The Wishing Map is a full-length fantasy that is being posted episodically at this site. To read the previous episode, click here. To read the entire novel, begin here.
In an effort to send the mysterious objects in Zack’s toy chest back to the world they came from, Zack and Gina decided to push the chest to the Wishing Map in her room.
The toy chest easily weighed over a hundred pounds. Mom always insisted that the spaces beneath it be cleaned, so Dad had installed plastic casters on the corners, but the chest had never really accepted them, so they were rather tenuously attached. This had been OK as long as Zack was only moving the chest a few feet.
But moving the chest all the way to Gina’s room was another story.
Zack began to push while Gina grabbed the handle nearest the door and started to pull. The chest resisted for a moment, then sailed majestically forward like a Spanish galleon.
“We’re getting it!” Zack grunted.”
“Hoo-oomph!” replied his sister.
Once they’d gotten the chest halfway through the entrance, it began to rattle violently. Gina let go and stepped back, staring wide-eyed at the haunted vessel.
“Hey! Don’t quit!”
“They’re going to explode!”
“God,” Gina prayed, “after everything we’ve been through, please don’t let us be eaten by our toys.” She grabbed the heavy handle again, but then the chest did something it had never done before — it jumped forward on its own, clearing the doorway without any help. Gina let out a shriek.
But then the chest stopped, unable to make the turn by itself, and shivered plaintively. Zack clambered over it into the hallway and joined Gina in pushing. The chest was eerily compliant until they got it facing the right direction, and then it began lurching forward again.
The right rear caster broke off and the corner of the chest began to rip the already threadbare hallway carpet.
“Mom’ll kill us!” Gina screamed.
Zack grabbed the casterless edge and began thumping forward on his knees while holding up the corner, saying, “Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!” with each move.
Gina shimmied between the chest and the handrail, and took up the navigator position in front: “Go right, go right! Your going to hit the—”
There was a sickening crunch as the left front caster gave way and disappeared under the chest. The big box lurched into one of the handrail posts, causing it to fracture.
“We’re dead,” said Zack.
They observed a moment of silence for the murdered post, and then returned to the task at hand. Gina dropped to her knees, slipping her fingers under the front corner. She pulled hard, using every muscle in her body, but the chest could go no further. It see-sawed angrily on its caddie-corner casters.
The Objects inside began hurling themselves against the lid and the remaining hinge started to pull loose. Gina watched as one of the spouts on the “brass football” Object peeked out from under the cover. Is it going to report back to the others? she wondered.
She sat down on the lid, then looked around. “Zack?” The thought that he might have been sucked into the chest flashed across her mind, but before she could work up a really good panic, she heard:
“Got the key.”
“We’ll have to take ‘em out,” said Zack, “and carry ‘em to the Map.”
“What else can we do?”
“But they’ll escape and—”
“And what? Go into the Map? Isn’t that the whole idea?”
“No, you idiot! They’ll—”
“They’ll what, brainfreeze?”
“You…you could get your skateboard…use it like a wheelbarrow and–”
“That’s not gonna work.”
“But if you let them out, they’ll go crazy!”
What choice did they have? As Zack turned the key in the lock, the Objects started to rumble in chorus…
As if they were talking to one another!
Thoughts: Have you ever been in a position where risking life and limb was unavoidable?
To read the next episode, click here.
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It looks like out of a Harry Potter movie, the object I mean. 🙂
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Mitch, I just spent the last two hours reading through the first several chapters of this book. What an adventure! Wow! Tomorrow morning I’m going back to read more of it. Let me know if it is ever in book form so I can get it for my great-grandson!
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I will, Angie. So glad you’re enjoying it!
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