Little Lotte I love you so much! I don't think I can thank you enough for all the things you do for me, nor do I think I could show you how much you truly mean to me! Oh, and it is at this moment that I wish to point out how corruptive you truly are!
Old, Alone, and Unloved
Mrs. Caldwell laid awake in her bed, listening to her husband work down in the study below. Her mind raced over the adventures she had in her youth, adventure that she meant to write into a novel, in three parts, but could never bring herself to pen down her tale. You see, every night before she fell asleep, looking over at her husband, a child's face comes to mind. A child that she had given her secret kiss to, her Peter. That was so many years ago, all the lost boys had grown up, even her brother Michael no longer occupied the nursery.
She imagined the window she spent so many nights looking through at the stars, second to the right and strait on till morning, she thought. She remembered the night he appeared to her, crying at the foot of her bed. She fell in love with him, and was certain he had feelings for her back, even if he was too childish to ever admit it.
Its funny who our hearts claim, she thought, for she cared for her husband dearly, but no one would ever compare to Peter. The longer she thought of Peter, the more upset she grew. He promised to return to her, to hear stories about himself, he promised! What good is that? A promise of a boy. He said he would never forget her, for she would never forget him, but like her love, she felt the that her feelings to be one sided. If only she had known that she was always on his mind, if only she had known that a figure from Neverland had slipped into her bedroom that night.
Letting go of the thoughts that plagued her mind, she drifted off to sleep for just a few moments, till the figure cloaked in darkness crept up to stand over her, the light from the dying lamp catching the crimson feather of his hat.
"Old, alone... Unloved." The figure whispered harshly into her ear, causing her to jolt upright. She tried to focus on who stood before her, but the darkness wouldn't allow that.
"Who.. Who are you?" She questioned, gathering the blanket closer to her. As the years passed the courage she possessed seem to flee. She no longer laughed at the face of danger, she couldn't wield a sword or think nothing of death. Growing up had changed her, she now thought of what would happen if Mr. Caldwell came up to find this sight.
"A codfish." The figure answered in a voice that She recognized, and yet is sounded as if she never heard it before.
"It couldn't be..." She thought, the memory of those forget-me-not eyes causing her body to shudder. "Hook was killed." She whispered to herself, causing the figure to laugh. It wasn't the deep growling laugh she expected, but almost high pitched, a boyish laugh.
"Hook was killed, Wendy, but you created someone far worse." He hissed. Before she knew what was happening, the figure grasped her arms, the pressure of it's clutch causing her fair skin to bruise. "You should be proud!" He dragged her from the bed, over to the window. She went to scream, but couldn't find her voice, all that came out was a croaking sob.
"You ruined Neverland, the pirates took over, their captain ruling everything, slaughtering without a thought." His words stung as he dragged her out the window, up into the sky. Wendy could no longer fly, and relied upon his harsh grasp to keep her from plummeting to her most certain doom. He took her to see the pain he accused her of, to Neverland. The trip seemed to take not even a minute, unlike when she traveled with Peter and her brothers, when they frolicked around for days.
It was dark when they arrived, stopping to hover among the grey clouds, the Jolly Roger below them.
"Look at all that you have done!" He let go of her right hand, causing her to scream out in fear, but their was no one to hear her now, no one to burst into the room and save her, she was alone. Tears streamed down her cheeks raw from the wiping wind, he had spoke the truth. No longer was Neverland lusciously green, no longer did the crystal blue waves dance on the tan shores. It was a wasteland, not a single leaf hung to the blackened trees, the murky green water crashed against the rocks of the shore, even the mermaid lagoon rocked back an forth with the sea's malcontent.
"How did this happen?" She gasped.
"You did this." He reminded her, causing her to snap her attention to him, her eyes widened in fear as she saw her captor.
"No... It can't be... Peter!" It was true, the man that gripped her, although his features grim and sharp, was no one other than the boy who received her secret kiss. "But.. your-"
"Old!" He screamed at her maliciously. Clawing his nails into her wrists, he dragged her down, onto the deck of the Jolly Roger. The Pirates stopped dead in their tracks, before fleeing beneath the deck.
"You did this to me Wendy! You made me grow up with your thimble! Why couldn't you have left me be? Why did you have to ruin everything!" He pushed her to the ground, her face sliding across the freshly washed wooden planks.
"You were going to die!" She sobbed out at him, her hear shattering at the look of pure loathing in his eyes. The tears coursed not only for the sight of Neverland, but the shattering of all her dreams. He couldn't have loved her as a boy, and now that he is a man, she thought he has abolished all love.
"Death would have been a great adventure, but instead, you make me live through this! I am old now, old, alone and unloved. You made me everything that I despised." It was at that moment that she realized what Peter wore. No longer clothed in colourful leaves, he wore a suit of blood red, like some red death, the same that Hook had worn.
"Why are we here.. on the Jolly Roger?" She questioned fearfully, knowing the answer but praying it was just her imagination.
"No man can live in Neverland Wendy, only as a pirate. Did I not tell you before? I was not the first Peter Pan, shocking isn't it?" She let out a sob, she couldn't hear his words, she couldn't, and yet he continued. "Did you ever wonder why James was the only pirate to be a man? A true man? All the others may have looked like them, but you saw how they acted when you told stories, why they were worse than the lost boys." He paused for a moment, his triumphant grin appearing upon his face, it no longer warmed her heart, but set daggers through it. "He was once a boy too, before a girl cursed him with a kiss, as you did to me, so now I am the captain of the Jolly Roger, the pirate that instills fear in every child's heart, with eyes that turn red as I kill." Wendy rocked back and forth, hands clasped over her ears, sobbing.
"Please, this is just a dream, it has to be." She moaned, causing him to only laugh.
"There are no more dreams for you Wendy Darling, No more dreams for anyone." As he spoke he grasped her arms once more, yanking her up from the floor, pushing her towards where the wood ends.
"You ruined it for everyone, every child who falls from their Pram, will come to this Hell you created, and will meet their death. Funny how a feeling can change everything, isn't it?" He was mocking her now, with a grin on his face.
"You loved me in return! I know you did, why are you being like this Peter, why?" She tried to bury her face into him, but fear sparked in his eyes as he pushed her away, her body hitting the edge of the ship.
"I can't feel love, the very thought of it offends me." He turned away from her, afraid that small spark of rebellion within him would be revealed. He did love her, he realized that the day he said goodbye to her, but how could he forgive her now? With all that she did to him.
"What can I do?" She asked in a low tone after what seemed like a century. "How can I fix Neverland?" Peter remained silent, unable and unwilling to answer her. "What can I do?" She asked again, her voice shaking as she stood before him. He tried to avert his eyes, but couldn't keep himself from looking at her.
"It can't be fixed." He answered simply.
"Then why did you bring me here?" She was yelling at him now, her arms thrown out around her. "Why would you make me come back if it was pointless?"
"I wanted you to know what you did! I wanted you to know the pain you caused me!" He screamed back at her, reverting back to the selfish boy he had been for so long. Wendy let out a sigh of aggravation, contemplating throwing something at him, but nothing was in her reach, nor was she wearing a slipper or something she could take off.
"I do believe in faeries." The words fell from her lips before she understood why.
"What?" He questioned, unable to connect the reasoning behind the statement.
"I do believe in faeries, I do I do!" Her eyes widened, a smile played upon her face as she remembered Neverland turning to something similar to this once, when Tinker Bell gave her life to save Peter. "Thats it!" She exclaimed. For years she tried to understand the concept of Neverland, even when all the other children forgot its existence when they grew up.
"Oh Peter..." She began, taking a step towards him. Uneasily he stepped back, trying to keep his stern unforgiving gaze, and failing. "Its not Neverland that needs fixing... its' you." The last part she whispered as she laid her palm on the side of his face, shocked to feel the hair that manhood brought. "You aren't unloved." She spoke in a tender voice, reminding herself of her mother. " I have loved you all these years, if only you had come back to visit me, like you promised." She could no longer cry, for her eyes ran dry, but if she could, she would have at the look of complete shock in Peter's eyes, and could it be? Forgiveness.
"You forgot about me, you replaced me with a husband." He spoke bitterly, but no longer in the voice of a grown man, but as the boy that hung within him for so long, finally getting its chance to see the light.
"You gave me no choice, you wouldn't follow me, I wanted you to be my husband." She spoke quietly, remembering the night they danced with the faeries. She had been so happy at the thought of Peter being Father, and her, Mother. " And.. you aren't old." He looked up at her in disbelieve, but came to believe the pure smile on her face. "You still are the same boy you always were, no matter how you look." Over the edge of the water, light broke out from the darkness, the sun filling the sky with yellows, pinks, and oranges. It seemed the colours themselves calmed the water, the once unforgiving waves now dying to make the water seem like a looking glass.
Without saying a word, Wendy approached Peter, curling her fingers around his own.
"Peter, I shall like to give you a... thimble."
Mrs. Caldwell awoke the next morning, safely in her bed, her husband beside her. Looking out the window at the slowly rising sun, she noticed that around her neck a foreign string found residence, an acorn laying over her heart.