James And The Giant Peach

written by Sona

James' parents died and he was adopted by his gruesome aunts. How does he escape?

Last Updated






Chapter Eight

Chapter 8
The news that a peach almost as big as a house had suddenly appeared in someone’s garden spread like wildfire across the countryside, and the next day a stream of people came scrambling up the steep hill to gaze upon this marvel.
Quickly, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker called in carpenters and had them build a strong fence round the peach to save it from the crowd; and at the same time, these two crafty women stationed themselves at the front gate with a large bunch of tickets and started charging everyone for coming in.

‘Roll up! Roll up!’ Aunt Spiker yelled. ‘Only one shilling to see the giant peach!’
‘Half price for children under six weeks old!’ Aunt Sponge shouted.
‘One at a time, please! Don’t push! Don’t push! You’re all going to get in!’
‘Hey, you! Come back, there! You haven’t paid!’
By lunchtime, the whole place was a seething mass of men, women, and children all pushing and shoving to get a glimpse of this miraculous fruit. Helicopters were landing like wasps all over the hill, and out of them poured swarms of newspaper reporters, cameramen, and men from the television companies.
‘It’ll cost you double to bring in a camera!’ Aunt Spiker shouted.
‘All right! All right!’ they answered. ‘We don’t care!’ And the money came rolling into the pockets of the two greedy aunts.
But while all this excitement was going on outside, poor James was forced to stay locked in his bedroom, peeping through the bars of his window at the crowds below.
‘The disgusting little brute will only get in everyone’s way if we let him wander about,’ Aunt Spiker had said early that morning.
‘Oh, please!’ he had begged. ‘I haven’t met any other children for years and years and there are going to be lots of them down there for me to play with. And perhaps I could help you with the tickets.’
‘Shut up!’ Aunt Sponge had snapped. ‘Your Aunt Spiker and I are about to become millionaires, and the last thing we want is the likes of you messing things up and getting in the way.’
Later, when the evening of the first day came and the people had all gone home, the aunts unlocked James’s door and ordered him to go outside and pick up all the banana skins and orange peel and bits of paper that the crowd had left behind.
‘Could I please have something to eat first?’ he asked. ‘I haven’t had a thing all day.’
‘No!’ they shouted, kicking him out of the door. ‘We’re too busy to make food! We are counting our money!’
‘But it’s dark!’ cried James.
‘Get out!’ they yelled. ‘And stay out until you‘ve cleaned up all the mess!’ The door slammed. The key turned in the lock.
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