The Wishing Stone by Mir Foote: Chapter 1
The Wishing Stone
The Wishing Stone: Summary
The Wishing Stone is sci-fi fantasy adventure novel. It is written at a fourth grade reading level. It is a great choice for ages 9-12.
Everyone has heard the warning to be careful what you wish for. Fewer know to be careful of an interrupted wish.
Five children think they have the perfect, foolproof wish. They wish for adventures through time and space, for super powers, and for pirate treasure all at once. Now, thanks to a mysterious stone, the wish is coming true. Soon they are stranded on an island at the other end of the universe, beset by pirates and alien monkeys, and searching through a trap infested tomb for jewels of power. But as their wish slowly unfolds, they realize they forgot a very important part, and now the real treasure they’re searching for is a way back home.
The problem with the wishing stone, Jackson decided, was that there was only one wish for the four of them. The rules were very clear on that.
“I say we should wish for a space adventure,” Jane said, “We could fly a space ship and visit alien planets.”
“We should wish for mutant powers,” Trey insisted, “Then we could all be super heroes.”
“I want to go on a real adventure!” Ian exclaimed, “With pirates and dragons and battles! And we could have magical powers and rescue a princess and everything!”
Jackson did not say what he thought they should wish for. He was still thinking it over. While the other three argued over a wish, he took a brand new spiral notebook out from his backpack. He also took out a black ballpoint pen, frowned at it, and put it back to fish out another. He only used black pens on schoolwork. This time, he pulled out a pen with green ink.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Trey demanded when he saw the notebook, “Are you even listening to our ideas?”
“You never told us what you think we should wish for,” Jane added.
“You want pirates right?” asked Jackson’s younger brother, Ian, “And treasure and magic, right Jackson?”
“Jax,” Jackson corrected him sharply, “Call me Jax.” He had been telling them to call him Jax for two weeks now. No one ever did. “And I haven’t decided on a wish yet. I’m going to write down all the different ideas first.”
At the top of the first page he wrote ‘The Wishing Stone’ and below that ‘Wish Ideas’. His handwriting was not as neat as he would have liked, because he had no flat surface to write on, but it was readable. Then he divided the page into four sections. The first section he labeled Trey, then Jane, Ian, and the last space was for himself. He started to write out Jackson and remembered at the last second to put Jax instead.
“What is this?” Trey asked, grabbing the notebook, “You aren’t going to turn this into another school assignment are you? Come on, it’s just a stupid game. Lighten up.”
“It’s not just a game!” Ian exclaimed, leaping to his brother’s defense, “This is for real! We followed the map and everything, even with all the town and trees in the way, and you can see the stone!” Jackson grabbed his notebook back.
“Come on, Trey,” Jane said, “Let him write it all out if he wants to. It makes it all feel more real anyway. Sort of scientific.”
“It is real,” Ian said again, “Write down my wish, Jackson. Jax I mean. I want to go on a huge adventure with pirates, where we find a great treasure and become rich and there are dragons and magical talismans, and castles!”
“All right,” Jackson answered, writing it down in the space marked ‘Ian’. Then Jane told him all about her wish concerning robots and a spaceship and exploring alien planets.
“This is so stupid,” Trey said when the other three turned to him, “Oh all right. I think we should wish for mutant powers. Like to be able to fly or shoot lasers from our eyes and be bulletproof.” Then all that was left was the space marked ‘Jax’.
“Come on already,” Trey said, “This is getting boring.”
“Hush,” Jane said.
“Well it is getting boring,” Trey insisted, “Like being at school.”
“No, I mean hush, I think I see someone coming,” Jane said, and then everyone turned to see where she was looking. There, between the trees, Jackson saw a person coming towards them, plowing awkwardly through the leafy undergrowth of the woods.
“I’ll bet it’s that stupid Marcus Henderson,” Trey said, “I’ll bet he followed us out here.”
“It’s not,” Jackson answered, “I think it’s a girl.” And then the person managed to break through some particularly vicious bramble and everyone could clearly see that she was wearing a dress.
“Ha,” Jane said to Trey, poking him, but Jackson frowned as he realized that the girl was trying to get to where they were.
“If she sees the stone, she’ll have to be in the wish,” he reminded them, “It’s in the rules.” And then the girl stepped between two trees and stood before them.
“Hello,” the girl said timidly, “I’m lost.”
“Really? Hello Lost, I’m Trey,” Trey said, smirking until Jane shoved him.
“Ignore him,” she said, “Where are you from?”
“I don’t know exactly,” the girl answered and then turned red as the other four stared at her. “I just moved here. It’s a small sort of white house. Close to these woods. I didn’t realize how big this place was and I got turned around. Then I heard voices and followed them here.”
“What’s your name?” Jackson asked. He tried hard to remember if he had noticed any new families moving in near his house. He didn’t think there were.
“I’m Emma Woods. I just moved from Houston.”
“My name is Jane Park,” Jane said, “And I suppose Trey already told you his name. He really isn’t always that annoying.”
“I’m not annoying,” Trey insisted, “She just can’t handle a joke.”
“I’m Ian” Ian said, not wanting to be left out, “I’m five.”
“We call him Brat,” Trey added.
“I’m not,” Ian answered, stamping his foot, “My name is Ian and I’m Jackson’s brother.” As an afterthought, he added, “This is Jackson.”
“Jax,” Jackson interjected quickly, “My name is Jax. Jax Robinson.”
“So what are you doing out here in the woods?” Emma asked. Her eyes were on his notebook, and he held it up against himself quickly so she couldn’t read the title. Nobody answered. Then Trey opened his mouth and Jackson quickly said, “Exploring,” before Trey could say something stupid. In the mood he was in, Trey was likely to tell her about the stone and ruin everything.
“Exploring?” Emma asked, “You have an unlucky name for an explorer.” And then she began to turn red again under his stare.
“What’s so unlucky about Jackson?” Trey wanted to know, and this time Jackson didn’t bother to correct him.
“Not Jackson,” she answered, “Robinson. Like Robinson Crusoe. Or the Swiss Family Robinson. They got shipwrecked on an island. Or even that old TV show, Lost in Space, about a family named Robinson who got lost.”
“I never get lost,” Jackson insisted, “I’m too careful.”
“Good,” Emma said, “Then maybe you could help me find my way back. I really do need to get back; my parents told me not to wander off.”
An awkward silence answered her. Jackson looked down at his notebook, feeling uncomfortable. The rules said they had to make a wish now, while they were next to the stone. If they went away they would never be able to make a wish. Not a real wish anyway. Not a wish that they could all almost believe might really come true. If they went away and came back, then it really was pretend. No one wanted to do that. But they couldn’t just send Emma off alone, either, and for a moment no one could think of anything to say.
“Oh, this is stupid,” Trey said at last, “Just show her the stone already.”
“Shut up, Trey!” Ian exclaimed angrily while Jane shoved Trey in annoyance. Jackson stared down at his notebook, ignoring the scuffle beside him. Then he came to a decision.
“What!” “Jackson!” The others protested loudly and Emma turned pinker than ever.
“He’s right,” Jackson insisted again, “She came to here, so she has to see the stone. Maybe she was meant to come, somehow. Maybe the stone called her.”
“She isn’t! I bet she says it’s stupid and ruins everything!” Ian insisted, stomping his foot.
“You weren’t supposed to be here either,” Jane reminded Ian, “You were just being a brat and following us, and we let you stay.”
“I say it’s stupid,” Trey added, “Just show her, Jackson.”
“Alright,” Jackson said, and everyone stepped aside so she could see the stone. It was a fairly large and smooth stone, the sort that looked like it would make a good seat, but aside from its size it looked quite ordinary. At least it did until Emma looked closer and saw that there were words carved out in deep, clear-cut lettering. She leaned over the stone, still mystified, and then began to read it out loud.
“All who approach and read my words,
to you a single wish I give,
not one to each but one to all
within the group who live.
But should you leave without a wish,
or leave someone behind,
never a wish will you receive,
or ever again me find.”
“So what does this mean?” Emma asked, after she had read it, “Is this for real? I mean, did you just find this stone here, or did you carve the words?”
“We found it!” Ian exclaimed, “I mean, we followed this map that led us here. It is real, and now we have to think up a wish, all of us together, or we get nothing at all.”
“So this stone is magical or something?” Emma asked.
“I suppose,” Trey answered, “Anyway, we thought we might as well try it, seeing as we came all the way out here.”
“And now you have to come too, since you’re here,” Jane added.
“Where did you find the map?” Emma asked.
“I found it,” Jackson answered, “It was inside an old book in the library. I was looking up something for school, and this fell out. The librarian thought it was just an old map of the county, before the town really began to grow, but there was this line on it, like a road, and then I thought it could really be a treasure map.”
He pulled out an old yellow scrap of paper from his backpack. Unfolded, it revealed a picture in faded ink, marking a small town within a forest. There was a line that led a zigzag path from the town into the forest. In tiny letters beside the line, it stated the length from different points on the road to other points.
“It took us a while to figure it out,” Jane said, “Since it's really old and the town has grown up huge since then.”
“See how it says that it's one hundred feet from this point to that?” Trey asked, “We didn’t think an old road would need that. But if there were no road, you would need to know how far to go before you changed direction. And so we got Jane’s dad’s measuring tape, and started out from the Square.”
“We’ve been planning it for a week now,” Jackson said, “It took us a while to figure out how to start, especially with all the buildings and houses in the way.”
“And then I just showed up,” Emma said, suddenly looking embarrassed.
“It’s all right,” Jackson said quickly, “I can make you a spot in my notebook.” And then at last he showed her what he had written, and she didn’t seem to think it a stupid idea at all to write it all down.
“This way,” she said, “we know what everyone wants. Then maybe we can put it all together into one really big wish, and everyone can be happy.”
“If it works at all,” Trey grumbled. Jackson squeezed her in a space at the bottom, just below his name. He hadn’t come up with a wish yet anyway.
“I think,” she said, “that whatever we do it, shouldn’t take up so much time that our parents worry about us missing. So if we go any place, we should make it so no time passes while we are gone. And we better be sure to say that we come back again.”
“With mutant powers, we don’t need to go anywhere,” Trey pointed out, but everyone else said it was a good idea.
“But it isn’t really a wish, you know, just a good idea for whatever we do wish,” Jane reminded her.
“I know,” Emma said, “I was going to say that I think we should have a time machine. That would let us go to any time we like, and then we could come back in the same minute we left, so no one would miss us.” Jackson wrote her wish in his notebook.
“Come on already, Jackson,” Trey said, “What is your wish? We can’t stay here all day waiting.”
“Jax,” Jackson said automatically, “And I do have a wish. I think we should be explorers.”
“On alien planets?” Jane asked.
“No, as pirates, and we find lots of treasure!” Ian exclaimed.
“We could be explorers of time,” Emma suggested.
“Everything,” Jackson answered, speaking fast now that he had worked out what he wanted, “we should include everything. I mean, include a time machine, and space, and pirates, and mutant powers all at once, and let the stone figure it out and whatever happens is what happens, and you can’t say you didn’t get your wish.”
“Well,” Trey said, “If this wishing thing does work, then it would be pretty cool to travel through space or time. Or get rich. So long as we get super powers too.”
“So what are we wishing?” Ian asked, confused, “Does that mean we make five different wishes?”
“No,” Jackson said, “We have one wish that is five things at once.”
“Let’s do it then,” Jane said, “Jackson you make the wish.”
“Why him?” Trey demanded.
“He found the stone,” Jane pointed out, and Trey reluctantly agreed. Jackson nodded, his concentration already on his notebook. Finally, he turned the page and began to write.
“So wish already!” Trey exclaimed, getting impatient.
“I have to word it right, or I’ll leave something out,” Jackson explained. Finally, just as Trey was considering climbing a nearby tree out of boredom, Jackson put his pen away and waved his notebook about excitedly. “Finished!”
They all stood awkwardly in front of the stone.
“Should we hold hands or something?” Emma asked, when Jackson made no move to read out their wish.
“Maybe we should,” Jane agreed, “We could stand in a circle around the stone.” Then they tried to, but there was a thorn vine and a tree that got in the way, so it turned out to be a half circle.
“This is so stupid,” Trey muttered, but he took Jane’s hand anyway and took hold of Jackson’s sleeve, since he had to hold his notebook. A heavy silence fell as they waited for the wish to begin.
“Oh, wishing stone,” Jackson announced solemnly, “I, Jackson, I mean Jax, Robinson and my companions wish that we may be explorers who travel through space and time to have an adventure which has magic…
“And pirates!” Ian interrupted, pulling on his brother’s hand and nearly knocking the notebook out of his hand.
“And pirates,” Jackson agreed hurriedly as he stumbled to find his place again quickly before the stone thought he was finished, “And…and…and treasure and super powers and that it begins right this minute, that is our wish.”
They stood in silence, holding their breath. Jackson squeezed his eyes shut, waiting. Nothing happened. After a moment, he opened his eyes again.
“Did it work?” Ian asked, “Are we on an adventure now?”
“No, it didn’t, stupid,” Trey answered, “Does this look like it worked? I never really thought it would anyway.”
“You did,” Jane said, “I felt you squeezing my hand. You made the wish too.”
“That was just because I got a cramp in my hand,” Trey insisted, “I knew it wasn’t really going to work.”
“Hey guys,” Jackson said softly. He was staring at the stone.
“I mean, who would be stupid enough to believe in wishing stones?” Trey continued, “That is like something a baby would believe.”
“Guys,” Jackson said again, “Hey, be quiet a second and look at this.”
“We’ve seen the stupid stone, Jackson,” Trey said, “I’m not going to stand around it again.”
“Maybe it would work if we were touching it,” Emma suggested, “Or if we all said the wish at the same time. I mean, it would feel silly just to walk off after all of this.”
“Guys, really, I mean it. Look at the stone,” Jackson said again. Finally everyone gathered back around the stone.
“Oh,” Trey said, very quietly, and that was all anyone could think of to say. Before them was the same large, white stone, sitting in the exact same spot, but with one small difference. It was now completely smooth, without a single mark on it. The words had vanished.