3 | hope
The Faerie Tree. That’s what the tourist website of this tiny town had called it.
It was an ancient oak tree, almost a thousand years old apparently. Its trunk was enormously wide in diameter, and some of the larger branches were so heavy that they bent to the ground.
Wendy could not help but have a sense of awe as she approached the tree. It had stood there for centuries, had been the part of so many people’s lives over the years and had weathered so many storms. A small voice in the back of her mind whispered that if she did not find any traces of fairies here, then she wouldn’t find it anywhere.
There was an almost heavy feel to the air, and it was astoundingly quiet. Wendy had purposefully gone in the afternoon on a weekday so as to be alone.
She gazed up at the branches as she slowly walked around the tree, hardly daring to breathe. If ever she had felt the presence of something magical, it was here. But she hardly dared to think of that, hardly dared to hope, because if she hoped, she could be disappointed. And if she was disappointed, she might give up and never go back to Neverland again.
In the higher branches.
Could it be...?
Wendy squinted up into the tree.
It definitely could be.
She glanced around to make sure that she was truly alone, then grabbed a plastic container from her bag and shoved it in her pocket. The sign at the entrance had said expressly that there was to be no climbing of this ancient tree, but Wendy had no choice. If she ignored the twinkle in the branches, she would regret for the rest of her life that she may have missed her chance to go back.
So, Wendy hauled herself up the tree, the art of tree-climbing coming back to her as she neared the place that could either disappoint her terribly or give her what she had been looking for. Her heart thumped in anticipation.
Perched on a branch, Wendy saw what had sparkled and caught her eye below. She caught her breath, it was not a chocolate bar wrapper this time. Lining the dark green leaves of the tree was a golden dust that reminded Wendy of the glitter she used to put on every craft when she was younger.
Instinctively, she reached out to touch it, but she stopped herself. She could not waste a single speck of it if she was going to make it to Neverland, hopefully with her brothers. She took the plastic container out of her pocket and proceeded to carefully detach the leaves covered in the precious substance from the tree and place them in the container.
Once she had all of it, she quickly closed the container and descended the tree. She put the container in her backpack and as she made her way back to her jeep, she could not help but grin like a fool. After all those years of searching, she had finally found her ticket to Neverland. All that was left to do was to try to convince her brothers to come with her.