Story For A Lost Boy

Disclaimer: All I own is the plot.

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It was a remarkably clear night for Quor-toth. The hazy, fume ridden sky would, if you looked very hard, give up impressions of faint stars above. Steven liked the almost images of the night lights. It seemed peaceful, and even at eight years old he knew there wasn't a lot of that in a place like Quor-toth.

He had slipped away from his father to be alone for a few minutes. Steven knew better than stay away long - there were too many bad things that could hurt him. He could hurt some of them, but not enough. Not yet. When he was older, Steven was sure that all the bad things would be afraid of him. But right now he was eight years old outside at night in a hell dimension.

Steven stared up at the sky once more. His eyes widened as a flash of brilliant light darted through the clouds. The grip on his knife tightened as the light came closer and closer to him.

It wasn't very big, a ball of light about as big as his two fists stuck together. Steven turned to hurry back to his father. The light could be something bad.

As he turned, he felt someone come up behind him.

"BOO!"

Steven jumped, turned, and then fell flat on his butt. A boy, little bigger than him, floated in the air above him, pointing his finger and laughing.

Steven scowled. People only laughed at those weaker than them. He thrust his knife up in a challenge as he got to his feet.

"Aww, don't be so mad. It was just a little joke," the boy said. He turned to the ball of light, now flitting by his shoulder, "Wasn't it, Tink?"

The ball of light chimed in response. The chimes sounded like laughter.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?" Steven challenged. He didn't like this boy and his ball of light.

The boy frowned when he realized his prank wasn't forgiven. "I'm Peter Pan. And I'm here to see you." He grinned. "Tink here thinks you should come over and play."

Steven was confused. Peter Pan was being nice. Nobody on Quor-toth was nice. Only his father was nice to him. Nobody else.

Peter continued talking, "See, all the other kids can play with me. Or at least they visit my home. But I've never seen you there, even in your dreams. So Tink says I have to come and get you."

Steven was relaxing a little. He guessed that Tink was the fluttering ball of light. If he looked at it really hard, he could see a very tiny girl with wings. And Peter sounded like he knew him.

"It's kind of funny that you never visited me. Especially since you were almost a Lost Boy."

"A Lost Boy?"

"Yeah. I'm the captain of the Lost Boys. But you got found before you could join."

"Oh." Steven paused. "You keep talking about your home and visiting it. Where are you from?"

Peter's eyes lit up. "It's the most wonderful place! You can play all day and into the night and never worry about anything. It's everything, all at once, with hardly any space between one adventure and another. It's called Neverland."

Neverland sounded interesting. In fact, it sounded like everything that Quor-toth wasn't. Maybe it would be nice to visit. He couldn't stay long, Father needed him, but for just little while....

"If I came for a visit, how would I get there?"

"Well, we'd have to fly. Tink, why don't you dust up Steven so he can come?" Peter turned to his tiny companion. She chimed in response, and soon Steven found himself sneezing from the glittering gold dust that covered him.

"Now what?"

Peter thought for a second, snapped his fingers, then said, "Just think lovely thoughts. You'll find yourself flying in no time."

Steven didn't know what lovely thoughts to think.

"Like a full stomach? Or hut with a roof?"

Peter shook his head, "Lovelier thoughts, Steven. They have to be happy."

"A sharp knife?" Nothing happened. "All the demons disappearing?" Still nothing.

Peter rolled his eyes. "Don't you have any really lovely, happy thoughts?"

"But those were the loveliest things I could think of!"

Peter sighed. "I see why Tink wanted me to get you." He picked Steven up by the waist with a grunt. "You'll never get to Neverland at this rate."

And up they went, through the clouds and haze and smoke, into the stars. And as they drew closer to the stars, Steven saw the colors getting brighter and brighter and just before they burst, he saw it. An island in a flawlessly blue sea. Pretty and green and perfect.

And Peter landed them next to a big old tree and a slew of boys came tumbling out. They were the Lost Boys, who Steven had (almost) joined. And they taught him how to play games, all sorts.

Like Hide-and-Go-Seek, which Steven liked because he often won. Unless it was Peter's turn to Seek, and then he would get found.

And Tag, which they played all over the island, making it very hard for "It" to tag anyone. But it was still lots of fun.

Once, they went and teased the mermaids, throwing icky seaweed at them and laughing as the mermaids tried to dodge the strands. When the mermaids started to splash back, the Lost Boys ran away.

Sometimes they played tricks on the Pirates. Like making them think the ship was haunted, and when the pirates left, coming aboard to steal Captain Hook's treasure.

When Captain Hook found out, he was awfully angry. He tried to find the Lost Boys, but they were too clever for him.

Steven thought it was very funny to watch Hook run all over the island looking for them, when they would be right above him and right beside him, just out of reach.

And then they had a big battle with the Pirates, and Steven learned he could fly when he fell off the plank. So then he swooped back up and snatched Captain Hook's hat and cut off the feather before feeding the hat to the crocodile. And then Hook grabbed a boat and rowed away with the crocodile tick-tocking after him.

For the first time in Steven's life, he was happy. And having fun. He wanted to stay for ever and ever and never grow up and go back to Quor- toth.

But one day Peter went to him and said, "Tink thinks its time for you to go back."

Steven refused to listen.

"She says that you were only supposed to stay a little while. Now that you can fly, she says its time for you to leave." Peter looked at him apologetically. "I don't want you to go, but Tink told me its important for you to go back."

Steven thought about Quor-toth. He hated living there, and it was so nice in Neverland. But his father was there, and would be sad since he was gone. And his father needed him; Steven knew that.

And maybe Quor-toth wouldn't be so bad now that he knew he could fly.

***

"Steven! Steven, wake up!"

Something was shaking him.

"Steven, how could you fall asleep out in the open like this? I leave you alone for just a little while and this happens. You know better, Steven."

Steven was awake now. Where was he? He'd had the nicest dream.

Father kept scolding him for falling asleep as he dragged him back to their home.

Steven sighed as he struggled to keep up. He remembered his dream now. Too bad it was just a dream.

Just before they went inside, Steven looked over his shoulder.

The constant haze of Quor-toth had parted in just one spot in the sky and the stars so clearly shined through. One star in particular, on the right, seemed especially bright.

With that thought, Steven looked down. In one hand, clutched tight, he held a feather. A big, long feather, like the one in his dream.

With a big smile on his face, Steven went inside.