Hello to all of my old Hey Arnold! friends, fellow writers, and fans of my stories! In the wake of The Jungle Movie having finally been made and released on November 24, 2017, I have REALLY wanted to write a story set after the events, especially with Arnold, Miles, and Stella. So for starters, I am rewriting a story that happens after TJM that I first submitted over six years ago. I have decided to redo it and delete the old version because most outcomes of the film itself were better than what I originally pictured in my old story. So here I go!
It was early in the morning, and the sun was only gradually rising in the sky. As it continued to rise, a small ship appeared below it as it was traveling on the ocean. The water was at a calm state, and there were no big waves or other ships in sight.
This ship contained three people on it, a small family: Arnold, his father Miles, and his mother Stella.
From beneath the main deck, Stella suddenly emerged, carrying three mugs of hot chocolate on a tray. She made her way over to where her husband and son were sitting at the helm.
Arnold was standing by the lever used for steering the ship while Miles sat on the bench area behind him, with his hand on Arnold's left shoulder. They noticed Stella come over to them and smiled.
As Stella started to sit down, Miles removed his hand from Arnold's shoulder and took one of the mugs from Stella. "Sure is good to be on this adventure, isn't it?"
Stella handed another mug to Arnold and obviously agreed with Miles, as she added, "Especially since we're all together." Then she sat down next to Arnold and placed her hand on his right shoulder as she took her own drink from the tray and put the tray down.
Miles took a sip of his drink, then scooted closer to his wife and son and placed his hand on Arnold's back as he said in a dreamlike tone, "Yeah."
As Arnold took a sip of his drink, he silently agreed with his parents, as being with them again after they were missing from his life for so many years was a dream come true. He was so happy that he couldn't really explain how he felt entirely. For a moment, he brought his mug down from his lips and noticed a ship in the distance. Pointing with the hand that held the mug (which he then dropped), he exclaimed, "Look! A ship!"
The moment he said those words, Miles and Stella looked in Arnold's direction. Miles got up and walked further out to the deck. Using a small telescope around his neck, he looked into it to get a look at who was on the ship. His eyes widened in fear as he whispered, "Pirates!" He saw the flag with the symbol of pirates, then noticed some actual pirates on board. The pirates saw him back and fired a cannonball at the family's ship, which missed Miles, but hit one of the ship's sails.
Using a nearby rope, Miles swung below the deck and grabbed two swords that crossed each other on the wall. Then he ran back up to where Arnold and Stella were.
"Arnold, stay at the helm! We'll deal with the pirates," Miles instructed to Arnold as he tossed one of the swords to Stella, then ran further out onto the deck.
As she began running after Miles, Stella said, "Don't worry, son. We'll be right back."
Please be careful, and come back safe! Arnold thought worriedly as he watched his parents walking further away from him.
Miles and Stella ran out to the center of the ship and grabbed two ropes. The pirates began firing some more cannonballs, which luckily managed to miss the couple. When the smoke cleared, Miles and Stella swung over to the ship, yelling as they did. Once on the pirates' ship, they began fighting them with their swords.
After his parents had swung over to the pirates' ship, Arnold could no longer see them, and more cannons kept getting fired at his ship. Arnold tried to duck as much as he could to avoid getting hit.
A few moments later, the smoke cleared, and Arnold looked over the side of his ship. "Mom? Dad?"
As he called out to his parents, he looked around on the ocean and saw that the majority of his ship was destroyed, and the ship with the pirates and his parents were nowhere in sight. The horrific idea that his parents were now gone for good suddenly struck his mind. No! This can't be happening again! Mom! Dad! Don't leave me!
Arnold called out to his parents again, this time sounding more frantic and distraught. "Mom! Dad! Come back! Come back!"
"No! No! No! Don't leave me! Come back! Come back!" Arnold yelled in his sleep while lying on his stomach in his bed with his whole body under the covers and his head stuffed under his pillow.
As Arnold continued to yell, Miles and Stella made their way into their son's room, having heard the commotion from their own nearby room. Stella walked over to Arnold and gently touched his back. "Is everything okay?"
Upon hearing his mother's voice and her touch, Arnold immediately lifted his head from under his pillow and turned around and sat up in his bed, panting heavily.
Miles followed Stella over to Arnold, and stood next to her. "You were yelling in your sleep." With a look of concern, he walked over to Arnold and placed his hand on Arnold's shoulder. "Are you all right, son?"
As Arnold continued panting, he wiped the sweat away from his forehead and looked at his parents in secret relief. "Mom. Dad. I'm fine… I just…had a bad dream, that's all."
After hearing Arnold's last words, Miles and Stella looked at each other, exchanging a worried glance. Arnold did not notice this, as he was still wiping sweat off his face.
"You look as though it was a really scary one," Miles commented.
"Are you sure you feel okay, sweetie?" Stella asked. "You're really sweaty. That's what makes it seem like you had a very intense dream."
Arnold smiled at his parents. "Yes, Mom and Dad. I'm okay, I promise."
Miles and Stella smiled back at their son. "Well, if you want to talk about the dream later, or anything else, you know you can always come to us. Okay, son?" Miles asked.
Arnold nodded. "I know, Dad."
"Well, you should get back to sleep," Stella said, and began to tuck Arnold back under his blanket. But not before she gave him a hug and kiss good night. Miles also hugged Arnold, and ruffled his hair.
As Miles and Stella walked towards the door, Arnold called, "Good night, Mom and Dad."
"Good night, Arnold," Miles said back.
"Sleep tight, honey. We love you," Stella said to her son.
"I love you guys, too."
Both parents smiled at Arnold one last time, then Stella first walked out the door, with Miles following, and then he closed the door behind him. They walked down the steps, and when they reached the bottom, Stella said in a low voice, "That's the third time we've heard him screaming in his sleep…ever since October 5th."
Miles nodded. "Yes, and I think we both have a hunch Arnold's been having nightmares about us."
The couple continued walking down the hall until they reached their bedroom door. Stella opened it, then she turned to her husband. "Do you think we should ask him to talk about his nightmares with us? I mean, I know his situation is different from the other kids in his class, since we haven't been around to really be his parents. But we are still his parents, and we never really kept that vow we made to him as a baby, even if that wasn't our fault. I feel that we shouldn't baby or coddle him so much, but I want us to make that up to him."
Miles smiled at his wife and took her in his arms. "I don't think we should worry too much, Stella. Arnold seems to have grown into a confident and mature young boy for his age, so I think he'll make the right choice. I'm sure he wants to talk to us, and if so, he'll come to us when he's ready."
"You're right," Stella agreed. "I'm sure he'll want to talk about it with us, but he will do it when he's ready." She smiled back at Miles, and the couple kissed before going into their room and shutting the door behind them.
Once his parents left his room, Arnold sat up in his bed and hugged his knees to his chest. Then he took a look at the picture that was on one of his shelves and reached down to bring it closer to him. The picture contained none other than his parents, but it also included Arnold himself.
Although Arnold still had the picture that contained only his parents, he had it stored away in one of the other drawers and kept this new picture out where he could look at it.
As he looked at the picture of the three of them together, Arnold thought about his most recent nightmare. It was the exact same one he had about his parents a year ago, on the anniversary of the day that they left him and went missing…until he finally rescued them four months ago.
During the summer, Arnold had gone on a trip with his class to San Lorenzo in Central America. Going to San Lorenzo was the prize for the class if one of them won them a humanitarian video contest, and it was Arnold who won the contest. From the stories in his father's old journal, he knew his parents went there when they disappeared, and with the map he found in the journal, he was determined to locate them…or at least get the answers he wanted and needed about why they vanished. Though Arnold's greatest hope was that, somehow, his parents would still be alive after all these years.
Much to his shock, relief, and extreme happiness…they were.
During his trip, Arnold and his friends were taken prisoner by a river pirate named Lasombra. Lasombra had secretly arranged the entire contest and captured the group by posing as Miles and Stella's old friend, Eduardo. He did all of this to lure Arnold to San Lorenzo because he believed that Arnold was the only one who could help him find the Corazon, a sacred relic that belonged to the Green-Eyed People. The Green-Eyes were an ancient tribe that had never been seen by outsiders because they lived in a city that was hidden deep within the jungles of San Lorenzo.
Arnold, Helga, and Gerald escaped Lasombra's camp and had found the Green-Eyes and their city. Even though it was Arnold's first time meeting them, the Green-Eyes immediately knew who Arnold was because, when he was born, several Green-Eyes had witnessed his birth in one of their temples. His birth silenced a volcano that was erupting in the same area, and the Green-Eyes were amazed at seeing what had happened once Arnold was born. They also saw Miles come out of the temple carrying Arnold, and even from a distance, they could see Arnold's head, which made it even more in awe, as Arnold's head was the same shape as the Green-Eyes' symbol. Before retreating back into the jungle, the Green-Eye also heard Miles say Arnold's name, and it whispered the name to itself, as if it were very important.
It turned out that when Miles and Stella left Arnold to help the Green-Eyes, they had caught the sleeping sickness themselves and fell into a long sleep, or a coma-like state, as did all of the Green-Eyed adults in the city. The Corazon, which was a literal heart of gold, was meant to be put in the center of a machine that would aromatically spread the sleeping sickness cure all around the city and revive the infected. Although it was lost when Lasombra stole it from the city and accidentally kicked it over a cliff, Helga helped Arnold wake up his parents and the other adults by using her locket with Arnold's picture as a replacement.
Discovering that his parents were actually alive after all this time was a dream come true for Arnold. A few times, feeling it was too good to be true, he would pinch himself to make sure it was all real. But the situation was a hard one to believe at the same time, and it was also hard for others like Arnold's classmates to believe it.
For years, Arnold had been without parents, and his friends, classmates, teachers, and other people who knew him knew that he didn't have parents. But except with Gerald and his grandparents, Arnold almost never talked about it, and almost no one ever brought up the subject to Arnold himself (at least, not directly to Arnold's face). Since they had gone from his life for so many years, it seemed more likely that they were dead rather than just missing, like Arnold had hoped.
It was on days like the Parents Tournament Weekend in fourth grade and the previous October 5th date that Arnold actually took time to mourn their absence, and while he was optimistic in many situations and had managed to get through them, even when all hope was almost lost, Arnold felt he was ready to give up on believing that his parents were alive and going to come back to him one day. He decided it was time to stop being optimistic and be realistic about the situation. But when he found the map in his father's journal and managed to get to San Lorenzo with his class, his hopes were high once again, just like how he felt when he became very determined to save his neighborhood from being destroyed and converted into a huge mall by Scheck.
So Arnold's greatest wish was true after all: after all the years of not knowing their fates, his parents were still alive.
Happy was just an understatement of how Arnold felt upon this discovery, and more so now that he had his parents home with him at last. He was ecstatic and overjoyed…but at the same time, he thought about something else.
Arnold knew his situation with his parents was different than those of his classmates and their parents. His classmates' parents (from what Arnold could tell) were not too adventurous, and even if they did any kind of traveling, it wouldn't be to a location like San Lorenzo. The other parents did nothing in their lives that compared to what Arnold's parents had done for the Green-Eyes. During the years that his parents had been absent, Arnold felt that he couldn't relate to his classmates in this way, mostly because what had happened to his parents was a mystery. If anyone had ever asked Arnold what had happened to his parents, he would have said, "I don't know," which was the truth.
Even though Arnold was so happy that his optimism about his parents had been proven right all along, a new negative factor started to take effect almost immediately after he returned from his trip: he started to have nightmares almost every night, with nearly all of them being about battling Lasombra and trying to find his parents. His real confrontation with Lasombra and his minions back in San Lorenzo had been very scary, and he almost didn't succeed in saving his life and those of his friends from the river pirate.
Tonight, however, the dream he had was the exact same one a little more than a year ago on the morning of October 5th. As he sat on his bed, still holding his knees to his chest, Arnold went deep in thought. He believed he had the same dream again because he had started to fear the possibility of losing his parents again somehow, especially since he had found them after ten years, which was almost an impossible wish come true for him. Arnold had not told his parents about all of these dreams, but he suspected that they knew he was having dreams lately because he sometimes felt very sleepy during the mornings after having one of the dreams, and he felt sure it was noticed by his family.
As he had always encouraged his friends and other people to talk about their problems and get their feelings out since it wasn't best to keep them inside, Arnold was feeling a bit uncertain about approaching his parents about his nightmares right now. After being absent from his life for so long, Miles and Stella were home at last, and Arnold was just getting to know them. Unlike the parents of his friends, they were adventurous people, and Arnold seemed to have picked it up from them. Given that their love of adventure seemed to have lead them being held captive for all this time, Arnold wondered if Miles and Stella would understand that he was worried about them. He wanted to make up for lost time by being with them as much as possible, and he needed to be with them, too, since everyone else he knew had their parents with them for their entire lives. He didn't want to lose them or be separated from them ever again.
Arnold looked at the picture of him and his parents one more time, then set it aside. After he lay his head down on his pillow and pulled the covers up, he closed his eyes and began to think. I have to tell Mom and Dad about this dreams, and I want to tell them. Even though I am still getting to know them, Grandma and Grandpa had told me they were great people and loved me so much. I'm sure they'd understand and will listen to me. I'm always helping people with their problems, now I need to give myself a piece of advice I would normally tell others and do what's right. But how interesting does it seem that I'm good at giving advice and helping others with their problems, and when it comes to my own problems, I sometimes have trouble figuring out what to do?
Arnold turned on his side, still keeping his eyes closed as he tried to go back to sleep.
So what'd you think?
Truth be told, I could see this happening with Arnold. I thought him having a dream about his parents in "The Journal" on the anniversary of their disappearance shows how much he misses them and wonders what happened to them. I always believed that he would find them in TJM, it would be a miraculous find and a near impossible dream come true for him. However, because it would seem almost too real to believe, I also believe he could have nightmares about losing them again somehow. And while Arnold is a very optimistic person, the situation with his parents is a bigger and different one than he has ever faced, so I could see him feeling more worried about losing them or being separated from them again, even permanently.
The original version of this story had three chapters, but at this point, this new version may have two again or just one. I'll have to think about it. So in the meantime, read and review this chapter, and I just wanted to add...I'm so happy Arnold found his parents in the movie just as I always believed. And congratulations to all of we fans! We did it! We saved The Jungle Movie!