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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.
It had been a busy night for Gina: adopting a baby dragon while facing down an angry consort of pixies. Not surprisingly, she fallen hard asleep, until…
A series of blunt kicks awakened her. “Owwww, Zack,” she complained, “cut it ouuut! I’m going to tell Daaad!” The kicks continued. They weren’t play kicks either, they were angry kicks. “Owww! Craaaaaaaap, that hurts! Zaaack!”
“Your use of the incantations ‘craaaaaaaap’ and ‘zaaaaaaaaaaaack’ will not save you, sorceress!” a voice not Zack’s replied.
Gina’s eyes snapped open. All she could see was a forest so aglow with red and yellow that it seemed to be on fire. She’d have been completely enrapt in its beauty if she hadn’t been distracted by the increasingly vehement kicks. “Ow! Who are you?”
A boyface came close enough to bite her. “Why did you destroy the Sacred Circle and kidnap the dragon hatchling? Did you think your magical fur feet would make you invincible?” To show that Gina’s pink monster slippers could not, in fact, protect her, the boy whacked them with his staff.
“Owwww! Stop it!!” Gina raised herself up against the lespin trunk. She was beginning to recall where she was and at least some of what had occurred. The little dragon shifted in its sleep and burped a small cloud of smoke that smelled like sulfured plums. Gina began to make out more clearly the figure of a very angry boy a little younger than Zack, dressed in faded breeches, a loose-fitting shirt, and an oil-stained leather jerkin.
“Where did you come from?” he demanded.
“I fell from the sk…” Gina began, but figuring the truth would sound too absurd, modified her response. “From far away. Really, really far away.”
“That is a lie! You speak perfect Frengan. You’re from D’nair, aren’t you?”
“What?” She suddenly realized that she was, in fact, speaking perfect Frengan.
“Even though D’nair is a great city, they have no dragon, so they sent you to steal ours!” He poked her in the stomach with his staff.
“Ow! Stop that!” Gina involuntarily kicked over a stone that had just been raised by a pixie-mounted rabbit and two cable-pulling squirrels. She rose, dumping the little dragon’s head onto the ground in the process. “I’m not from D’nair, I’m from Middleton, I didn’t steal anybody’s dragon, and I didn’t destroy your silly little circle!”
“It is not mine,” B’frona said, pointing down, “it is theirs!”
Following his gesture, Gina saw at least twenty pixie construction workers dressed in mouseskin jackets and lespin nut hardhats.
Just then, Prince Jenblevó rushed into the clearing, shouting,
“Now is the hour! To die is glorious!”
Thoughts: Have you ever accidentally offended someone else’s culture or values? How did you resolve the problem? Or did you?
To read the next episode, click here.
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With so many cultures and such out there…it’s pretty much impossible to keep from offending someone. However, the more one knows, the less likely one is to offend. Then again, is it always a bad thing to offend people…for example if people are not following their own beliefs, pointing it out will obviously offend the ones that are going against their beliefs, but if one doesn’t point it out, and lives in fear of offending…then where would the world be. Kind of a double edged sword. Some people will like that, some will hate that and others will block you. At that point, you know you’ve done the right thing because otherwise people just ignore you and think that they have the right to go against the greater good…which sometimes is more important than whether or not you offend. … and that’s why life is hard. 😉
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