A Safe Walk Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Private and Skipper have to walk home. Will it be safe?

Submitted: March 05, 2013

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Submitted: March 05, 2013

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Private and Skipper belong to dreamworks.Private sat on his Grandpa Mark's front porch; his lunacorn clutched under one flipper. The late afternoon sun shone through the leaves of the giant oak tree, casting its flickering light on the cabin. This golden motion of light entranced the child and he sat with his face turned upward, as if hypnotized. The steady hum of conversation flowed from inside of the cabin.

"Skipper, i'm sure happy that you came by. Why don't you spend the night? It's getting awfully late and it will be dark before you make it home."

"I'll be fine mom," replied Skipper.

"Anyhow, you know how Kowalski is about his supper. I left plenty for him on the back of the stove, but he'll want Private and me home."

Private stood up and stepped inside.

"Get ready private."

As the little penguin got ready, his Grandpa came in from the back with a lantern.

"You'll need this Skipper."

"I appreciate it Dad," Skipper said.

"I'll have Kowalski bring it back when he goes to town next week."

Skipper hugged his Father good-bye and hugged Stars gently. Patting his Mother on her swollen belly, he said, " I'll be back at the end of the month. Don't be lifting anything heavy. If that queasy feeling keeps bothering you, brew some of that mint tea I left in the kitchen. Lord knows I've never seen a baby kee  p its mammy so sick as much as this one has. It's a boy for sure."

Upon hearing this, Private frowned. He was the youngest in the team. He had prayed fervently to God every night for Him to let his grandma have a girl. The only other comfort he had was the pretty lunacorn that Skipper had got for him. He stood waiting patiently. Stars kissed him lightly on the cheek and squeezed Private gently. "If I have a girl, I hope that she will be as sweet as you," his Grandma whispered.

Grandpa John patted him on the head and said, "Bye. When that old momma cat has her kittens, I'll give you the pick of the litter."

This brought a smile to Private's face.

Skipper picked up the lantern, which had already been lit. Taking Private's right flipper, the pair proceeded on the three-mile trek back home. Heavy rains during the last week had left the dirt road almost impassable for anyone on foot. Skipper and Private would return home the way they had come, by following the railroad track. The track was about one half mile above the road. It wound and wound around the mountains and through the valleys carrying the coal and lumber, which had been harvested from the land. Once on the track, they proceeded in the direction of their own home. Skipper began to tell Private about the trains and all the distant places they went to. The little penguin loved hearing Skipper's stories of all the big cities far away. He had been to town only a few times and had never traveled outside of Wise County.

The sun's last rays were sinking behind the tree-studded mountains. Shadows rose ominously from the dense woods on both sides of the track. Rustling sounds from the brush caused Private to jump, but Skipper's soothing voice calmed his fears.

"It's all right Private; just foxes and possums."

A hoot owl's mournful cry floated out of the encroaching darkness and Private tightened his grip on Skipper's flipper.

Finally, night enveloped the landscape, and all that could be seen was the warm glow of the lantern and the shadow of the figures behind it. It was a moonless night, and the faint glow of a few stars faded in between the moving clouds. Private tripped over the chunks of gravel and Skipper realized that the child was tired.

"We'll rest awhile Private. My guess is that we have less than a mile to go."

Skipper set the lantern down and the weary travelers attempted to get comfortable sitting on the rail.

"Skippah, it's so scary in the dark. Will God watch over us and protect us?"

"yes, Private."

 Private was distracted by a sound. The sound came from the direction they had traveled from, and the young penguin's eyes peered into the ink like darkness. It was very faint, but unlike the other noises he had grown used to along the way. The slow methodic sound was someone walking, and coming in their direction.

"Skippah, do you hear that?"

"Hear what Private?"

Private moved closer to Skipper and said, "It's somebody else coming!"

Skipper gave the little penguin a comforting hug and replied," You're just imagining things Private. We've rested enough. Let's get on home. Kowaski will be worried."

Skipper picked up the lantern, took Private's flipper, and the two resumed their journey. After a while, the sound that had unnerved the little penguin began again. This time the steps were more distinct, and definitely closer. The distant ringing of heavy feet echoed in the dark.

"Skippah, I hear it again!"

"Hush Private."

Skipper swung the lantern around.

"See, there's nothing there."

Private secured the grip on Skipper's flipper and clutched his lunacorn tightly. The hoot owl continued its call in the distance, and the night breeze rustled the leaves in the trees.

"The air sure smells like rain," said Skipper.

"The wind is picking up a mite too. We'll be home soon, young private."

Private found comfort in skipper's voice, but in the darkness behind them, the steps rang louder. It was the sound of feet.

"Skippah, its getting closer!"

Skipper swung the lantern around again and said, "Private there's nothing out there."

"See Private, we're almost home."

"Lets hurry then Skippah. Can't you hear? It's closer and I'm scared. Let's run!"

"All right Private, but see, I'm telling you there's nothing there."

Skipper made another sweep around with the lantern.

"Skipper is that you?"

Private's heart filled with joy as Kowalski's voice rang out of the darkness.

"Yes Kowalski. I'm sorry we're so late. I'm afraid I walked a bit fast for this kid. He's worn out."

Kowalski picked up the little penguin and carried him the rest of the way home. Once inside of the HQ, Skipper gently put Private in his bunk.

The comforting sounds of Skipper's and Kowalski's voices drifted from the side of the room. Before closing his eyes, Skipper's voice rang in his ears.

"Kowalski, I heard the steps. I didn't want to frighten the kid. I kept swinging the lantern around and telling him there was nothing to be afraid of. But Kowalski, just before we got off the tracks, I turned the lantern around one last time. That's when I saw what was following us. I saw the figure of a penguin. A penguin without a head!"


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