Artwork by Dhanasekar Ajay
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.
Zack and Gina had returned home via Aunt Aloysia’s mysterious Map, having promised to send the strange Objects in Zack’s room back to Ismara. But how?
Zack awoke fifteen hours later. He might have slept even longer if it hadn’t been the kind of torpid August day that forces you to peel off your sheets and slither out of bed. He discovered he’d vomited in his sleep, so he dragged his soiled blanket to the trash can and began scraping dried popcorn and mud into it. Mud? So it was real then, becoming a sylph, and then getting un-sylphed and traveling on the back of a gigantic bird who made them promise to send…
The Objects were bashing wildly about inside of the toy chest. Why? Zack stepped away from the big olivewood box—the Objects calmed down. He stepped closer—they went berserk again, doing everything in their power to break the lock off its iron hasp. It’s like I’m magnetized or something. But what could have made me…they can smell Ismara on me and they’re trying to go home!
Gina was trying to go back to dreamland when her brother burst into her room. “Zack! I’m going to kill you!” she yelled.
Undaunted, he plopped down on her bed.
“Get out of my room!”
“We have to send the Objects back, or they’ll try and send themselves back, and when they do they’ll bounce right on top of you!”
This might actually be true since the Wishing Map was under her bed. She threw back her blanket. Her headache was mostly gone, but yellow tears were still draining from her eyes.
“They’re going nuts,” Zack insisted. “They’re gonna break out any second!”
She stomped out of her room, marched into Zack’s room and looked down at the ardently rattling toy chest. She took a few steps forward. The heavy box shook so violently it actually jumped off the ground. Two screws fell out of the left hinge and it fell partly away. Gina stifled a scream. She looked at Zack’s alarm clock: 10:13 a.m.
“Momandad are at Fiskers Café,” said Zack from the doorway.
“But they’ll be home soon. We should roll the Map out first!”
They rushed back into Gina’s room. She dragged the enermous parchment out from under her bed and unrolled it. “Now what?”
“I don’t know. I guess we just wish ‘em back.”
“But to where? The giant bird—”
“Right, Aviar said…wait…then all of that was real?”
“Yep, and now we gotta—”
“Right, right, send the Objects back so the true ruler can be revealed. But where’s that supposed to happen?”
“Zshinia, where the Prime Regent lives.”
“There!” Gina pointed to the Ismaran capitol at the edge of Lake Zshinia. “So we just have to put all the Objects on that spot and wish them back. Do we have to go with them?” The moment the words left her mouth she wished she could vacuum them back in.
Zack’s eyes went round: “I…I don’t…”
She knew what he was thinking because she was thinking it too. Part of her yearned to go back, and part of her was terrified at the thought. “Well, we could just—”
“Put ‘em on the Map and see what happens?”
They heard a distinctive clank.
When they reentered Zack’s room, they saw one of the heavy box’s cast-iron lying hinges on the ground. Sensing the presence of Ismarans—for apparently that was what Gina and Zack had become—the box began to shake, and the remaining hinge…
Was beginning to break away!
Thoughts: Have you ever faced an important task—perhaps even a life or death one—and had no idea how to accomplish it?
To read the next episode, click here.
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1 hour away from the jose jose style time 11:13 am which makes me think of television lineups
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