Peter Pan Among the Shadows

Prologue

Captain’s Log, 12 April 1880

22:00

The winds are with us, pulling us towards London. My bosun and I calculated that we’ll be arriving in two days, with plenty of resources to spare.

04:00

My apologies. The most peculiar thing just happened. I write this by candlelight, burning away the sleep I need in order to tell you this.

One of the sailors started a commotion in the barracks. Bn. Richard informed me that Sailor Williams had a misunderstanding about stolen rations from underneath his hammock- some cakes he received from a girl in America. After determining that Williams wasn’t in fact robbed by his fellow men, we all began searching the premises for the culprit- perhaps a stowaway.

To our dismay, we found nothing for the first half hour -I calculate that’s how long it had been- when suddenly we heard one of the sailors call for us. As we arrived, we saw crumbs by the banister and a pair of small footprints pressed firmly into the ground.

‘Those are children’s feet,’ Bn. Richard had said. Yet there were no other footprints that we could see in the murky night fog. All we saw was some glittering dust around the banister and a feeling that they were still watching us. Perhaps the child flew...


Daytime at the Docks arrived in time to gather in the fog from the skyline. The bustle of sound, of grown-ups with their things and children with precious toys, slowly overtook the silence the fog always brought. Horse-pulled carriages filled with boxes and barrels dominated the streets, while the grown-ups never stayed in one place.

Peter Pan snuck passed the ruckus and climbed to the roof of one of the adjacent buildings, ignoring the world below. He never missed London, despite it being his hometown. He only remembered where Neverland opened. While he found entrances elsewhere, he still needed people to play with. After all, what’s a kingdom without anyone living there?

He ran on the rooftops, his legs flying underfoot. Flocks of pigeons scattered as he sped past them. The roof played a song as he tapped the shingles.

Nobody looked up, except one. She only saw the pigeons scatter, the roof shingles plinking underfoot, the little light following close behind.

She felt particularly curious about what she noticed. As she crossed Princess Square, she saw a lanky, little boy, with auburn hair and a torn shirt, sit atop the trees. He promptly disappeared after her brown eyes met his hazel. She followed him as he darted into a nearby alleyway, stopping only at the realization that he was gone. He had flown, she was sure of it, but now he was gone.

As she turned around to leave a sprinkle of doubt covered her mind. He turned around to see if she’d look back.

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