Author’s Note: I have been toying with the idea of writing a darker sequel for Peter Pan. It is a story that has always had great meaning for me, and I love the way the Robin Williams portrayed the character in Hook. This is my opening draft. I would love to hear your comments.
“Peter,” the name rang long in the cool night air. The boys were looking for him. Again.
“Peter! Peter, where are you?” Their childhood laughter echoed up to him high up in the tree as the ran beneath, play fighting with wooden swords.
“He’s gone off to the ship again,” one of them presumed.
“There’s no reason to go there,” another one challenged. “What’s left there?”
“Nothing left,” some of smaller ones sang. “Hook the crook lives no more.”
All the boys cheered in unison thrusting their swords into the night sky.
“Suppose he’s flying?” little Tyler asked.
“Probably, but not here,” Jacob answered. “If he could hear us he would definitely come play.”
Peter couldn’t help but laugh to himself. Fortunately the clang of wooden swords kept the sound from their playful ears.
It had been a very long time since Peter had wanted to play. Someone had changed the rules and Peter was a boy no more. On the oustside he was very unchanged, forever the boyish leader of the Lost Boys, but inside… Inside things were very different. Inside Peter’s youth had left the last day he had seen his shadow. It was a day Peter relived everyday no matter how hard he tried to forget. It was the last time he had gone to see Wendy Darling. It was not the last time he had seen Wendy Darling. That was some time before. The last time he went Wendy Darling was no more.
A solitary tear wound its way down his cheek. Wendy had been the first. Well, really, Hook had been the first, but no one had been sad to see him go. Wendy was the first one that mattered. John and Michael had followed too soon after. Smee was next while the pirates were finishing their new ship. Not long later they all sailed off never to bother the Lost Boys again.
Then the unthinkable. Peter had squandered and played with his perpetual youth changing some with each goodbye, but still playing on, leading the Lost Boys on crusades again imaginary foes and searching for glittering treasure.
Peter new things were changing. First she stopped coming to find him. Peter thought it a game and would set out to find her but she was always there. She had set up home on the abandoned ship. Peter didn’t know why. Even though Hook was gone the ship still meant something to her, though the ship would never move again. She spent in time in quiet vigil, in her small way still protecting Peter as she could.
Peter would come to her every night and tell her of their crusades and treasures. He would act out their battles and dance to the songs he sang and she would smile and sometimes sing with him, but mostly she sat still on her little shelf and listened.
He didn’t want to admit it, but he knew what was coming. She hadn’t flown in a very long time. Her wings had become tattered and gray and Peter knew they wouldn’t work if she’d wanted them too. Still he lived the perpetual boy.
Both moons were full in the sky the night it all changed. Peter knew before he reached the ship that everything had changed. He almost didn’t go. He knew he could turn around and play and pretend that everything was the same, but he had to know.
The ship was dark, too dark for the brightness of two moons in the sky. Peter tiptoed into the cabin not wanting to wake her from her sleep but quickly found himself shouting wishing more than anything that that was the one thing he could do. She was no more.
Peter cried the whole night through. By morning he was Peter no more. Wendy, John, Michael, Tink – all of his happy thoughts were gone now. He hid from the Lost Boys for days not wanting to tell them. When he joined them again no one asked, so he never told them. He played their games, lead their crusades, told them of treasures to find. It was different now. If any of them noticed, no one said. Peter knew. It was something he wished he could forget.