by, Rebecca van den Ham
Under the blanket, Jeremy’s flashlight was dying.
“Come on,” he pleaded. “Just one more page! Jim is finally on Treasure Island.”
The flashlight flickered off, and Jeremy shook it back on, trying to find his place. Once again, the flashlight went dark. Jeremy grumped, “You’re making this difficult.”
He started to shake it again, but noticed light coming from outside the blanket. “Mom?” said Jeremy. He was suddenly hot under the blanket, and tossed it off.
“Where am I?” he whispered. He was sitting on sand among some tall trees. He felt sweaty and clutched the flashlight.
The book had disappeared.
He stood up and spotted an old sailing ship in a bay down the hill. A black flag fluttered from its mast. Smoke puffed from the deck, and seconds later Jeremy heard the cannon blast. Running footsteps approached, and he dove into some thick bushes.
A boy ran up and stopped near Jeremy. He stood panting for a moment before running off. Jeremy decided to follow him.
When Jeremy caught up to the boy, he was talking to a strangely dressed old man.
“I’m Jim Hawkins,” the boy said.
“I’m Ben Gunn,” said the man. “I’ve been stuck on this island for three years!”
Jeremy stared at the flashlight in his hand. I’m on Treasure Island, he thought. How did that happen?
He listened while Ben told Jim a lot of things that Jim seemed to think were crazy. Then Jim wandered off into the trees. Ben watched him go, then turned and saw Jeremy.
“Another one!” he said. “Do you have any cheese?”
“Sorry,” said Jeremy. “Did you just say you’re rich?”
“Yes,” said Ben. “I found the treasure!”
“Can I see it?” asked Jeremy.
“Maybe,” said Ben. “I’ve got to keep an eye on that boy. He promised me cheese. I’ve been eating goat meat for three years! I need to see where he goes.”
They followed Jim to a wooden fort. He seemed to be friends with the people inside.
“It must be the doctor, the squire, and the captain,” said Jeremy.
“Great,” said Ben. “Let’s go check on my boat.”
Near the shore by a massive white rock, Ben showed Jeremy his tiny boat, tucked away for emergencies. He checked that the goatskins were tight and the paddle was strong. Jeremy was glad they weren’t getting in. It looked like an upside-down umbrella.
“Now can I see the treasure?” asked Jeremy when Ben was satisfied.
“Not now,” said Ben. “Better check on Jim.”
Near the fort, they heard gunfire, and carefully inched closer, until they could see that a fight was going on. Pirates were attacking the fort! Hiding in the bushes, they watched until the pirates ran away.
“Good job, Jim!” said Ben. He turned to Jeremy. “We’ll go to my lookout tree.”
Jeremy followed Ben for miles, through forests and swamps, then straight up a rocky hill. At the top was a gigantic tree. Ben disappeared through a crack in the bark. Inside, a ladder rose up into the hollow trunk. At the top Ben sat on a little platform watching the sun set.
“Climb into this hammock,” he said. “You can rest without falling.”
Jeremy peeked over the edge of the platform. That was a mistake! He carefully clambered into the hammock, safe. He could see ocean almost all around. This must be the highest point of the island. It cooled off, and Jeremy fell asleep
When he woke up, Ben was dancing and singing, “He did it! Jim did it!” He showed Jeremy the top of the ship poking up on the opposite side of the island from where it was before.
“What happened?” Jeremy asked.
“Jim stole the ship from the pirates and beached it!”
“Neat,” said Jeremy. “Now can I see the treasure?”
“Okay,” said Ben.
They climbed down the tree and down the hill and up to a cave. Jeremy could not believe how much gold was piled inside.
“Stay here,” said Ben. “I’ve got to see about Jim.”
Jeremy stacked up coins and tried on crowns. Finally the sun was gone. He turned on the flashlight. After a minute it went out. “Work!” said Jeremy. He shook it.
When the light came back on, it was pointed at his book instead of gold coins. He was back on his bed under his blanket.
“Well then…” he said, and settled down to read.
About the Author
Rebecca van den Ham writes for children and teens. She taught 5th grade before homeschooling her three children. In the meantime, she completed a course on writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature and became a member of the California Writers Club.
She has been creating stories as long as she can remember, and lives with her family and 20-year-old frog (Freddy) in Southern California.