Captain James
by Dan Leicht

He finished his picture and excitedly ran it over to his mother, a smile across his face as he gave it to her. She took it from him and looked it over. The picture was of a creature, one resembling that of a giraffe crossed with a whale, with flippers instead of legs.
“Is this a dinosaur?” she asked.
“His name is Derrick,” he replied.
“What type of animal is Derrick?”
“He isn’t a real animal, mom,” he replied, his hands on his hips.
“James, this is lovely.”
She took a picture of it with her phone and put it on the refrigerator with a magnet. As he got ready for school she posted his latest masterpiece online so all her friends could see – “My son’s imagination is so incredible! Only 3 year’s old! #HisNameIsDerrick”
“Mom, did you eat yet?” said James, holding a banana.
“Thanks for breakfast, sweetheart.”
She got him ready for school. While at work she found a website that turns children’s drawings into stuffed animals and submitted the picture she’d taken.
A week later it arrived.
“James, I have something for you.”
He rubbed his eyes as he walked over to her; waking up never came easy for him on Saturday mornings. She handed him the stuffed creature from his imagination. He looked from the figure to his drawing on the refrigerator and cried out with joy when he realized what he’d been given.
“This is Derrick!”
“Yes it is,” replied his mother. “Now you can play with him whenever you want.”
He grabbed his new companion by the hand and took him outside.
“Are the thrusters on, Derrick?” shouted Captain James.
“Thrusters on.”
“Let’s get this ship to the enchanted jungle planet.”
Derrick landed their spaceship in the backyard. The duo ventured out into the wild as the captain’s mom prepared breakfast. As he ran about with his new friend in hand he began to imagine what he’d be like in the real world. Derrick couldn’t keep up very well with his flippers, so in order to follow him on dry land he had to fly. James held his friend’s hand as they trekked through the dense jungle, the two scouring the vast wilderness in search of a cave containing a long lost gem.
“This way,” said Captain James.
He entered into the cave, taking his friend along beside him as he unlocked the small door and crawled under the deck. It was dark, beams of light shone down in stripes as he carefully maneuvered through the rocks, ever vigilant of possible triggers to booby traps.
“Careful, Derrick, there could be mummies in here,” said James. “This is going to get dangerous.”
“I’ll follow close behind, Captain James,” replied Derrick. “Hold my hand?”
“You can be such a baby sometimes, but I will.”
“Someday I’ll be brave like you.”
“I know you will. Come on. I can see the gem.”
They crawled until they reached the farthest corner of the cave.
“You’ll have to get the gem, Derrick. I’m too big to fit. Be brave.”
“I’ll be brave for you.”
Derrick climbed into the corner and snagged the gem. Together they escaped the cave and ran out into the jungle as a siren went off, alerting all the mummies to attack them.
“James, it’s time for breakfast!” shouted his mother. “James!”
“Quick, Derrick! They’re getting closer,” shouted Captain James.
The two ran as fast as they could from the incoming mummies. One of them grew closer and closer.
“The mummies are a lot faster than in the movies,” said Derrick, nervously.
“James, come on, this isn’t funny,” shouted the mummy.
The mummy grabbed hold of James and held him close. Derrick threw the gem at the mummy, the sacred stone releasing a curse which enveloped the monster. The mummy panicked and released its prisoner. Captain James grabbed his friend’s hand and ran towards his spaceship. They closed the ship’s door just in time. The mummy pounded on the door to be let in but Derrick was quick to hit the thrusters.
“Systems are go, Captain James.”
The ship took off. James had created the ship himself and used hydro power to create the fastest ship in the universe.
“James, what happened in here?” asked his mother, having walked around the house to the front door. She was covered in cobwebs from having been hit by James’ stuffed animal. She stepped into the kitchen, which was covered in water, the faucet still running as James splashed water over his shoulder.
“It was the hydro boosters,” said Derrick.
“James, I asked you a question.”
“Derrick just told you,” replied Captain James. “What’s for breakfast?”

In Depth Bio About the author (Written by the author himself):
Dan Leicht writes a variety of fiction, including the hardboiled detective cases of @Charlessplints . His work has appeared in WORK Literary Magazine, Canto Magazine, Jigsaw Literary Magazine, and Spillwords. He has a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing (which he loves to talk about during fancy dinner parties).

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