"To die would be an awfully big adventure."
I feel something tug at my heart when I hear him call my name one last time. "I'm right here." I said softly, looking for him in the sky. He was nowhere to be seen. I stand and begin walking around, searching the sky for him.
Maybe he went to the house to check. I hurry over, "Is he here?" I ask quickly. They shake their heads and I feel tears sting my eyes. Damn it.I bolt away, running past the waterfall and past the grasslands.
Once I reach a cliff, I see a beach close by. Maybe he's down there? The closer I get, the more I realize he's been here. Footprints, indenting in the sand, then I see his handprints. He's definitely been here.
The footprints lead into the water, I notice. At this point, I start to worry. I dive in and open my eyes, looking around. Despite the fact it's a beach, the water is fresh with no salt. I hurry, swimming further out, as fast as I can. Where is he?!
We need to talk, I really shouldn't have done that to him. I swim faster when I notice a group of people only 6 inches tall. One of them, an older man with a long beard smiles and a bubble appears around my head. Air.
I thank him and swim away. "Peter!" I yell. "Peter!" I drag out, searching desperately. Then I see it.
A body floating downward into the water. I hurry and swim over. Peter...I pull him against my chest and swim back towards the shore. My bubble gets smaller and smaller but I press on.
I get a couple feet from the shore when my bubble disappears. Damn it. Hold on, Peter. Hold on. I try to conserve my breath and manage to make it to the shore. I collapse on the shore, Peter beside me.
I take heavy breaths and look over at Peter. His eyes are closed, his skin is pale, and his lips are blue. I hurriedly put a finger to his neck, no pulse. "Oh no..."
I hurriedly kneel beside him, preparing for CPR. I tilt his head back slightly and pinch his nose, "Please be okay..." I lean in and blow air in his lungs, his chest rising slightly. I do compressions then place my ear against his chest. Nothing.
God... DAMMIT! I put him in my arms and start flying to the grasslands. I'd seen some teepees set up so there must be a tribe there!
Once I get there I get angry stares aimed at Peter. I rush to the largest tent in the center and burst inside. I lay him on the ground bowing low to the chief, my forehead against the ground. "Please... save Peter." I hear a young boy translating for the chief when he mutters lowly, "Peter is a traitor, and you ask us to save him?"
I start to shake, crying as I look at the Chief, "I love him, more than my own life, I'd do anything. Just... please, save him." The chief's expression darkens as the boy relays the message. He mutters something while looking me right in the eye.
The boy looks shocked, saying something that sounds like "Are you sure?" then he looks at me. "He says he can, he will, but there's a price to pay."
"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting."
"A price?" I ask slowly and he nods. Suddenly, I feel my heart sink. What do they want in return? The boy's eyes turn sad as he looks at me, "Yes, he wants you to find the lost princess Tiger Lily."
My mind goes blank, "Princess... Tiger Lily?" He nods, "Peter let her drown in the Mermaid Cove. That is his land, we cannot trespass but you must find her body and bring it here before we can help him. We will keep him into a comatose until you return but hurry, or it will become permanent." I nod, a grave look crossing my features. "In which direction is it?"
The boy leaves the tent with me and shows me where to go. I hear Peter cough from inside. "Is he okay now?" I ask. The boy smiles slightly, "Yes, we got him breathing again, but he is put under with a special toxin from roots nearby. You have 24 hours until the toxin kills him, so make haste." He enters the tent and I run, getting a head start and jump off the cliff, flying towards Mermaid's Cove.
Now, how to convince the mermaids to bring her body to me... Once I land nearby, I see a small flower that Peter mentioned in passing on the way to the house. Never try to touch it with your bare hands, he told me, they'll inject poison in your blood and you'll surely die.I take a leaf and wrap it around the flower, holding the leaf.
I hurry over to the cove and beautiful, bare-breasted women with fishtails swim up to me. I smile as warmly as I can, "I have a present I can give you if you bring me the sunken body of a Miss Princess Tiger Lily." They smile to themselves, a shark-toothed grin, as they go underwater and return with the skeleton of a young woman. I frown, that must be her.
I hand them the leaf concealing the flower. "It is a poisonous flower, but you may split it amongst you as a snack for aquatic creatures are immune." They smile evilly in thanks and dive underwater. I take the skeleton in my arms and cringe. So light. The bones rub and bump against each other, causing me to lose slight focus as I fly.
Once I reach the tent again I lay her body carefully on what I assume is a burial blanket. The chief smiles sadly, rubbing the bony forehead of the girl. The young boy smiles sadly at me when I realize something. He must be this woman's son... the poor kid. The chief pours something down Peter's throat and he jolts awake, sitting up.
"What happened?!" he asks in a startled tone, searching desperately around him. I hug him from behind, "It's alright, Peter, you're okay now." He leans into my back and looks at the chief, "Why? Why did you save me?" The boy is about to speak for the man when he holds up his hand in silence, "That man behind you, he cares for you, and in doing so brought back the princess. In return, we saved you."
I am shocked by the sheer gruffness of his voice, with a sad and fatherly edge to it. I remember my father had a similar voice. Peter smiles up at me, "I got you something." He pulls two rings from his pocket and puts one on my ring finger and the other in my hand. Two golden bands with aquamarine settings. I almost cry in happiness, putting the ring on his finger before holding his hand.
"I love you." he whispers with a smile and I smile, responding, "I love you too. More than you'll ever know." We fly, and by that I mean I carry his sleeping, weakened body, home and I lay him in bed when I look over and see a worried James and Alanna who sigh in relief when they see we're both okay.
I smile, handing their rings to James discreetly whispering, "A gift from Peter. Go take her on a walk." He nods, making an excuse for them to leave. I smile, laying beside Peter on the bed, sleeping beside him.