Image by J D Black
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.
Gina had unwittingly adopted a dragon, making her its dragonmeer, deeply offending the miller boy B’frona. He’d left the clearing without another word. Realizing she had no choice but to follow, Gina stumbled after him into the thicket.
There was no trail (none for humans, anyway), but B’frona knew the way. Gina la-la’d the Oh-So-Soft Toilet Paper song, and the little dragon scrambled after her.
As they disappeared from the pixies’ Sacred Circle, Prince Jenblevó proclaimed, “She is magnificent!” And Feyrdú staggered back as though she’d been pierced by a sword.
After half an hour of silence, Gina said, “Look, I’m sorry I have what you think is a boy’s name.”
“Well, anyway, I’m not from around here, and I didn’t know that—”
“You stole my dragon!”
“I didn’t ‘steal’ him, I just kind of fell on him. I didn’t know that—”
“You sang to him! Everyone knows that when you sing to a dragon hatchling, it—”
“Well, I didn’t know! Anyway, how come you think he’s your dragon? I’m the one who found him in the—”
“Because I put him there!”
“I found the egg at the edge of the forest and put him in the Sacred Circle, which no human has ever seen but me!”
“Oh.” Gina was beginning to get some sense of why B’frona was so angry.
“Frengan dragons always abandon their eggs; that is the way it is. Then humans find them and become dragonfaers. Or dragonmeers,” he added with a note of disgust. “Rennou has not had a dragon in almost fifty years! It would have been a great blessing, and I would have been the one who…and now I suppose you will cozen him away to your own village where—”
“Oh, definitely not! I don’t think Middleton is ready for its own dragon yet.”
“M’dell tóne? Where is this place?”
“Look, I promise I’ll let Puff stay in Rennou.” For the first time Gina said aloud the name she’d unconsciously given the dragon.
“Boof?” B’frona queried in his South Frengan accent.
“Yeah, you know, like in that old song?”
The millboy glared at her as they crossed over a stone bridge.
“OK, so I’m guessing they don’t sing that one in Frenga. Anyway, he can stay here, OK?”
“You will stay too, then?”
“No!” she protested. “I have to find my brother!”
And yet she followed after him.
Thoughts: Have you ever discovered that, when you weren’t looking, your priorities had changed?
To read the next episode, click here.
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