Hanging On to Life

Photo by Daniel Jensen (unsplash)Photo by Daniel Jensen

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 2 (logo only)

Gina had awakened in a cave to find that the vengeful pixie princess Feyrdú, aided by her “pet” black widows Seesquee and Heesnog, intended to kill her!

“It will be an honorable death,” the tiny aristocrat assured Gina. “I will torture you and marvel at the way you laugh in the face of pain. And then the minstrels will set your death to music and–”

“Torture? Feyrdú, you don’t have to do this! You really don’t!”

“But I do. The only way Prince Jenblevó will forget you is if you are dead.”

“No! He’s totally not my type! And totally not my height!”

“That does not matter to my Lord Blevy. In his eyes—and in mine—he is taller than an irontree…” Feyrdú’s voice trailed off, lost in the depths of the dripping cavern. “We came to this cave when…”

“Go on! I really really want to hear this!”

“We were still children. My woman bumps had not yet formed, and Prince Blevy’s—”

“Right, TMI. So, you came to this cave and…?”

“A cloud shepherd smiled on us that day.” Feyrdú’s eyes began to moisten. “We were collecting rowan root when the rains came, and we ran into this very cave. Seesquee and Heesnog were younglings then and so adorable…” She stroked the two gleaming monstrosities. “They saw us shivering, and spun blankets of silver to keep us warm.”

“Um, how romanticish.”

“We looked at the cave stars for hours.”

For the first time Gina noticed the glittering flora on the ceiling. The phosphorescent shapes really did look like stars—except that they were moving.

“Blevy told me his dreams, and I told him mine. He said he would fulfill his name prophecy even before he was king.”

“And his name means?”

“‘Tower of Courage.’” Feyrdú’s voice was hoarse with emotion. “And my name means ‘Beside Him.’ We vowed that day that we would help one another fulfill our name prophecies. I knew then that his name had already come true and that I would always stand beside him, for my Lord Blevy is taller than an irontree!”

“I totally agree!”

“You agree?” Feyrdú drew a dagger from her belt.

“I mean I agree for you, that he’s like ninety feet tall, but just for you. He’s your tall Prince Blevy, not mine. I mean, phhhht! to me, he’s, what, just another pixie guy, right?”

“You disparage the noble Jenblevó?” Feyrdú punctuated each word with a stab to Gina’s cheek.

“Ow! Ow! Ow! No, no, no, no! I mean he’s awesome…ly perfect…for you! Which is why you belong with him!”

Feyrdú turned abruptly to the task at hand: “I ask the mighty Dragonmeer of Frenga to forgive me for boring her with tales of love.”

“Oh, no! I love tales of love! Please tell me mo—”

“I knew she would wish to die a warrior’s death with blood on her bodice and a sword in her hand.”


“But there was a chance I might fail—and lose my Lord Blevy—and this I could not bear. I loathe myself for being girlish and infirm!” She stabbed herself in the leg.

Gina screamed. “No! Don’t do that! Hey, how ‘bout we be girlish and infirm together!” But Feyrdú seemed to like the pain.

“And this is why I cravenly asked my companions to bind your hands and feet while the spider-sleep was upon you. And now, though you will hate me for not allowing you to fight me to the death—”

“That’s OK. Really.”

“I will ask Seesquee and Heesnog to kiss you here and here.” Feyrdú touched Gina on each of her eyelids.


“When the stingers first touch the windows of your eyes there will be no pain. But as they press deeper you will experience exquisite suffering; I will instruct my friends to move slowly so that you may relish a warrior’s torment. But when the poison completes its journey to your brain you will feel nothing.”


“But you will also be unable to curse or scream your vows of vengeance. For this I also ask the Dragonmeer’s forgiveness.”

“Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God! This is totally not happening!” Gina’s mind ran in a thousand directions: she’d never be able to say goodbye to Zack and Momandad, or Birdy…she’d never… And then inspiration struck:

“Feyrdú, I have to confess my sins!”


“Yeah. You know, to get right with Uol.”

The pixie princess thought about this for a moment. “It is a righteous request. Your soul must go unburdened to its Creator. Speak and I will listen.”

“This could take a while.” Gina screwed her courage to the sticking post. “’In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell…’”


Thoughts: Has something you value, perhaps even your life, ever been threatened by a misunderstanding you could not correct?

To read the next episode, click here.

Frenga (mitchteemley.com)

About mitchteemley

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

2 Responses to Hanging On to Life

  1. Pingback: I’m Not Ready to Die! | Mitch Teemley

  2. Pingback: Racing to the Rescue! | Mitch Teemley

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