“Jane lit the fire as she looked up at the mountain. Her family had been trying for years to get into the village. After they left their old village, they needed to find a new village. The village they were trying to live in had a list of people trying to get in.”
Jane lit the fire as she looked up at the mountain. Her family had been trying for years to get into the village. After they left their old village, they needed to find a new village. The village they were trying to live in had a list of people trying to get in. Her family had been living in a special village outside the real village. The houses were small and made out of logs. The king gave the houses to them to live in while they waited. It may have sounded okay to live there, but you had to make your own food, your own clothes, and everything that you might need. Jane was really happy that her family was next on the list to live in the real village!
“Jane!” her mom came running out of the house.
Jane couldn’t identify her tone of voice. It sounded mad, but sad and happy?
“What?” Jane said as she threw more logs into the fire.
“There is a new family, a rich one, who was too rich for their village and wants to to live here, in this village, and the king of this village wants them to live here. So they are getting boosted to the top of the list,” her mom sighed.
“Oh no! We will never get to live in the village!” Jane complained.
“Now, Jane, you can’t complain. Now, that fire is getting big. You don’t want it to get too big, so put that chicken in the heat!”
Jane did as she was told, and soon, the chicken was ready. Jane put it on a plate and gave it to her mom. Her mom put it on a table, and soon, they were ready to eat. But something was missing.
“Dad! Kiki! Dinner!” Jane called.
Her dad and her two-year-old sister, Kiki, came walking in.
“You don’t have to yell. This is a three-room house. When they built it, he had to make it a small three room house,” Kiki said, falling in her seat.
Kiki was bossy like that.
Jane was tired from her job. But it wasn’t that hard because, like Kiki just said, it was a three room house: the kitchen/dining room, the bathroom, and the bedroom. As their mom told them the bad news, Jane snuck out of the conversation. She did not like hearing it. Besides, she had more important things to do. Namely, talking to the king. She went to her part of the bedroom and got a bandanna and a stick. She gathered some things, like some clothes, then snuck some candy, then snuck back out to the kitchen to gather some food. She tied it all up in the bandanna, then put the stick over her back, and went out to face her family.
“Guys, I have made plans for myself. I shall climb up to the village and talk to the king myself! I will tell him he is no match for my family and that they will have to put that rich family at the bottom of the list!” Jane proudly announced.
And Jane walked right out of that house, but was quickly stopped by Kiki and her parents.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Kiki asked.
Her mom took the bag from her, and her dad sat her down.
“You go up there, and you will be lucky if you get back down. Our whole family will suffer! We would get put at the bottom of the list!” Her dad said, as his face got redder and redder at the thought.
“Well, you won’t stop me!” Jane yelled and walked inside the house.
That night, Jane took a piece of paper and wrote a note that said, “I will see you in a little bit!”
Jane grabbed her bag and ran out the door. She didn’t think about what her dad said because she hadn’t really been listening.
Jane walked out of the the garden and looked up. She saw the village high up on the mountain. She would have to climb up that high mountain. Jane started to walk up the mountain, but soon realized she couldn’t do it. No one has ever walked up the mountain before.There was a lift, and it was like a ski lift, but it was locked for the night. But maybe she could unlock the lift! No, it was at the top of the mountain.
“Hello?” a young girl’s voice said.
Jane instantly turned around. A little girl, about her age, was standing there.
“Oh, hi. Um, Who are you exactly? Where did you come from?” Jane asked.
“Oh, me? I’m Emily. And, like you asked, I came from my house because I couldn’t sleep with all the snoring,” Emily said. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m trying to get up to the village,” Jane said.
“I’m trying to get into the village too. Because for some reason, they boosted my family to the top of the village list. The thing is, that’s not fair!” Emily said.
Wait, Jane thought, she lives in the rich family! There is no way I can tell her that I’m trying to get the their family back to the bottom of the list, but then, she said it was not fair!
“Yeah, um, I was, or my family, was at the top of the list, and I thought it was not fair, too. So now I thought I would go and tell the king it wasn’t fair, but there is no way I can climb this mountain,” Jane said quickly, hoping Emily would miss a lot of it.
But Emily was silent.
“I’ll come with you up the mountain because I am the seventh child, so there is nothing to do anyway,” Emily said.”It will be interesting,” she continued.
So they headed up the mountain, but it was only five minutes before they got tired.
“Wait,” Emily said, reaching in her pocket,”I think I have some rope.”
Emily tied the rope around her and Jane. And then, she tied a little knot, making a circle, in the rope. She found a ledge and threw the rope up, up, onto the ledge.
“Now, climbing will be easier,” Emily said and started climbing.
Jane started, too, but found it was harder.
“So you said you are the seventh child in your family?” Jane asked.
“Seventh and youngest,” Emily said and kept climbing.
Jane wanted to share about her family, but decided to keep it to herself. Finally, the mountain was in view!
“Almost there!” Jane said, with barely enough breath.
“Yes!” Emily said, and sounded the same, with barely enough breath, too.
The climb was hard. Jane almost slipped on the steep and rocky mountainside, but the rope caught her. Emily got stuck in between two rocks, and then Jane had to pull her up.
When they got to the top, Jane looked out across the village, but it was hard to see.
“What time is it?” Jane asked.
Emily put down the rope that she was now untying.
“2:53,” Emily sighed.
“What?” Jane asked, surprised.
“Yeah, it’s late,” Emily said.
“My parents would have told me to go to bed, let’s see, a few hours ago,” Jane said.
“Come on, let’s go explore the village, and see why in the world we can’t live here,”
Emily started walking without Jane.
“Probably because the village is really small,” Jane said softly.
“Are you kidding me? Look at this!” Emily announced.
“Shhhhhh!” Jane shushed her as she pushed past Emily to look.
The village was huge! Big houses lined the streets. The road seemed to go on forever. The yards were the size of her house, but three times bigger.
“Those look like empty houses,” Emily said, sounding annoyed.
Jane ran over.
“You’re right,” Jane whispered, just in case Emily was wrong.
But it did not look like she was wrong. Cobwebs lined the windows. Ivy ran down the house, out of control. Everything was dark. Dust was everywhere.
“I’m hungry,” Emily said, out of the blue.
“Here, I got something,” Jane reached into her bag and pulled out a strawberry. “Fresh from our garden.”
The two girls walked through the village. Finally, they reached to castle.
“Knock, Jane,” Emily whispered.
Jane lifted up her hand, and almost knocked.
“Should we wait till morning?” Jane asked.
“Maybe to talk to the king. But we can get a room till morning,” Emily answered.
Emily knocked instead. The sound echoed throughout the castle. Suddenly, the door opened. A tall man was standing in the doorway. His hands looked different. And where were his shoes? Jane realized that his hands were where his feet should be, and his feet were where his hands should be. Emily seemed to notice too.
“What do you want?” He asked.
“Um, we want to talk to the king,” Emily answered shyly.
“Well, go home and come back in the morning, Emily!” he said as he shut the door.
Jane was confused. How did he know Emily’s name?
“No, wait! Jim!” Emily yelled.
Jane couldn’t take it anymore.
“How do you guys know each other?” she yelled.
Emily turned around.
“We met each other when we got a tour of the village,” She calmly explained.
“You got a tour of the village?” Jane asked.
“Yeah. Anyways, please let us stay and talk with the king?” Emily turned back to Jim.
“Well, okay. Come on in. I will get you a room to stay in,” Jim said.
“Thanks,” Jane said.
They followed Jim into the place. Marble floors glistened under them.
“Wow!” Emily exclaimed.
Jane almost slipped as she tried to maneuver past furniture that looked like it came straight from Paris.
“Here are the guest rooms,” Jim said and motioned to some rooms.
“Jane! Did you even realize that we walked up three flights of stairs and down one?” Emily asked.
“No, and I thought that was the whole village!” Jane answered.
A few hours later, Jane woke up. She got out of bed and walked over to Emily’s room.
“Wake up!” she yelled.
Today was the big day. Everything had to be perfect.
“Alright now!” Emily jumped out of bed and ran out the door, leaving Jane to quickly follow.
An hour later, the girls had gotten breakfast and were all dressed. Emily seemed more excited than Jane, even though what it meant for her and her family.
“So, I can do the talking” Emily said.
“But why?” Jane asked.
“Because, he will listen to me more than you, since I come from the Jones family,” Emily answered proudly.
“True, but your last name is Jones?” Jane asked, startled.
“Yes, as in Emily Jones,” Emily answered.
A little while later, they were escorted to see the king.
“Hello!” said a raspy voice.
Emily walked in first.
“Hello, King Palmer Tudor,” Emily said as she curtseyed.
“Oh, hello, Emily Jones! What brings you by?” he asked.
Emily took a deep breath as she said, “So, here is Jane, well, I don’t know her last name, but — ”
“I don’t know mine,” Jane whispered.
“Wh-what do you mean you don’t know you last name?” Emily asked.
“No one knows. We left our last village because our family was accused of a crime we didn’t commit. When we left, or before we did, the leader banned our last name. So no one can say it. Now we don’t have a last name,” Jane explained.
“Go on, Emily.” It was obvious the king did not want to hear Jane speak.
“So Jane was at the top of the list, and then we came along, and well, we are at the top. She is mad, and I am mad,” Emily said.
“What? You are mad? But why? You are the next to come in.” the king asked.
“Because it’s not fair!” Emily yelled.
“Well, if you are mad, I will put you at the bottom of the list.”
The king put down his head.
“Thanks so much, Emily!”
The girls walked out of the castle. Jane was smiling, but Emily was frowning for some reason.
“What’s wrong?” Jane asked.
“Nothing. I’m happy for you, but after I realized how much you wanted to live in the village, well, I’m going to have to experience it,” Emily said.
“Why don’t you want to live in the village?” Jane asked.
“Because I have a big house, and I don’t really care,” Emily answered.
“Oh. Anyways, I think that’s my mom over there,” Jane frowned, surprised to see her mom in the village.
“And there’s Sadie, and there’s Sarah, and there is Sam, and Sasha and Samantha and Saige,” Emily said.
“Wait, do all of your siblings names start with the letter’S’?” Jane asked.
“Yes, besides being the youngest, I am also the only one with my name with the letter ‘E’,” Emily said.
“I think that was Sadie,” Emily whispered.
“And that was Kiki!” Jane whispered.
Jane saw Kiki, her mom, and her dad running to her.
“Where did you go? Why did you go? What happened?” Kiki asked.
“Well I got us back to the top of the list, and I figured out why people get into the village slowly. Everybody here is weird! And the king just wants different people!” Jane said.
“You got us to the top of the list?” Kiki asked.
“Yes I did,”Jane said.
“Emily! Are we at the bottom of the list?” Emily’s mom asked, pushing through her family.
“Maybe,” Emily said.
“Emily Jones!” her mom yelled.
“Well I could move you back if you want.”
Everyone turned around. The king was there!
“No thanks,” Emily said.
“But Emily! Now we are going to have to wait until everyone in front of us to live in the village!” Sadie complained.
“Well, maybe I could let both you live in the village right now! Together. We have some empty houses!” the king said.
“Well, you obviously have magic. Why don’t you use it to make the village bigger so that everyone, up here and down there, can live here,” Emily suggested.
“Actually, that’s a great idea!” the king said, and everyone agreed.
A few years later, the king made an announcement saying, “We have so many poor and not magic people, so we are kicking those people out and preparing for rich and magic people!”
“No! That king! He can never get anything right!” Kiki said.
“We might have to leave,” a worried Jane said.
“Well to be honest, I kind of wanted to leave. The king was acting so weird, I wanted to leave,” her mom said.
“Let’s leave soon!” her dad said.
“But why is he really kicking people out?” Jane asked.
“Well, Emily and Sarah are probably going to stay, and we are going to have to leave. So with Emily and Sarah’s family, we are going to travel and find a new village,” her mom said.
“Are we going to live with Sarah?” Kiki asked.
(She had become friends with Sarah.)
“Maybe. We will be grateful for anything we get, girls, so don’t complain,” her mom said.
“We sure will be grateful,” Kiki murmured.
“What was that, Kiki?”
A little while later, four lifts had been filled up. The two families were leaving. The king was sad that the Jones family was leaving, but reminded himself that it was only a matter of time before new rich families would be walking down the street.
“So, are you excited?” Jane asked Emily.
“No, but yes. No because it will be scary, but yes because I can get out of this crazy town!” Emily said.
“Why is it crazy?” Jane asked.
“You don’t know why? Well, the people, the way they act, and well, the king!” Emily said.
When they arrived at the bottom of the mountain, Jane and Emily hopped out.
“Move,” Emily’s sister, Samantha, said as she pushed by them.
“The mean and crude one of the family,” Emily said.
At first, they started walking through the desert, which was outside of the waiting village.
“It’s sooooo hot,” Jane said.
“I know! Mom! How much longer until we leave the desert?” Emily asked.
“I don’t know, honey!” she called back.
Next, they walked through a very snowy and cold area.
“It’s sooooo cold,” Jane said.
“I know! Mom! How much longer until we leave this area?” Emily asked.
“I don’t know, honey!” she called back.
Finally, they left the area, and they wandered onto a place like the desert.
“Let’s turn this way,” Emily said, and pointed to a place that, to Jane, did not look like the right place.
“No, let’s go that way,” Jane said and pointed.
“No, my way is right even though I didn’t study a map. And we always do it your way!” Emily said, frustrated.
The parents let the kids do the finding, but that was a bad idea.
“Always do it my way? Please, Emily. You talked to the king. You made me see the house, and that’s only part of it!” Jane said.
“I asked you if you wanted to look. And, if you had said it, you would still be living in the waiting village,” Emily said.
“Well, yeah, but to be honest, I liked the waiting village better,” Jane said.
“Okay, but still, I am actually smart!” Emily said.
“You’re saying I’m dumb?” Jane asked.
“I’m not, but, it’s just that, well, let’s just go my way,” Emily said.
“You know what? I never should have even worked with you,” Jane said.
“Well, you’re too stubborn,”Emily said.
“No, I’m too brave,” Jane said.
“Well fine, if you’re not too stubborn, let’s go my way,” Emily said.
“Fine. Whatever.” Jane said.
And it turned out that Emily’s way was right!
“See, I told you!” Emily said.
“Well, we don’t even know where we’re going!” Jane said.
They started walking through the area, which had palm trees and green grass. It was so beautiful, that Emily’s sister, Sadie, thought it was a village.
“But it might just be a village!” she announced.
Since it was getting late, they decided to spend the night there.
“I don’t like this! Emily complained.
“Don’t complain. My family had to do this for years!” Jane said as she frowned.
In the morning, they got up, ate food, and continued walking. Jane didn’t notice Emily emerging from where her family were walking together in a big clump.
“Look, Jane, I’m truly sorry about yesterday. It’s just that-”
“I see what you’re saying,” Jane interrupted.
“Okay. I don’t mean to sound all mushy and stuff, but I’m sorry. Do you forgive me?” Emily asked.
“Sure,” Jane replied.
Finally, they came to something that looked like a village. There were houses and shops.
“Let’s get some help,” Emily’s mom said.
They walked into a restaurant. It was really loud. People were talking, and plates were crashing down on the table.
“Wow,” Jane said.
“Excuse me?” Emily’s mom asked.
“Yes?” somebody said, and turned around.
It was Jim!
“Jim? Why are you here?” Emily’s mom asked.
“I moved here because I couldn’t take it anymore in the village. But please, don’t tell the king. I snuck out with another family,” Jim said.
“Oh. Okay. We left the village too, and we don’t know how to live here,” Emily’s mom said.
“Well, all you have to do is talk to the leader, Mr. Grape,” Jim said.
“Grape?” Emily and Jane asked and burst out laughing.
“How do we get there?” Emily’s mom asked, giving Jane and Emily a dirty look.
“You go to, let’s see, down Pickle road, then turn left on Fig lane. His house is hard to miss,” Jim told them.
“Okay, thanks, Jim!” Emily’s mom thanked him.
They set off, walking down Pickle Road, and Jane and Emily couldn’t help but make fun of Mr. Grape’s name.
“What if Grape was actually his first name, and his last name was juice?” Jane said.
“Hello! I’m Mr. Grape Juice! But since you are my friend, you can call me Grape Juice!” Emily said in a funny voice.
The girls couldn’t stop laughing, and their moms had to come over to hold them still. Jane saw Kiki giving her a dirty look, but that only gave Jane an idea.
Once the moms walked away, Jane said,”What if Kiki’s name was Kiwi?”
Jane and Emily started laughing again.
“And what if Sam’s name was Wham?” Emily said.
Once they started laughing, that was it for Kiki. She was about to grab Jane to tell her to stop, but then Mrs. Jones high pitched voice interrupted that drama.
“We’re here!” she chirped.
Kiki groaned and walked back to Sarah.
“Yes! We’re here!” Emily said and threw her arm in the air.
Jane laughed and looked at the palace. It was purple and looked like a grape. It was hard to miss.
“Okay, guys, we’re going to be quiet when we walk in,” Mrs. Jones said.
“You sound like a teacher!” Samantha shouted out.
“And if I were, you would be in big trouble, missy!” Mrs. Jones said and opened the door.
As they walked inside, Jane was reminded, by the marble floors, that this felt exactly like walking through the king’s palace.
“Hello! Hello! Hello!” a friendly voice called from inside a room. “Who’s there, there, there!” it repeated.
“Is this how they speak? Because I’m pretty sure that’s not an echo,” Jane said as she leaned close to Emily.
“I’m not sure,” she replied.
As they walked into the room that the leader was in, Jane looked around again. It looked exactly like the king’s palace.
“Oh, hello, hello, hello. Why are you here, here, here?” Mr. Grape asked.
“We want to live in the village,” Emily’s mom told him.
“Well, of course you can, can, can. I will give you a house, house, house. But first, you must know our language, language, language. Always say the last word three times, times, times,” he explained.
“But Jim didn’t!”
It came flying out of Jane’s mouth before she could stop it.
Mr. Grape sat up and said, “Well, okay, okay, okay. What do we have here, here, here? A tattletale, that’s what, what, what. Jim’s new, and you can’t expect him to be perfect, perfect, perfect. In fact, you didn’t also, also, also.”
Mr. Grape smirked.
Let’s go, go, go,” Mrs. Jones said as she tried to push everyone out.
Once they were out, Mrs. Jones stated the obvious.
“We can’t live here.”
Everyone agreed, and they walked off.
A little while later, they came to a new village. This one seemed simple. At the entrance, there was a castle.
“I think that’s where the leader lives,” Jane’s mom said.
Once they had walked inside, Mrs. Jones took the lead.
“Let’s turn here,” she would say, and they would follow her.
Finally, they found the leader. He was inside a game room, and before anyone could get inside the three boys, Sam, Mr. Jones, and Jane’s dad, rushed through the glass doors.
Everyone quickly followed, but not before the leader had gotten up.
“What is going on in here?” he yelled, but then sucked in his breath to keep from yelling more.
Mrs. Jones smiled, and Jane could tell she liked him better than the king and Mr. Grape.
“Hello, I am Mrs. Bethany Jones,” she said and then shook his hand.
“And I am Helen,” Jane’s mom said.
“Oh, hello. Did you say your last name was ‘Jones’?” he asked.
“Yes,” Mrs. Jones said, her eyes twinkling.
“Well, I did not know you lived in the village. But anyways, I love what your family makes! The deciding-beanbag was my favorite beanbag. It helps me decide things,” the leader said.
“Thank you. Anyways, we don’t live in the village, but we want to. Will you let us in?” Mrs. Jones asked, getting distracted by the gaming in the background.
“Live in my village? Of course you can! By the way, I’m Mr. Woman,” Mr. Woman, the leader, said.
Jane and Emily laughed, and Kiki shot them a dirty look.
“Thank you very much,” Jane’s mom said.
“Could you show us where we will live?” Mrs. Jones asked.
“Of course. Follow me,” Mr. Woman said and went out the door.
After they had pulled Sam and the dads away from the games, they left the castle and walked down a long road.
“It’s the Jones family!” Jane heard someone yell.
Screams of delight came next, and everyone had to run to get away from it.
“So, Jane, now you know how my life is like,” Emily said as she sighed.
Finally, they reached a row of houses.
“Here you go,” Mr. Woman said.
“Thank you,” Mrs. Jones said.
“Thank you,” Jane’s mom thanked him.
Mr. Woman walked away, which left the family to go in the houses.
“Jane!” her mom called.
Jane snapped out of her thought, which was where would they go to school.
As Jane walked in the house, she was amazed. She had never lived in a house this big before!
“So, Jane. I will sleep in the basement because I am awesome. You will have to sleep upstairs!” Kiki said, and then laughed.
Kiki had never been like this before.
“The stress,” Jane said to herself. “That’s what’s making her like this.”
“What?” Kiki asked.
“Nothing,” Jane responded and started going up the stairs.
When she found her room, she threw herself across the bed.
“Finally,” she whispered to herself. “Our own actual house.”