Suddenly, the third period bell rang. I don’t think I’ve ever rushed more to get to a class in all my life. I wanted to see if Wish Book would change Mr. Rah’s appearance. Usually dressed in a tie and stiff as a ruler, Mr. Rah would sit at his desk and read a book or grade papers.
My heart sank as I entered the room. There he was, dressed in a drab green button down and a blah-blue tie. Plus, he was reading Game of Bones. Well, that was new, at least.
I rolled to my desk, puzzled. Did I dream I sketched a party going on in here?
“Sooo?” Holly asked. “You DID wish our Thursday quiz away. Right?”
Totally unsure, I gave her an I-believe-I-did-yeah-cuz-my-brain-didn’t-dream-that-up-in-art head nod.
“Whew!” she blew out a breath. “I’m glad because I’d be totally screwed otherwise. I didn’t have time to study.”
Just then, Mr. Rah rose from his chair and said, “Get out your testing booklets. It’s time for our Thursday quiz.”
Holly winced and whispered, “What the hell, Athena? You said you made a wish.”
My mouth opened to answer but Mr. Rah shushed. “There will be no talking.” He shot arrows at us from his dark eyes.
After answering questions about the Roman Empire until I got a brain freeze, I handed in the testing sheet from my booklet. I felt depressed. Not that I failed the quiz—it was pretty easy. Mr. Rah had drilled us about that stuff all last week. Even though he was boring, he was still a pretty decent teacher. I was depressed about Wish Book.
Wish Book, oh, Wish Book!
My heart cried in agony, seeing all my hopes and dreams flutter out of its glistening pages. What went wrong?
I took a look at it to see if I’d dreamed up the whole thing.
But there it was: Mr. Rah dressed in a Hawaiian shirt dancing with a boombox blasting, eating pizza. My wish for no Thursday quiz was written right over that awesome pizza-tastic drawing. Unfortunately, not even crickets were going to party in this classroom.
I scrolled to the page where I’d sketched my beautiful bedroom.
It must have been a freaky coincidence.
Frustrated, I plopped the stupid thing on my desk. The morning light seemed to catch on the spine and for a minute, it twinkled innocently at me. No, I told myself. I would not be tricked again. I decided to sell the thing online ASAP. Or maybe Holly’s mom would have a few ideas where we could pawn it.
After the last test was handed in, Mr. Rah excused himself and told us to read our assignments quietly at our desks.
Once he left, the whole class murmured.
“Boy, that was rough.” Holly shook her head. “I probably didn’t get an A. My first. I don’t get what went wrong.” She gave a big sigh.
I plopped my head on the desk, staring at the useless book. “Well, I guess it’s just a regular old journal.” What kind of weird kid would want to give me a glittery blank book? It was so…strange.
Gazing at the beautiful golden book, I said, “It would have been a wonderful dream, though.”
As I was about to put Wish Book in my backpack, Mr. Rah entered the classroom.
With a stack of pizza!
My mouth dropped. Holly’s mouth dropped. The whole class’ mouth dropped.
“I thought since you’ve been working so hard this term that you deserved a break.” Mr. Rah’s face beamed (I never knew he smiled.) He shouted, “Let’s rock!”
Blasting the stereo, the whole class erupted in party mode. Pizza flew, the stereo cranked, cell phones texted, and we had the most fun ever in twenty minutes. Mr. Rah even danced, shedding his tie and unbuttoning his shirt!
The glee I felt was written on Holly’s face as she pointed at Wishbook and danced with me.
Wish Book worked!
It might not have worked exactly as I’d written or drawn, but that was something I had to figure out later. All I knew was that I had power. A power that could move mountains, shake cities, recreate teachers and bedrooms but most of all…
Change my rotten life.
At lunch, Holly, Francisco, and I went into miracle-planning mode. I placed Wish Book on the brown table gently like it was made of glass.
Francisco knocked on the book. “So, you’re not kidding? The book actually worked and you didn’t suffer Blah’s quiz?”
“Not exactly,” Holly said, lifting the book and showing Francisco.
I waved my hands, frustrated. “It only half worked. Blah gave us the quiz but then threw us a party like I drew it.”
Francisco whistled. “That’s it. Look what you did, Athena.”
“I didn’t do anything,” I said. “It just doesn’t work like it should.”
“Athena,” Holly tapped on the page. “I know what San Fran is getting at. See? You wrote your wish and it didn’t come true but you drew the wish and it happened.”
“Exactly.” Francisco put his hand behind his head and grinned. “Tell me I’m a genius again.”
“Huh.” I studied the page. “Sorry, genius.” I smirked. “It didn’t happen exactly how I drew it. Blah wasn’t wearing a Hawaiian shirt.”
“Hmm. That is a conundrum,” Holly said, taking a bite of ham.
With a knowing gleam in her eye, she went on, “It would seem the magic can only happen if it’s possible.”
“Yeah, she’s right,” Francisco agreed. “Blah didn’t wear a Hawaiian shirt because he didn’t own one or he didn’t bring one to school.”
A rock plunged into my stomach. “That means Wish Book can’t create something out of nothing,” I said, thinking about my nothing legs.
“Right.” Francisco agreed. He didn’t know how disappointed I was feeling at that moment. “What’s wrong, Athena?” he asked, cocking his head.
“Nothing,” I answered, fiddling with my plate. Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry. “Look, guys, I’m tired of talking about this. I need to go to the library to study for Careers class. Okay?”
Francisco scratched the back of his neck nervously. “But what about my wish?”
“Go for it,” I said, wheeling my chair back from the table. “You can draw excellent manga. Wish away.”
Francisco shook his head. “My name isn’t on the book, Athena. It probably wouldn’t work for me.”
He wasn’t giving up. “Just a tiny wish for our science class, okay? You can come up with something. We’re going to have our organic lab, right? Have me do something that will impress Ms. Tanaka. You know she hates me.”
“Well, if you didn’t catch her on fire with a Bunsen burner in our first lab, things might have been different,” I said.
Francisco blasted me with a grin. “Please?”
I caved. “Oh, alright. I’ll come up with something while I’m at the library.” I brightened and said, cheerily, “Don’t worry, Francisco, I’ll think up something amazing.”
“Thanks,” he said, making a tiny flutter in my stomach. For some reason he looked really cute today.
I rolled down the aisle toward the library, hoping I was wrong about my miracle book. I wished it was a magic genie that could make all my dreams come true.
After I went over my notes, I heaved Wish Book out of my bag and dropped it on the table. Thud. I looked around, suddenly nervous about creating another wish. The librarian, Ms. Fern, bent over her computer, typing in something with her back to me.
I didn’t spy any other students, so I was free to draw. My mind tried to picture what Francisco might do or say to impress Mrs. Tanaka when I heard a whisper that suspiciously sounded like it came from the book, “Let me help.”
“What?” I glanced around. No one was there.
“Let me help.” A boy’s voice sprang out from the spot of the book.
“Wish Book?” I asked, heart pounding.
“Yes,” it said, flashing spectacular colors on its surface like a golden holograph. “I can assist you with the wish for your friend.”
I shook my head, feeling suddenly dizzy.
“Trust me,” it said.
My mouth dried up as if I’d just traveled through a dozen deserts without water. “How?” I croaked.
“Take your pencil,” he whispered. It was definitely a boy’s voice with a British accent.
“Now open me.”
With shaky hands, I opened the book. The spine seemed to creak.
“Close your eyes,” he ordered.
Against my better judgment, I shut my eyes and readied the pencil.
A warm, soothing sensation rippled through my chest and down my arms. Instantly, my hand raced across the clean page.
I drew so fast, I couldn’t quite make out what I had drawn. Sparkles and smoke seemed to burst across the images.
The book shut. Slap!
My heart lurched into my throat.
Shooting from her chair, the librarian raised a finger to her lips in warning.
My cheeks warmed. I whispered, “Sorry!”
Because I wanted to see what Wish Book drew, I tried to open it, but it wouldn’t move.
“Wish Book,” I whispered harshly so I wouldn’t disturb Ms. Fern again, and so she wouldn’t see me trying to wrangle a freaky book’s binding. “What have you done?”
The only thing I could hear was a slight giggle.
Then the bell rang.
Next update Monday, October 29th.