It was the most boring day in school holidays. I mean, aren’t school holidays meant to be fun? All my other friends were either off camping, shopping, or in Queensland prancing along in Movie World or Wet n Wild.
I groaned with jealousy.
Instead of somewhere exciting, I was stuck at home alone with my baby sister, Mary Ann. Now and then I would obey mum’s rules and check up on my sister, curled up in her cot. How dreadful it is when I hear her screaming for attention!
I was sitting uncomfortably on the red, soft couch with my knees tucked under my arms. I rocked myself, trying to think of something utterly exciting to take the pain of boredom away. But it didn’t come!
My eyes wondered around the plain, strange room…pattern curtains, a small TV, photo frames of the family and medals for dad’s achievements saying ‘Best kept farm’…yeah, all the basic stuff kept in a basic home.
I got up and walked around the room in a little circle, still as bored as ever. Suddenly, I spied the small attic door near the stair case.
Dad and mum don’t let me go in there much, only when it’s time to put our summer clothes in a box when winter comes.
I stroll over there, and tighten my hand around the slightly-too-small door knob. It didn’t open. I yanked it once more and finally it opened quite quickly…
I put my head around the corner, taking in all the sights there was. There wasn’t much, except a couple of cobwebs in the corners long abandoned from hairy spiders. And among the spider webs were old, rough boxes, filled to the brim with unused rubbish. I even saw some old clothes from my baby hood among them! I ran over the creaky floor, avoiding some rubbish and heaps of dust.
But instead of me opening the box I saw, my hands felt a rather smaller box near the bigger one. It was bright red, with a few dusty spots spotted all over it. I pressed it into my arms and ran out the attic, slamming the door behind me with my elbows.
I blew away the dust from the box and opened the small lid carefully.
But it came to me in shock for there was nothing to be seen inside! I sighed, disappointed and even more when Mary Ann began to cry really loudly.
I growled. “Why can’t you just be quiet? I wish you were fast asleep!” I yelled, trying to make Mary Ann listen to me. Suddenly, as if magic, she stopped screaming, and all I heard was silence.
I looked at the open box, suspiciously. I never got my wish at times, not as fast as this…and grandpa Jones DID talk a lot of magic lamps and magic boxes.
Great happiness flooded over me, and I realized this box was magic! Yeah, if someone heard me right now, they would think me a lunatic. So to be sure, I ran over to the kitchen and slammed the box down on the wooden table.
I looked in the fridge and shut it, annoyed. Nothing but a few vegetables, cheese, milk and water (of course meat) was in there. I sighed disappointed but turned to my box.
I clutched the red opened box in my small hands and said, “I wish I had lemonade.” I went to the fridge and there, on the 3rd bench, was a big bottle of fizzy lemonade! Yum!
I slammed the fridge after me, holding the lemonade close to me. Pored a glass, and sculled it down like a thirsty camel. I licked my lips, proudly.
I won a glass of lemonade, and made Mary Ann fall right asleep: now that’s great! I can’t wait to show it off to my friends…
I looked out the window, and listened to the rain. Boring, dull rain. It always destroys anything you want to do outside.
Suddenly, my hands gripped harder onto the box and I smiled delightfully.
“I wish for the rain to stop, and the sun to come out!” I cried in joy. And it came true! The rain made its last breath, and slowly came to a stop. The sun took over, bright and sunny as ever, shining rays of golden light down onto the fields. The cows looked up, surprised and continued on with their daily grazing.
But my eyes became gloomy, because all there was out in the green, vast backyard we had was a swinging clothing line, and a rusty, creaky shed.
I know- I could wish for something to fill up the gap in our backyard, to make me smile out all my worries and laugh out happiness.
“I wish for a trampoline.” I said proudly. And when I turned to the window again, I saw a big shape, a big, large but thin shape. Its metal legs were shiny and proud against the warm sun, and the thin layer of bouncy material made my eyes pop. Before I thought what I was doing, my legs were running, fast.
I dropped my red box onto the laundry basket and skipped out the framed door, into the beautiful sunshine. Oh how I love the glow in my face, my body all warm! I climbed up onto the trampoline and began to bounce. Up and down, up and down! It went for a while until I got tired and sweaty.
I jumped off onto the warm grass and skidded through the laundry door, taking the box with me.
I was lonely, no one to play with. No one to laugh with, to talk with, and to eat with. No one to share my moment of happiness with the treasure I discovered.
Suddenly, an idea popped into my head, and I opened the lid of the magic box and said, “I wish I had three dogs!” Prouder ever then before, I watched in surprise as three different barking dogs came frolicking through the laundry door and laughing into the kitchen. I could tell with dog was which: one was a fat, plump, silver bull dog, another was a fluffy, flash, auburn toy poodle and the other was a patched, black and white sheep dog.
I tried to make them sit, but instead they ran off through the golden hall. I ran after them, tired and helpless, growing more annoyed of them.
Tables were knocked over, sheets were dirty and scrunched up, CDs were spread across the floor, awful smells drifted through the hall…horror crossed my face when the whole house was a disaster. Even worse…mum was home, I heard her Ford drive in the garage…
I grabbed the box and said, “I wish the house was clean!” The house became clean. “I wish the dogs were gone!” The dogs were gone. I hesitated, trying to remember what I wished for. “I wish…that the trampoline was gone.” I sulked, unhappy. “I wish for the lemonade to be gone!”
That’s was all I could do for the front door creaked open and mum stepped through the door. I threw the box in the attic, closing the door just in time to see mum standing beside me.
“Hello, Lucy! I can’t believe what a nice day it was today!” she said, grinning. Her brown, short bob cut swished around her neck as she dropped her work brief case onto the ground and smiled. I smiled back, pathetically. “Did you go outside?”
I nodded quickly.
“Did you finish your homework?”
“I’ve already done that!” I sighed.
“Oh- how did you go with Mary-Ann?” Mum asked, suspiciously. “She’s very quiet.”
“Uh…good, I think.”
Mum turned into smiles. “I knew I could trust you!” She said, patting my head and heading towards the kitchen, her long, grey work dress swaying behind her. I ran to the attic when she was out of sight.
I looked in towards the spot I threw the box…I searched everywhere, but it wasn’t there…
I grew anxious; what would mum think of me wishing Mary Ann to be asleep, forever? And I can’t wish her back because I couldn’t find the box?
Suddenly, mum’s scream echoed through the house.
“When did I ever get dogs!?” Her angry voice said. I grew white.
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