It’s Better to Die From Falling Than Being Eaten!

Fantasy Eagle (

The Wishing Map is a full-length fantasy that is being posted episodically at this site. To read the previous episode, click here. To read the entire novel, begin here.Wishing Title (logo only)

After falling into another world, somehow surviving, and then climbing into a vast bowl-shaped nest, Zack Dore found himself confronted by a greb, a huge ratlike creature. Disgusting, yes, but dead. It’s predator, on the other hand, a house-sized bird named Aviar, was very much alive.

Aviar reached down and picked up the greb, one of six he’d caught for breakfast that morning. He absent-mindedly brought it to his beak and bit into it. When he did, Zack noted, there was a crunch like the noise Zack’s buddy Arman made when he ate corn chips. Only multiplied by fifty.

The monster ground the greb’s haunches in its beak, then spit tail, toenails, and rump into a steaming glob three inches from Zack’s face. Eccchh! thought Zack, I’d rather die from falling than being eaten!

The ancient Sheya reached forward to turn the page of a large manuscript he was reading. A twenty-three-foot-tall bird—reading! Zack could just make out the cover. It was written in Zshinian, the same cryptogrammatic language as the Map. It read, Annals of the Great Council of Ismara, Season of Growth, Year 1,000 of the Ismaran Epoch—Blessed be the Name—Volume 3,001.

It suddenly occurred to Zack that he could understand the Sheya, even though it wasn’t speaking English, another result of Zack’s bond with the Map. Maybe I can talk it into not eating me!

“Hrrrrmmmm,” Aviar said in a deep, irascible rumble, “Man-print! Tiny, man-sized, Uol-cursed—forgive me, Lord—man-print!” The immense creature had long ago formed the habit of cursing in the name of Uol, and since he couldn’t break the habit, had adopted the policy of immediately asking for forgiveness when he did, which was roughly once a minute.

With his clawed foot the old bird picked up what, despite their unique design, were unmistakably reading glasses! “Hrrrmmm, errrhrrrmm,” he continued with the glasses perched on his massive beak, “Whereas the Prime Regent Melcarhassen, servant of Uol, on this the 116th day of the ten hundredth year of the Ismaran Epoch did declare that…”

Zack was so amazed at the sight of a two-storey-tall bird wearing glasses that he temporarily forgot to watch for Aviar’s claw. Aviar reached down without looking and, somewhat off course, picked up not another greb but a twelve-year-old boy.

Zack tried to scream, but his still-raw throat failed him. His body went rigid in expectation of being bitten in half. But the moment of unimaginable horror never came, for although Aviar was a carnivore, he was not a human-eater. In fact, the moment he placed the repulsive, hairless thing in his beak he noticed the dry, pungent taste and spit it out with a disgusted, “Plooouuupppphahhh!”

The very thought of eating a human was utterly revolting; he turned his head away and scooped up a beak-full of snow in an effort to get the nasty taste out of his mouth.

There was hope! The behemoth didn’t like human! Zack scrambled sideways like a crab, but before he could cover any real distance, the Sheya’s immense claw slammed down, forming an instant cage over him. The monstrous face leaned in, turning sideways for a closer look. Zack stared, frozen with fear, into the gray-blue eye that, even without the magnification of giant reading glasses, was bigger than a basketball. It blinked. “OhGodOhMomOhDadOhGodOhMomOhDad!” Zack screamed.

“Please don’t let it eat me!”


Thoughts: Sometimes, how we respond to others can literally determine whether we live, or whether we die.

To read the next episode, click here.

Wishing pix-Map

About mitchteemley

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

11 Responses to It’s Better to Die From Falling Than Being Eaten!

  1. Pingback: A Bird of Prey…the Size of a House | Mitch Teemley

  2. ejstoo says:

    Interesting twist!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dawn Marie says:

    Adding this to my reading list. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: It’s Better to Die From Falling Than Being Eaten! — Mitch Teemley | Ups Downs Family History

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  6. gpavants says:


    Fun creative stuff. Quick question whose POV was that short piece? My writer’s group always reminds me to have only one POV per scene. It seems as though you did a little head hopping.

    Thank, Gary

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Pingback: Write What You Know? | Mitch Teemley

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