As the four headed back along the route that had brought them partially up the mountain they had wanted to explore, the hiking was easier and they covered most of the distance back toward the ‘lake’ of pebbles with only a couple of breaks. Iknow figured that they were now close to lunchtime back in their house, so they broke their hike to go back home.
When the four walked out of Leven’s Spot back into the attic, they noticed that they were hungry and that it was, indeed, very close to lunch. They came downstairs and rounded the corner to walk into the kitchen when Leven stopped dead in his tracks. The others had to stop quickly in order to avoid running into him. There at the table were very dim shapes of themselves sitting in the appropriate chairs. They were almost totally transparent and had a slight rainbow tinge. The four seated figures were aware of the real children when they arrived in the kitchen. They looked up in unison as the four entered the room and had looks of satisfaction on their faces indicating that they had started to take the four siblings’ places.
Mom and Dad both were upset with them.
“Where have you been? We’ve been looking all over for you! Didn’t you know that you’re almost ten minutes late?” Mom said as she changed from upset to relieved. Dad relaxed visibly as the children came in. There was an awkward moment when they didn’t know where to sit, but Leven decided to just act as though noting had changed and he sat right in his chair as though the figure wasn’t there.
“We’re sorry, Mom. I guess we just got carried away exploring outside,” Leven explained using his most contrite expression. His brothers and sister followed his lead.