Francis and Ethereal the Magic Carpet sat in the upstairs bedroom the young boy was often constrained to stay in. Schoolwork or simply parentally-designated reflection time.
Ethereal couldn’t let this stand. “Francis, would you like to see what life is like outside of your house?”
“But I know what life is like outside of my house and it’s scary. I shouldn’t go anywhere my parents tell me not to and they say never to leave home without them.”
Carpet curled, “Why do your parents tell you that? And how do you know something without seeing it yourself?”
Francis’s muscles were loose and his concentration betrayed his hard-taught precociousness. “Uh, I… well, they just told me. I don’t think they would lie to me.”
“It might not be lying, more like not telling you everything, which is lying, just not the lying you’re thinking of. With your permission and not your parents, I want to take you on a journey to see things that won’t scare you, but enthrall you, delight you.”
“Where will we go?”
“Many places. You’ll see where get there?”
“How will we get there?”
“Grab on, let’s go.” And off they went, Francis lying flat on the rug, holding the main tassels at the corners, white knuckled. Out the window and out of suburbia they whisked away on the winds, flying free and breezy. Francis had never felt the sensation before and Ethereal was proud to have a passenger once more. Up and airy they flew, west from Ohio towards the southwest.
They arrived at the Grand Canyon in the daylight, in the heat where it wasn’t gray and Francis could breathe easily. The wind had blown his hair back as Ethereal lead onward. Seeing a distressed looking man, they set down at a tourist shack.
Francis asked, “what’s wrong, mister?”
The bearded man, gruff and in a tattered cowboy hat unfolded his arms. “My boy Tim’s gone missing. I think he might have wandered near the Canyon’s edge, but I don’t know. Maybe he’s around here somewhere.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll find him!” Francis squeezed the sweat from his hand onto his shirt. “We’ll be back.”
Off and out of the shack went the two new friends to scour the Canyon edge for any signs of missing child. Flying low along the ridge, Ethereal spots fingers hanging off the ledge. Swooping in, the magic carpet gets alongside the precariously plunked child.
Francis caught the boy’s attention. “Are you Tim? Your father’s looking for you.”
“Ah! Just help me.”
“Ok, now grab on.”
“Seriously, I’m on a magic carpet, there’s nothing that should scare you.” Francis held out his hand.
“Alright.” And Tim grabbed Francis’s arm and landed on Ethereal’s back.
“I don’t want to go back to my dad. He never pays attention to me. Can’t I just go with you?”
“We’re not from around here. I’m sure that if you just tell him how you feel, he’ll listen. And something amazing will happen to you like it happened to me with my carpet friend here.”
“He won’t listen. Just let me go with you.”
“You have to go home, there’s always home.”
And so they dropped Tim back at his father’s shack. “Ethereal, we have to get home, my parents are gonna kill me!”
To be continued…