Peter Pan Among the Shadows

Commotion at Midnight

Night descended on London. Smoke and fog cleared the skyline as rain clouds moved towards Ireland and the Americas. Stars dotted the sky like jewels on black velvet, the moon a majestic circle on the horizon. Noises from the day dissipated into echoes on the streets.

In the distance, a child ran. His bare feet pattered on the cobblestones as a commotion raced behind him. In tow, gruff men in scrappy police uniforms gasped and wheezed after him. Their swords glistened in the moonlight as the child stopped running. He had met another dead end. The child has not shed one tear, nor frowned one bit. Instead, he turned around with glee.

“Before we start fighting,” he joked. “Can I learn of your names first, pirates?”

The policemen stopped in confusion, their worn shoes sliding on the street. They look at each other as if willing the others to speak.

“Well, won’t somebody answer the question?" The leader spoke with reluctance, his dirty hand reaching for the club next to his sword.

"But the Captain said we can’t come back to the ship without him or he’ll kill us." The smaller policeman tugged at the leader's overcoat as his hand scratched the talcum powder out of his beard.

"Yeh, he said we must not talk with the boy, It wovn’t be good form." A taller, lankier policeman stood behind them, his right leg constantly shook.

"To cats wif good form! Let’s tell him wha' our names are, T'EN we KILL him and take over t'e ship once we chuck t'e ugly, red-coated self-ri'teous brute."

"A mutiny?! That’s awfully bad form."

The leader turned around, his arched back facing Peter.

"Do you even know what bad form is?!"

The other pirate trembled in his huge overcoat. "Err, well, no."

The child stared with smug eyes at the whole conversation, his legs crossed as he leaned against a wall.

"So how can you tell me about bad form without even knowing an iota of what it is?!"

"I-I don’t know sir, maybe we should ask Smee."

"Yes! Let us go right to Smee and figure out what good form is!"

"I concur!"

"NOW?! But what about the boy, let us gather him in first, stuff him into a sack, THEN we can talk about good form!"

"Okay, fine. While we’re here, why don’t you say your name first, little boy?"

The child sat up and brushed his hair with his hands.

"I’m Peter. And you?"

"Well, we’re-"

"No! I’m done wif taking orders! Now let’s follow Captain Hook’s orders and take him in!"

Peter shook his shoulders and stood in the middle of the street, his fists clenched at his waist.

“Alright, then. Who’s first?"

The leader reached him and lunged at his skinny frame. The boy unsheathed his dagger at him in time.

Peter ducked down underneath his jump arc and slashed at the man’s arm, landing on his right forearm and slicing hard. The blade whizzed so fast he heard it whistle before striking true. The man tumbled awkwardly behind him, gripping his bloody arm.

The lanky man unsheathed his own sword and reached the boy. Their blades met in a thunderous collision, reflecting the streetlights like lightning.


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