Okay, so I have been meaning do to this for a while now, go through and straighten out the whole "age disparity" thing in this story. I don't know if it has been bothering anyone else, but it has been bothering the hell out of me. But it is just the beginning of an over all edit that I am doing of this whole story. I'm not doing a revision or anything and I'll probably leave most chapters alone, but this one has been changed a bit to make the ages work and I'm reposting the new chapter.
Bad News and Worse News
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to commit to the earth, the remains of our dear friend Peter. He was a great man, full of love and forgiveness. Father to Sarah and Thomas Darling, he was known for his charity to the weak and his seemingly endless tolerance of those who would put him down. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace old friend," the speaker folded his hands across his stole clad chest, a bible resting between them, his head bowed to hide the tears the slid slowly down his weathered face. He was older, wrinkled around the eyes and lips from years of laughter and good times with his friend Peter for whom he'd just read a eulogy he'd written himself.
Peter Darling had been the last of the "writer's line" of Darlings, started by his grandmother Wendy, at least as far as he knew. He had been the last to write about the wondrous boy whose name he shared. The story of Peter Pan had been a part of his family's history for four generations, started by his great grandmother as a story to soothe her children and continued by them in the form of their tales of adventure, some personal, some passed down, some real, some not.
Nigel sighed as he signed the guest book at the end of the funeral. He thought of Peter's two children. Thomas was away at school and Sarah was out of town due to her job. They'd both phoned him and let him know they'd received the news and were "alright", but he couldn't help but think that there was too much left undone for both the children.
They had never been very close to their father, he was always gone on business or trying desperately to fix his marriage and seemed to have little time for them, but that didn't mean he loved them any less. Nigel had always been a close family friend, and tried to make them understand that their father was just trying to make their lives better, but they seemed to see it as being abandoned and forgotten.
When they were younger, he would tell them about what their father was doing, to make them feel special, despite their father's absence, but it would never work. They would pout or cry, or ask why their father wasn't there to explain for himself. As they got older, the pouting and crying stopped, and the apathy began to set in. Once they were old enough, they left the house, they'd been saving secretly for years. They got a small flat together on the other side of the town, working whatever odd jobs they could and trying not to fall "into the wrong crowd" as their parents put it. Thomas seemed to do a good job. He finished school, got into a good college and seemed to be doing alright, but Sarah wasn't so lucky.
She had always been attracted to the wrong type of guy, the bad boy with a heart of gold sort, the thug who just needed to be cleaned up, the ones who could be "tamed", if they just met the right woman. But Sarah always seemed to find the ones that only wanted someone to push around. It was a hard life for her, but it sharpened her wit and made her more than capable of handling herself.
She was about 21 when she found the crown jewel of thugs, and of course she fell for him. He got her hooked on some nasty stuff, drugs and worse were all she knew for a couple years, but her father finally found her and dragged her out of that life. He put her in rehab and demanded that she make something of herself. He challenged her to become better, to prove him wrong in thinking that he should've left her to die where he found her, and she responded with flying colors.
She enrolled in college the next semester, going for a degree in English, her focus was on creative writing. Her first couple years were great, she was dedicated and seemed to be turning around, but the man she'd been with when her father found her had apparently tracked her down and soon enough, she was being dragged back into the darkness she had fought to escape.
It was the birth of her niece, Wendy that made her fight back. She moved to a different part of town, closer to her family and the campus and started spending every free minute with her niece. The little baby seemed to make everything brighter and she was able to finally move past her "issues". She still didn't know what they were; she just knew that the shrink said she needed to get past them if she wanted to make something of herself.
She wasn't sure if she ever got past anything, but she finished school and took a job as a teacher. It took her a couple years before any of her stories got published, but once they did, they took off. She quit her teaching job, thankful to be away from all the little brats for good and all, and dedicated her life to her writing.
She soon found out that the world of writers is a scary place full of all sorts of people. Some of them were downright insane, but others were just crazy enough to be fascinating to her. One such person, Lucas, was a scientist/science fiction writer. He was a "documentarian" according to his own ideas, but everyone else just saw him as a shallow glory hound that made up happy endings to his wild theories that never seemed to work.
Sarah became instantly attached, needing a solid influence in the world of flighty authors. He was a rock she could cling to in the rather wild tide of imagination that she was put under almost constantly. They became friends rather quickly and before long, she was moving into the spare room above his garage/workshop. It was large enough to be its own apartment and soon there were walls separating the massive room into parts and a small kitchenette had been put in and a small bathroom was added on, giving her the private retreat she needed. It was amazing to her how far this man was willing to go to make her comfortable.
She asked about it one day and he said that it was because he saw something of his sister in her and since she was past saving, she'd passed away a few years before they'd met, he would try his damnedest to make sure she didn't go the same way. He'd smiled when he said it, but it was obvious how serious he was.
Her 29th birthday was where her life really turned around. She'd just written a self help book, a break from her normal fantasy books, targeting young women like herself, and it was fairly flying off the shelves, and she was pursuing another degree in history, her focus was on the 18th century, also known as the "Pirate Era" by her group.
She'd always been interested in pirates, ever since she heard the old stories her father told her. Thomas had always cheered for Pan, clapping wildly when he defeated Hook, but it had always made Sarah sad. She had always liked Hook. She would often wish that he would take her away on his ship and teach her to be a pirate and free her from the monotony of her life. She had never mentioned in it, during those rare nights when their father was home, caring more about time with her father, than she did about a fictional character, but she'd never fully understood why Hook had to die. Why could he not simply sail away? Why did Peter have to kill him? It seemed to her that what Hook really wanted wasn't Pan's death, it was merely peace and freedom from Pan's constant pestering. She could understand that. She wanted that as well. Perhaps that was why she always empathized with him. She wanted to be free too.
She still felt that way sometimes, especially when her editor would call and yell at her for being late with a book or chapter. She hated all the politics and technicals involved in getting books published, she wished it would be as easy as it seemed in the movies or shows, but she knew that it was something she had to deal with. Sometimes, when she was completely alone, she would open her window and climb up onto the edge of her balcony and pretend like she was flying away, letting the wind blow her hair around.
It was a release for her, letting all her troubles fall off her and down the 3 story distance to the ground below, but she didn't get to do it as often as she would like. More often than not it was just her cigarette smoke blowing over the railing as she hid from everyone in her life for the few minutes she could.
She knew it was childish, hiding on a porch and pouting cause her editor was being "mean" but she was mature for 90 percent of her day, so she saw the other 10 percent as hers to be childish with if she so chose. The thought made her laugh sometimes, the image of her editor's face as that of a wrinkly old teacher and she the young student, evading punishment by hiding under the stairs.
Then the bottom of her world dropped out. She was in Paris for a book signing event when she got the call. Her father had died. It was some stupid kid something, a car wreck was all she heard, and she couldn't even be there for the funeral. Her heart could've shattered out of her chest from the force or despair. She tore her hotel suite apart that night, not caring how much she had to pay in damages. Little did she know that it wouldn't matter what she did to the room, she wouldn't be around when the bill came.
Lucas, her best friend and now business partner was staying in the room below hers. He was working on a new theory of quantum physics and mechanics. He had been dealing with a mental block for the past few weeks. He'd finally gotten past it and was enjoying some quality time with his tools and formulas, and he was almost finished with what was going to be the pinnacle of scientific discovery when things went terribly wrong. He wasn't sure how, but the machine he had been building activated, by itself. It wasn't supposed to be able to do that, but there it was, glowing and humming like some demented carnival ride. It took up most of the room and when it started to spin, the wind in the room was too much for the balcony doors. They blew out, shattering the glass and splintering the wood against the balcony railing.
The crashing was loud enough to drag Sarah out of her rage induced destruction and she felt her heart stop for a second time as she heard Lucas yelling below her. She grabbed her purse and phone on the way out of the door, running carefully to the stairs so she didn't break a heel and injure herself. She was at his door in seconds, pounding on it and demanding he let her in. There wasn't a response, but the door flew inward a moment later and Sarah saw something that stole her breath. In the middle of the room was a miniature black hole, swirling with shades of purple and light blue and white, sucking in everything in the room, including Lucas, who had just disappeared as the door opened.
Before Sarah could do anything but gasp, she was lifted off her feet and flung head first into the gaping mouth of the black hole. Everything was a jumble after that. Lots of screaming and grabbing at a hand she couldn't quite catch up to and then she was deposited none too gently onto a beach.
It was sunny out, and hot, far too hot to be wearing the sweater and pants she was currently in. She heard a groan from somewhere to her left and recognized the voice as Lucas. She was about to sit up when she felt something inside her snap. It was painful for a moment and then she was unconscious, a slight trickle of blood trailing down the side of her face from her mouth.
The whole incident seemed to go unnoticed, but there was a man, on a ship, with a spyglass and icy blue eyes that couldn't repress a smile. Finally, something new, something fresh that would hopefully prove useful in ridding himself of that fool Pan.
So yeah, like I said, some minor editing for syntax and for the age thing, nothing much else changes here, I'll be going through the other chapters as well.