The idea of inter-realm travel never thrilled me. Of course, for a majority of my life I found it to be an obvious and laughable farce. Nobody even knew if there were other realms; let alone how to get to them. If you asked me, it was an idea best left for the imagination. Nobody should ever get a hold of that kind of power in the first place. It sounded like a paradox – something that would disrupt the fabric of time and space. Apparently, the assholes of Neverland were doing a great job tearing apart the continuum by themselves.
Contrary to popular belief (i.e. – Steven and Jacky's belief), I didn't so much blame myself for my brother and friend's disappearance as much as I blamed that shadow and whatever demon was in charge of it. We all could assume that the little bastard – Pan – was in charge of Neverland, but who were we kidding? Nobody had come back – as far as we know – to tell the tale. Steven was already getting around to writing out our wills. He decided he's taking all our stuff if we don't ever make it back.
This whole situation was giving me a migraine.
We'd come to a fork in the road at this point. There was a couple (read: very few) options at this point. The whole Neverland expedition could be scrapped, and we could all live in regret for not grabbing ahold of this chance, or we could sign our waivers and run into the fray whilst we scream like banshees. Fortunately, we chose an entirely different choice: very, very carefully step into the void. What I didn't expect was having to get a temporary tattoo to do so.
"What the hell is this crap?" I deadpanned, staring into a small inkpot at the maroon-colored liquid inside. It was oily-looking, and smelled intensely of lavender. At this point, Jacky and I were questioning Steven's motives – which is something she rarely did and I did practically every day.
The old man scoffed blatantly into my face, mixing a second inkpot for Jacky as he grumbled, "It's the thing that's gonna get you into Neverland. Stop asking questions – save your mistrust for your journey," He nabbed two paint brushes from his desk drawer and tossed them to us, "Now, you want to do this yourselves. I sure as hell ain't gonna do it for you."
This time, Jacky voiced her inquisitions, "Care to elaborate, geezer?"
He just nodded, saying in an all-too-casual voice, "You need to paint yourself some wings." The room went silent, dead silent. Jacky and I were stunned.
"You're serious?" My darker friend sputtered, seemingly sweating over his announcement.
"Dead serious," he smiled to himself, gesturing to one of the extra bedrooms in the house, "You'll need to help each other with that."
45 minutes later, Jacky and I smelt like we'd bathed in lavender and looked like we'd dipped our fingers into scorpion blood. My migraine intensified at the fumes in the ink. "Can I ask what the hell this is gonna do for us, you crazy old man?" I spat, opening a few windows in attempt to air out the stuffy cabin.
"I already told you, Melinda," Steven paused within bites of instant ramen – momentarily making me forget that he was 63 years old, "It's gonna get you into Neverland. I'd elaborate further, but you're gonna need all the faith you can muster up."
Well, that wasn't very comforting. "What else do we need to do? Jump into a volcano? Pass through the Bermuda Triangle? Get sucked into a tornado?" I rambled on a bit, trying to emphasize my lack of understanding.
"Okay, then. Tell me – how do you get to Neverland? How have other people gotten to Neverland?" He patronized me, still stuffing his face with tragically long noodles.
I'm gonna be honest, I didn't want to say it. I'd only ever researched into Neverland when I was forced to. Ultimately, the information wouldn't help, because nobody's ever documented their entire journey through that hellhole. It could be completely inaccurate, and for the most part, it was completely inaccurate. Still, I swallowed my pride as best I could, "… Second star to the right… Straight on till morning…"
Steven just grinned at my lack of enthusiasm. "That's right. Have fun with that, you two idiots."
Jacky was uncharacteristically quiet. I cast a glance back towards her to find a rather sick-looking 22-year-old. "I'm gonna hurl…" She mumbled – walking stiffly towards the kitchen trash can.
The geezer was ecstatic about this development, though. "You afraid of heights, girly?" He received a groan in return, and I scoffed at her wimpy display of fearlessness. Hey, flying couldn't be that bad, could it?
"It will not let me sleep; I guess I'll sleep when I'm dead. And sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head." – Twenty One Pilots: Migraine
AN: This one's a little shorter than the others, but that's because if I lumped everything together into this chapter, it would look awkward and wonky in my eyes. Next stop – Neverland. Expect that later today. (This time I mean it.) Thanks to FictionFairy189, Lady Cocoa, and Msballetdiva for reviewing. Ciao~