There once was a deity named Peter Pan. He had been cast away from the heavens above to live in solitude in eternal youth for a crime against the gods. Cast away to live in a realm that played the same loop over and over again. It was an island where Peter found himself cast. There were mythical creatures and adventures like no other. He could play pranks on Spanish pirates and live his days together, stuck on the age of a boy and not being able to change into a man. Peter Pan loved the first centuries for there was nothing more enjoyable. He would often laugh at the gods and shout at the sky, ‘This is not punishment! This is a gift!’ The gods of course said nothing and knew that Peter would soon experience his punishment.
Shining lights and cameras that pointed at her. Smiling females with bleach blonde hair and men who had dipped their hair in gel. They were exact replicas and perhaps even haunted her night sleep a little bit. It was the Botox intoxicated smiles and white smiles that essentially got her. Their eyes were always too keen, as if waiting for her to slip up and their smiles always showed sinister expectations. Journalists in all were the most horrifying people she had yet to experience, but yet here she was.
“Tell us Ms. Darling, you’ve won numerous awards and your novels are sold right around the world. The movie has just been released to cinemas and you are one of the most famous female writers that this century has seen. How do you honestly tackle so much in an already hectic life?” her voice was shrill and sent ice down Wendy’s back, causing her to instantly straighten as if she had been reprimanded.
“The book is part of my life. I could never leave it for it simply is me.” Her answer was simple for she had said the same line thousands of times over. It was quite repetitive really. Question, answer, smile and repeat. A mundane situation for a hermit like herself.
“I think our viewers would like to know what truly inspired your story.”
The question always stuck with Wendy, for the truth would put her in an asylum and the lie felt like she was taking away something from herself, “Like all writers it came in a dream when I was a child. I had a very overly imaginative brain.”
The reporter just nodded, “As all writers I can imagine. You however brought this story to life, it’s quite beautiful reading about the boy, Peter, because you feel as if you are actually experiencing his life. One thing that I was upset with though was the ending, it’s quite bittersweet is it not?”
The final question. Yes the ending was bittersweet, but it needed to be for it needed to be the truth. Wendy would always just smiled thinly at the reporter and answer, “Isn’t life always?”
Wendy Darling knew she hated mornings for it was the people that always irked her. How could someone possibly like mornings she would wonder? If Wendy had it her way she would rather be sleeping in till noon and not have to hear the birds call and hear her alarm go off in equal passion. Some mornings she would get ready on time and visit the café around the corner, sipping quietly on her hot chocolate. There were some unfortunate souls that would try to talk to her during this time, not realizing that Wendy Darling was not a morning person.
She would get questions of the weather, how her week had been, what she was doing later, oh and the most popular questions were always about her book. Could she not settle down in peace for one day without being irritated in the morning?
This morning was no different than any other morning in her little apartment. The alarm woke her up with a tune she had heard on the radio at exactly 8am. With that she would wander out into her kitchen before boiling the kettle and setting out in making her hot chocolate. After sitting on the couch for 10 minutes contemplating the day she would go off to the bathroom and stare at her reflection. It was often accompanied with a glare that resembled her mood, not impressed. The morning’s ritual was no different and it wasn’t till the phone rang that Wendy knew the week was going to go down.
“Wendy Darling speaking.”
“Wendy my darling Darling!” A laugh ensued on the other end, “Tell me are you ready for the weekend?” Wendy was about to reply that she had no idea who was speaking let alone what was happening this weekend, but the man was persistent. “We’re all looking forward to you coming back! John is taking time off University and I’m on holidays at the moment! It will be amazing.”
“Michael, how are you?” Wendy was basically cringing. The flights. She was meant to be leaving to London this evening. Her mind went in overdrive and for some reason she found herself glaring at her mobile, as if it should have warned her somehow.
“You forgot didn’t you Wendy?” She wasn’t sure if it was static or a sigh but she could nearly be positive that it was the latter that came from the phone.
“I’ve been busy Michael, but I promise I’ll have all my stuff together and be on that flight tonight!”
“You do have tickets right?” She was glad that she had bought the tickets when they had planned the flight or else she would most definitely be screwed.
“Yes I do, I’m not that stupid.”
“You’ve forgotten to visit numerous times Wendy! It’s going to be your 23rd birthday and we need to celebrate. There’s a large difference between London and New York sister!”
Wendy sighed, there was a reason she chose the hours away New York for it was certainly different to London.
Flights were never fun. Scrap that they were absolutely horrible. Wendy was sure she could have bought a first class ticket with how much money she owned, but if there ever was a more rational person it was her. So instead she had found herself next to a middle age man who had tried to talk to her one to many times and an old lady who took it upon herself to answer the man’s questions. There were also a couple of dying children on the plane but that was like every single flight really.
It was pure delight to finally get out of the plane and make her way to luggage. Though as she entered the airport she remembered one of the many reasons she had left London, the weather. From the windows she could see black clouds gathering and rain starting to make its way from the heavens. This was never a good omen for Wendy. Too many things happened in storms.
Though that was all forgotten as she entered the main area of the airport with her bags in hand. Her family would be somewhere waiting with a sign and many smiles knowing them. It wasn’t that that bugged her, it was just she was very tired and most likely had bags under her eyes expressing this.
“WENDY!” A shout was heard and she nearly cringed as it reached her ears. There was no mistaking Michael for his voice could carry very far. Her 17 year old brother nearly bowled her to the ground with his hug, sucking out all her air and giving her no time to process anything.
“Wendy, glad you could make it this time.” This time Wendy did cringe as her sight settled on John. Michael who had finally let go of her moved next to him and hit him on the arm.
“John I…” He put his hand up and cut her off.
“No save it,” His words cut but as he took a step towards her his eyes softened and he smiled which was a very rare John thing, “I’m glad you are back sister.” She too smiled as he hugged her, before beckoning Michael to join in and make it a group hug.
“Your rooms the exact same as you left it. I don’t think mum and dad really wanted to change anything. Mine hadn’t been changed either, but I’m here more so it’s expected.” Wendy stepped past John into her room and smiled sadly, looking out the window she could almost imagine she was 12 years old again. She could see herself flying out that window under the stars, though there were none tonight. Only storms and lightening.
“I understand why you didn’t return Wendy. I know you never told us, but I think I understand now that we’re older.” She turned to him and saw him looking at her sadly.
“I dreamt of him every night. Ten years and I have no forgotten, but clearly he has.”
John just chuckled, “It explains the book. Who knew you’d become famous over something that happened to all of us?” He walked over and sat on her bed, patting the spot next to him. She in return joined him and sighed.
“I disregarded it as a child Wendy but the way he looked at you,” John shook his head as if in denial, “like he knew you could never be his. That you would be gone. It was sad but filled with love. We were all young, but Peter had experienced far more than the rest of us. I hardly doubt he has forgotten about you Wendy.”
She could only smile and nod, yet in her mind she was repeating the same chant over and over again, ‘lies, he doesn’t care, nor did he ever, you were just a game to him Wendy.’ It was hard to ignore the words when they repeated themselves for years on end.
“Perhaps you’re right John. Perhaps you’re right.”
“I’m always right Wendy. Now join us for dinner? Mum and dad will be home soon and Michael hasn’t burnt anything yet so it might be a good meal.”
She just nodded, knowing it would be useless to turn against his offer, no matter how much she wanted to lie on that bed and just rest.
“We are now on the red-carpet of the official premier of Neverland. I am here with the lady of the night Miss Wendy Darling.”
Word after word, sentences strung together to mean something. To her though they meant nothing. They were structures that didn’t even leave an imprint in her mind. As if merely a gust of wind that left no trace on her, but even wind showed more of an impact then the words on her face.
She should have been thankful that the night was as nice as it was, yes there were always little pros amongst the weighing cons that seemed to lift her spirits. A night’s sky ever so black like silk, beautiful and enchanting, sucking you deeper and deeper that before you knew it you were drowning. It was like the ocean, deceptive, manipulative and destructive but still ever so beautiful. It reminded her of him. From a distance it was opening, enchanting and ever so magical. Up close though? Well you wouldn’t want to be caught in that too long or you wouldn’t ever want to leave that was for sure.
Hadn’t that been what her story had been about though? A mysterious boy who was both beautiful and manipulative. Sometimes she couldn’t discern the truth from the fiction. She had had plenty of time to research but her questions always drew up nil and Wendy knew she would never find answers unless she questioned the source itself. So her questions turned from many to none. She had decided a couple of years ago to just basically wait. In those a couple of years a book had been born, perhaps it would have been one of the proudest moments of her life had she not seen fairies at the age of twelve years. Everything seemed slightly boring now, as if in shades of grey. It was disappointing really to be so withdrawn and apathetic with the world. But that was Wendy Darling for you, a girl without colours and empty without it.
Now though she would answer the questions. She would flash a grin and stand patiently. Her spirit was dwindling but it had many years to die out. She would lay in bed with the dreams repeating like flashes in her mind. She was strong no matter how irritated she was and she wouldn’t turn away. Neverland was her throne after all, it had been since she explored its depths and had her heart stolen.
The sky was incredibly bright that night. There were no traces of clouds or London’s infamous smog. Instead the night seemed to shine with thousands of twinkling stars, each a different star and colour. Dinner had been interesting. Parents would be parents she supposed, and after a handful of hugs and kisses she stopped caring and just laughed along to the typical jokes that were discussed over the roast. She hadn’t had a dinner like that since she had last visited, and well that had been a while ago.
“Hey Wendy,” she turned around from starring out the window and faced her brother Michael. For some reason she hadn’t even noticed him enter the room.
“So tell me what has life been like for you?” She found more comfort in tracing the quilts stitching then staring her brother in the fact, and that was a harsh truth she had to face. An overwhelming guilt for not being there, in London.
Michael just grinned though as if she had been there for the past years and soon lead her into a story that seemed to make up for it all. Somehow hours had passed and they had found themselves swamped with junk food and even John who had taken to lying on the floor as they all listened and laughed to Michael’s stories.
Blissful moment’s seemed to be one in few, so she would take them as they came and be grateful they were there. So while she crawled under her covers and said her distant farewells of night to the boys, she could only stare and smile out of her open windows and know that it would someday get better.
That night Wendy went to sleep not knowing of the transpiring events unfolding around her. Maybe if she had dug a little deeper in the library or stayed that extra hour longer she would have known all about the shift. Wendy Darling however was utterly clueless as she let the night drown her eyes and consume her body. In that moment she became completely dead to the world and it to her.
Perhaps the rolling in thunder and rain should have woken her up, or more the slamming of her window shutters as they banged a resourceful alarm. None of that however woke Wendy from her slumber and the more she slept the more she missed the beginning of the universes fateful shift.
In the further parts of London away from the Darling household, a hazy fog swept the streets and rain pelted down hitting the sidewalks with force. People of London were very much unaware like Wendy herself, for who would be awake at the dead of night? No one would witness the shadow like figures as they leapt from household the household, and the looming ship that hovered above the fog slowly progressing through London, ghostly sweeping through houses and buildings alike. A nightmare was progressing throughout London, and there was no one to witness it, no even Wendy herself.
Wendy at the present moment was dead asleep, dreams had taken over her and she found herself in her own mind. This one was no weirder than usual, what her life would have been had she never met Peter. She found herself married, in London with three children and being a stay at home wife. It was pleasant. It was nice. It was boring and everything Wendy Darling did not. She played the part of the dream though, she would act it right. Though when she found herself wandering from the household, she knew she had failed horribly. Though what she had failed was yet to be seen.
“Wendy Darling what is it you desire?” A faint voice reached her ears and repeated itself.
“I desire to be sane again!” A laugh resounded the night sky at her response.
“No you desire Neverland my dear. You desire Peter Pan.” A figure immerged from the shadows and smiled at her. “Wendy Darling a pleasure to finally meet you, my name is Morpheus the dream God.”
Wendy had many questions though none could come out of her mouth, “You have been very patient Wendy haven’t you? Your dreams these years have expressed your desire to see Neverland and now I believe your waiting is done. I must express my concern though, for the shift is upon us and those from other realms, specifically Neverland and my own are allowed into yours. Spaniard Pirates are now searching for you as we speak. Now I’ve been told I wasn’t allowed to meddle in Pan’s story, however you Miss Darling, well you are an enigma which could cure Peter.”
“Cure Peter? Is he sick?”
“Oh no the gods have just punished him, he has been at Neverland for many long years. You were his punishment.” Wendy was nearly sick with the idea. Her, his punishment?
“Oh not in the literal sense, it’s more the fact that you managed to break the shift ten years ago and go to Neverland. You experienced your first love, and well Peter as a deity found his soul mate. However you had to leave and so forth the next shift doesn’t come till forever and well here we are.”
“But what of Peter?”
Morpheus shook his head, “That is where you come in, Peter has changed the dynamic of Neverland, it is different. The gods had taken away his powers when they cast him there, but now he uses the island for his own whim. He has gone insane at the loss of you and the power that has enveloped him.”
Wendy was only silent, there was not much she could say really, “And of the pirates in London?’
“They wish to kill you. With your connection to Peter still strong it gives him at least some humanity left, however if they kill you they also kill him in the process. Thus giving them the power of the island. I am here to stop your death as Peter’s friend and from the gods as we believe that there is a possibility that your death may not exactly kill him but make him lose that humanity and completely disrupt the realms.”
“Where do you plan to take me then?”
Morpheus smiled, “Why to Neverland of course.”