entire thing. Still, he felt more certain than ever that Middleton would never again be…

An eight minute long town.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

Thoughts: “If you can’t explain a thing—it didn’t happen.”  And yet…

To read The Wishing Map 3, click here.

Wishing pix-Map

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Story Power, The Wishing Map and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to The Wishing Map 2

  1. Pingback: The Wishing Map 1 | Mitch Teemley

  2. Matilda Novak says:

    “If you can’t explain a thing, it didn’t happen.”
    Brilliant.
    Mitch, i want to buy the book, please!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. mitchteemley says:

    Not in print yet. I’ll keep you posted! I have a request for you: Would you please clone a couple million Matildas, and then send them all to buy multiple copies of the book when it comes out? ;>) Thanks!

    Like

  4. beth says:

    I know a fabulous artist who could illustrate this for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ken Jones says:

    Getting the feeing this is laced with things that make you go hmmmm! That is a good thing in my eyes plus love for youth to be captivated and engaged.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathy Greene says:

    I want to share the link with the school that I work at as a Speech Therapist. I know some teachers may find it perfect for a Wednesday’s read along!

    Like

  7. Laura page says:

    Enjoying reading your wonderful writing Mitch….looking forward to the next Chapter! 🙂

    Like

  8. aunnielauren says:

    I almost couldn’t get past the first paragraph due to getting so caught up in what it was like to pretend to as a child. My brother and I spent multiple forevers in made-up lands with made-up powers in the backyard. It was my favorite.

    I DID get past the first paragraph and thoroughly enjoyed this. The responses of the three practical passersby are my favorite 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mitchteemley says:

    Ah, yes, the world of pretend. That was where I lived as a child too, Annie! https://mitchteemley.com/2014/08/12/the-power-of-story-picking-the-perfect-name-part-four/

    Like

  10. Essentially hooked already.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is awesome! I love it all: your descriptions, characterization, writing, it’s all superb. 😀

    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have purposefully waited until you got well into the book to begin reading it. Now, I can just continue on at my pace and enjoy uninterrupted.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. kdkunoff says:

    Wow. I’m already hooked! Can’t wait to read it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Roo's Ruse says:

    I know where this day off is going. What a clear, concise, and utterly delightful read!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dawnlizjones says:

    “Because if there was anything the citizens of Middleton knew for certain, it was that if you can’t explain a thing—it didn’t happen.” Oh yeah! Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pastorross12 says:

    Great story. I’m enjoying it immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: The Wishing Map 1 | Mitch Teemley

  18. mitchteemley says:

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:

    They say, “If you can’t explain a thing—it didn’t happen.” And yet…
    Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Let’s escape “reality” together, shall we!

    Like

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