Photo by Scaredsquee
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.
While Zack was facing an angry giant, his sister Gina was facing a proud orphan boy named B’frona.
Gina had sprouted a theory when B’frona insisted he hated the people of Rennou: he really longed for their acceptance, and believed that becoming a dragonfaer, the adoptive parent of a magnificent Frengan dragon, would bring him that acceptance.
To test her hypothesis, Gina dashed out of B’frona’s sparse little room, knowing the dragon hatchling Puff would follow. If she was right, so would B’frona. “Come on, Puffy!” The little creature bounded after her, knocking the millboy sideways as he pursued his beloved dragonmeer. Puff slid into her at the third-floor stairwell. She scratched behind his ears, cooing loudly, “Who’s my little draggy? Are you my little draggy? Yes, you are! Yes, you are!”
B’frona plummeted down the stairs, yelling, “He is not yours! And he is not a ‘d-d-d-draggy’!”
He stutters when he’s mad, Gina noted with a smile, and drools a little too.
The moment they reached the gristmill on the bottom floor, Puff ran over to the grinding stones, but Gina began walking away from the house. The dragon pup panicked, looking back and forth between his hero and the big yummy pile of shrennel, then ran after her, tripping over his own tail on the way.
B’frona hit the ground floor a few seconds later, shouting, “You cannot take him to M’dell Tone! He belongs to the people of Rennou!”
“It’s ‘Middleton,’” Gina corrected, and then whirled around. “So he belongs to ‘the people of Rennou,’ huh? I thought you hated them.”
“Fro, I get how it works. Frengan dragons belong to everyone in the village, except that the person who adopts the dragon is just a little extra special, right?”
“So, who wouldn’t want to be a dragonfaer or a dragonmeer? And with your family gone, you need—”
“I do not need anyone!”
“OK, cool. So, I’ll just go to the village and tell them I found Puffy all by myself.”
“You…you dragon thief!”
“C’mon, Fro.” She ruffled the twelve-year-old’s curly brown hair. “We’ll say we found him together!” She figured once they got to Rennou she could turn Puff over to the villagers and get on with the search for her brother.
She glanced down at Puff, trundling along beside her, brushing his undersized wing against her every now and then just make sure his adoptive mother was still there. “But after that I’ll come back,” she bent down and whispered…
“And visit you every day!”
Thoughts: Have you ever wrestled with helping someone when doing so meant giving up what you yourself wanted?
To read the next episode, click here.
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Great read, Mitch! Well, I did try to help someone and almost forgot what I wanted from life while doing so. However, I quickly realized that one could not pour from an empty cup and started taking better care of myself this year. Thanks for asking this question that made me ponder the importance of self-care again.
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A wise moment of reflection, Bahanur.
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