Madelaine & Mocha (7): The Wishing Stone by Vivian Munnoch Chapter 2 Bad Night and a Dreary Day
The wind hisses through the trees and the night insects sullenly make their noises, seeming more hushed than they should be.
After some shifting and restlessness, the four finally settle quietly into their sleeping bags. Clive and Caroline soon are breathing the slow deep breaths of sleep, but neither girl can sleep. Each is trapped in her own thoughts.
Madelaine feels hollow inside and her stomach is sick with worry for her missing dog. She imagines all the kinds of bad things her mind can think of that might have happened to the little dog.
She can’t keep the tears away and she cries silently until, after a few hours, she finally cries herself to sleep.
Zoe watches her motionless sister in the darkness. She can barely see her. They are all dark shadowy forms within the darkness of the tent.
She can feel the darkness outside pressing in on the tent and it gives her a sick feeling, like something bad is out there trying to get in with the darkness. The soft sound of her parents breathing gives Zoe only a little comfort.
Unable to sleep, Zoe has nothing but time to think.
“Sometimes it feels like Madelaine thinks we are a lot further apart in age than we are. Sometimes it feels like Madelaine treats me like I’m the way younger sister, instead of just a little bit younger. When she does that, it makes me feel so frustrated and angry."
"Today was one of those days. Madelaine only wanted to play with her dog all day. I tried to play with her, but Madelaine didn’t want anything to do with me. Sometimes I feel like she hates me.”
Finally Zoe ended up stomping off with angry tears to sit by herself. Zoe was filled with jealousy that Madelaine cared about a dog more than she does her own sister. She swallows her misery in the darkness.
“I was so mad that I wished as hard as I could that Mocha would just go away. I wished Madelaine never even had a puppy. I don’t even know why she got a puppy all for herself. "
"Mom and Dad said it was because of something that happened, but nobody would say what. They were just all quiet and cryptic when I asked. When I asked Madelaine, she only shrugged and walked away."
"Whatever the big secret is, it’s not fair that she got her own puppy. Mocha should have been for both of us. Madelaine sometimes rubs it in my face that Mocha is only hers.”
Zoe swallows through her tears, making an effort to not make a sound in the dark tent. Outside, she can hear the wind and insects.
“I-I thought that if Mocha was gone, then Madelaine would have nobody to play with on this camping trip but me. Without Mocha, maybe Madelaine would talk to me again. She never wants anything to do with me anymore.”
Tears roll down her cheek in the dark.
“I feel so bad for ever thinking those horrible things. I don’t like to see Madelaine hurt or sad, even when I cause it in a rash moment of anger. And I never wanted anything bad to happen to Mocha. Not really. I just didn’t think it through when I wished she was gone.”
Zoe feels hollow with her own empty ache for the pain she caused her sister.
“Even though Madelaine often doesn’t let me play with her dog, and Mocha seems to only love Madelaine best, I still love that little dog too. It’s just hard to get past my jealousy sometimes.”
The pain of her guilt, and the worry over Mocha and Madelaine, fills Zoe up like she is stretched out and filled with a pain that is too big to fit inside her.
“It’s my fault Mocha is gone,” Zoe thinks. “I wished it so hard and then it happened.”
She reaches her hand under her pillow and finds the small lump. She rubs her fingers on it, trying to take comfort in it. It is a small smooth stone, round and kind of flat. It is polished so smooth that it almost seems to have a warmth of its own.