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Tales of Parenthood

Closer Than You Think

© Demonwolf

Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Been a while since I updated this one. But, I thought it was time I added to this collection and hopefully, more will follow soon. And this was a short scene I would have loved to have seen in either the book or movie.

The sun was just setting by the time everyone had finished their peach dinner. After cleaning up as best they could, the entire group decided to watch the sunset from the top of the peach.

The seagulls had dropped down closer to the ocean and the murmur of the waves was audible. The sky was a perfect shade of orange with vibrant streaks of pink and the water seemed to sparkle with gems in the sun’s last rays. To James, who had spent much of his life living by the ocean, the sight was both familiar and comforting.

“Oh, isn’t it beautiful?” Mrs. Ladybug sighed. “I always thought a sunset over the ocean would be lovely.”

“How long before we get to New York?” Earthworm asked, twisting around to address Centipede. “I’d rather be buried in dirt than out in the open like this.” Centipede shrugged.

“Eh, a day or two, I’d say.”

“Well, what is it?” Mr. Grasshopper asked. “One day or two?”

“Hey, depends on how fast the seagulls fly.”

“Perhaps, but I’d imagine you’d have a reasonable estimate.”

“Like I said, probably a day or two. I’d say that’s reasonable.”

James watched his friends discuss the distance between their current position and New York before turning to watch the rapidly darkening sky. Another two days and they’d be in New York for sure (according to Centipede). James couldn’t wait; what an adventure this was!

And yet…

And yet he felt slightly uneasy about something. What it was, James couldn’t say. But he was sure it had something to do with the idea of days passing before the peach got to New York.

Well, it wasn’t as though they could get to New York in one day! James remembered his father talking about spending a few days on the ship going to America and how much fun that would be too. And what was the peach but a special kind of ship?

The ocean’s golden hue was disappearing as the sun sank lower and lower behind the horizon. Soon it would be dark; had he been at home, he would have been going inside and getting ready for bed.

Was that what was bothering him then? Like most small children, James had often thought about having great adventures, but at the end of the day, there was always home to go back to. Even when acting out these adventures with his friends by the sea, it just seemed normal that the fantasy ended when the day was over. True, they could pretend they were going to sleep under the stars or say they would spend days scaling a mountain, but fantasy was what it all came down to. Once the sun set, it was home for dinner, a bath (or at least a wash-up) and then tucked into bed to dream of more adventures.

And while he was extremely grateful to be away from his aunts’ house, James had to admit that, yes, he was feeling homesick. It had been a long day, full of excitement and fun, but now there was no home to go back to.

“My goodness, it’s getting late.” James was jerked out of his thoughts at Mrs. Ladybug’s words.

“Yes, and we’ve all had a long day,” Mr. Grasshopper agreed. “I think it’s time we all retired for the evening. Now, are you sure you don’t want any help at the helm, Mr. Centipede?”

“I got it, I got it,” Centipede protested, rolling his eyes. “I’ve pulled all-nighters before.”

James glanced up at the sky once more. The first stars were coming out, something he’d always liked looking for. Maybe he could find a way to sleep under the hole in the ceiling so he could look at the stars and pretend he was back in his old house.

A gentle hand fell on his shoulder and James looked up to see Miss Spider standing over him.

“Come, James,” she said softly, giving the little boy a gentle smile. “I will be making you a bed in my web tonight. You’ll be more comfortable there.”

“A bed?”

“Of course.” Miss Spider took James’s hand in her own. “It is time for bed. For all of us, I think.”

Stifling a yawn, James nodded and followed Miss Spider back into the peach. He was tired and the idea of his own bed in the peach was strangely comforting, as was the feel of Miss Spider’s gloved hand wrapped protectively around his own.

Maybe, James thought as his friends wished him goodnight, just maybe, he wasn’t so far from home after all.

Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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