A/N: Lots of announcements with this one. First the bad, then the good.
Bad news: YES, Wisp is going on hiatus for a little while. YES, it's because of the plagiarism mess. I don't have the right mojo to be writing it right now, and I care too much about my story and my readers to do a half-assed job. I hope to be back in a couple of weeks or so. YES, I told people they could report the other story if they so chose. NO, I did not suggest or encourage a flame-war, witchhunt, or anything like that. Do you honestly think I have that kind of draw? *snort* Whatever. I'm just one of Ooza's minions. Now that that announcement is over and done with, I don't wanna hear about it anymore.
Good news: This was mostly done before the blowup, so Ooza and luvrofink get what they asked for! It's (duh) a Wisp POV. Yes, it's short. She doesn't have very many words yet, after all, though you'll see that she speaks better when she's asleep than when she's awake. Set around chapter 24-ish. It's marked M not so much for content as because Wisp is rated M, and why would you be reading this outtake if you weren't reading the whole story?
The epigram (vocab time: an epigram is the little quote at the beginning of a story, novel, etc.) is from Helen Keller. The other italicized material is from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. All quoted material is in the public domain. All standard disclaimers apply.
"Gradually I got used to the silence and the darkness that surrounded me and forgot that it had ever been different, until she came—my teacher—who was to set my spirit free. But during the first nineteen months of my life I had caught glimpses of broad, green fields, a luminous sky, trees and flowers which the darkness that followed could not wholly blow out. If we have once seen, 'the day is ours, and what the day has shown.'" —Helen Keller
Sleep. Sleep warm.
Edward warm. Edward safe.
Edward...pretty. Pretty Edward. Pretty eyes. Pretty mouth. Pretty hair. Pretty...all pretty. Whole pretty.
Edward soft. Edward slow. Edward touch good. Hold. Safe. Nice.
Edward sleep. Pretty sleep.
Wisp awake. Wisp see. Quiet. Edward sleep.
Rose pretty. Rose good.
Rose soft. Wisp soft.
Rose hold, smile. Mouth move. Talk.
Bath...room. Bathroom. Potty. Clean mouth. Rose brush hair.
Book. Peter! Peter book.
Book open. Rose talk.
I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needle-work, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still.
Pretty book. So pretty. Rose give.
Book for Wisp.
Want. Want more.
Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John's, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents, but on the whole the Neverlands have a family resemblance, and if they stood still in a row you could say of them that they have each other's nose, and so forth. On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.
Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very real. That is why there are night-lights.
Book. Wisp book.
Occasionally in her travels through her children's minds Mrs. Darling found things she could not understand, and of these quite the most perplexing was the word Peter. She knew of no Peter, and yet he was here and there in John and Michael's minds, while Wendy's began to be scrawled all over with him. The name stood out in bolder letters than any of the other words, and as Mrs. Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance.
Words are hard. My head does not understand. When I'm awake, they're slow and sticky. When I sleep, like buried treasure, I can find them. Sleep is my map. Sleep is my guide. When I am awake, the words stay hidden in my head where my mouth can't find them.
What are flamingoes? It's a funny word. Fla-ming-go! Is it fast? Is it soft? Does it have wheels? Will it make me smile or cry?
I like to smile. I hate to cry. It twists something up tight in my belly and makes my throat hurt and my nose drip. It doesn't feel good, and I'm always all alone and scared. Nobody ever stopped the hurt or made it feel better...until I found my Neverland.
My Neverland is warm.
It is soft.
I live in a little house, a tiny house with small rooms and big windows and a green door.
I love it. It is my favorite house. The best house.
No locked doors.
No bad closets.
When it is dark, Edward stays with me so I am not afraid.
I don't see Peter in my Neverland. I see Edward every day, and I love him. His face is pretty. His eyes are greener than the jungle pictures in my book. And he touches me so soft, so gentle. I never want to leave my Neverland. I never want my Edward to go away.
In my Neverland, I do not have big adventures. I have baby adventures, me-sized adventures. A book. Paper and pretty colors. Yummy food. Sweet sounds, and Edward holds me and moves, swaying, rocking us back and forth. I don't know what it's called but when he does it, I hope he never stops.
Pirates only come at night, when I sleep. They are scary; I don't like them. They try to take Edward away, and I cry and cry. I do not know what pirates are, but I know they are bad. Rose reads them to me, and in my Neverland they look like James, and the man with the drawings on his arms, and Dr. Gerandy, and Father, and my daddy. I don't tell them, but they are not soft like Edward. All of them hurt. All of them are mean.
But in my Neverland, Edward is bigger than them all. He holds me tight and it feels good, and they can't get me. I am safe with Edward in the little house in my Neverland.
Wendy, Michael, and John run away from a mommy and daddy, but I don't remember how I came to my Neverland. I remember waking up and being cold, cold, cold. Big shivers. Cold and scared. Confused.
And then my Edward found me.
I think maybe I belong to Edward now. I hope I do.
I try to be good for him, but it is hard to learn his rules. The man with the drawings on his arms had easy rules and he hit me and hit me when I didn't listen.
Edward never hits. Edward is always gentle.
But he is also confusing.
He puts me on the couch and the chair, and I know I am not supposed to be there.
He looks at my eyes and talks, and he does not punish me when I look back.
I even think he maybe likes it when I talk.
Words are hard when I am awake. When I sleep they run like waterfalls in my head, bouncing in my brain like rain on a roof. Everything Rose reads to me - I can see it so clear, so pretty. Sometimes the words look like things and sometimes they look like words, especially if I do not know what they mean.
Flamingoes. Fla-min-goes. In my head they are tall and skinny, like a capital F. Maybe orange. They smell like the bubbles Edward puts in the bath for me.
The Neverland in Rose's book is a jungle and I see it in my dreams, all sorts of greeny-brown colors and leaves and vines like I remember once seeing a picture of Eden. Except darker, because there are no pirates in Eden.
My Neverland is not like that. Outside the little house is cold and wet, with big trees stretching all the way to the sky, but I don't like to go outside. I like best when Edward is close, when he touches me. He picks me up and lets me sit on his lap, and he doesn't push me away when I hug him. Instead, he puts his arms around me and holds me close.
I would give the rest of it all up - the clothes, the words, warm water and good food - if it meant I could keep Edward's arms around me forever. When he holds me, I am safe. James can't get me. No one can get me. I want to be good for Edward so he will never send me back.
"I think it's perfectly sweet of you," she declared, "and I'll get up again," and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.
"Surely you know what a kiss is?" she asked, aghast.
"I shall know when you give it to me," he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.
"Now," said he, "shall I give you a kiss?" and she replied with a slight primness, "If you please." She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck.
Peter does not know what a kiss is.
I don't know, either.
In the book, Rose shows me a picture of Peter handing Wendy something little and small. Something that can fit in his hand.
Edward is nice. Nicer than Peter.
Edward is good.
I want to give Edward a kiss.
This flattered Wendy immensely. "I think," she said, "it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls; John there just despises us."
For reply Peter rose and kicked John out of bed, blankets and all; one kick. This seemed to Wendy rather forward for a first meeting, and she told him with spirit that he was not captain in her house. However, John continued to sleep so placidly on the floor that she allowed him to remain there. "And I know you meant to be kind," she said, relenting, "so you may give me a kiss."
For the moment she had forgotten his ignorance about kisses. "I thought you would want it back," he said a little bitterly, and offered to return her the thimble.
"Oh dear," said the nice Wendy, "I don't mean a kiss, I mean a thimble."
"It's like this." She kissed him.
"Funny!" said Peter gravely. "Now shall I give you a thimble?"
Edward talk. Talk soft. Talk to Wisp. Pretty eyes. Long eye...eye-thingies. Sweep.
Edward arms. Warm. Safe. Hold.
Want...give. Give Edward kiss.
Find paper. Small. Little paper.
Draw Wisp. Draw Edward hold.
Edward look...look...nice. Edward smile.
Edward talk. Say, "Wisp." Words...words.
Hold Edward. Hold Edward...always.
Adventures, of course, as we shall see, were of daily occurrence; but about this time Peter invented, with Wendy's help, a new game that fascinated him enormously, until he suddenly had no more interest in it, which, as you have been told, was what always happened with his games. It consisted in pretending not to have adventures, in doing the sort of thing John and Michael had been doing all their lives, sitting on stools flinging balls in the air, pushing each other, going out for walks and coming back without having killed so much as a grizzly. To see Peter doing nothing on a stool was a great sight; he could not help looking solemn at such times, to sit still seemed to him such a comic thing to do. He boasted that he had gone walking for the good of his health. For several suns these were the most novel of all adventures to him; and John and Michael had to pretend to be delighted also; otherwise he would have treated them severely.
I sleep a lot.
I like best to sleep in Edward's arms. He's so warm. Gentle.
I gave him a kiss - a picture of him holding me.
Edward is good. Nice. Sweet. I want him to keep me forever. I want to be good so that he will.
He puts his lips on my head, my cheek, my nose.
Is this a thimble? My book has a picture.
Wendy says it is a thimble.
I thimble Edward back. His face. His hands. I think he likes it. He smiles big and crinkly, and his pretty eyes are like...like green sunshine. Bright. Soft. Warm.
I thimble Pet a lot, too. My soft Pet. My funny Pet.
Is she happy? I hope so. She eats smelly food that Edward does not make me eat. She sleeps on the floor, and she walks on four legs, like me.
But Edward does not hit her when she climbs on the couch. He is not mad when she cries.
Edward is never mad. Only when the bad lady comes. Not at Pet. Not at me.
I can be good for Edward. I will be good so he is never mad at me.
I want him to keep me for always.
Wendy and Michael and John leave Neverland and go back to their home, but I do not want to ever go. I want my home to be here now, with Edward and Pet and Rose.
Maybe the bad lady is a pirate, like Dr. Gerandy and the others?
I won't let her take me away from my Edward.
I'll do anything to stay here in my Neverland.
A/N: Will there be more WPOV? Uh...I don't know. Not planning on it at the moment, but I guess anything is possible? Huge thanks to CallmePagliacci and LyricalKris for looking over this for me! And, as always, thanks to Hev99 for being the best damn superhero I've ever met! Also, thanks to the readers who are still with me after drama and everything.