When a mysterious boy arrives at her bedside, a despairing young accident victim resents his intrusion. Twelve-year-old Cricket Dalton is convinced her life is over. What good is living if you can´t move or feel anything below your neck? And, worse yet, you´ve been relegated indefinitely to a dreary nursing home. The mysterious Josh makes Cricket talk, and he nearly force-feeds her pancakes to get her to eat. Then, one day, Josh introduces Cricket to his magic onyx stones. With one click of the stones, the two of them fly to a city on an unknown planet. There, Cricket and Josh are forced to escape from a heartless crowd. As they flee, they encounter other people in hiding--people who survive on nightly dumpster raids and a promise that one day a savior will come for them. Their plight reminds Cricket of Biblical End Times´ prophecies on Earth, but their future seems more hopeless. Cricket´s heart breaks for the little children trapped in the sunless underground labyrinth, and she and Josh devise a way to bring them food. With every visit, Cricket criticizes their God as having abandoned them. But, little by little, through the fugitives´ stories of past persecution and rescue, the underground people convince her that hope does exist. They convince Cricket that the timeline of the prophecies indicates their rescue is near--to be preceded by a massive earthquake that will either bury or deliver them.
Back at the nursing home, other changes are taking place. A new black nurse becomes Cricket´s staunch defender and champion. A misguided nursing home director has taken extreme measures to uncover why, some mornings, Cricket´s gown and bed socks indicate she has been walking. "Is your paralysis a sham, Missy?" the woman challenges. How can Cricket explain about the onyx-stone adventures and how, while on them, she can, indeed, walk? Surely, no one would believe her. But the new nurse, Marlene Grace, takes a chance. And Marlene Grace´s dedication and love promise to mak