Peter Pan Among the Shadows

Down Pentonville

As their swords clashed, ripples of light flew across the alleyway. The pirate couldn't catch up with the aggressive thrusts of Peter's sword. The other pirates stared in abject terror as their friend got dispatched over and over again, the child surrounding him like prey.

"Well, you are a mighty swordsman, Peter. Let me catch my breath, little boy. I would like to have another go at you."

"Alright," Peter rolled the word inside his mouth before spitting it out on the ground. His dagger, glistening with sweat and caked on blood, loyally waited for the next strike. As the pirate got back up and retrieved his own scimitar, he knew his days were numbered, but he couldn't leave a battle. It would be bad form.

Peter would never understand what it meant to have good form, but as he cut down the pirate with a final slash, he only knew what bad form looked like.

"That pirate was a gentleman to the end," said the shorter pirate, his hat, clutched in his right hand, placed over his breast. "By the laws of good form, we shall avenge him. We will not be as merciful, little boy. Have at thee."

Peter took aback by that line. "Have at thee... I like the sound of that."

And so the three other pirates realized too late that the good form would have been to leave the little boy alone and go on their merry way down the row of pubs. Peter dispatched them all with fluid motions, flipping across the alleyway and off of walls to strike them each down. Yet as one of them barely escaped to his captain, Peter felt something behind him tug and break free as if cut like hair at a barber's shop.

Even while having such fun, he knew exactly what he lost. Before he could catch up with the pirate, he needed to catch his shadow again.

Yet the light only reached so far into the alleyway. Shadows danced against the walls as he rushed his hands through them, ignoring the dead pirates strewn across the floor for the street cleaner.

As if nothing happened, Peter slumped against the wall, forcing himself not to cry. He wiped his tears with blood caked hands, parting away his long dirty hair. His legs, covered only by dirty shorts, stretched out underneath as he pulled back the sleeves of a messy, button-down, or rather unbuttoned, shirt.

He had only arrived in London a few days ago. As he lamented his loss of flight, he forced down his memories of climbing the Mountains of Peru, jumping from massive cliffs in Greece, racing across a desert of sand, and finding Lost Children in Central Park.

Peter found himself wandering the streets on foot in a helpless trance. Yes, he mustn't cry, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be sad about it.

He aimlessly wandered down Pentonville Road, near King's Cross.

He should have known that grown-ups like to congregate near train stations, then he would have known that with Grown-ups comes bobbers. The policeman noticed him almost immediately. By the time they reached where he had stood, Peter had disappeared.

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