Note: To read The Wishing Map from the beginning, click here.
The Wishing Map
Epilogue: The Unknown (Continued)
Previously: Rested but wary of what was to come, Gina, Zack, and their friend B’frona turned to face the future. This is the final episode of The Wishing Map.
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“I will make it better! I swear by Uol!” Zack shouted out the window, across the River Rennou, over the tops of the mighty irontrees.
As if in response, rain began to fall, anointing him. His memory snapped back to a moment after their first return from Ismara. He’d climbed out his bedroom window to his thinking place… A late summer storm had begun to pummel his face. And then the impossible had happened: a two mile-long swath of subatomic particles ripped open the cerulean sky, traveling 60,000 miles per hour and blazing at 50,000 degrees like a slice of the sun. It was accompanied by a supersonic shock that rattled the heavens! It happened again and again, and yet it was only one of sixteen million electrical storms in the world that year, a typical year for… “Dunder and lyning!” His face beamed and his hair turned to wet thatch as his eyes blinked away the rain. Then he sat down on the wet shingles and said, “Good old roof. Good old house. Good old Middleton.”
“Does it help with the pain?”
“Huh?” Zack turned to find Gina standing beside him at the window.
“The rain. I don’t know why getting rained on would help, but anything’s worth a try. I hurt all over.”
She leaned into him. He winced. “There’s something I’m supposed to tell you.”
She paused to make sure she had it right: “‘The purpose of your life didn’t begin with you, and it won’t end with you.’”
Zack could hear Rhema speaking the words. He smiled, not because he knew what it meant, but because he trusted her.
Gina pulled the Revealer out of her pocket. “So, now we have to take this little bugger to Zshinia. Do you think we’ll ever get home?”
“I hope so.”
“Me too, because there’s magic in our world too.”
“But before we do, we might have to fight more monsters.”
“Well, ‘it’s always best to face monsters in the company of others.’”
“You just figure that out?” Zack grinned crookedly.
B’frona emerged from the narrow stairway and joined them at the window. He watched the downpour for a while. “The cloud shepherds are pushing out the last of the rain. Tomorrow they will begin making snow.”
“When do we leave for Zshinia?” asked Gina.
“Tomorrow.” He put one hand on Zack’s shoulder and silently took Gina’s with his other, as the three stood staring out at the cloud-shadowed outlines of the distant mountains.
Thoughts: It is always best to face monsters in the company of others
In fabula nunquam desinens.