by Isabella Hatley


It was a perfectly ordinary Tuesday morning when a pedlar stopped at the door of our small stone villa. I knew not to open the door as mother often warned me that pedlars were meddlesome people, but mother was out so she wouldn't know.

“Good morning young man, please feel free to touch any of my products...”

“What's this?” I asked, picking up a shiny stone.

“Wise choice, that is a wishing stone, but it is very expensive - one hundred pesetas in all. But we could do a deal?”

“What is this deal?”

“You get to make one wish on the stone for only seventeen pesetas?”

“Deal.” I shook the man's hand, gathered my money and handed it over, “I wish for...”

“Don't tell me, you want your wish to come true, don't you?”

“Yes, now be quiet!” I snapped, now finding the pedlar to be rather irritating.

“Did anyone pop by whilst I was out Ged?” asked mother, who had returned from the seamstress.

“No, nobody at all,” I lied casually.

“Okay, well I bought the new clothes you wanted.”

“Great,” I then rummaged through the baskets, “but you've forgotten the sandals!”

“Oh Ged, I don't have a money tree at the bottom of the garden, do I?”

“Huh,” and with that I rushed outside.

“When will this wish come true?” I thought, “it probably won't come true at all; maybe it was a trick. Yes, it was definitely a trick.”


“What now?” I questioned and ran to our villa.

“Here, I've packed you a picnic. You can go down to the Abeto Wood, all on your own. Yes, really! Now, I'm going to pop to Aunt Kattameera's for tea. Goodbye, make sure your back for five!”

“Well,” I said to myself after I'd seen mother to the door, “it must be a coincidence.”

I couldn't be bothered to carry the picnic, who could? So, I took the donkey instead.

“Hurry up, you are so slow,” I uttered to the useless donkey, “finally we're here.”

I sat down beside Vella Waters. The sun by now was getting warm, so I decided I'd have a little siesta, but first, it was picnic time. I opened the basket to find sandwiches, cakes and many more delicious things. The food seemed like it would never end; I carried on munching until I could munch no more. I lay down on the soft grass and placed my hat over my face, before I knew it, I was fast asleep...

“Kat, it will work won't it? I don't want my boy to get hurt.”

“I promise.” Aunt Kattameera vowed, knowing how her sister worried about every little thing, “You ready?”

“Ready as I'll ever be.”

“Three, two, one!”

“Ante doctrinae inpositionis !” the two sisters chanted.

“PSSHHHHEWWWWWW !!!!!!!” a blinding light flashed through the woods.

“Do you think it worked?”

“All we can do is hope.” replied Kat, uncovering her eyes.

The two hopeful women linked arms and strolled back down the dusty road hoping for the best...

It was cold. I was confused. I didn't know where I was, but I was Ged Romero; and Ged Romero was never afraid. I dusted myself off and stood up. I looked around and found I was in a forest; a rather peculiar forest. There were toad stools that were gigantic with gory green spots. I went to have a look, after I'd pinched myself, to make sure I wasn't dreaming. As I neared the toad stool it began to hiss and spit, the spots were bubbling and letting off quite a smell. Then all of a sudden it began to move, next it was running, now sprinting rather fast. It was heading straight for me!

I began to wish I hadn't eaten all that food, as I ran faster than I ever had before. A splatting noise pierced the air. A green splodge landed beside me, there was no time to investigate as more stinky slime balls were raining down. I ran and ran and ran for what seemed like miles; the toad stool obviously wasn't thinking of giving up any time soon. I was going to have to think of a decoy as I wasn't going to last much longer. My brain was whirring until finally an idea popped into my head: -