Yes, it was wonderful to be off that wretched hill, but wasn’t anyone concerned that they were currently higher in the sky than they’d ever been before? Yes, the sun was warm, but was no one but him worried about being out in the open, something that their natural instincts screamed against?
And wasn’t anyone else taking into consideration the fact that, if their vessel was spotted by a human ship, they’d likely as not be attacked be attacked out of fear?
Even though he couldn’t see anything, Earthworm was still aware of everyone else’s actions. Then again, “actions” wasn’t the right word; everyone was just lounging around on various parts of the peach’s surface. Earthworm slid along the fuzzy skin of the fruit, feeling the warmth of the sun on his back. He shuddered; that burning orb in the sky was probably shining on him like a beacon, advertising every bird that wasn’t tethered to the peach stem to come munch on his back.
*I won’t be able to see them. Hear them, yes, but that won’t help me if an entire FLOCK decides to attack us all at once. I can’t see ANYTHING! In fact, I could fall right off the peach and not know it! I could-*
“Hi, Earthworm,” a soft little voice greeted off to his left.
“Ahh, what? Oh,” Earthworm breathed in relief as his frazzled brain identified the voice. “Oh, it’s you, James.” The serpentine bug tilted his head toward the little boy.
"Are you okay?" the boy asked.
"Oh, fine," Earthworm moaned. "Just fine, except for the fact that we're all in constant danger."
"We are?" James's voice, which had sounded perfectly at ease, was now tinged with a note of fear.
"Of course. Why, we could be spotted by enemy ships below, ravaged by birds, fall off the peach into the ocean and drown, a whole number of horrible things!"
Earthworm opened his mouth to add another list of catastrophes, but something in James's voice stopped him.
Due to his lack of eyes, Earthworm couldn't see the expression on James's face, but the sound of the child's voice told him that he had succeeded in turning the boy's relaxed smile into a scared frown. The idea made him feel… awful.
"Then again, I guess it's not likely we'll be seen since we're so high. Er, we are high up, aren't we?"
"Yes. I can't even see the ocean."
"Oh. Then I guess we won't be spotted. And most birds want to be close to the water, where the fish are. And… I doubt you're going to just walk right off the peach, right?"
"Right," James answered and Earthworm felt a surge of relief at the hint of a giggle in the boy's voice.
"Well, then I guess we aren't in that much danger after all."
A soft brushing sound indicated to the sightless bug that the small boy had rolled over onto his stomach on the peach skin.
"Earthworm, do you get scared a lot?"
Slightly taken aback, Earthworm answered,
"Well, when you're constantly in danger of being eaten, you have to be on your guard. And besides, I can't defend myself or even see what comes after me!"
"Oh." James was silent for a little bit. "I guess that is pretty scary."
"Yes. That it is," Earthworm agreed softly.
"But..." James went on, "I guess that means you can see anything good either, right?"
Earthworm was silent, not sure how to respond. In truth, he'd never really lamented the lack of sight. He was able to hear a threat coming from miles away; silence meant safety, but never considered how a safe place would look. Come to think of it, what did dirt look like? And what about grass? The sun? The moon? The sky? What did HE look like?
What did James look like?
"No, I can't I say I have seen anything good. Tell me, James, what does the sky look like now?"
"Well, the sun's going down, so the sky is orange and pink right now. And there are clouds everywhere. They look like big, soft pillows."
"Is an orange and pink sky nice to look at?"
"Yes. It's like looking at something warm."
"Oh. I like that."
Earthworm tilted his head up toward the sky, suddenly liking the fact that he was out in the open. He no longer felt like he was exposed, but rather in a warm, wonderful place akin to his beloved dirt nests. Was that what James meant by looking at something another way? If so, he could get used to the idea.
Next to him, James gave a contented sigh and Earthworm smiled. He had a feeling that James was smiling peacefully again and if Earthworm had to guess, there probably wasn't a better-looking boy in the world
Then again, there wasn't a better boy in the entire world at all and that was something Earthworm didn't need eyes to see.