So apparently among the things I should not do on writing nights, if I wish to continue writing without being inundated by extraneous plotbunnies, is watch live TV productions of famous stories. In this case, it has led only to a Fiction Friday special which crosses over that story with one of my own, but where could it go from here?
Anyone who's read the Dangerverse, and heard my many and varied plaints about what it was supposed to be, could probably give an answer to that question. In this case, though, I hope that I can leave this particular crossover short, either just at this length or only a little bit longer. I have quite enough projects to be going on with, both fanfic and original, thank you very much!
Speaking of originals, one story for the Christmas special is already nearly 12K long, and the other is 3K and holding but with some definite plans, so depending on how much I get done today and this weekend, you could see it popping up on your screens as early as the 10th or 11th of December. Both stories draw from universes I've already established in my original writing, both of which actually premiered in my collection Cat Tales, though one later became its own novel. Further news as it comes along!
Now, without further fuss, please allow me to present today's Fiction Friday post, also known as "this is Anne's brain on pixie dust"...
"Boy, why are you crying?"
The boy sat up straight in his bunk. Perched in the porthole of his cabin, gazing at him with surprised eyes, was a girl near his own age, a ball of light hovering near her face so that he could see her. "I wasn't crying," he denied hastily, scrubbing away the tearstains on his cheeks with one hand. "Pirates never cry."
"But you're not a pirate." The girl dropped lightly to the floor of the cabin. "Pirates are always grown-ups. You ought to be a Lost Boy."
"I don't want to be a Lost Boy." The rebuttal came swiftly, as it had been trained into him to do, despite the voice in the back of his mind whispering that he'd never wanted anything more. "Lost Boys are dirty and smelly and they spend all their time playing stupid games and listening to stupid Peter Pan."
"Peter Pan is not stupid!" The girl stamped her foot, shooting six inches off the floor with the movement to hover, glaring, in midair. "Take it back!"
"I won't!" The boy grinned, pleased with the reaction. "Peter Pan is stupid, and lazy, and cowardly!"
The ball of light which had been investigating the cabin jangled with the ringing of bells, and the girl nodded fiercely. "She says you're the cowardly one, and rude, to talk about a person when he isn't here to defend himself," she said, pointing to the fairy. "I don't have to stay and listen to that." Drawing herself up, she made as if to swoop through the porthole.
"No, wait!" The boy scrambled out of bed. "Please, don't go! I'm..." He had to swallow against the taste of the words, but fought them out anyway. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."
The girl hesitated briefly, then dropped to the floor again. "All right," she said, sitting down in the single chair the cabin could boast. "But only because you said 'please'. And 'sorry'."
"Thank you." The boy climbed back into bed, tucking his feet under the bedclothes to keep them warm. "So what are you, then? A Lost Girl? I thought there weren't any."
"I was, once. But now I'm a Found Girl." The girl smiled, holding out her finger to allow the fairy to land on it. "I have a mother. And a father, though he looks a bit different." She giggled. "Back when he was a Lost Boy, and Mother was a Lost Girl, he teased one of her fairy friends one day until she got terribly angry, and she gathered up a handful of fairy dust and threw it onto him, and poof!" She clapped her hands, the fairy leaping free of the collision. "She turned him into a rat!"
"I didn't know fairies could do that." The boy regarded the tiny figure now peering at the lantern in the rafters with respect. "Did he ever get turned back?"
The girl shook her head. "After he got over the surprise, he found he liked himself that way. And one of Mother's other fairy friends laid an enchantment on her so that she can understand what he says, so they're happy as they are. Especially once they got our ship, because every good ship should have at least one rat." She giggled again. "Though we only have one. Father doesn't allow any others on board!"
"You live on a ship too? With a father and a mother, and fairies?" The boy swallowed raw envy. "Are there any other children there?"
"Yes, of course." The girl held out her finger to the fairy again, then sketched in the air with her now-glowing fingertip, tracing a picture of a ship's deck covered with laughing, running figures. "Mother and Father each had three others in their bands when they were Lost, and once they'd won their battle with Hook—"
The boy stifled a gasp, but shook his head when the girl looked at him quizzically. "It's nothing," he said. "Please, go on."
The girl shrugged and did so. "Together with Tiger Lily and her tribe, they fought a great battle with Hook and his pirates, and defeated them." She grinned. "They threw the pirates out of Neverland with their hull knocked full of holes, and they kept a little prize ship Hook had taken for themselves. Seven people and a rat could crew her, with fairy dust to help. And they sailed away from Neverland with Peter Pan's blessing, but also with his warning."
"Warning? About what?"
"About growing up." The girl's face grew solemn. "Peter told them that even though they would look like they were growing up, they could still come back to Neverland so long as they stayed aboard their ship. But if they ever set foot on any other land, they would grow up for real. The Fireflower would sink, Mother's fairy friends would fly away, and they would never see their home again."
The boy shivered. "That's terrible."
"Yes, it is." The girl smiled brightly. "But they never have. Set foot on any other land, I mean. Mother's friends make sure they always have enough fairy dust that they can fly anywhere they need to go, and just pretend to be walking. So they can come and go from Neverland as they like, and now so can we. My cousins and I. The Found Ones." She looked more closely at him. "If you don't want to be a Lost Boy, maybe would you like to be Found?"
"Would I have..." The boy had to grasp his bedcovers tightly to make the word come out. "...a mother?"
"Of course you would." The girl nodded matter-of-factly. "All Found Boys have mothers."
"Then...yes." The boy smiled shyly. "I'd like that very much."
"Come on, then." The girl held out her hand, and the boy took it, the fairy flitting circles around them both. "What's your name, Found Boy?"
"Reynard James Alphonsius Hook. What's yours?"
"Is that all?"
"It's enough for me..."