This story is a joint effort between me and wolfofsheep for our friend Darkly Dreaming. She wanted a pirate story and, like any good Shenny story, it took on a life of it's own. My parts are in bold, and the rest is pure wolfofsheep gold. How she managed to write most of this little gem while working practically every day is beyond me.
I hope you enjoy it, Darkly. It's all your now. ;)
Love…if you cannot handle its weight
Will become distorted and turned into hate
A small batch of forest within the quietness of the night was jolted with life. The trees seemed to be filled with buzzing stars. These balls of light reflected perfectly off the calm ocean water that only had a few disturbances when the mermaids surfaced for air. The fae in the canopies sang, drank, and filled the still night with their loud talking and laughter. Down below, upon the perfectly trimmed grass, a shadow darted like an uncontrollable breeze towards the port. Not but three seconds later… a rush of green and blonde shortly followed.
A caramel skinned fairy stared after the chase and let out a very exotic sigh. He puts down his Grasshopper cocktail in a huff and his Indian accent cuts through the loud music and laughter, "When is that girl ever going to get herself together?" He tugs down on his leafy dress and drunkenly throws fairy dust into the air. The batch floats down and hits a male fairy trying to kiss a female fairy... the male desperately tries to swim his way to the puckered female. As the caramel skinned fairy tries again with the fairy dust, the hovering fae drifts upwards sitting Indian style with his arms crossed angrily as he grumps, "Thanks for ruining my night, PolliDICK!" The dust hits the caramel skinned fairy and it makes him smile as his wings begin to vibrate. He hovers off the branch very unsteady like before he salutes the angry fairy, "I think you meant Pali… Koothrappali, but you're totally welcome, dude." In a burst of stardust; the fairy takes off into the night, ever so diligently after his favorite girl wonder.
The moon, half dipped into the landscape of the endless ocean, silhouetted the legendary boat, the Jolly Roger. The torn sails and long wavy flag from the crow's nest flapped in the gentle breeze. The wood creaked eerily in the night even though the ocean was flat and calm. Upon the deck, there was a sudden shadow of a very well figured woman and that shadow dove into the deck itself. It looked left and right as if trying to find a hiding spot and dashed into the mast's shadow. Seconds later, a shadowless blonde slowly hovered over the ship then drifted slowly down to the Jolly Roger. Two pairs of Vickie-16H Buckle Slouchy Thigh High Boots touched the aching wood and moaned against the weight. The blonde had one hand on her pink handled Stiletto dagger as she looked around the empty ship. She had an almost skin tight green dress. The hem of the skirt hugged against the top of her thighs and looked to be ripped. Her golden skin gleamed from the bright moon light. The small, pointy hat on top of her head had a lightly black stripped pink feather that was almost longer than the hat itself. Her pointy, pierced ears almost wiggle as if listening for any kind of movement. Her loose, hay colored hair waved in the small breeze of the ocean as her eyes seemed to burn green like a cat on a hunt.
The shadow, feeling the heat of the hunt, bolted for it. It flopped against the deck and into the doors of the Captain's quarters… but not just ANY Captain's quarters… Captain HOOK'S quarters. Any brave warrior would take a look at the name plate and run for the hills… but Penny Pan was no ordinary warrior. She unsheathed her arm-length dagger and slid it into the gap between the two locked doors. Just as she was about to wrench the dagger, a jingle sounded at her ear.
"What the hell are you doing, Woman!?"
Penny jumped a little then smiled, "Hey Pali… I finally have that damn shadow right where I want it."
Koothrappali landed on her shoulder and took a handful of blonde hair then swallows deeply, "I'm very happy for you, but may I remind you whose sleeping quarters we are about to invade."
That just made Penny's smile go wider, "Oh… you don't have to remind me… that's what is gonna make this so much more fun. I get to rattle the hook of old Capin' Squidface!" She flicked her wrist and the doors flung open and a very mischievous smile crossed the girl's lips, "Pali… make sure my shadow doesn't get out." The man fairy sighed as he hovered in mid air letting the wavy golden tresses slither back into place as Penny floats into the dark room. Pali gave a very low moan that came out like a musical chime and bolted into the room… the door shutting silently behind them.
There was a number of things in Never Neverland that one would consider 'dangerous'. The Piccanniny Tribe who scalped any that trespassed on their territory, the Pixies who were the size of fairies, but actually fed on the flesh of anything daring to go near them, the mermaids who were beautiful to look at, but would drown you just for fun, and the 45 foot long crocodile named Fowler who swallowed a clock and could be heard coming by the incessant ticking and tocking. These things paled in comparison to the man that governed over the blood thirsty pirates of the Jolly Roger; Captain Sheldon Lee Hook. In an epic battle between he and Penny… she swung a fatal swing with her dagger and took off the right hand of the overly sore loser and fed it to the ticking reptile. Since then, that crocodile has been 'stalking' the ship hoping to get just another piece of that delicious manboy. That one moment sparked an unmatchable rivalry between the girl who could fly and pirate who hates to lose. It was something that she treasured but something that drove the man even crazier than he already was.
Penny's glowing green eyes swept the layout of the very pristine room. The first thing she saw was an array of hooks hung on the wall like a spice rack. Beside that was a dresser with six drawers and a display of small random treasures. She could see something that looked like a dinosaur egg, but was bursting with purple crystal from an open side. Beside that was a large cherry mahogany box that had a small fishing hook through its small latch. It was a long enough box to hold parchments. Beside that was a tall, snarling, red and yellow tiki mask that had a bolt of lightning in the center of the forehead with a circle around it. It sent shivers down the blonde's spine.
On the wall right across from the dresser drawer was a corny yet elegant painting of the Captain. He was tall, stringy, but an essence of handsomeness. He wore tight black pants that had a slight shimmer to them and strong, thick boots. He wore a very loose fitting white colonial shirt that was low cut and showed off his chest. He wore a long crimson coat that was trimmed with gold. His thin face was lined with years but still had an essence of youth. He had a very sharp, slim mustache that curved down the lining of his lip. His thin goatee meshed with the five o'clock shadow that crept along his jaw line and met with his trimmed sideburns. Penny's eyes, then, swept the painting to the hauntingly gorgeous blue eyes of the painting that were almost highlighted by the moonlight from the window of the door behind her. She smiled as she floated up beside the painting and whispered, "If only he stayed this quiet..."
Pali gave a little snicker, "Yeah… that's like asking Kurt to not bite his toenails."
Penny stuck out her tongue and gave a gross face as she drifted along the room. Her eyes fell to a very large bed draped in a luxurious canopy. It was very classy but just didn't seem to fit the rest of the run down boat. Everything looked as if it had been stolen just yesterday. It looked to be made of the finest white silk in all of Neverland and had no hints of any stains on any of it. The dark, chestnut oak wood looked brand new with only a few scratches on it from what looked like a hook. And there, in the midst of the fluffiness, the Captain of sleaze and evil lay… like a mummy in its tomb. It was strange to see such a feared man hugging himself while slightly snoring. Penny furrowed her brow and shook her head as she suppressed a laugh and murmured, "He's such a freakin' whackadoo."
From the corner of her eye she sees the jerking of movement. She turns her head and her glowing eyes dull as they fall upon the shadow. A perfect silhouette of the blonde starts to look panicked. It shakes then looks around before bolting for the bed. Penny was quick and she darts in mid air to grab the shadow's leg and play a rousing game of shadow tug.
In a quiet but callous whisper, she desperately griped, "Pali… I got her! Find something to bind us with… QUICK!"
The little ball of light darted like a confused fish then took off towards the dresser drawer. He darted in and out of every drawer then paused just amidst the immaculate cabinet, "Dude… this guy is terrifyingly organized. His shirts are systematically arranged by days of the week and weather modifications. I… I'm kinda scared to touch anything."
Penny whispered ferociously, "HURRY!"
The shadow's leg was stretched far but Penny's grip didn't falter. She threw her legs against the wall just under the painting and pushed herself out as she pulled the shadow.
The little ball did a frantic dance then darted back inside. His light seemed to light up the inside as he moved around within. Finally, the light froze in one place for a short moment before he bolted out in a chime of magic dust. He buzzed to where Penny was parallel to the floor and he held out a large (to him, anyways) hooked needle and about 6 foot of string attached to it. Penny looked at it and smiled, "Nice going Pali!" The little ball of light went pink for a few seconds and let out a happy jingle.
Penny pulled the shadow with all her might until she was sitting on the ground with a firm grip on the shadow's leg. Her back was to the bed where the pirate slept as she tugged the dark substance until the entire thing was wiggling on the floor. With her tongue sticking out of the side of her mouth in concentration, she smushed the darkened foot against her own with one hand then took the needle in the other and attempted to sew the two together.
Every stroke she took was just another hit and miss. She was getting too much shadow. It kept overlapping her feet. The pointy eared blonde was getting overly frustrated. So much so, that she forgot where she was and let out an exasperating groan. Pali let out a burst of dust at the loud noise and bolted back into the dresser. Penny, not even noticing how loud she was, kept at it only to groan more and more out of impatience. The wood creaked behind her and her shadow twisted in utter terror. It waved its inaudible hands towards the blonde but she was too raveled in her current situation to notice. Suddenly, there was a sound of a match being struck and a candle being lit then… a voice being cleared, "No one is supposed to be in my sleeping quarters."
Penny's blonde hair went rigid in fear and she dropped the needle on the ground, but kept a firm grip on her shadow. She spun around and unsheathed her dagger as she hovered over the ground and readied for battle only to be stunned by the presence before her… Captain Sheldon Lee Hook holding an antique candle lantern wearing white, baggy onesie pajamas with whimsical ducks wearing rain coats and holding up umbrellas all over them, and a matching nightcap that dangled over his shoulder and had a big fluffy yellow ball at the tip. Though she still held the dagger dangerously, the giggles she let out were anything but menacing.
Without letting go of the shadow or her dagger, she brought both her hands over her belly and let out a roar of laughter… that made an all too familiar snarl form on the one handed pirate, "You not only trespass upon my ship, but you come into my sleeping quarters unannounced and then… you laugh at my Tuesday/Calm Seas nighttime attire. I have no choice…" He calmly moves to the wall beside his dresser drawer, places the candle down, pulls off his nightcap and places it on the dresser, selects a hook off the wall, stabs and turns the hook inside his makeshift nub, spins around and readies his shimmering hook to strike… all as calm and precise as each of his movements, "… it seems that I'm going to have to kill you, Pan!"
Penny jolted and readied her weapon as she squared up to him. His burning blue eyes collided with the pulsing green of the blonde and they stared… one waiting for the other to make the first move. Nothing happened; instead, his left brow begins to twitch as his eyes goes from the shadow in her hands back to her and he lets out an infuriated growl, "I will not have an epic battle to the death with you, you impertinent strumpet, without first mending this… this… arrant show of female bonding. Please, if you will, hand me the needle and sit down."
One of Penny's brows went up while the other shot straight down as she stared at the man extending his left hand. Hook wiggled his fingers in a 'Come On' gesture, "Well? Sit down… we don't have all night. I wish to kill you before the sun rises…"
Pali pops out of one the of the drawers slowly then rests his arms on the frame as he tilts his head at the sight of Penny sheathing her dagger, picking up the dropped needle, then handing it and the shadow in her hand to Hook while slowly floating down to the floor. Hook USES his hook to nail the shadow down to the floor as he takes his calm but strong hand and envelopes around Penny's calf covered in the long boots. Pali couldn't help but to blush as he felt he was intruding on a very private moment. He looks over at Penny and sees her eyes wide and her cheeks flushed as she looks on at the spectacle before her. When he gets the shadow and the foot nice and even, his masterful hand begins to speed through the motion professionally; connecting shadow to foot. The bewildered look on Penny's face melts into a small smile as her glowing eyes reach his, "You are quite amazing when you aren't yourself."
The Captain's lipid pools of blue drift up to meet hers and she smiles but his face stayed rigid and stoic as he spat, "Save your flattery, wench." He swallowed deeply and dropped his gaze deep into the shadows as he hooked the other leg of the shadow and did the same process as the first. The darkness hid the slight flustered look on his face.
Penny frowned a bit. That was the second time he called her a whore in the past five minutes and it angered her to no end. Sure she had slept with a few pirates here and there, but what was wrong with that? She could not believe she was getting so pissed off at being called a whore by a 30 something year old VIRGIN. OH KAY… so she cut off his hand and fed it to a huge crocodile… so WHAT! Jeez, get over it already… that was so 4 years ago. She snorted and crossed her arms as Hook finished up the last foot. The two sat and stared at one another for a few moments. Penny's heated gaze melted and her arms slumped slightly as she looked at the pulsing blue eyes of the man, still in his ridiculous pajamas, within the fluttering candle light. She felt a very familiar jolt in her chest as he licked his lips. Hook took in a deep breath through his nose then stood up calmly. Penny levitated off the ground and unfolded her legs and let her feet touch the ground... shadow and all.
Hook's expression darkened as the two shared their grand stare. The stare, which if looked at closely enough, would be seething with the fiery Tiger and the stone cold Dragon sparking against one another. Yin and yang… light and dark… heaven and hell... man and woman. These two, though different in every way, were meant to meet; because without one… the other had no purpose. This was no ordinary story… this was a tale as old as time. For what purpose was the darkness, if light never existed?
Hook gave a big grin, "Tell me, Pan, are you ready to die?"
Penny gave a gorgeous smile, "To die, would be an awfully big adventure."
A sudden wind burst from around her and blew Hook's door wide open. She unsheathed her dagger and flew past the pirate with a burst of laughter. He snarled, grabbed his red and gold trimmed jacket and put it on, his many experiences made it easy even WITH the hook, and then put on his boots. He grabbed his long bladed cutlass and darted after the blonde.
He expected her to escape across the water and into the forest, but she awaited him near the wheel. Her feet hovered an inch above the wood and she was smiling as if she hadn't a care in the world. His ire only increased at her blasé air. Did this imp have no respect for order or authority? He rolled his eyes mentally. He knew very well she didn't.
"Pan, this is to be your last night. Do you have any last words?" he sneered.
Penny giggled mischievously. "When I defeat you, can I have that cutsey little nightcap?"
Sheldon roared with anger. He thrust his sword at her and she flew back out of reach. Penny dove in and the clanging of steel began filling the night. Normally his arm's reach and his 6'2" height gave him an advantage over his opponents. Both were negated by her ability it dart into the air or shoot past him before he could blink. It made her his greatest, and most infuriating adversary.
Penny's ability to fly was tied to her ability to wring every ounce of joy out of life. Happy thoughts kept her airborne. Matching wits and blades with Cap't Fussy-britches never failed to make her happy. She danced in the air around him, his blade narrowly missing her at least three times. She could see Pali hiding inside a coil of rope, watching them nervously.
Sheldon spun to the left and stabbed backwards under his arm. He grinned ferociously as he heard a yelp of pain. He finished his rotation and saw Penny fling herself three feet away. She had a hand pressed to her stomach and her eyes were wide with surprise. He felt a twinge of regret at the drop of blood that seeped between her ring finger and pinkie. He didn't have much time to contemplate that emotion before she darted forward and began fencing with a determination he had never seen in her before.
Cap't Sheldon reeled back from Penny's lunge and found himself trapped on the gang plank with nowhere to go. Penny grinned widely, her stance showing her readiness. Sheldon tried to curb the vexation he felt. He needed to be calm and rational if he was to thwart this infuriating thorn in his side. Hope seeped in as Shmeenard crept out from behind the mast. Aha! His trusty first mate would distract her, thereby allowing him to take advantage and end her free-spirited hippie ways! Today would indeed be an awfully big adventure for Penny Pan!
Shmeenard was only two feet away when they all heard it. Ominously low, it was but a faint sound upon the breeze. As one, the three of them turned toward the water. They strained to hear the rhythmic noise.
Cap't Sheldon let out a high pitched scream that would have done Pali proud. He jump into the air and Penny deftly caught him in her arms just as the giant crocodile leapt from the water and snapped the gang plank into pieces. Sheldon's spindly arms clung to Penny's neck as he buried his head in her curls. Penny sighed, knowing her fun was finished for now. She turned and dumped Cap't lily liver into Shmeenard's arms and put away her dagger. She looked over the rail into the water and stuck out her tongue.
"Fowler, you have the worst timing of any reptile ever," she groused. She looked back over her shoulder and shrugged. "Well, there's always tomorrow." With that happy thought, she took to the air and fly off toward the reefs. Maybe the mermaids would play a game of tag with her.
Cap't Sheldon paced back and forth in his cabin. That infernal Penny had escaped once again! Was he cursed? Every time they faced each other, they were interrupted! He had been a pirate for fifteen years! Never had anyone oppose him as that...that...WOMAN did! Every enemy he had ever made was swiftly dealt with. Either he killed them, or he put the fear of death in them. All but her! She had actually entered his sanctuary whilst he slept! All for her stupid shadow! How could someone so inept as to lose their own shadow, escape him over and over again?! He slumped down on his bed and ran his hand down his face. A glimmer caught his eyes and he turned his head. He bent and picked up the small flower barrette. It was a pink blossom with a jeweled center. He turned it over in his hand and saw a couple of long blonde strands still stuck in the clasp. It must have fallen from Pan's hair as she struggled with her shadow. Sheldon laid back on his bed and closed his fingers around the blossom. He closed his eyes and willed himself back to sleep.
Penny sat on the tree limb and frowned as she regarded the tear in her tunic. "Stupid pirate with his stupid hook," she muttered to herself. Okay, so he had helped with her stubborn shadow, but did he have to rip up her favorite clothes? This tunic had the perfect side tear to show off her toned and tanned legs, and now it was trash. She sighed heavily and leaned back to stare up at the stars. Beneath the canopy she could hear the lost boys snoring. She loved her little guys. Zack the brave one with his bear costume, Stuart the shy one with his little bunny ears, Barry the unfunniest one with his "gweat" big skunk tail, Kurt the trouble maker wearing the fox skin, and the twins Bernie and Howie who were the smallest of the lot. Yep, they were her family, along with Pali. She had everything she could ever want right here. Fun, adventure, friends, and freedom. So why did she feel so restless sometimes? Especially after an encounter with her nemesis. Penny sighed and swung down from the tree. She wandered over to a hammock and slipped inside. As she closed her eyes, she had a brief memory of startling blue eyes, and then she fell asleep.
Hook woke up to the sound of many boots thrumming against wood and he sat up, still in his pajamas and coat. He just sat for a few moments as the sun warmed against his intact hand. He looked over at the metallic replacement for his right hand and his left hand clenched into a very tight ball. Why did he loathe himself more than that infernal woman? He… he felt so different when he was around her. It sickened him yet… intrigued him. He growled and pushed off the bed and got on his attire straight out of the painting… he needed to talk to someone and he knew just the person.
He kicked open his doors and watched as all the men on his deck froze in fear. He loved that feeling but he didn't smile, "SCHMEENARD!"
A short and stocky man in a purple and black stripped shirt with thick glasses yelled from the crow's nest, "YES CAP'T!"
Hook's eyes went wide and he looked straight up the mast to the man, "We head for Gaston Bay, Schmeenard… NOW!" With his booming voice ringing out, the entire crew burst into action and a few moments later, Jolly Roger took sail… Fowler ever so diligent behind them.
Penny stood on the tallest tree of all of Neverland and watched as the Jolly Roger slipped into the horizon. The distant sound of ticks and tocks could still be heard as Fowler still followed the ship. She twisted her hair over her shoulder as the feather of her hat twitched in the wind. She let out a sigh through her nose. Her broach, the pink blossom that she has had since before she can remember, was still aboard that ship. She looked down at the world below her to see her Lost Boys still gathering food. With one more look at the ship's shrinking form, she dove backwards from the tree and zipped down the tree. She dodged every branch like a snake slithering in mid air. She did a flip and hung in mid air before giving out her loud, signature crow.
The shrill call of the rooster echoed throughout the entire land. A pale white buck shots his head up in a field of pure white fox tails. His wings extend in a blur of speed and sends white seeds everywhere. He makes a grunt before taking off and soaring into the sky. A group of men with handprints, circles, and dots all over their exposed flesh (that were not covered in animal pelts) spun their intricately spotted horses in the direction of the crow then turned their heads to the only female in their group on top of a Fjord unicorn that had an Uchchaihshravas inspired Polki draped over it horn with tiger stripes painted on its body. Tiger Priya's eyes narrowed in the direction, but she let out a few foreign words and the warriors all turned and headed in the opposite direction.
Within a few seconds of the crow finally dying down, there were rustles all around her and she smiled as she crossed her legs in mid hover. Her Lost Boys came from all directions.
Kurt burst through first, right behind her. He had bright orange fox ears sewn onto a vintage brown leather aviator hat with goggles on them. He wore just a leather vest, matching the hat, but exposing his very muscular chest. He wore loose, torn jeans with one of the legs ripped off from the knee showing his muscular, slightly smooth leg. He wore black faded motorcycle boots and a fox pelt for a belt; the fox tail dangled at his side. He had a huge potato bag full of things that Penny guessed that he used to go into town and steal things instead of 'hunt'.
Zack came next; right in front of her. He wore a brown shaggy hat with bear ears that had long furry straps down it that went almost down to his knees. At the end of these straps were bear paws that were actually mittens. He had a grey shirt with a worn out Golden Bear's logo on the front of it. He wore long, black, basketball shorts on with dirty, blue high top converses. He had two legs of a white doe over his shoulder and was dragging it with his incredible strength.
She could hear Barry talking with his supercilious impediment as him and Stuart come out of the brush to her right. Barry wore black hoodie with a white belly and small, skunk ears that had twin white stripes all the way down the back. He had faded khakis with tattered brown and black El Ace 3 Puma shoes. Stuart had a honey brown scarf tied around his head that had a knot with two long laces left resembled the ears of a rabbit. They were flat and had pink inside of them with dark brown at the tips. He wore a dark blue shirt with a Rabid Rabbit's Trash logo on the shirt. He had faded green camo cargo shorts on with black and tan Canvas Vans. Stuart's shoulders were scrunched as he looked down to the ground with three rabbits in his hand while Barry was talking about how Stuart's 'wabbit twaps' were only at 70% optimal efficiency while holding just a small chipmunk. Stuart bolted and hid behind Zack as Barry rolled his eyes and dropped his chipmunk and crossed his arms.
Bolting from her left, were the twins. Bernie was giggling uncontrollably as she and Howie came out hand-in-hand as they always did. Bernie wore a black, velvety dress with a hood and no sleeves. The hood had raccoon ears and long black strings with fluffy grey puffs on the ends. The rim of the dress was trimmed with grey fur and had a raccoon tail off the back. She had grey and black stripped socks that went past her knee and dipped down into charcoal colored Lattice Cardy Ugg boots. Howie wore a dark grey shirt with a raccoon in a trashcan poking its head up with a banana peel on it head with the word 'Trashy' underneath it. He wore tight black and grey plaid pants with a raccoon belt buckle that had the raccoon on its back playing with an empty can of soup. His shoes were smudged white Superga with black spots that were tied tightly. They each had two bags of fruit on their backs, each and dropped each other's hands as everyone stared at them.
The last to come, in a twinkle of sound, was Pali. He came and swooped down on Penny's shoulder and the blonde gave a huge smile, "Wow, good job guys… That'll feed us for a month!" Her smile made everyone smile and grin and feel good about themselves. She watched them with a small sad smile then cleared her throat, "LOST BOYS! I… I am going on a hunt and I may not be coming back."
All the Lost Boys mumbled and looked around at each other. It was Zack who, being the brave one, always spoke up, "Penny… what kinda hunt are you going on and why can't we come along?"
Penny landed on the ground and walked up to the tall lunk, "This is a hunt that can only be done by me. I have something missing and… and I need to find it." She flew up to where she could be eye to eye with the bear and whispered, "I need you to look after them, ok?"
Zack's eyes went sad but he gave a knowing nod. Out of all the Lost Boys, Penny found Zack to be the most trustworthy. Though he wasn't the smartest man, he was the kindest and gallant of them. He would give his all and Penny knew that. Penny gave a smile and kissed the man on the cheek before flying up, "You guys… don't stop having fun! No matter what! Promise me…"
The Lost Boys all looked around at each other and then looked down at the ground. Penny looked over at Pali. He gave a look of sadness as well and Penny put her hands on her hips in mid air and looked back down, "PROMISE ME!"
They all looked up at her and each of them gave a sad recognition that they would. She gave a weak smile to them, "I'll never say goodbye because saying goodbye means going away… and going away means forgetting. So, I'll say it again… never stop having fun! ALRIGHT!"
In this, her Lost Boys gave a louder response and that… that meant she could go, "Till the next time we meet!" She gave a big smile as Pali circled around it in a storm of stardust and she gave just a little wink… and both her and Pali were off to the stars.
The crew sang The Coast of High Barbary shanty as the Jolly Roger cut through the wave-less ocean. Hook stood beside the moldy wooden helm with his left hand on one of the only good knobs left. He could still hear the damned ticking of the croc behind them. He reached into his pocket and brought out the blossom trinket only as far so he could actually see it, then dropped it back in. He stared straight with a fierce look on his face as he pushed out all the thoughts burning into his mind. The place they were headed to was very important to him… the place he was born… and on this particular island was his mother. She was isolated from the mainland for two reasons: (1. She was a witch and a strong believer that witchcraft was the only way. (2. She turned the king's daughter into a crocodile and was banished indefinitely.
Hook moved the helm slightly North and called out above the shanty, "Alright you baggywrinkled codpieces, tie yourselves down… we're crossing the Moonraker. Prepare for the violence of a storm. Schmeenard… get down from the crow's nest and take a few of these dogs and tie down the supplies." All the men complied and The Jolly Roger, suddenly, crossed an invisible barrier where the sky was darkened by deep grey clouds and the ocean was turbulent with high waves. The ship dipped down and rose above the immaculate wave.
The tip of the ship cuts through the water as Hook kept a firm grip on the helm as the wind flew through his silken locks and long coat. He narrowed his eyes as the rain dripped down his face. The ship burst through a few more waves before his blue eye widened back up at the sight of an island with a ring from the clouds where sunlight fell around it. There, in the beam of light, was his old home and outside was a tall woman putting clothes on a line.
"Pull down the topsail and weigh anchor you sopping salty rat droppings."
The men were terrified to come off the ship, but Schmeenard stood beside the Cap't as Hook hugged his mother. She seemed like such a common woman, but the sight of her clothes hanging themselves on the line as she was inspecting her child, who was only a few inches taller than her, made the word 'common' fly out the door. She wore a black, old handmaiden's skirt that fell to her bare ankles and a white blouse that was frilled in the front. Her brown hair was straight and fair and was cropped at her shoulders. Her bare feet were clean and pristine as her yard was.
The witch looked over at Schmeenard and smiled, "Thank you for takin' good care of my son."
Hook rolled his eyes and got to the point why he came here, "Mother… I wish to speak to you. Schmeenard has accompanied me to allow assistance in your garden as we do so." Hook looked over at the short man and he didn't hesitate. He was in the garden in the blink of an eye as the Captain and his mother went inside.
Above the clouds, the sun and moon seemed to sit and talk for awhile. Fish and dolphins races through the starry sky as whales sang loudly in the far background. Winged horses of all stature and color flew in a flock underneath the singing whales. One little brown colt with the wing pattern of an owl with white splotches all over his pelt flew beside Penny and neighed. The little man bucked in mid flight and raced to stay beside the blonde. She smiled at the little one and reached out to wiggle his ear. As she did, the horse snorted and shook his head before flying back to his herd's side. She laughed a little and then dove down into the ground of clouds.
As she came down from the fluffy cover of the sky, shards of ice clinked off her skin and flew down to the ocean below. Pali shook and wrapped Penny's long blonde hair around him as he sat on her shoulder. She blinked her eyes clear and looked out to the horizon and her put on the brakes in midflight. As she lingered within the sky, she looked upon a wall of darkness. It stretched the length of the sea and resembled a glass bowl that held another part of the ocean within it. The waves were high and lightning struck down at the current. Pali unraveled himself as he stared, open jawed, at the sight before them, "Ar… are we going in there?"
The sound of ticking and tocking finally reached their ears and both looked down at the edge of the barrier. Swimming back and forth like a dog at a fence was Fowler, growling and snapping her jaws. Penny looked forward at the treacherous path and gave a great big smile and Penny's smile was the most contagious thing, "Yee-P."
There was a fear inside of her… something that screamed out that it was terrified. It gripped at any organ it could find and dragged it to her throat with one simple exhale. It made her heart heavy and her eyes water… it was confusing, painful, but something she didn't want to let go. Then, there was another part of her… the part that was jumping up and down with excitement with the hope that this would be one of her greatest adventures. It whispered all throughout her body that she'd get to see 'HIM' again. She gripped at her heart and bowed her head. She wanted this feeling to never escape so she gripped at her chest tightly and hummed a prayer for it to stay. The smile came back to her face as she grabbed Pali in her hand and shoved him inside her cleavage. In a split second, she took in a big breath and bolted into the barrier.
"You sur'do pick the strangest times to visit yo'r old momma."
Mrs. Hook walks back into the very modern looking living room with two cups of tea occupying both hands. There was a wicker couch covered in hand sewn pillows with a table that looked to be made of hunks of trees and a carpet sewn much like a quilt. It was nothing like a person would expect a witch's living quarters to look. She set one of the cups of tea in front of her son then sat down beside him cradling her own cup in her hands.
Hook rubbed the metallic extension on his right hand and swallowed, "I have something… bothering me as of late."
Mrs. Hook smiled softly then began to play 'her' role in the conversation, "I have a very powerful potion that'll turn the drinker into a hog…"
Hook rolled his eyes at his mother's infernal babblings about 'magic'. It was nonsense. "No mother, not that type of matter. I have been having…" he swallowed and tried to put it as simple as he could, "… thoughts."
Mrs. Hook's eyes went wide as she looked at her son's darkened profile. She never thought, for one little second, that HER son would ever have the 'funny feelings' conversation with her. As he picked up the cup of tea, she sipped her tea and suppressed the smile behind the cup. She composed herself, leaned forward, and placed the cup upon the table as her son took a sip, "So… what's her name?"
Hook nearly dropped the cup of tea as he swallowed the hot liquid and made him twitch and writhe from the heat. He dropped the cup quickly enough to make the liquid splash a little, "Wh-What makes you think that these thoughts have something to do with that… that parasitic extremity stealing HARLOT. Nothing about that woman makes sense… sh-she just… gets in my skin and thrashes like an octopus on fire. She has NOTHING to do with… with anything related to me."
He turned his head and was shocked to see his mother's eyes glowing a soft pink and little heart bubbles floating from her aura. He stood up in an angry failing motion, "If you're not going to take me seriously, then I believe I shall take my Leave!"
Mrs. Hook let herself go back to normal and she yanked her son back down on the couch, "You can't get angry at yer' old momma when she finally gets to see her son becoming a real man. You know, I can over look the fact that she cut off yer' hand if she's pretty. When will I get to meet'er?"
Hook's mustache almost curled up from the fact that his mother was treating this like some petty 'crush'. His left hand balled into a fist and he grits his teeth. He was just about to yell at his mother when there was an impromptu knock upon the front door. He knew that none of his men would DARE get off the ship and Schmeenard wouldn't be done with his work this earlier. He growled both in his head and out loud, "Who the hell dares…"
His mother's happy voice cut him off, "… COMIN'!"
He pushed off the couch as his mother got to the door, "Mother… what are you doing? You have no idea who is at the door…"
She turns angrily and snakes and spiders hissed and growled from all around her and made him fall back onto the couch. She turns back to the door and pats at her hair then opened the door. She smiled as the door is opened all the way then her face falls. Hook moves to the side and unsheathes his sword as his eyes fall upon the very problematic creature he was just screaming about. Penny Pan stood, her hair wet from flying in the storm and her black mascara running down her eyes, with a smile on her face, "Hello ma'am… Hey Captain Codfish… Ummm… I'm sorry to interrupt, but you have something that belongs to me."
She unsheathed her dagger and flies into the room past Hook's mother and taps her weapon against his and he kicks the table to the wall to make room, "How in the flagstaff did you find me, you bootlicking pixie?"
She laughed wholeheartedly, "I just followed the smell of body odor and turtle wax. You have my blossom… I intend to take it… or your other hand."
The light burst out of the room as the door slammed unbelievably fast and the two rivals jumped. Penny flew and hid behind the Captain as the two stared at the glowing, tall red demon that snarled and roared in the same place that Mrs. Hook was standing in, behind the door. Mrs. Hook's body flittered back to her normal, human self and cleared her throat, "Sheldon Lee Hook… you put that table back where it was and Ms. Penny… you go to the back room and dry yer'self off. I'm gonna go make some more tea."
Mrs. Hook smiled, patted at her dress, then headed to the kitchen. Penny floated behind Hook and looked over his hat to make sure it was safe, "Whew… your momma is one scary woman." Hook nodded in agreement.
He started to say something else, but his mind froze up as her hot breath wafted in his ear, and her scent surrounded him. It was like nothing he had ever smelled before. Passion flowers and ice. A twitched started in his toes and slowly crept up his legs, to his hips. It raced up his spine suddenly and made his good hand clench. His eyes fluttered as she moved closer and peered around his shoulder. He jumped away and spun around to snag her slim neck with his hook. He jerked her forward until their noses were touching.
"Get out of here," he hissed venomously.
Penny's lungs seized up as she looked into his eyes only centimeters from her own. Her breasts were pressed tight against his chest. His mostly bare chest. She could feel the heat from his body seeping into her. With her feet 7 inches above the floor, they were almost even in height. Penny licked her lips nervously and tried to pull away. After a couple of seconds he released her and she shot back to the wall. Her lungs sucked in some much needed air. They stared at each other as awareness slowly crept into their minds.
Mrs. Hook stepped back into the room, followed by a tea tray floating in mid air. She stopped when she saw the way her son and the blonde spitfire were staring at each other. Hearts and blue birds burst into the air around her as hope filled her heart.
The birdsong startled Penny who looked at Mrs. Hook with fear. Before Sheldon could speak, or Mrs. Hook could utter a spell of capture, Penny jumped out the window.
Pali clung to her tunic tightly as Penny raced back to the shore. She almost knocked Smeenard over in her haste. She reached the sandy shore and launched herself into the air. He struggled to hold on as she tilted to the left. Higher and higher she flew, racing toward the clouds. He could hear her heart thudding dangerously fast against his pointed ear. The clouds were growing darker fast and suddenly Penny lurched in the air. He pushed his head out of her tunic and looked up at her. Tears flew from her eyes and her skin was too pale. Pali gasped aloud.
"Happy!" he screamed above the wind. "Think happy thoughts!"
Penny closed her eyes tight and her body lurched again. Pali struggled to pull himself free of her tunic. He gripped a lock of hair and pulled himself up to the crown of her hair. He shook his body hard and fairy dust fell over her. Her body stabilized for now, he kissed her hair and let go. He watched her flying haphazardly, in no discernible direction. He said a silent prayer and turned back to the island.
Sheldon stared at the open window for several seconds before slowly sitting down in the chair he had long ago claimed as his spot. His mom sat down across him and watched him silently.
Sheldon took a deep breath and looked at her. "What is happening to me? She is my enemy. I have sworn to kill her and hang her scalp over my bed."
Mrs. Hook smiled widely. "I made the same oath about your father."
Sheldon frowned and looked across the room at the shrunken head that hung from the canopy of his mother's bed. "You loved Daddy."
She smiled softly. "Yes I did. And when he died three years ago, I kept my vow. But oh what fun we had in the intervening years."
"But I do not love Penny Pan," he whined. "I hate her!"
"Love and hate. Hate and love," she shrugged. "Sometimes, they are one and the same, honey. We Hooks, we are passionate people, no matter how much you try to deny it."
Sheldon ran a hand through his hair and tried to rationalize his emotional state. Heat of battle, maybe. Years of animosity, possibly. A flash of light drew the eyes of both Hooks as Pali shot over to Sheldon.
"You have to come! Now! Please, hurry!" Pali shouted fearfully.
Sheldon snatched the fairy from the air and snarled at him. "You dare give me orders, sprite?! I am the dreaded pirate Hook! I don't take orders from fai.."
"Penny will drown!" Pali interrupted loudly. "She's lost her happy thoughts! She'll never make it back to land! I sprinkled all the dust I could on her, but if you don't hurry, she'll fall into the ocean!"
Pali landed hard on the tea tray as Sheldon dropped him. Sheldon shot to his feet and raced out of the house. "Raise the sails," he bellowed as he ran toward the ship.
Pali squeaked as Mrs. Hook picked him up and sat him on her left hoop earring. "Hold on, darling. Things are about to get interesting."
Pali stared, wide-eyed, as Mrs. Hook morphed into a mid-sized dragon of pure silver. She stepped out of the house and spread her wings. She leapt up and a sudden wind carried her across the yard and over the water. She landed on the crows nest of the ship as it made a sharp turn.
Sheldon bark out orders to the pirate crew as he scanned the air. The ship cut through the water swiftly toward the stormier water. His heart was thudding rapidly with an emotion he had little experience with. Fear. His hand clenched the wheel tight enough to make his knuckles pop.
"Fairy!" he bellowed. "Direction!"
Pali flinched as the dragon dropped down to the deck. Mrs. Hook dipped her scaly head to allow him to dismount. Pali huddled near her clawed foot. "West," he shouted above the growing wind. "Kind of. She wasn't holding any set direction!"
Sheldon turned the wheel slightly, altering their course. They sliced through the rougher waves as rain beat down on the ship. Sheldon struggled to use his logic. Which way would she fly if she was scared? Guilt flooded him. He had never meant to scare her. He had not thought she could be scared of him. Which way?
Suddenly he heard that infernal ticking that always announced the arrival of Fowler. He stormed over to the railing and shouted," Go away you blasted menace! I have no time for your carnivorous obsession!"
Sheldon's glare turned into confusion as he noticed that Fowler was not following his ship, but heading slightly westward of it. What was that dammed animal up to? He raised his gaze out across the water.
A flash of gold caught his eyes and his heart seized up in his chest. "No," he whispered. He ran back to the wheel and changed direction. He looked over his shoulder at his mom. "Save her!" he begged.
Mrs. Hook shook herself and dove into the water, transforming as she went. She sliced through the water, her newly formed mermaid tail propelling her through the ocean. She sped by the disgruntled croc and sighed. Fowler still hadn't learned her lesson apparently. Mrs. Hook saw Penny a few feet ahead. She grabbed the woman's slender arm and slipped it across her shoulders. She treaded water and looked at the Jolly Roger moving toward them, Fowler got a couple of feet closer and looked her in the eye. Then she dove underwater and sped away. The ship slowed as the sails were dropped. When it came alongside, a rope ladder dropped down. Sheldon leapt over the rail and scaled down the side. He slipped his hook into the neckline of Penny's tunic and pulled her close. He slipped a rope around her waist and his pirates pulled her up onto the boat. He scrambled back on deck and dropped down beside her.
Penny's eyes turned to his and she smiled vaguely. "Guess today really was an awfully big adventure," she murmured softly.
Sheldon gave a surprised bark of laughter. "You are the most infuriating, irritating, annoying, aggravating, ….intoxicating, addicting woman I have ever met."
Penny's eyes widened and she tried to swallow the lump in her throat. "Aren't you going to kill me, Hook? I dropped my dagger. I'm unarmed," she whispered.
Sheldon drew her up against his chest. "I have a feeling we'll be the death of each other," he growled before kissing her deeply.
The sun beat down over the water as the clang of steel echoed over the bay. The mermaids tittered and cheered on the blonde as Penny and Hook fought across the deck of the pirate ship. Penny laughed loudly as she skipped along the railing meeting every parry and thrust of the sword with her new Hello Kitty dagger.
"Come on, Cap't Fishy-breath! Surely you can do better than that. I don't think you're really trying!"
Sheldon growled and backed her toward the cabin. "I will spill your guts across my deck and make your little ruffians clean it with toothbrushes. I'll weave a doormat from your hair, strumpet!"
Penny flipped off the railing and landed near the cabin door. Hook grinned ferociously. He had her now! He lunged forward, and his sword dug deep into the wood of his door.
Shock reverberated through the crew as the Captain bellowed loudly. Sheldon struggled for a moment to jerk the sword free. Penny raised an eyebrow at the deep embedded weapon half an inch to her left. She smirked and blew him a kiss before launching herself into the air.
"Better luck next time," she laughed merrily.
Sheldon watched her flitter over the water toward the forest, that stupid Pali twinkling near her head. He sighed and wrenched his sword free and tossed it to Smeenard. "Sharpen this. I'll need it tomorrow."
Smeenard nodded and hurried away as the rest of the crew went back to their work. Sheldon stepped into his cabin and took off his coat. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the pink blossom with the jeweled center. Penny would return tomorrow to try and recover it just like she had every day for the last three months. It was quite a dangerous game they played, he knew. But he wouldn't have it any other way. He moved to his dresser and pulled out his Monday koala print pajamas to begin preparing for bed. When the moon rose, she would return. Then they would play a different game altogether. And that too, he wouldn't change for anything.