A Coward’s Refuge?

Boy on the Rooftop - Anastasia@urban_and (reshot.com)Photo by Anastasia@urban_and

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)

Zack had returned home via the wishing map to find his sister Gina, only to discover that she’d gone “into” the Map looking for him! “5:27,” she’d indicated on her note. That was only a few minutes ago!

Still, how would he ever find her in a world the size of The Ten Kingdoms? It was like receiving a note that said, “Meet me in Asia!”

Then the idea hit him: I could ask the giant bird for help! But the minute he thought of the creature, he remembered the way it had felt to be in the grip of its gargantuan beak, to know he was about to be bitten in half, or at the very least have his leg sheared off. “No, no, no, no, I can’t, God, please!” His still-raw throat rattled with pain as he spoke. The more he thought about it, the more certain he was that if he went back he would die. Why should it help him? It hated humans, had said so, had sworn to bite off one of his “talons” just before he fallen out of his…swimsuit.

He looked down. He was stark raving naked!

He ran out the door of Gina’s room, streaked down the hall, and shot into his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him. Refuge! In Zackland he could forget everything, just lie on his bed and bask in the quiet of… It was anything but quiet. The mysterious objects were clamoring like never before to get out. The lock Dad had put on the chest after Aunt Aloysia’s last visit was holding, but it was rattling savagely.

Zack pulled on a pair of jeans and a hoodie, grabbed his sketch book, and climbed out the window onto the roof, his thinking place, the place where all of his best Zachary Zinn comics had been born. He began to sketch while his body soaked up the soft summer sun, but every line, every curve turned against him:

Wings, claws, and beaks were all he could draw!

“I can’t! He’ll bite my leg off!” He waited. For what? For God to say, “Oh, OK, Zack, go ahead and abandon your sister?” But this wasn’t like his comic books. This was too real!”

Images began to flicker in his head. He saw the dark-cloaked figures once again. Only this time they were cutting Gina open and removing her heart! And then as quickly as the vision began, it vanished. What had just happened? Was it guilt that had placed the pictures in his mind?

Or was it something more?


Thoughts: Have you ever wrestled with God or your conscience over a choice you were afraid to make? For what it’s worth (and it’s worth a lot), God gets that.

To read the next episode, click here.

Wishing - Ismara

About mitchteemley

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

5 Responses to A Coward’s Refuge?

  1. Pingback: Zack’s Back! | Mitch Teemley

  2. ejstoo says:

    Interesting story

    Liked by 1 person

  3. #hood says:

    5:27 which is 527, 52 / 2 = 27, like 27 * 2 = 52

    52 & 27 by jose jose


  4. Pingback: No Life Without Risk | Mitch Teemley

  5. Pingback: When You Offend My Friends, You Offend Me! | Mitch Teemley

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