“The Jolly Roger”
Life on a pirate ship was all that I expected and then somehow not. The pirates were rude, obnoxious, dirty, and just plain unlikeable people. To my great surprise James seemed like the only one who was kind of decent, and I didn’t even really like him. Captain Blackbeard was the worst of them all, he had this uncanny ability to make me feel less than human every time he looked at me. He had accepted me being here but I could tell just by his look that he was thinking of pawning me off to the highest bidder, I was just praying that Rufio showed with my father before that happened. If he ever showed up, its not like I didn’t believe in Rufio, its just that whenever I brought it up James got this really amused look on his face like he knew something major I didn’t. Something that involved my father, and it was obvious James didn’t think Rufio was going to collect him.
“Missed a spot,” James comments, as a drop of some sort of food scrap fell to the ground where I was scrubbing.
“Go away,” I growl at him, it was bad enough I had to be forced to clean the ship but to be watched and laughed at, at the same time was too much.
“I thought it was funny,” James says innocently.
“Of course you did,” I mutter more to myself, “explain to me something,” I say suddenly looking up at him, “you’re pirates what exactly is it that you’re doing in Neverland? I mean shouldn’t you be in the real world, say I don’t know finding treasure. I mean sure you couldn’t now but why come here in the first place, I mean come on no pirate’s grand dream is to become worst enemies with teenagers.” James seems a little taken aback by the question, as if for some reason it hadn’t actually occurred to him.
“None of us chose to come here, we ended up here, every pirate was before the generation that chose to come here,” James explains to me shrugging, my ears catch on other words however.
“Wait a second, the generation that chose to come here, why would anyone, apart from children obviously, want to come to Neverland?” I question confused. James offers me his hand which I take wearily, leading me over to the edge of the ship.
“See that peak,” he says, pointing to a mountain peak shrouded in mist, the highest point of the island.
“Yeah,” I nod.
“That’s where all the magic in Neverland comes from, Peter Pan controls the flow of that magic, therefore he controls the island its self,” James explains.
“Yeah I remember mother mentioning how Peter Pan could case earthquakes and he controlled the weather and all that,” I murmur, my mother’s stories running through my head.
James nods, “That magic is powerful it doesn’t just stay in Neverland, its how Peter Pan got here in the first place, for a long time he’s kept it concealed from your world but word has being getting out and people are coming to Neverland for the magic. Until of course Peter Pan takes care of them, most of them have been desperate to get out.”
I frown, “And you thought I was one of them, when I came to get Tinkerbell,” I guess.
James shrugs, “You were all desperate like them,” he tells me an amused smirk reappearing on his face.
“I was not desperate,” I argue, crossing my arms in annoyance.
James rolls his eyes, “Better finish the deck otherwise Blackbeard will do something regrettable,” he advises me.
I stare back at my bucket and cloth, “Oh joys,” I mutter, my body already tired from doing all sorts of disgusting jobs.
A blast of wind hit me as I made my way back and I touch my cheek as something soft lands on it rain. I stare up at the sky, gasping as I see the black storm clouds, one second ago the sky was blue and clear. “Peter Pan,” the words that entered my mind were screamed across the ship at the exact same time. I stare around frantically searching for a place to go, hide at least.
“Belle,” James yells, grabbing my hand as a thunder roared through the hair almost deafening me. Seconds later a lightning bolt lands mere metres away from me, setting a fire on the deck. I look at James desperately looking for a plan in his eyes some way he could get me out of this mess. However his eyes are caught by something else, a frown making its way across his features. I turn following his gaze to see Blackbeard storming across to us, ignoring the frantic motions of his pirates. All of a sudden I’m not sure that Peter Pan is such a bad option anymore because for the moment Blackbeard’s grim face tells me his plan for me is not pleasant. I wriggle my hand out of James’s grip taking a step backwards.
Blackbeard sees the movement instantly, “Grab her,” he orders James. James’s iron grip comes upon me in seconds and no amount of fighting can get me out of it. By the time I have given up on fighting Blackbeard has grabbed my arm and James has almost reluctantly released me. My feet are moving against my will as Blackbeard forces me forward and I turn back to look at James who has a half a concerned look on his face.
“Please,” I whimper, unsure of who the plea is directed at.
“Shut up,” Blackbeard hisses shoving me violently to the ground. I yelp in pain as my body falls against the wooden floor, the rain making my hands slide as I seek to get up and run anywhere.
I flip onto my other side hands on the deck as I stare up at Blackbeard who now wields a dagger, encrusted with jewels. James is watching him, his stance firm against the ground. As if his body is sure he will not step in but his face tells a different story. “You won’t have her Peter Pan, she’ll die before you get your hands on her,” Blackbeard yells into the stormy sky.
A roar of thunder is his only reply. I stare up at him the dagger is all my eyes are capable of seeing and my body seems frozen in place, not amount of telling myself to run will move it.
By now I’m praying Peter Pan will come, the boy I once feared might be my only savior. James is mouthing something to me but I can’t make it out, not when my attention must be focused on the dagger that has now begun its course. Contrary to popular belief my life did not flash before my eyes, rather faces did my mother, Uncle John, Micheal, even Rufio for some strange reason and then for an even stranger reason James’s voice. No that’s wrong his voice wasn’t in my mind, it was real. It forced me back to reality, “Run, Belle,” he was telling me to run. I frown my eyes once again registering the danger in front of me, and just before the dagger is close enough to inflict fatal damage my body kicks into gear. I scramble backwards, throwing my head to the side to force the rain out of my eyes. Pulling myself up, I am just aware of Blackbeard behind me his heavy frame echoing against the deck, something the storm can’t seem to flush out. I run my feet slipping on the ground as I desperately search for somewhere to go, but I know the only place, the ocean. I run to the sides, staring down into its angry depths. I have but a second to decide which is a worse death. Of course drowning is but it at least offers me the slim hopes of survival. I jump, closing my eyes tight as I await the deadly splash of my body against the waves.
It never comes, I open my eyes wondering if somehow I already died. I am met with a familiar splash of red, Peter Pan. He holds me in his arms as we propel upwards into the safety of the clouds. I stare at him in shock and almost relief that he came in time. “I thought you’d never come,” he says, his red eyes winking at me.
“What?” I begin to question, when it hits me he must have somehow knew I was going to jump. Of course he did he knew his enemy, he knew Blackbeard was going to kill me. However how he knew I was going to jump astounds me, because up until the moment I did it, not even I knew. “Why?” I ask, although I suppose this one I should already know, yet somehow it needs to be said from his mouth. Peter Pan smiles, and in the light of his mischievous smiles, the evil in his eyes seems to somehow disappear.
“I told you Belle, you’re a child of Neverland just like me, and you belong here just like me,” he informs me, his words excited and dare I say it warm.