Only the Beginning

Cave by KELLEPICS ( by Stefan Keller

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)

Wounded and bruised, Zack and Gina returned home via Aunt Aloysia’s mysterious Map, having promised to send the strange Objects in Zack’s room back to Ismara.

Mom’s voice was the first thing they heard as they popped out of the Map. “Gina? Zacky? This isn’t funny you two!”

Zack had experienced the effect once before, but not with a co-pilot. Just as they reached the underside of the Map, their bodies stretched like silly putty, adjusting to fit through a bottle-cap-sized hole, and then, as they burst through, re-configured in the air. Instead of gently settling into place, they tumbled down like tangled Twister players.

“Zack? Gina? Hello?” Mom was in the hall right outside Gina’s bedroom!

“Crap, the Map!” Gina husked. “We can’t let her see the Map!” They began rolling it up as Gina yelled, “One sec, Mom!” They shoved the big scroll of parchment under her bed. “Now what do we do? It’s been, like, two days!”

“Well, not exact—” Zack began, but before he could explain, Gina threw open her door and rushed out into the hallway.

“Oh, my gosh! You gave me such a start! Your father and I have been looking for you for—”

“Oh, Mom, I know!” Gina threw her arms around her mother’s waist. “We thought we’d never get home! We—”

Gina, no! Zack semaphored, but it was too late.

We got kidnapped,” Gina invented, “by, um, you know, kidnapper guys, only we escaped, and then…”

“Very funny, you two!”

“What’s funny?” Dad asked, as he came up the stairs.

“They were kidnapped.”

“For ten minutes?”

“I called to you to come downstairs ten minutes ago,” Mom complained.

“We were pretending,” said Zack. He glanced at Gina’s clock: less than an hour had passed the entire time he and Gina had been in Ismara!

“What?” Gina muttered.

“You’re utterly filthy, both of you!”

“We wanted it to be realistic?” Zack offered.

Dad burst out laughing.

“It’s not funny, Roy! Look at Gina’s robe. It’s disgusting! And your slippers—is that mud? What were you thinking? Is this the ‘cool surprise’ you were talking about?”

“Well…yeah,” Gina said, recalling her words to Mom just before she fell through the Map. She suddenly remembered the massive spider-bite on her neck, and turned so neither Mom nor Dad could see it.

“We thought it would be funny—” Zack began.

“If I had to do an extra couple loads of laundry? If you nearly killed yourselves?”

Gina looked down to avoid visual contact. Her eyes had a fluey pallidness to them and were still draining.

“I’ll stick the root beer in the fridge,” said Dad, sagaciously slipping away.

“Get in the shower right now, Zack!” Mom ordered. “And your new jeans, Gina! You can use the shower in our bathroom. Throw your clothes in the hamper. Or maybe I should just burn them! Is there something in your eyes, honey?”

“Um, yeah, you know, pollen. I’ll rinse ‘em out in the shower.”

Twenty minutes into video night, Mom punched Dad in the arm and said, “I hate it when you get to be the good cop!” They glanced over at Zack and Gina. Both were asleep, Gina in the loveseat, one hand covering her eyes and the other her neck, and Zack on the floor with his back against the sofa, dirt bubbles dribbling from the corner of his mouth.

Momandad carried their wayward waifs up the stairs. Dad watched with amusement as Zack timbered onto his bed without waking. “How can you sleep with all that racket?” he asked, noting that the Objects in the toy chest…

Were going berserk.  


Thoughts: Have you ever had a life-threatening experience and thought it was over, only to discover it was only just the beginning?

To read the next episode, click here.

Ten Kingdoms of Ismara (

About mitchteemley

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

6 Responses to Only the Beginning

  1. Pingback: Destined to Change Their World | Mitch Teemley

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  3. Pingback: The Mysterious Objects | Mitch Teemley

  4. Pingback: The Blame Game | Mitch Teemley

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