“Deji, where are you?”
Anjola sobbed as she sank to the ground. She’d yelled until she was hoarse, and now her voice was little more than a whisper. She rubbed her temples as her mind ran over the moments before she realized that Deji was gone.
The Commander’s men had strapped them into a wagon and taken them on the battle march, which seemed to go on for hours. Just when it seemed like a good idea to take a nap, the quiet countryside exploded with the noise of battle horns, shouts and a stampede. Then, as the army chased their enemies, gigantic rocks started to rain down from the sky. Terrified, the mule pulling the wagon had bolted, and the cousins were flung out. To avoid being trampled, Anjola had curled up into a ball. When the sounds of war finally receded, Deji was nowhere to be found. She’d run after the army yelling for her cousin, but all she encountered were animals running away from the chaos and the fighting men over the hill.
With a sigh, Anjola got up and continued walking. All around her were signs of a hastily deserted camp – discarded clothes, shoes and even bits of food. A cool breeze made her shiver slightly, and she looked up to see the sun beginning to sink lower in the sky. At the same time, a familiar fuzzy feeling made her weak in the knees.
“Oh, no!” Anjola said out loud. The last time she’d felt this way was when Gran was reading the Bible story. Did that mean the adventure was about to end? She couldn’t leave without Deji. Panicked, she started shouting and running again. “Dee-ee-j-iiii!! It’s time to leave, come on!!”
Anjola stumbled over a broken piece of pottery and stopped to catch her breath. Her eyes watered as she tried to fight off the fuzziness. Then a thought niggled in the back of her mind. Just before she’d fallen asleep last time, Gran had said something…what was it? She looked up again at the setting sun and jumped up as the memory flashed back. When Joshua in the Bible needed some more time for his battle, he asked God to make the sun stand still. Was that what she needed to do?
“I may be crazy,” she said to herself, “but I really need to find my cousin, and I can’t do that if it gets dark and I’m transported out of here.” She took a deep breath and shut her eyes. “Sun, don’t set yet – please!”
For a moment, nothing seemed to happen. But then the fuzzy feeling started wearing off. When Anjola opened her yes again, the sun seemed a few inches higher than it had been and the sky seemed brighter. She blinked just to be sure, but the sun remained steady.
“Woohoooooo!” Anjola screamed. “Thank you, God!!”
“There she is!” shouted a voice.
Anjola turned around as two of the Commander’s men ran up to her.
“Are you hurt?” the stocky one asked. “Your cousin told us about the mule. He has been very worried.”
“My cousin?” Anjola began.
Just then, a flurry of arms and legs grabbed Anjola in a bear hug.
“Thank God you’re okay!” Deji shouted. “What happened? We’ve been looking everywhere for you! Did you see when the sun stood still?? The Commander is so cool, he was all like ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley,’ and the sun stopped – it was AMAZING!”
“Whoa!” Anjola laughed, hugging her cousin back. “Take a breath!”
Deji grinned. “This has been the most amazing adventure EVER! Rocks from the sky and EVERTHING!”
Anjola started to ask about the Commander when she noticed the sun finally dipping over the horizon. Then her eyes got heavy, and everything went dark.
“Bed time, kiddos,” she heard Gran say. “Come on, Deji. Help me get your sleepyhead cousin upstairs.”