Chapter Fifty – The Stem of the Apple
As the nurses leave the room, Maya says hello, and sees the stem and part of an apple sticking out of Emily’s pocket, so she asks if that’s an apple. Why, I’m not really sure. After all, she can see that it’s an apple, and there’s really no reason to bring it up even as a bit of idle conversation. What difference does it make if it’s an apple?
Emily says yes. Maya heads into Michael’s room and realizes he’s choking, so she slaps him on the back, because that’s the best way to help someone who’s choking. It doesn’t work, of course, and then he stops breathing. How does she know this? Well, she just does. There isn’t a moment of doubt as to whether he’s breathing or not, Maya just knows.
The two nurses looked at Maya and screeched, “What are you doing with the baby!? Don’t you see that the boy is choking? Hitting him so hard on his back…this poor little boy stopped breathing!” (page 472)
Apparently the nurses can tell when someone stops breathing from across the room.
Maya starts screaming for a doctor. She opens Michael’s mouth and he starts breathing. Then she pats his back and he stops breathing again. Okay, setting aside the fact that it’s simply not possible to tell that easily: Maya, if you change something and it makes someone START breathing, it’s generally a good idea to NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE.
The nurses come and try to take the baby but Maya turns away from them.
“Get away from me! I will take care of you later!” Emily frowned at the thought (page 473).
Hmmm. “Take care” of them. I’m guessing this involves being boiled in oil and then drawn and quartered.
Genarius shows up and screams and shouts and finally the doctor shows up and pronounces Michael dead. However, Maya refuses to accept this. She has a flashback to AstroJesus telling her that she’ll bring the king’s child to the Valley of Maramon and meet Dominatio. She tells Genarius that she’s going to bring Michael back to life.
The doctor shook his head and the two nurses chuckled (page 475).
Yeah, it’s hilarious, isn’t it, after you’ve just murdered a baby?
The doctor wonders out loud if something suspicious is going on, because he once had a case where a father smothered his daughter because he wanted a son, and afterward the girl’s face was the same color as Michael’s is.
I’m a little torn here. On the one hand, at least the doctor is a bit suspicious about this. On the other hand, his reason for being suspicious is the stupidest fucking reason I’ve ever heard. So two babies that smothered to death are the same color? Yeah, that’s the default color when you’re smothered. Science. It works, bitches.
Maya pulls the apple out of Emily’s pocket and asks if they put a piece into Michael’s mouth. They deny it. And instead of just checking inside Michael’s mouth like any reasonable person, Maya moves on, after reminding them once more that she’ll ‘take care’ of them.
Genarius leaves sobbing hysterically and Maya sends a servant to fetch the dragons. Maya goes and packs up her backpack, still holding Michael’s corpse in her arms, which is a little creepy. He’s turning dark blue. So, it’s been at least five, ten minutes since he stopped getting oxygen, which means that even if they resuscitate him, he’s going to be a vegetable.
Maya stops in to meet Genarius before she leaves:
The hair of Genarius had turned white and it looked like he had lost a lot of weight. He was in deep depression and had no more tears to shed (page 478).
Incredible. In the past ten minutes, Genarius’ hair has turned white, he’s lost weight, and he’s cried himself out. I feel like Tesch didn’t properly think this through.
Maya puts Michael in a sling and as she’s heading out to get aboard the dragon, Henry runs up, confesses his love, and asks Maya to marry him. Maya says no. Because she’s fifteen. Also, she has a corpse to revive.
Emoogie sends one of the dragons to Tyronia to tell Joey what’s going on, and he takes off with the other dragon, Dasha. They leave, with Henry standing behind, filled with angst about Maya’s harsh rejection.
Chapter Fifty-One – Blitz Ride
Tesch really likes the word Blitz.
Maya’s riding on Dasha’s back. As they fly, Dasha explains that Emoogie told her the recipe to make Michael breathe again. Uh…recipe? Maybe the dragons don’t speak good English.
Dasha has Maya wrap a leather belt around a scale and hold on with all her might, and then dangle Michael over her arm so his head is hanging down. They fly up high in the air, and Dasha goes into a dive.
The speed and air pressure was insufferable and Maya thought that this was the end of the journey, but she held on and did as she was advised.
Prince Michael suddenly opened his mouth and started coughing because of his position, the sudden change in air pressure and the high speed (page 484).
So, I wouldn’t call myself an expert on the human body. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. And I’m not nearly good enough at science or math to determine the exact effects of doing a nose-dive from high up in the air. And yet, despite just being a pretty average, ordinary guy, I know enough to know this is absolute bullshit.
Michael coughs, spits up a bit of apple, starts breathing again, and is pretty much fine.
Maya breathed a huge sigh of relief and uttered, “I did not know that Emoogie had such great baby sitting experience.” (page 485)
Hah, that’s hilarious. Because every time you baby-sit, the baby ends up choking to death.
Michael falls asleep and Maya is very happy.
Chapter Fifty-Two – Dominatio and Emoogie
They keep flying. Yeah. Instead of taking the baby back to King Genarius, who believes that his only son is now dead, they just keep going. Very classy, Maya.
Dasha apparently loves Maya and understands her well, which is impressive because the first they could have met was a few days before, and it was never mentioned before that Maya and Dasha were friends or had ever talked or spent any time together.
They land at Dominatio’s castle, which is on top of an inactive volcano. Some dwarfs come out and then Dominatio appears. He has very long white hair. Apparently, people believe that his hair is the source of his power, which has never been cut. How Maya knows this, I don’t know. Or maybe Tesch is switching back and forth with her omniscient narrator and limited third-person.
Maya gets down and the three men bow down to her. Dominatio introduces himself and the other two men – there’s Melchisedek, which is from the Bible, and Yogananda, who’s from real life. Apparently, Maya can feel the power just radiating off them.
Emoogie lands after a couple minutes. Dominatio looks at Maya’s hand – still damaged from Alana Terrence crushing it – and asks her if she wants it to be healed. Maya, of course, immediately launches into a long explanation about how of course she does but everyone knows that it’s simply not possible for her hand to be healed. So let me get this straight: This is Maradonia, where magic exists. She just was a part of a dragon air show where they used the wind and air pressure to dislodge apple from a baby’s mouth, restart its heart, and heal the incurable brain damage caused from being without oxygen for 20+ minutes. And she’s just met this guy and can feel the incredible magical power buzzing around him. And when he asks her if she wants her hand healed, her first reaction, instead of “Yes please!” is “Oh that’s not possible.”
Maya is an idiot.
A nurse comes out and takes Michael off to feed him. Dominatio has Maya extend her hand and touch his staff. No, not that staff. Her hand is instantly healed. Maya is delighted and starts crying with joy.
Later, they’re eating dinner, and Dominatio and Emoogie are talking in dragonish, which is the way Tesch refers to dragon-speech. Dominatio finally turns to Maya and explains that they have a spiritual connection and are both members of a secret brotherhood. It turns out Emoogie used to be a human, but they don’t explain that any further. Anyway, only men are allowed in the brotherhood, and Joey, because he’s King, is now a member. Maya asks who all is in it, and it includes Dominatio, Joey, Melchisedek, Yogananda, and there were two others who turned evil: Count Mordock, which is totally an Evil Name, and the Shadow Monarch, Geierkralle, who’s a pirate.
Maya starts laughing hysterically at all this random information.
“That is just too much for me. In the end, everything here in the Land of Maradonia is only an illusion and maybe one day I will wake up from a strange dream which was more a nightmare than a dream.” (page 497)
Despite Maya displaying signs that she’s having a psychological meltdown, nobody even addresses the fact that she doesn’t even believe all of this is really happening. They keep talking and Emoogie rambles about events that have already happened and events that are coming:
“It seems to me that King Apollyon and his armies are preparing for a grand third war. I call it World War Three or the Battle for the Key.” (page 500)
Eventually Maya asks Emoogie how he became a human. In a long and roundabout way, he explains that he was captured by the Powers of Evil who tortured him, and finally cast a bunch of spells which apparently turned him into a dragon. He then took off, because Apollyon just let him leave, and eventually found a bunch of dragons to live with.
“The females liked me very much from the very beginning.” (page 504)
That’s…nice, I guess, but why is it in this story? Kind of an irrelevant detail, isn’t it?
Chapter Fifty-Three – The Crystal Dragon
Maya has a nightmare about bubbles. She ends up in a chamber with a crystal dragon statue in it, and then wakes up covered in sweat. She gets up and walks around, and the narrator explains she’s sleepwalking.
A message floats into her mind and explains that the inscriptions on the pillars contain knowledge and she needs to remember them. Unfortunately, Maya can’t read them.
Dominatio shows up and offers to translate them, but after breakfast. Maya agrees and then goes in to write a letter to Genarius, explaining that he son is alive and they’ll be back soon, because…you know, she’s left him thinking his son is dead for over a day now, and it’s time to end his grieving period. Maya is a psychopath. I cannot believe that someone would lack the human decency to…I dunno, take his son back to him? Michael is Genarius’ son, after all. At the very least, she could have written a letter the moment she landed.
Maya writes the letter and gives it to a dwarf who sends it out via carrier pigeon. However, our omniscient narrator explains that the pigeon is killed by a hawk and the message never arrives.
Chapter Fifty-Four – The Magic of the Twelve Pillars
I’m not going to spend a lot of time analyzing these runes, because I don’t care enough, but I do find it pretty funny that the first six letters say “F U Thor”.
Maya meets up with Dominatio, who begins translating the pillars. Each one is about two-thirds of a page in length, and he translates all twelve of them and reads out the entire thing. It’s ridiculous.
Here’s the first one:
“‘The sun rises and the sun goes down and hastens back to the place where it arose. All the rivers run into the sea and the sea is not full. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That, which has been… is what will be and that which is done… is what will be done. It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after. In much wisdom is much grief and the one who will read this and wants to increase his knowledge will increase sorrow.”
“That is heavy,” said Maya (pages 513-514).
It sure is. It’s also taken, almost verbatim, from the Bible. Ecclesiastes 1, verses 5-18.
I’m not going to go through and quote all of the rest of them, because of them are taken from Ecclesiastes. That’s right. This chapter is fourteen pages long, and 75% of it is just long, word-for-word Bible quotations that Tesch is trying to pass off as ancient mystical magical knowledge for the made-up land of Maradonia.