Wendy believes for many, many years. Neverland had been real, and so had been her adventures.
The banker she married upon turning eighteen discovers her scribbled, quilled notes about Peter, about the Lost Boys and mermaids and pirates, and insists she suffers upon childhood delusions.
She's condemned to an asylum at twenty-two, as winter creeps into England, her husband's blood drying black beneath her trimmed fingernails.
In another eight months, Wendy stiffly births Jane while handcuffed and gagged to her own cot. The nurses waste no time disposing of her daughter, taking a long, silver, hooked instrument and painstakingly inserting it into Jane's cranium.
Due to lack of housing, Wendy sees a gaggle of disturbed men in her building. There's no kinder word for it existing in a caregiver's vocabulary.
Kindness is not a word she understands anymore.
She meets a younger man with fiery red hair claiming several identities, who wanders about the hallways and talks to invisible faeries.
Wendy feels drawn to him, irresistibly and hopeful.
He repeats back her tales with a hollow, strangled voice, staring with that child-like innocence.
"Oh, Peter — shall we go back?" she asks him joyously, climbing onto the window's sill, her brown tresses skimming the middle of her waist.
There's no iron bars on this one, much to Wendy's relief. She can leave, fly upon the wind's back to the second star on the right, to Never-Neverland, even if she's far older than twenty.
He nods eagerly, clapping his hands and gnawing them with his pearly, glued-in dentures, attempting to climb over her to get to the window.
"Peter! Oh!" Wendy shrieks, losing her balance.
Her neck splits apart upon a white oak branch, attached to the old, labyrinthine tree residing in the asylum's garden, scattering its acorns.
Peter Pan isn't mine. My absolute favorite thing ever is Peter Pan and even then I'm perfectly capable of turning things into a darker form of the original just for kicks. (The original story IS pretty dark.) This idea wouldn't leave me so I just went with it! Thanks for reading and you can please share any comments/thoughts!