Short story about a little boy called Benjamin, and the time where his book came to life under the night sky.


1. Benjamin


The sky, a shade of ripe plums, was illuminated by a full white moon, casting shadows onto the grassy bank where Benjamin Matthews sat, cross legged, hugging his picture book to his chest and sucking on a humbug sweet.

The book was illustrated with elaborate pictures of dragons swooping through the sky, and through his eyes he could almost see one tail sweeping right past his nose, and past the little torch in the sky, sending the world into blackness for just one moment. Benjamin looked again, but nothing happened.

His mother came from behind him and lifted him over her shoulder, striding towards the house with purpose. Benjamin dropped his beloved dragon book on the floor and he wriggled and squirmed, reaching his chubby fingers as far as they could go to the ground, trying to brush his fingers against the corner. But before too long, it was too late.

Angela Matthews tucked Benjie ( a fond nickname) into his bed, with his toy teddy bear beside him, arms open in greeting towards the ceiling. Benjamin pulled the teddy closer to him and wrapped the fluffy- but slightly matted- arms of his 'pet' round his tummy, eyes open like saucers, looking into nothingness as the lights of his haven were switched off.

Benjamin curled into his duvet and eventually right underneath it, using his teddy- bear- covered blanket (his mother's choice, not his) as a cave, using his fingers as mini eyes crawling through the depths of undergrowth that were really bed bugs and old socks.

This game used to provide intense relish for the 5 year old, but today the undergrowth instantly transformed back into his mattress. The socks weren't dragons, they were just socks with old pieces of lint on. The bed bugs weren't swooping eagles, they were just old dead insects.

His precious book still lay on the green grass outside, underneath the plum sky. The full moon, as the hours ticked on by, slowly slid into a slit of a gibbous, providing a little stream of light which hit directly onto the dragon on Benjamin's book cover.

At that moment, a flapping sound whacked against Benjamin's window, and he paused for a split second before pushing the duvet off his curly mop of brown curls and jumping onto soft carpet, approaching the window. When he reached his destination, he reached out a small, innocent hand, balancing on the very balls of his feet and then he just stared in wonderment.

A dragon flapped it's wings directly outside Benjamin's window, it's tail really on the tip of his nose this time, only seperated by double-glazed windows. He tugged on the latch until it flung free and the window was open fully.

Cold air blasted in, followed by two big nostrils of the dragon. Benjamin climbed onto the creatures back, picking up his book on the way, as the plum sky that had once seemed so very far away was suddenly right in his face. He could touch the moon, feel it's bumpy craters, be blinded by shooting stars and wandering eagles.

The only time his eyes left the big world was when he glanced at his beloved book, now missing the main dragon off the front cover, which was now in the sky...with little Benjamin on his back, fingers on his scaly skin.



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