Chapter 17 – Poison Polly

If you’ll remember, Marcus just teleported to Farworld where he promptly fainted after Kyja’s horse told a bad joke. Marcus wakes up from his little swoon to the awe-inspiring smell of unpolluted air. Once he’s fully awake, he looks around and wonders where he is. He realizes he’s not in Arizona anymore, then the narrator states that “his first thought was that the snake had killed him.” Uh, that wasn’t his first thought. His first thought was that the air smelled really, really good. Remember, narrator?

Riph Raph thinks that Marcus is weird for thinking he might be dead and because he’s wearing strange clothes. Kyja tells him to not be rude, but Riph Raph doesn’t care.

“I don’t trust him,” the lizard said. “I think he might be crazy.”

While it’s perfectly understandable for Riph Raph to not trust him, thinking he’s crazy isn’t really the most reasonable reason in this scenario. After all, Kyja and Riph Raph have just fled the Goodnuffs’ farm at breakneck speed because their enemy destroyed the entire place and they’ve been being pursued. If I was Riph Raph, I would probably think Marcus was more likely to be one of my enemies than anything else.

Kyja hits Riph Raph for his sass, which causes him to fly a few feet away from her. Marcus is shocked that Riph Raph has wings. Like, it’s not shocking that he’s talking, but wings, oh! After that minor distraction, Marcus goes back to wondering where he is.

Everything looked so strange and yet so familiar at the same time. “Where am I?” he asked the girl.

FINALLY HE ASKS HER. Kyja basically tells him where they are locally, (“A little north of Terra ne Staric. . . In Westland,”) which, I have to say, is actually a pretty realistic reaction and makes a lot more sense than saying “Oh you’re in Farworld!” Because usually people tend to assume that if someone’s lost or confused, they’re not from another planet or something.

Somehow Marcus realizes that he’s in Farworld.

“‘I’m dreaming. This is Farworld, and you’re the girl I imagine sometimes.” Of course it was a dream, but his dreams had never been this real before.”

“‘I don’t know what you’ve imagined,” the girl said, her cheeks coloring.[sic] “But you’re not dreaming. I think I brought you here somehow.”

And then Marcus begins to overcome his disability. He notices his legs are “pointing straight out before him,” which is impossible because his right leg has been permanently bent all his life, and from what the text says, seems to have been paralyzed as well. Now he can move it a bit. His twisted arm is “still twisted, but he [can] actually open and close his fingers.”

Thoroughly convinced that he’s dreaming, Marcus tells Riph Raph he’s never dreamed of a flying lizard before (it doesn’t really seem like that strange of a thing to never have dreamed of.) Riph Raph gets suitably offended and spews fire at being compared to a lizard.

Marcus ignores Riph Raph’s offended fire breathing and stands up without any help. Goodbye, disability. Kyja comes over to help him stand up, and he takes in the scenery for a while.

Don’t worry, guys. It’s not like the forces of evil are supposedly in hot pursuit of them and realistically would have caught up with them by now or anything.

Marcus touches a flower which squirts some sort of liquid on him which causes his finger to swell to “twice its normal size and [burns] like a bee sting.” Showing his intelligence, Marcus puts his finger into his mouth instead of into, for example, the creek that he’s standing right next to. His tongue burns and swells up too, which causes Riph Raph to assert that Marcus is most definitely insane. He’s not insane, just not very smart.

Kyja has Marcus rinse his hand and mouth, which instantly soothes the swelling and burning. Must be magical water. The plant is named Poison Polly, which is where the chapter title comes from. The pain makes Marcus start to question whether he’s actually dreaming or not, but he doesn’t think much more of it. He appraises Kyja’s looks and compares them to his imagined version of her.

“Ith [sic] your name Kristen or Kelly?” His mouth felt as if he’d received a shot of Novocain.

She shook her head and laughed. “Kris-ten? What a strange name! I’m Kyja.”

Marcus thinks that Kyja’s name suits her. Awwwwww. He asks her if it isn’t a dream after all, and she says she’s “pretty sure it’s real.” He asks her if Arizona, America, and Earth have any meaning to her, and Riph Raph immediately cuts in saying Marcus is a liar because of the weird words he’s saying. I really don’t like Riph Raph. Riph Raph goes on to complain about how Marcus doesn’t know what a skyte is, causing pointless drama because that’s just the kind of obnoxious character he is.

Marcus STILL isn’t convinced that he’s not dreaming. He decides to experiment more with his newly functioning body. He can stand on his own now, which is a big thing for him. Staring at the scenery some more, Marcus mentions that he was at the tower (that I assume is the tower in Terra ne Staric) with Kyja in one of his dreams. Riph Raph then sees something suspicious in the distance, and tells them they need to leave quickly, because (surprise, surprise) they’re still at risk of being caught by the bad guys!

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Comment

  1. swenson on 12 March 2013, 22:09 said:

    unpolluted air

    In a medieval world? With a horse standing next to him? I call shenanigans.

    Well, all right, so if they’re out in the countryside, maybe it’s not that bad. Still, the pre-modern world was hardly pristine.

    Goodbye, disability.

    HOW CONVENIENT FOR ALL ONE’S PROBLEMS TO DISAPPEAR THE INSTANT THEY MIGHT START BEING INCONVENIENT. It’s not like in the real world people with disabilities don’t have to struggle with their problems, nope. Or like they ever manage to overcome them in suitably epic ways and accomplish great things despite their physical problems. Nope. Not at all.

  2. LoneWolf on 13 March 2013, 08:58 said:

    Showing his intelligence, Marcus puts his finger into his mouth instead of into, for example, the creek that he’s standing right next to.

    Hah, that’s pretty silly of our Hero. I guess we’re on the “Dumb Kind-Hearted Hero prevails over Smart Evil Villains” trope now?

    Riph Raph immediately cuts in saying Marcus is a liar because of the weird words he’s saying.

    Yeah, the skyte is very assholish and unreasonable.

  3. Asahel on 13 March 2013, 21:58 said:

    “I think he might be crazy.”

    You might be right. He might be crazy. But, have you considered that it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for?

  4. Juracan on 14 March 2013, 11:50 said:

    So admittedly, I just went through all of these chapters in the past day, and I’m really disappointed with myself for not reading this spork sooner…

    Goodbye, disability.

    This really bugs me more than anything else. There is so little representation of physically disabled people in fiction as protagonists. Granted, this is hardly a great book, but it would have been good (in terms of narrative) for Marcus to stay in a wheelchair and yet still overcome obstacles through intelligence or magic (hopefully a combination of the two.

    Don’t worry, guys. It’s not like the forces of evil are supposedly in hot pursuit of them and realistically would have caught up with them by now or anything.

    Don’t you know the Forces of Darkness prefer to give the heroes a sporting chance? Not doing so would just be rude.

  5. Alicia on 7 June 2013, 20:23 said:

    What was the point of giving the character a disability in the first place? Earlier in the story he can move around more or less at will without his wheelchair (it even says that he can move faster than everyone else, which actually makes him the exact opposite of disabled). And now even the minor inconvenience of the wheelchair is removed, barely a 3rd of the way into the story.