Peter Pan Among the Shadows

Like Days of Young

They ate in silence, the clinking of silverware and glass filling the room with awkwardness. The dark sludgy night filled the window panes as streetlights replaced the sun.

They decided not to paddle her since that was the first time something like that ever happened. Her parents exchanged glances at each other while Victoria stared at her plate. Even the Nanny looked concerned.

The Robertson household seemed to be in a state of confusion when Victoria was in the room. Aceline and Henry didn't know what to do with themselves, even after sending her upstairs to bed.

Victoria flopped back down onto her bed, staring at the ceiling through moist eyes. A chill flowed through her body, and no quilts could keep her warm. Bullies had barged down her street to chase her. A strange boy saved her. Nothing seemed right.

"Victoria, are you awake?"

As she sat up her Mother walked into the room, a bright candle held between smooth hands.

"Yes, Mother."

As she lay the candle on her daughter's bedside, she watched her little baby curl up into a ball.

"Darling, I have nothing to say about what you made up today."

"But Mother," Victoria cried, "That all happened! I swear on it."

"You mustn't swear, darling!" Her mother insisted, "That's very bad form."

"I know," Victoria surrendered, laying on her pillow, "But it was real. I saw it happen. A small boy

She awoke without the sunlight hitting her face. She gathered her bearings as the ruffled lace crinkled. It was then, as she heard the usual sounds of her clothes, that she realized she slept in her dinner dress. As panic flowed through her body, she pulled it off, changed into her school uniform- freshly washed- and washed her face before fixing her hair.

Yet no light shined in through the open window. No jostling of the carriages below. No paper merchants or loud noises from the streets of Bloomsbury.

She had woken up too early, the first time ever.

A wave of exhaustion swept over her as she climbed out of her school clothes and into her comfortable bed...

Flute music.

She heard it again, just like last time.

The sound of a pan flute drifted on the wind, sweeping across her room like a little bird.

Her dream. She remembered what she dreamt about when she last heard that flute.

She was falling. The song raised her up to soar above the clouds like a detached balloon. Those notes... she knew them.

They swung through her head, waking her from her semi-slumber. She ran to the open window and pushed it open. The music came from up the street, as a little boy, with a fairy in tow, skipped along the cobblestones.

She stared in his direction, mesmerized. She felt like she discovered a song again from her baby years. She closed her eyes as it cleared her mind. No longer could she think about the problems she faced, like bullies and what would happen in school tomorrow. No longer was she longing for her mother's kiss. She no longer felt the worries of becoming a grown-up-

Then the music stopped. She opened her eyes in confusion. She was about to wonder why the music stopped when she noticed someone staring back up at her. She didn't even think twice about slamming the windows shut, locking them and covering them hastily with the curtains.

She almost wished he didn't keep tapping on the glass like a little dumb bird.

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