Image by znstrk
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.