Epic struggles almost always start small.
We’re out of jam, so I made a peanut butter and chocolate cake sandwich.
“Wait,” Isaac said to the queen of everything. “I don’t know what to wish for.”
“Hush,” she whispered. “They’ll hear you. Not everyone is unhappy here, you know. They can’t know what we’re planning.”
“But then it isn’t really fair to them if I just wish everyone home, unless here really is their home. It’s all so confusing. Didn’t you give an eraser to the captain? Why can’t he make the wishes?”
“Every wish he made went wrong somehow. He’s busy erasing out his notebook. We want you to try. Now hush, they’re here.” And the queen turned and smiled at Hannah and Anna and Timmons and Jim and the white mouse and the octopus and Billy and Teddy.
Even more people and creatures were coming. He even saw the captain somewhere near the back. Had he met them all? How did they know to come?
“It’s the crown,” the queen with the sword said. “When you put it on, it called everyone here to witness your coronation and enjoy the party.”
“It sort of put itself on really,” Isaac said.
Timmons laughed. “I think that’s normal. If I remember right.”
The white mouse tapped his foot. “Hurry up. I’m supposed to be somewhere else right now, so if we could move this all along a little faster, that would be nice.”
Jim laughed. “I think we’re all ready for the party to start. It’s right up this path. Lead the way, Isaac.”
Isaac nodded and took a deep breath. He still had no idea what to wish for. Maybe the idea would just come to him. He marched forward, and everyone followed him.
The path was just clear, warm sand that wound through the tall palm trees and banks of hibiscus flowers. It led downhill, and at the end of the path there was a banner strung high between two palm trees, that read “King Isaac.” Beyond that, there was a large, round clearing filled with tables and chairs.
“Your chair is over there,” the queen of everything said, suddenly at his elbow once more. She pointed to a throne at the head of a long table across the clearing. Isaac crossed the clearing and sat on the throne. Jim and Billy ended up sitting at either side.
As soon as he sat down, a large chocolate cake appeared in front of him. It was bigger than the kitchen table at home. “Now what?” he muttered.
“What was that?” Billy asked. “Are you talking to the food because you expect it to talk back? I won’t eat talking food. I’m sure it would be full of germs.”
“It’s fine,” Jim said. “He’s just practicing for his speech. Then he’ll cut and serve the cake, and no one will get any germs.”
“Speech?” Billy waved a hand. “Let’s hear it.”
“Wait,” Isaac said. “There’s cake because it’s my birthday as a king, right? At home we have a tradition for birthdays.”
He put the candle in the cake and lit it. He still had no idea what he was going to wish for or even if this would work at all. But he thought of the people who wanted to go home and he thought about never seeing his family again. This had been a fun adventure, but he didn’t want to stay here forever.
He just wanted everyone to be where and when they would be the most happy. Could he wish that? If he did, would it go wrong somehow and they’d all be stuck between worlds like the captain and his crew?
Everyone was watching him, silent. This was it. He’d make his wish and see what happened. And so he thought his wish as he blew out the candle.