Emiliana looked toward her family. Marcos and Ramira were sat on opposite sides of their unconscious father. Each child had a book in hand, though Shenado and Chergoa both floated behind Marcos, reading along with him and trading commentary. Apparently, they were in disagreement over the merits of its contents.
‘Agh, this book is even more idiotic than I expected,’ Shenado was saying.
‘That’s pretty harsh,’ said Chergoa. ‘The original was written a thousand years ago. It’s only natural that it’s become a bit dated.’
‘A bit? The author treats all these things as if they’re real.’
‘Maybe they were. Depends on who you ask.’
‘Ugh, you WOULD say that. You’re as bad as Axiolis, sometimes.’
‘You’re very closed-minded, you know that?’
‘Really? Okay, so you’re saying that you think this three-headed lion monster might have existed at some point?’
‘Well, maybe not THAT one...’
‘Of course not THAT one! Or ANY of them!’
“So if it never existed, then where did the idea come from?” asked Marcos.
Shenado hovered around him, her wispy blue flames crackling silently. ‘Wonderful question, darling. The three-headed lion is merely a symbolic representation of the War of the Three Sands that some group of idiots actually took seriously.’
“Oh. That’s a little disappointing...”
‘Perhaps so,’ said Shenado, ‘but it’s important to keep a clear picture of reality. It’s good that you’re thinking critically about the world around you. It’s best not to simply accept things like this at face value.’
‘That is very true,’ added Chergoa. ‘But I think it’s alright to leave ourselves a bit of wiggle room for the stuff of legends. Who doesn’t love a nice dose of mystery and wonder every now and again?’
‘You want mystery and wonder? The natural world is full of it. Ramira knows what I’m talking about. Marcos, ask her about arachnids.’
The boy frowned. “I’d rather not...”