When one looks back on their life at times of despair and loneliness, or simply just the reminiscing that comes with old age, one is sure to remember the things that touched you the most, that made you grow into the person you are.
It is well known that all children must grow up and leave behind their imaginations for the sober world of adulthood, but for one boy I once knew, and of whom this story is about, it seemed that the rules and improbabilities of the world did not apply. For however impossible it may seem, Petyr would never surrender his childhood.
The adult world is a scary place for children, though eventually all grow away from their fear and embrace it, seeing as they now are adults themselves. But when looking through the window into the world of your parents and neighbors, of your teachers and nannies, of all the lords and ladies that you see passing by you on the street each day, it is a terrifying and horrific thing to imagine yourself in that place. And it is for that reason why Petyr decided to rid himself of the minute trials and tribulations of every-day adulthood.
And he wished himself away to Neverland.
Though undoubtedly the years had passed, and centuries had come and gone, Petyr and I lived on, happily young, in Neverland. My brother and I swore to each other at such a young age that we would remain together forever, and as any sensible person knows, an oath sworn by one so young and full of innocence is destined to become the truth. There is no breaking an oath like that- it defies the laws of imagination, as few of them as there are. But it seemed that even forever could not last forever, and one of us was destined to lose the innocence of Neverland. Forever.
While children are saved from the stress and worries of money, family, and work, children are not perfect. They feel more emotion, they act more rashly, and often times they make irreversible mistakes just because they were not mature enough to think of the consequences. And while Petyr and I lived in our own little paradise, we discovered that these flaws, without adults to even them out, could dig at us, and separate us.
We two boys were the most wild and fearsome you could ever find. Petyr was the one who thought up our grand adventures, and I was the one who always tried to calm him down, and talk him out of his murderous ideas.
"Let's jump into that volcano there" he would say. I would then calmly have to explain the reasons why we should not jump into the volcano. And yet, after all my hard work and explanation, Petyr would get that grin of his and put his hand on my shoulder, simply saying, "Seamus, why waste our freedom? It's not like we have forever." And with those words I would go along with anything.
But as the years passed like days, changes began to happen in Neverland, and these changes had an effect on Petyr.
First came the mermaids. Deadly and beautiful they were, with hair like liquid sun, streaming behind them as they dove in and out of waves. Their faces were so pristine and perfect that they could break your heart with one glance. And though they drowned every living thing that came near them, dragging it down to their underwater lair, Petyr befriended them.
I told him not to. I told him it was a bad idea, I told him that nothing good would come of it. But he did it anyway, just as I knew he would. And so while my headstrong brother coerced with them in their own tongue, I stood far to the back, scared to come near.
After the mermaids, the faeries came. Not nearly as intimidating as the mermaids, the faeries were something that, no matter how hard he tried, Petyr could not tame. They were everywhere those faeries- at any given time you could find one buzzing around a tree or flower, or floating lazily down the river on a leaf. Though the faeries never tried to hurt me, I hated them. I hated them more than anything else, because it was they who were responsible for that first rift between Petyr and I.
I knew it was trouble when Petyr found a baby faerie, one of her wings broken and pinned to the ground. She had struggled when she first caught sight of us, but when Petyr put his gentle and trusting hands around her, she immediately responded to his tender touch.
Tinkerbell recovered quickly- too quickly, if you were to ask me, but I've always been a suspicious sort. She loved Petyr. She would have done anything for him, she would have died for him. And she decided that to repay him for his care and kindness, she would give him the dearest thing the faeries have. Their wings.
Tinkerbell offered Petyr and I each a bag of pixie dust. As anyone with an ounce of knowledge knows, Pixie Dust is made up of the hundreds of tiny scales that fall off of a faerie's wings. Tinkerbell said that only a pinch of dust and happy thoughts would give us freedom to roam the skies, to no longer be trapped on the ground.
Petyr was a natural at it. The minute his feet left the soil, he never wanted to come back down. There was nothing I wanted more than to join him, for us to soar and ride the wings together. But I was never able to hover more than an inch above the grass. Soon Petyr and I could no longer spend our days together, for his were spent in the sky with Tinkerbell, while mine were spent on the ground by myself.
After awhile I discovered that what I loved more than anything else, even more than Petyr, was the sea. While he and Tinkerbell would explore the skies and play hide and seek in the clouds, I began to build myself a secret.
Using my memories from years past, I crafted a boat that could rival any ship in the Royal Navy. It was my secret, and I delighted in it. If only I had known how Petyr would react.
He was furious. Petyr hated secrets, and always had, unless they were shared with him or his own secret. He told me that boats were for adults, and that adults were as bad as pirates. That was when he turned on me, and became no longer my beloved brother, but one of the wild beings of Neverland itself.
He did not speak to me after that day. My pain and loss was too great for me to try once again to contact him, only to be rejected once more. So I fashioned myself a home on my ship, and waited.
Over time I felt myself change. The modifications happening to my body were alien and confusing, but yet I accepted them, as I felt was the right thing to do. When I was sure that these alterations were done, I came to a sudden realization. More than emotions had come between Petyr and I. He was a foolish boy, content to live forever in laughter and games, and now it appeared that I the one thing he hated the most in this world.
It was with this realization that I knew I had to talk to Petyr, something I hadn't done in many, many years.
His greeting was not a welcome one, a loving on, or a brotherly one. In order to insure that I did not forget him in the worries and hassles of the adult world, he informed me, he would cut off my right hand so I would never forget what I had lost.
Before he could take another limb from me, I sought refuge on the only place I could- my beloved ship, the Jolly Roger. As I gathered my thoughts together, I remembered something Petyr had once said. "Adults are no better than pirates, Seamus, and all pirates are adults." And with newfound irony that came with my age, I decided that a pirate is what I am, and a pirate was what I should be.
I collected my men around me just as Petyr collected his boys. And though every morning I have the stump of my hand to remind me, I did all that I could to rid myself of anything concerning Petyr. I rid myself of my boyish name, taking on the adult named I deserved. I fashion a new name for myself, one that Petyr would not so easily forget, just like he had forgotten our bonds of brotherhood, leaving behind only his hatred of adults, and my sorrow and loneliness.
And since the day he cut off my hand, I know myself a new name.
I am James Hook, Captain of the Jolly Roger, and the lost brother of Peter Pan.