A Family Secret

A Family Secret

A Story by Stephanie

Story of two best friend 10-year-old fireflies, secrets shared, promises broken, and loyalty




“I can fly faster than you can. Watch Manta!”

            “I see you and no you can’t. You watch!! Dad taught me when I was so little, man couldn’t see me. He told me a secret that my great, great grandpa used to use. His grandpa told him. Now, there is no one who can fly faster than my family.”

            “What is it? What secret? You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone you told me. I promise I won’t” Ahmanee squealed.

            “No, you can’t keep a secret. You always tell. And I told Dad I wouldn’t tell our secret to anyone else. If I tell you, it will get back to Dad. I never break my word, especially to my father.”

            “But Manta, I’m your best friend. We tell each other everything. That was our oath, remember? It’s the biggest part of our being blood brothers. If you won’t tell me, then the oath is broken. You have to tell me. That’s our promise to each other. And I’ll swear on the blood flower that I won’t ever tell. No one ever tells anything after swearing on the blood flower.”

            “But you don’t understand Ahmanee. You’re asking me to tell a secret that has been in my family as far back as anyone can remember and if I did that, what would it say about me? What kind of a firefly would I be? I can’t tell you.”

            “If you don’t tell me, it will break the blood bond between us. I can’t be best friends with someone who doesn’t trust me. I mean it Manta. If you won’t tell me now, I’ll just fly away, and you won’t ever see me again.”

            “Come on Ahmanee. You won’t really fly off like that, will you? We’ve been best friends since we were four, and blood brothers since we were nine. That makes six years. You’d just fly away, like that?”

            “Yes, Manta. If you don’t tell me, it’s over. We made a promise that is stronger than any other. You said so yourself. If you can’t keep your word, we’re no longer friends.” Ahmanee crossed his wings and turned away from his best friend.

            “Come on Ahmanee, don’t be like that. I’ll tell you.” But you’ve got to give me the ultimate swear that you will never tell any other firefly about this. Will you swear? A, for real ultimate swear, or I won’t tell you.” Manta flew over from his leaf to Ahmanee’s and whispered, “Do you ultimate swear?”

            “I ultimate swear Manta. You can trust me. You’ll see.”  Ahmanee raised his left wing above his head, turned twice in the direction of the moon, spit on the leaf beside him, and whistled loudly. He jumped twice in place and said to Manta, No one breaks the ultimate swear. You’ve got to tell me the secret, How can you fly faster than anyone?”

            “My super great-grandpa Chumo’s. great-great-grandson Tico was born early and was very little. He could glow fine, but flying didn’t come easy to him. He had been trying all day one day, and kept falling from the leaf he was on just as he thought he had it. Finally, he sat down on the leaf, covered his eyes, and said, ‘I quit. I can’t do this. I’m too small and too stupid. I’ll never get it.” He just looked at Grandpa Chumo. Chumo flew from his place in the Wamma tree to Tico. Putting his wing on Tico’s wingder, he whispered that he could help him if he promised never to tell a soul what he would learn this day. Of course, Tico promised and shot up to face Chumo and get the instructions that he now wanted more than anything.

            Chumo looked around, and finally, flying close to Tico, whispered, “Boy, I am going to give you the secret of the Wamma Tree. Only your father and I know it. There is no one left now but us to pass the secret on to our family. I am trusting you to keep it from all other feelers, always. You must not tell anyone ever for any reason. It has been passed down for many Bella’s and has been safely in our family since then. You must promise never to tell anyone the secret of the Wamma Tree, or it will lose its power and be lost. It is to stay in our family forever.”

            “Tico promised Chumo, so Chumo passed the secret to one more Bella of firefly,” Manta whispered.” It has never been told to anyone outside our family. I’ll tell you only because you need the help and you gave the ultimate promise. But mostly, it’s because you are my best friend and my blood brother.  I trust you.”

            Ahmanee flew closer to Manta and said excitedly, “You can trust me Manta. I swear I will never tell anyone the secret of the Wamma tree. What is it? How will it make me fly fast like you?”

            “It is in the juice of the fionna flower that grows on the Wamma Tree. You take one flower and put it in a small pot over a fire. Leave it just until it boils and then take it off the fire, put a Wamma leaf over it and let it sit for two hemi’s. Then take the javeen from the fionna flower and strain it through a calla. Squeeze every bit of the javeen out of the flower. Take the squeezed flower, run it under cold inee and let the inee flow freely over every part of the flower, then collect about 2 seams of inee, and shut off the inee runner. The javeen will have thickened by this time. Take the Javeen and slowly stir it into the inee. As it mixes it turns blue. When the mixture is all blue, you place it in a horn box. Cover the horn box and take it to the part of the Wamma Tree that meets that large branch that runs over the canyon of the menistas. You know where that is. Put it in the center of the crook of the branch and leave it there for three days. Then you, go and get it. It will be ready. You bring it to me, and I’ll show you what to do next. You’ve got to remember every step. If you don’t do it exactly the way I told you, it won’t work. You will still be the slowest flyer in school. Do you understand Ahmanee?”

            Ahmanee nodded and flew up and around Manta’s feelers saying, “I can do it! I can do it Manta!!”

            “Okay, meet me at the foot of the Wamma tree tonight as the sun sets. We’ll do the first part. Don’t tell anyone Ahmanee, or our friendship will be over forever, and you will be branded a skinner. I’ll see to that.”

            “A skinner? You would go that far, brand your best friend a skinner? Well, I won’t tell. I promised you and I won’t break an ultimate promise.  You’ll see.”

            “I hope not Ahmanee. Well, let’s each of us go home. I’ll meet you tonight at sunset. I’ll watch you through the first part and if you need me to, I will fly with you while you go through the ritual in three days, but I won’t help you. You have to do it on your own. I had to. It’s not that hard. Just concentrate and you’ll be fine. I’ll see you later.” He turned and flew quickly away from where Ahmanee was hovering, thinking of the promise he was breaking.

            Ahmanee watched Manta fly off and thought to himself,” In three days I will be as fast as Manta. No one will be able to tease me again. Manta will see. I’ll never tell the secret of the Wamma tree to anyone. I’ll stand by my ultimate swear. No one could beat it out of me. I would let my glow go out before I told it to anyone.” He found himself flying in little circles around the bristling pin horns that grew below the Wamma tree. He stopped for a moment and glowed with happiness.

            Manta, now home, was helping his father fly in some mealla seed to cover the antali that they grew for the winter months. It was not hard, but for a junior firefly, it was a big job. By late afternoon, he was beginning to drag. His father saw this and said, “Manta, you’ve done enough for today. Go on in and see if your mom needs any help with dinner.”

            “Thanks dad. I’ll go right now. Hey dad,” he said turning back, “Can I go with Ahmanee tonight after dinner to look for gukan again? If we find any, we’ll bring them home for dinner tomorrow night.”

            I guess so Manta, but don’t go beyond the forest walls. It’s not safe out there. The humans are there. They’ve been trying to ruin the forest for many years, and they wouldn’t mind squishing a couple of little firefly pests in their quest to kill the forest.”

            “I’ll be careful dad, and I’ll make sure Ahmanee is too. We won’t even go near the forest walls.”

            “Ok then, go on and help your mother. She probably will fix an early dinner, seeins that you have such a busy evening scheduled.”

            “Thanks dad, You’re the best,” and Manta flew off towards their tree quickly, not wanting his dad to see the guilty look he knew must be plastered all over his little fly face.

            As the afternoon passed, Manta grew nervous. What if his dad found out what they had planned? What would they tell him? Another lie to cover the other ones? How many lies would he have to tell to cover the big lie, that he had told Ahmanee the family secret?

            “What did I do? Why did I tell Ahmanee the family secret? What was I thinking?” he stopped flying and said to himself, “I can’t do this,” and then, he muttered under his wing. “I can’t tell Ahmanee. I can’t tell him the rest of the secret. But what will happen to him if I don’t? All the other fireflies will keep taunting him. They won’t stop. I can’t let that happen either. Ahmanee’s my best friend in this world and I have to tell him. I gave him my word. I can’t stop this now. He won’t tell anyone. I’m sure he won’t.”

            Determined to help his best friend and remembering his promise, he looked up and saw the evening sky begin to blossom and as the night sky set in, he flew towards the Wamma tree and his friend for the first part of the ritual.

            Three days later, both young fireflies arrived at the Wamma tree. Ahmanee was awash with excitement, while Manta was reserved and quiet. “What’s wrong Manta? Is something wrong? You haven’t changed your mind, have you? You are going to tell me the secret to make me fly fast?”

            “Yes, yes Ahmanee. Of course, I am. I’d never go back on my word. You are my very best friend. There’s nothing wrong. Come on now. Timing is important.” Manta turned and flew off slowly towards the Wamma tree, with Ahmanee following close behind.

            When the Wamma tree came into sight, the moon was shining brightly, lighting it up in a golden glow. Ahmanee looked at the tree and said in a low voice, “Manta, is this part of the ritual, the tree lighting up like this?”

            “It’s the mixture that you put there. It lights a path for the one who needs its powers. You must follow the light beam at all times. It will lead you deep into the forest behind the Melona falls, Go there first and then I’ll tell you the secret passage of rights into the fold. You follow the directions I give you exactly, that is the last. When you wake up in the morning, you will be able to fly faster than anyone else except my family. You have to keep the secret to yourself though. You can’t go out and show off or race another firefly. It’s a power you use carefully. You can use it daily as long as it’s not to show off. If anyone teases you and challenges you, you can use it then, but only to stop the teasing and to keep them from pushing you around. Do you understand Ahmanee? It’s not a weapon to use on others, or a way to be the bully yourself. It’s a gift, one you must guard carefully and wisely. When no one is watching, then you can play with it. We can fly together and even fly a race, but only when we are alone. “Do you understand and promise to follow these rules?”

            “I do Manta. Oh yes, I do. I will keep all of the rules and be wise and careful, just like you said.”

            “Okay, go and get the mixture from the crook of the Wamma tree. Follow the light beam and come back here when you have the mixture in your hands. Go on now. The time is just right. Get the mixture and come back here. Don’t be nervous. Just do exactly as I tell you.” Ahmanee began to follow the light beam as it changed direction and moved toward the Wamma tree and the crook in the middle. Manta stayed behind and Ahmanee disappeared into the night, the last rays of the light beam being the only thing seen.

            The silence of the forest seemed to spread as Ahmanee moved deeper into the woody area that led to the place in the Wamma tree that he was being led to by the light beam. It didn’t take long before he was at the Wamma tree and could see the crook where the mixture was sitting. He flew slowly forward, the night seeming to magnify the silence around them. He looked around and said, “It’s okay. I’m okay. I just have to reach out and pick up the mixture, and take it back to Manta. Piece of melon candy. Now if it just wasn’t so eery and black, out here. I thought that light beam would keep it light, but you can only see in one direction and it’s not very bright right now. It’s okay Ahmanee. Grab the mixture and get the heck out of here. Nothing here to hurt you. Don’t be a baby,” and he turned with a little wiggle of his wings, and took off toward the crook of the Wamma tree. It only took moments but to Ahmanee it seemed like hours. He was shaking and sweaty when he returned to the others by the south side of the Wamma tree. “I got it Manta. Here it is,” and he held out his hands that were now holding the horn box with the mixture in it.

            Manta looked at the box and said, “Good job Ahmanee. Bring it here to me.” Ahmanee stepped forward and flew to Manta slowly, watching the horn box carefully. He stopped in front of Manta and said, “Here it is, just like you asked.” Manta took the box from his little friend and held it high above his wings. “This is the box of the Menistas, giving life within the crook of the Wamma tree. In it is the secret of the Wamma tree and it gives, the answer, to the question asked it. “Ahmanee, fly forward please.” Ahmanee did, and stopped in front of Manta. Manta spoke again. “Ahmanee, this box is yours tonight. Inside, it holds the mixture that will help you fly faster. You must follow my directions exactly, do you understand?”

             Ahmanee nodded his head and Manta took the hornbox by the horn, held it up, and said loudly, “We alone who are here, are witness to the power of the Wamma tree, It singly, rules the stars and the sun, the moon and the clouds. It watches over the fireflies and sees to it that they are safe. It is our job to protect the Wamma tree always. We have done that from generation to generation and in turn, the Wamma tree at times grants us a wish to keep us safe. It gives the gift of speed to fireflies that it can trust to use it wisely. It is passing another gift tonight to Ahmanee, who has suffered at the hands of other fireflies because of a lack of speed in his flight. The Wamma tree will change that tonight. It will give Ahmanee the gift of speed. No longer will Ahmanee suffer at the hands of other fireflies. Ahmanee, fly forward, and face the hornbox.” He did so and Manta continued, “The fionna flower gave of her necter, and it was mixed with the inee and the javeen creating a salve that we will use here tonight. Ahmanee, turn towards the menistas that hold the mixture.” Ahmanee did so and Manta continued. “Now, open the hornbox and dip your right feeler into the mixture. As you do, lift your left-wing and spread it as far open as it will go. Ahmanee did what Manta said and Manta spoke again. “Now remove your feeler from the box. Good, now use your feeler as though it were a paintbrush and paint the outside rim of your left-wing with the mixture. Do not touch the feeler or help it in any way.” Slowly, Ahmanee painted the rim of his left-wing with the mixture from the Wamma tree. When he was done. Manta said, “Now do the same with your right-wing and your left feeler. Make sure the rim of your wing is completely covered.”

            Ahmanee began to do the work on his right-wing. Easy, but awkward, he worked slowly. When he was done, Manta stepped forward and said, “Well done Ahmanee.  That’s the last note in this test of faith. The mixture of the inee and the javeen and then the washing of the two creates a blue salve. This salve, when painted onto certain spots on the wings causes the wings to lift and gain strength. If left on overnight, the firefly, in the morning, finds that he can fly, fast and on target. You’ve done well.”

             Ahmanee didn’t answer.  He stretched his wings and yawned. It was done.  He was tired but excited too. Tomorrow morning, he would be able to fly fast and strong and no one would be able to tease him or push him around again. He smiled at the thought.

             Manta and Ahmanee headed home. Both were thinking about the last two hours. Manta was still worried that his father would find out. Ahmanee was dreaming of flying high, fast, and free.

They came to the turn in the road where their paths departed. Manta would fly right and straight down the road to the firefly farmhouse in the trees where he lived, and Ahmanee would turn left to his house in one of the town trees.. There was silence as both gathered their thoughts.   Ahmanee spoke first.

            “You know Manta, thank you isn’t enough to say. I learned a lot these past few days. I learned that friendship is real and important. It shapes our future and what we choose to be. You took a big chance by trusting me. But this was important to both of us. You went against something that was severe in the consequences if you had gotten caught. I knew what could happen. I saw the storm going on inside you because of me, and still, you stood beside me. You took the chance, knowing that I couldn’t keep a secret, and I learned from that how to be a friend. I learned about trust.  I will always be your friend and I will also be trustworthy. Our secret will be ours and will go no further than you and I. Before, I would have celebrated loudly. Today, I am happy just to be your friend. I will be the friend you deserve. It’s an honor that I don’t intend to lose.” Ahmanee fell silent. No more words were needed and so two little fireflies headed home, friends that would remain friends for a very long time.


The next day Ahmanee was up early, standing in the kitchen when his father came in. “You’re up early Ahmanee. What’s up?”

            “Nothing dad. I just felt like getting up this morning. I thought I’d fly over to Manta’s house and see if he wants to go over to the play center. I thought it might be fun.  Is it alright with you dad?”

            “Yea, sure son, as long as you get your work done first. You’ll be flying by that big construction zone, won’t you? Be careful and stay back. It’s really dangerous. Doesn’t Manta’s dad work there?”

            “Yea, he does. They’re building a new bunch of firefliers. There will be twenty-five new firefly apartments, a recreational center, and a restaurant. They’re going to call it Tony’s Fireflight Fantasy. Pretty cool isn’t it?”

“Pretty cool son.  Now, it would be pretty cool if you finish that breakfast, and get your chores done. I’ll bet you’re anxious to get off to Manta’s.”

            “It’ll only take me a little while to get done. Then can we stop at the rec center too, and see if it’s open yet? Manta’s dad said it would open sometime this week, and I can’t wait to see it.”

            “Okay, put a little hustle on then, and I’ll see you later. Be sure to check in at lunch and then you can go back if you want to.” He turned and headed towards the door.  

            Ahmanee hovered quietly at the window, thinking.  He felt different, more stable. He knew he had speed now.  He was in awe of it and knowing what he’d gone through to get it, made him stop, and take a good look at what he had gained. It would change his life. He’d step out of the shadows he’d hidden in; ready to face the bullies and take his life back and knowing this was no small thing, he hesitated, taking the time to be appreciative and thankful. He smiled and went to work.

            He met Manta who called out, “Come on. We can watch them send the wood up to the top floor. Dad said that’s where they’re working today,” Flying towards the south construction area, he said “Come on Ahmanee. Let’s get over there. Dad will be up there too.”

            “Okay, I’m coming. I’ve got the slowsies today.”

            “Oh, is that why I haven’t seen you use your new talent yet today?”

“I’m just taking a little time learning to appreciate it. It’s quite an honor to be in the place I’m in now. Being the only firefly that is not family but still have been given the family secret is a special honor. Ok, We can go now Manta. I was just thinking about everything that’s happened in the past few days. You’re a good friend.”

            ” Awe quit now. You’ll embarrass me. Let’s go,” and they both flew off together.

They’d been watching the construction firefly guys take the wood up with the fly crane for about twenty minutes, and Ahmanee was watching Manta’s father fly along the big crane that they were using. They all stopped suddenly, and the boys saw lots of hand movement and could hear voices arguing. “What’s going on Manta?”

            “I don’t know. I think someone did something and jammed the crane. They’re sure mad.” The arguing continued when suddenly, one of the firefliy men turned around and flew towards the other side of the crane. Flying a little too quickly, he missed the step onto the next bar. It flew out, right at him and he was unable to fly out of the way in time. Hitting him solidly on the shoulders, it knocked him backwards. The force of the hit knocked him out, and his body fell towards the floor below. It was so quick, no one was in a position to take all the flack. And the worker fell towards the floor.

            Ahmanee saw him fall close to where he was standing. He could see that he was unconscious and falling fast. He suddenly flew out towards where the man was falling and at top speed,  got to him, came up under him, reached up and twisted him around so he fell into a large garbage truck that had parked there. It was full of garbage so the firefly construction worker landed kind of softly in the bed of the truck. Ahmanee’s  quick response did not go unnoticed. A crowd of fireflies had been watching and began to clap. They hooted and howled and yelled “Good job” and “Did you see how fast he moved? That is some kid.”

            At first, Ahmanee didn’t realize that all the noise was for him. “Why is everybody yelling like that Manta? Are they mad at me? Did I do something wrong?”

“No Ahmanee, you did something right. You saved that fireflier man. Everyone’s yelling for you. You’re a hero.”

            “I didn’t do anything. It was that truck that saved him.”

            “No, it was you. I saw it too. You got him to fall into that truck. If you hadn’t moved so fast, he’d be dead.” They looked up to where the worker had fallen and both stopped short. Neither said a word as they realized what had just happened. Looking down at them was Manta’s father, who had obviously, seen the whole thing.

            They were frozen in their spots. Neither spoke. They looked up and saw Manta’s father looking down at them.  Finally, Ahmanee whispered loudly, “Manta, your dad saw me. What can I do?”

            “I don’t know Ahmanee, but here he comes. He has to know that I gave you the power. He knows how slow you are.”

            “I talked you into this in the first place. I’ll talk to him,” Ahmanee said hesitantly.

            “But what will you say? He’s going to be really mad at me.”

            “I’ll think of something Manta.  I caused this. I’ll fix it somehow.” They dropped off into silence and watched Manta’s father descend the stairs of the building. Both were so scared, they couldn’t move. They just stood where they were, not saying a word.

Ahmanee spoke first. “Manta, I’ll tell him the truth. That’s the best thing to do.   Maybe he will understand why it was so important for me to fly fast. Maybe he won’t be too angry or he’ll just be angry with me. I’m the one who started this.”

            “No Ahmanee, it’s my fault really. I knew better. I broke the rule. I did it, not you”. Manta’s father reached the landing and both boys grew silent again as he drew near. They were both so afraid of what was going to happen,  that neither one could do anything but stand there. This time neither spoke again.  

            Finally, Manta’s father was there, standing just a few feet away, hands in his pockets, a frown on his face. “I don’t know what to say to you, to either of you. There are things that go on between families that are not shared with outsiders, private things, important things; things that if they got out, could be harmful or cause problems.” He stopped and looked down. Neither boy spoke or moved a muscle. After a minute he looked back up. “It can be expected that some might not understand the why’s of things. They might be too young, or too innocent, and then there are those who just don’t care about the rules, or the whys, or the reasons behind those whys. I’m standing here wondering what are your reasons? What are your whys, and I can’t for the life of me understand why this has happened; why a trust has been broken; why a friendship was taken advantage of. What could be the reason? What was important enough to go against what you were raised to understand?

But there is another side too. A side that also needs to be addressed. Did either of you think of that side when you broke a trust? No, I don’t think so, but then it is not something you could have known, either of you. Because a trust was broken, a friendship taken advantage of, a man’s life was saved. A man is still alive because you two broke a trust, because you didn’t listen or have enough respect to do what was right.

Now, I could ask each of you why, what was your reason, what were you thinking; what was so important that you would go against a hundred years of a promise of secrecy? And you each would have an answer, a reason, a good reason in your eyes.  And after listening, it would then be up to me to decide whether or not the reason was good enough, good enough to look beyond the fact that you still broke a promise, you still used a friend, you still found a reason to do what you wanted to do instead of what was before you.

And yet I can’t forget the most important part of this and that is that an innocent man lives because you went against rules. How do I justify that? Is it justifiable in any way?  When you two broke that trust, I’m sure it didn’t occur to either one of you that a life would be saved because of it. I don’t know your reason. I don’t know what could have been so important that it was worth the end result. Is it a matter of trust? Or belief? Or maybe need? I’ve stood here talking to both of you and I know nothing. Have I asked for a reason, or a why? No, I haven’t given either of you the opportunity to defend yourself. Why do you suppose that is? Am I unfair, or mean or maybe I just don’t care what your reason is?”

 The fact remains that the damage has been done. It is not a family thing anymore. It belongs to someone else also and if it was given to one outsider, who is to say that there won’t be a second, or a third? Was there something that was so important that it was worth the betrayal? Do I want to hear from you your reason, your excuse? While I have been standing here talking to you both, I have been wondering what the answer to that is. What do I feel? What is important? The damage is done. It can’t be changed. But can the damage be turned into something positive? Can the broken promise be unbroken? Is there a way for me to understand that things in this lifetime sometimes cannot be understood, but can be forgiven? 

When I looked down from that landing and I saw you boys and knew what you had done, I was angry. I didn’t want to hear an excuse, a reason. All I could think of was that a family secret, an important secret was no longer a secret because my son had betrayed me. My own son, whom I trusted implicitly. “

            “And so here we stand now, all of us feeling as bad as anyone could feel under the circumstances and it is up to me to find the right words to say. Have I said them? Do you understand what I have said? Was there a lesson to be learned from the things I just said to you boys?  If so, what would that lesson be? That you never betray family? That when you are trusted with a secret, you never betray that trust? That no matter what kind of a friend you are, you don’t take advantage of that friendship? That there is no reason good enough to hurt someone deeply? And all that I can say after everything I’ve already said is….., thank you.”   He stopped then and both boy’s heads shot up in shock.

            “What did you say, Dad?” Manta asked. Ahmanee didn’t say a word. He was so shocked, he couldn’t find words to ask why Manta’s father would thank them.

            “I said thank you Manta. While I was speaking to you both and trying to figure out what I was going to do to the both of you, I began to listen to what I was saying, and I found that it is not what you do with a trust given. It is what you do about it.  I know my son. I know he has honor and values truth. I know his family is the most important thing to him. I know that if he were to break a trust given to him, he would have the best of reasons for it. It would not be a selfish reason or one that was taken lightly. It would be thought about seriously and it would have to help someone. I wouldn’t have to ask him his reason. I would know that it would be honorable and true. And that it would be worth taking the chance of losing the respect of someone he holds dear. I couldn’t argue about his motives, for I know my son. They would be the best of motives. 

And then there is the other, the one who received the benefit of the broken trust. I know this young man too. He is honest and true also. He would never ask for something selfishly or for a fun time. He would not use that benefit in selfish ways but would think heavily about the usage of what he had gained. He would not put his friend in a difficult spot if he was not in one himself.

So, I stand here in front of the two of you and say thank you again. For saving an innocent life, for caring enough about someone you didn’t even know, that you would put your own life in danger to help him. I know instinctively that this will never go further than the three of us. I know that what I am looking at in you two is honor. I don’t need to ask you why. I know why. And all I can do is to shake your hands.” And he put his hand out to each boy and shook each one of theirs.

            The boys were still shocked into silence. That Manta’s father could say these things was beyond their understanding, and they each quietly vowed they would never disappoint him or hurt him, or give him reason to say these things to them again. Ahmanee looked up at him and vowed to be like him when he grew up and vowed that no one would ever know where his amazing speed came from. He would never use it when others were around and when he did use it, it would only be for good and to help someone in need. 

            Manta looked at his father with great pride. He had not expected what he heard and was amazed by his father’s understanding. Looking at him, he thought of all the things his father had said and knew that he was lucky to have this man love him, trust him. He didn’t know how to respond to the things his father had just said, but knew he had to say something. He looked at his dad and his father looked back at him. There would be time enough later to talk about al the things said, but for now, all he could say to him was “I love you Dad.”

© 2020 Stephanie

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Added on September 10, 2020
Last Updated on September 10, 2020
Tags: Best Friends, Fireflies, fantasy, secrets



Lakeport, CA

I am Stephanie Lawrence, though my brother gave me a nickname because he has such confidence in me and my ability to write, after seeing to it that my first book was published, he calls me HRH Lady Da.. more..