“This isn’t you taking me out into the woods and doing some sacrificial murder is it?” I question Micheal warily then almost curse myself. I had said it as a joke but the last thing I wanted to do was give him any ideas. Its just, it felt as though he was leading me well nowhere, just on and on deeper into the forest. We’d already been walking for a couple of hours and my legs ached.
Micheal chuckles in front of me, a sound that almost makes me smile, although I’m not sure why it sounds so familiar. “Well I don’t exactly have the correct utensils,” Micheal replies his voice serious. I stop in my tracks, my brain going into panic mode with his words. Micheal turns to look back at me a small smile on my face and its then I know. He was just joking.
“Oh funny, you got me,” I mutter even though I was kind of annoyed.
Micheal sighs sadly, “I’m sorry this is hard for you, it was easier for me when I got here, being a kid, Neverland is kind of like all your dreams coming true,” he explains.
I nod as a thought crosses my mind causing me to smile in triumph, “You can’t grow up in Neverland,” I exclaim proudly. He was just crazy and this was definitely not Neverland.
Micheal stares at me, “Can’t is a strong word, there are ways to get what you want, if you so desire it,” he tells me.
I frown in confusion, “Okay no, that’s just you trying to make up for your slip on words,” I argue, certain of the truth. I was somewhere, but it was most definitely not Neverland.
“Wait and see Belle, everything is going to come right in your mind soon,” Micheal assures me causing me to roll my eyes behind his back.
“Right,” I say sarcastically.
Micheal stops in a clearing, walking towards a tree and running his fingers over some strange markings, before looking around nervously. His nervousness seems to rub off on me and I eye my surroundings warily.
The forest was completely quiet not even birds and other animals crawled through it, and it was then I realized I hadn’t even seen any birds around. I frown, trying to wonder if I had just missed them somehow. Micheal pulls something out of his pocket, handing me a long piece of old fabric. I stare at it, looking back up to give Micheal a look of confusion. “Put it on,” he orders me.
“Not happening, I’m not stupid okay,” I argue, there was no way in hell that I was going to leave myself that vulnerable.
Micheal sighs, “Please Belle, there’s no other way they won’t come unless your blindfolded,” he tells me.
I narrow my eyes, “Who?” I question, maybe the rest of the Neverland club?
“Trust me,” Micheal says to me, taking my hand and squeezing it, a gesture that reminded me so much of my mother, it almost made me want to cry.
“Okay,” I cave, once again my unfounded trust of this man ruling out my logical mind. Carefully I take off my glasses, placing the blindfold over my eyes and instantly cringing at the darkness. I tied it up loosely in case things went bad and I needed to get it off. “What happens now?” I ask turning my head from side to side, my brain trying desperately to find the light. Micheal doesn’t respond instead he whistles, a tune that my mother used to whistle all the time, without even realizing she was doing it.
“What,” I begin to ask, before I’m interrupted by a returning whistle. This one comes from multiple people, the tune loud and all around me. Something passes beside me and I shiver as my skin gets the strangest sensation. Before I know it my hands are being taken, the touch is soft and hard to recognize. I can’t tell if one person holds both my hands, or there is more than one.
I take a deep breath, preparing to ask once again what was happening, when I suddenly become cold. My head hurts, it throbs and I scream, the pain so intense and unexpected. My body shivers, the cold seeming to seep into my very being. Yet, I can hardly focus on that when the pain is unrelenting. My hands are let go and I fall to the ground unable to support my weight anymore.
“Belle, Belle,” Micheal voice reaches me worriedly, he removes the blindfold and I can hardly make out his face its so blurred. “Belle stay with me, okay, its going to be fine,” he promises me, but my mind can hardly comprehend the words. “What’s wrong with her?” I hear him yell. Whispering comes from every direction and I can’t help but wonder in my state if I am imagining it. My eyes feel tired and I shut them, sighing in delight now that I no longer have to expend the effort to keep them open.
“She’s marked,” it is the final words I hear.
My eyes open slowly, my body feels relaxed and I briefly wonder if what happened was all a dream. Until I try to move and the pain in my head comes back in full force. “Ahh,” I complain, clutching my head as the pain began anew.
“Here, here,” a soft voice says, handing me a small wooden bowl and raising it to my lips. The mixture is cool and refreshing and almost instantly the pain in my head disappears. I smile in relief, wondering why all this places remedies were so effective.
“Thank you,” I breathe turning to look at the woman, and my words die on my lips. I back up, hitting my head against the wall as I seek to get as far away from her as possible.
“Are you alright?” she questions her face concerned.
“But you…you have….w..ings,” I stutter, hardly able to comprehend what I was seeing.
The woman gives me the strangest look, laughing lightly, “I am a fairy dear,” she tells me, as if its obvious.
“A fairy,” I murmur, could it be possible? It couldn’t, it was a joke it had to be. Yet, they were so real, but if she was a fairy that meant this really was Neverland.
“I think I’m going to vomit,” I say, feeling a deep nauseous feeling coming up my throat. She steps back just a bit, her eyes searching for something as I hold my stomach. The feeling eventually passes, “False alarm,” I tell her, trying to look away from the wings coming out of her back.
“Belle, you’re awake,” I hear Micheal exclaim, coming to see me.
“Yeah,” I mutter, my eyes turning to focus on him.
“How do you feel?” Micheal asks cautiously.
“Fine, better,” I inform him, my head still trying to wrap around the fact I was at least two steps away from a fairy.
“Thank you Elena,” Micheal breathes, taking her hands in his.
Elena smiles, placing a hand on Micheal’s face, “Of course, but you should see Talia,” she tells him, giving me a sidewards glance.
Micheal nods, “I know,” he agrees. I watch their exchange with wide eyes, trying to work out what the hell was going on. Elena smiles, placing a kiss on Micheal’s cheek before walking away, while I just stare dumbly at her wings.
“She’s a fairy,” I tell Micheal when she’s gone.
Micheal grins, “I know, do you believe me?” he questions.
“That I’m in Neverland possibly, or I’m going insane, either way this sucks,” I mutter, standing up eager to be out of this bed, “but now I have some questions.”
Micheal nods, “Of course,” he says to me.
“First, this must be Pixie Hollow right? Mother used to say all the fairies lived in Pixie Hollow,” I mutter, staring at Micheal as I wait for his confirmation that I am right.
“That’s right, so your Mother told you about Neverland?” he asks me.
I sigh, “Yeah all the time, wait does that mean the red-headed boy that took me was that,” I left the words hanging unsure how to say it.
“Peter Pan,” Micheal confirms frowning. I take a deep breath, trying to process the fact I was in Neverland and all those stories mother told me they were real. Peter Pan was real, the fairies of Pixie Hollow, everything.
“Why?” I question suddenly. Micheal gives me a confused look unsure what I was referring too. “Why did he bring me here, why, I mean he called me a child of Neverland what does that even mean?” I clarify, my voice raising as my frustration grew. I didn’t want to be here, I just wanted to wake up and this to all have been a crazy dream.
Micheal shakes his head slowly, “I don’t know, I’m sorry Belle,” Micheal says but he looks away when he says it, he’s lying.
“You’re a terrible liar,” I grumble.
“Its not my story to tell,” Micheal retorts looking me in the eyes, making me slightly uncomfortable.
“Fine, how do I leave Neverland?” I finally ask. Micheal’s face falls, as if he was expecting this question, but yet didn’t want to hear it.
“Peter Pan controls who comes and goes and he hardly ever lets anybody leave. Everybody here is his, how do you say it, entertainment,” Micheal explains and I cringe, “the only way he allows someone to leave is if you offer him something he wants.” I smile, glad that there was a way somehow.
“So what would he want?” I question Micheal, the reality that it might not be so simple after all overcoming me.
“That’s the question, what can you give the boy who owns everything on Neverland,” he replies, my smile disappearing with his words.
He had a point, it would have to have been something I brought here and all I had was my clothes.
“You offer him a traitor,” a new voice says, I turn to see another fairy standing proudly in the doorway.
This one was memorizing, like it was almost impossible for me to take my eyes off her.
“I’m Talia,” she introduces herself, taking my hand in hers. I felt an unusual warmth spread through, as if strength was surging through my body at her touch.
“Talia,” Micheal greets coldly, Talia gives him a simple nod in return. I can only guess that these two have history, though what, I couldn’t attempt to guess.
“A traitor,” I repeat, breaking the unbearable silence, and tearing their gaze from each other.
“Tinkerbell,” Micheal says before Talia can reply. My eyes widen again, although by now I’m not sure why I’m surprised that she’s real as well.
“Yes, her betrayal of Peter Pan is great, he would do anything to regain her again,” Talia tells him.
Micheal stares at Talia and there is an undisguised anger in his eyes, which makes me take a step away from him. “You know I can’t do that, I gave her my oath, I owe her everything,” Micheal snaps, his voice low.
Talia rolls her eyes at his words, “I’m not asking you to find her or betray her, I’m simply telling Belle how to leave,” she informs him.
“Tinkerbell’s a fairy there’s no way Belle could capture her alone,” Micheal argues and I wonder whether I left if they would notice, they seemed so intent on each other.
“That is not my problem,” Taila responds.
Micheal growls, “This isn’t about Belle at all, this is about Tinkerbell and her betrayal of you. You know the kind of punishment that Peter Pan will dish out, she’ll finally be getting what she deserves.”
Talia scoffs, “That has nothing to do with it,” she argues.
“Okay stop,” I snap before Micheal can respond, “just tell me where I can find this Tinkerbell so I can go home.”
Micheal stares at me, “Belle its not a good idea,” he begins.
“Neither is staying here,” I retort, there was no way I was going to stay any longer than necessary in Neverland, “where is she?”
Talia smiles, which makes me feel like Micheal is right this is more personal than she’ll admit, “The only place she’s safe from Peter Pan with the pirates of the Jolly Roger,” she tells me. I groan, maybe Micheal was right there was no way for me to get her, not if even Peter Pan couldn’t.
“Great,” I mutter sarcastically.