Peter Pan was running through the forest of the Never Never Land. There was no reason for this - he just felt like it; even flying could become tedious at times. Running made his heart pound and his muscles ache... it was just as, if not more exhilarating!
Nothing seemed strange about this gloriously sunny day; brightly plumed birds dove through the air, a soft breeze floated about the trees, and the sound of the ocean grew ever closer. Of course, Peter missed all this gentle beauty, running too fast and not caring to take note.
He slowed, his exertion finally taking its toll, and slumped down to the ground, his back resting against a tree. He looked about him, considering what to do next. He and Tinker Bell had embarked on a game of Hide and Seek four days ago (or there abouts) and Peter had not seen her since. This was not at all surprising or unusual, because if you never got called in for supper or bedtime you wouldn’t stop playing either.
Peter was currently deciding whether to continue his search for Tink, but concluded he was still bored of Hide and Seek. He also knew Tinker Bell would eventually turn up sooner or later (probably sooner, for fear Peter would forget her). No, at this moment Peter would much more like a good fight with a pirate or two... but the pirates were gone. After Peter’s heroic rescue of the Wendy Lady and dazzling defeat of the sinister Captain Hook, all the pirate crew had jumped ship, never to be seen or heard of again (except in stories).
Not for the first time, but for the first time he could remember, Peter Pan was bored. Completely and intolerably bored. Getting to his feet, he began ambling onwards to nowhere in particular. A race against the mermaids seemed a suitably dangerous and exciting way to pass the time; last time he was almost drowned, apparently).
Dragging his heels as he went and in no hurry to get there, Peter began to dawdle. He didn’t know it was called dawdling because he’d never been scolded for it... to Peter it was just walking. He swung on a low branch, turned cartwheels, hop-scotched and skipped his way onwards. He came to a hollow tree-trunk leaning almost vertically against a sudden sloping hillside, and crawled through it before performing a rather wobbly handstand and landing on his bum.
There was now a chill in the air, Peter noticed, the sky dulling ever so slightly. As Peter approached the forest’s edge that gave way to the beach, he paused. He could hear shouts, jeering; the sound of a crowd.
Peter immediately crouched low to the ground, his instincts taking over. He stayed there, silent and motionless and listened. He felt a sharp pang of surprise as he deciphered the words that the crowd were now chanting: “Long live the Hook”
His curiosity growing, Peter crawled towards the beach, keeping within the undergrowth. What he saw caused his curiosity to momentarily turn to confusion, for there, just a little way to his left were the outskirts of a port town.
Built with a mishmash of timber and ransacked ships, this strange settlement seemed more like a shantytown, with structures and dwellings erected where ever possible, even branching out over the sea.
Peter blinked at the sight of it; this town had definitely not been there earlier today. But here it was, fully formed and aged, looking as though it had been there for years.
A man’s screams brought Peter back from his thoughts, and he listened as the crowd... crew... taunted and laughed. But Peter was still too far away to understand what was going on, so he stood up and began to walk towards the pirate town. Anyone else would have crept, but Peter almost swaggered. Luckily for him, there were not many people about, but he was amazed to see some of those who were were women! This almost caused Peter to stop and stare, but he carried on, not wanting to draw attention... just yet.
Crouching behind some barrels on the pier, Peter looked up at the huge and magnificent Galleon he thought had drifted away from the island long ago. The chanting, which had died down on Peter’s approach, now began again and Peter knew for sure those voices were chanting for Hook.
Now, if Tinker Bell had been present she would have been able to warn Peter that he had attracted some attention; a particularly unwashed member of the crew had been leaning against one of the wooden buildings, chewing bread and gulping wine, but the boy who had snuck behind the barrels just in front of him had caught his eye. It was obviously a bloody Lost Boy, in which case he should probably just shoot the little buggar, but he thought there might be a slim chance of a reward, so he gestured to two of the other men, and began closing in.