Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:Well, I've sent mine in. I can pretty much guarantee that it won't win, but it WAS hilarious to write.
(And I've seen a bunch of people complaining about the tropes on what I think are wrong assumptions. Uncomfortable Elevator Moment does NOT need to literally take place in an elevator. And you don't need a court scene to show a lawyer being amoral.)
Narrative Dilettante wrote:Tinkerbell flitted past Peter as they sped towards Neverland.
“I’m sorry, Tink,” he said in response to her complaining. “I’ll never leave for that long again. It was all a mistake, anyway.”
Peter wished Tinkerbell would be more specific about what was going on. She was tremendously worked up, but wouldn’t give any details about what exactly had upset her so. When he’d asked if the boys had been captured, she’d said “What do you think?” or the equivalent, in her fairy-language. However, she’d firmly denied that Captain Hook, or any of the pirates, or the mermaids, or even the Indians, who normally had little conflict with the boys so Peter had been shocked to find himself asking about them.
“Where are the boys now?” Asked Peter, and in response Tinkerbell merely increased her speed, so that Peter couldn’t even keep up, and almost lost sight of her.
They were coming into view of Neverland, though, so Peter stopped trying to catch up Tinkerbell and instead looked over the island. Everything looked just how he’d left it, and just how it ought to be. He made his way to the entrance to the Lost Boys’ home. There was Tinkerbell, waiting at one of the secret entrances. But Peter was closer to another, so he ran to that one and jumped into it.
Only instead of falling into the room below, he found himself standing on a sort of net made out of branches and twigs and leaves, all caked together with mud. “How strange,” said Peter. “Why would they close up this entrance?”
Tinkerbell called impatiently from the entrance she’d flown to, and Peter joined her there. This one was open, so he climbed down to the underground home of the Lost Boys.
“Halt!” Said a voice. Looking up, Peter saw Nibs, brandishing a stick. “Who goes there?” Nibs continued.
“What are you doing, Nibs? I’m home!” Announced Peter, bounding past him into the room.
“Peter!” Said Nibs, followed by a chorus of repetition from the other boys.
“What’s wrong with some of the entrances?” Peter asked. “I couldn’t get in the way I first tried.”
“Oh, Nathan had us block them up,” said Tootles.
“Who’s Nathan?” Asked Peter.
Everyone turned to face the entrance that Peter had just used, where a new boy, Nathan, was now entering. Nibs didn’t challenge him as he had Peter, but merely stood aside.
“And who are you?” Asked Nathan.
“I’m Peter Pan, and I want to know why you blocked off the entrances to our home.”
“Simple. Seven entrances led to holes in security. One entrance is all we need. There’s much less chance of Hook and the other pirates locating us now.” The boys all nodded as Nathan spoke.
“What, you think Hook will think to look in a tree stump for our hideout? Even if he did, I could handle him. It would be a terrific fight!”
“Who’s talking about fights?” Wendy’s voice called from the entrance. “I thought we’d all agreed that fighting is dangerous.” She emerged into the room, saw Peter, and called out his name. “How wonderful it is to have you back! But I’m afraid we have an awful lot to tell you.”
As Wendy described events to Peter, the Lost Boys continually interrupted, and Nathan felt he had to explain the parts that he’d been involved in, as no one else understood it properly, or so he said. The result was that various people were talking from every part of the room all at once, telling the story out of order and repeating bits that they thought were important, but which probably didn’t make a difference in the end. In the end Peter was left confused and without a proper understanding of anything that had happened, save that Nathan had shown up from somewhere and, without Peter around, the boys had flocked to the brave and wise newcomer and now mostly did whatever he told them to.
What had happened was this:
Peter had been gone for some time when Nathan appeared in Neverland. He was older than the other boys and instinctively began to act like a father to them, as Wendy had been acting as their mother. He told the boys of all the scary things in the world, and warned them that their attitudes about Pirates and adventures and the like was all wrong. He claimed that he was not afraid of anything, but merely wanted to keep everyone safe from things they didn’t understand.
So they’d blocked all but one entrance to their home, and no one went outside anymore, save Nathan and Wendy, who were in charge of protecting all the others. One of the boys was guarding the remaining entrance at all times. And all of the boys agreed that they were safer with Nathan in charge.
“But that’s no fun!” Peter protested, when he felt he’d got the gist of the situation. “And it’s not fair! Who says Nathan should be in charge here? I’ve been here longer than any of you!”
“I’m sorry, Peter,” said Nathan, “But you left a power vacuum. They needed a leader. And I was there for them.”
“Well I’m here now. If they need a leader it should be me!”
Then there fell such shouting that no one could make the slightest bit of sense out of it, even the parts they’d said. Finally someone shouted louder than the rest and got everyone to look at him. It was John. He stood on a table, so as to be taller than everyone when he spoke. “It’s clear what we need to do. We must do the thing grownups do when they choose between two people. We shall have a what’s-it-called!” For he had forgotten the name of the type of event grownups have to select a leader.
But Michael chimed in. “Oh! A trial! Yes, let’s have a trial!” And soon the room was full of such excitement about having a trial that no one pointed out it wasn’t quite the thing they were after, and they dropped all idea of following the format of choosing a leader and set up a system where they would determine who was right and who was wrong.
“Whoever’s right will be our leader for ever!” Declared one of the boys, and another added, “And whoever’s wrong will have to be punished. We will never let him into our house again!” At this everyone cheered, except for Peter and Nathan, who were each thinking of what it would be like not to be allowed into the Lost Boys’ house.
They started the trial immediately. John, who’d suggested the idea, served as the judge. They sat him at one end of the room and had Peter and Nathan face him, with Wendy and the Lost Boys lining the walls, ready to vote once John told them it was time. Some wanted to vote immediately, but John told them they had to wait.
Nathan and Peter both gave their positions. Nathan said that Peter had endangered all of the Lost Boys and was reckless and unreliable. Peter said that Nathan had taken over without any right to do so and that he was cruel and boring. When they had both spoken, John said that day one of the trial was over, and they would both have to present evidence tomorrow. Everyone was disappointed, but John was the judge and they all respected his decision. Besides, they were hungry, and quickly fell to eating and were distracted from the trial altogether.
Peter wanted to speak to Wendy, but she quickly disappeared with Nathan, and none of the boys knew where they might have got to. Peter searched for them all over Neverland, but without luck.
Wendy and Nathan were, it turns out, hiding very close to the entrance to the Lost Boys’ home. Nathan had constructed a sort of camouflaged tree house, where he liked to keep the things that he felt the others shouldn’t know about. Wendy was the only exception, as she was almost as old as him and possibly smarter, so he occasionally felt he could use her advice.
Nathan dug through a stack of papers until he found what he was looking for. “This,” he said, “is a map of Neverland when I first got here.”
Wendy looked at the map. It had a lot of useful information on it, such as the number of pirates who were on the island and where they could usually be found. While she was looking, Nathan pulled out another map. “And this,” he said, unfurling it, “is a map of Neverland today.”
The map had several blank areas, which Nathan began to fill in, putting pirates everywhere he could fit them. “Don’t you agree,” he said, “that everyone will realize how much danger they’re in when I show them how the Pirate threat has grown?”
“But, Nathan,” said Wendy, “I don’t understand how there could be that many pirates in Neverland. I went all over the island today and I didn’t see a single pirate!”
“Of course you didn’t,” said Nathan, “but just because you don’t see them, that doesn’t mean they’re not there. We have to protect ourselves, Wendy. Not just ourselves, but all of the Lost Boys.”
“Of course,” said Wendy, but she really didn’t think Nathan was right about that.
“And anyway,” Nathan continued, “Even if there aren’t that many pirates, even if I’m exaggerating just a little, Peter is still dangerous and wrong. You can’t lead children into danger like he does! It’s not right. No matter what, we have to stop him from winning this trial. I’d even lie if I had to. Because it’s the right thing to do. He has to be stopped. Don’t you agree, Wendy?”
Wendy did not agree, but she didn’t want to upset Nathan right then because his voice had become quite loud and he was beginning to scare her. But she had an idea. “You’re right,” she said. “Say, can I take those maps back to the house, to keep them safe? Peter might try to get ahold of them if he sees that you have them. He can be tricky that way.”
Nathan agreed, and when they left to return to the Lost Boys’ house, Wendy held the maps. Then she took a different way home, so as not to arouse Peter’s suspicion that she might be carrying something for Nathan, if he saw them walking together. But really, she set out looking for Peter.
Now, Peter was looking for Wendy and Wendy was looking for Peter, and if they were both circling the island in the same direction, they might never have found each other. But as it turns out Peter was going widdershins and Wendy was going clockwise, so they each saw the other coming towards them at about the same time.
The only one who was unhappy as Wendy and Peter said proper hellos to each other for the first time since he’d got home was Tinkerbell. She had hoped that Wendy would not go back to being Peter’s friend after being friends with Nathan. So Peter and Wendy were talking excitedly to one another, while Tinkerbell flew between and around them in agitation. This entire scene was taking place at the top of a cliff, and someone watching from a boat in the sea below would have seen two children waving their arms about and occasionally jumping, as a little golden light illuminated one more than the other, but in an irregular and constantly shifting pattern.
Presently Wendy explained how Nathan planned to deceive the Lost Boys, and she showed him the maps, explaining that the first one was true, and the second merely a deception.
Peter leapt into the air upon hearing this, and thanked Wendy. “If he’s a liar the boys will never let him be in charge! Oh, Wendy, this is the best thing you could have done. I’ll invite them to come and look for themselves. They’ll see that there are no more pirates than there have ever been.” And he went on and on, saying how highly he thought of Wendy and how well she had done.
Well, Tinkerbell heard all of this and it irritated her to know end. Peter was hers, and she’d thought that Wendy would stay out of the picture for once, but clearly Wendy had different ideas. Then Tinkerbell did something impulsive that, had she taken time to think about it, she’d never have carried through. She tore the maps out of Wendy’s hands and threw them over the side of the cliff.
“Tink!” Shouted Peter. “Why would you do that? Without those maps we haven’t any way to prove what Nathan was planning to do! He’ll have to find some other deception, and if I don’t know what it is there’s no way I’ll be ready to argue against it.”
With that, Peter flew away, and when Tinkerbell tried to follow him he gave her such a look that she stayed behind.
Wendy returned to the Lost Boys’ home and told Nathan that she’d lost the maps, but not how. Nathan seemed very upset for a moment, but he quickly said that it didn’t matter, as he’d spoken to each of the boys individually and could count on each of them to vote that he should be the leader and Peter should be exiled.
So Wendy spent the night feeling sad and unable to think of any way to help Peter, who spent the night flying around Neverland and kicking at clouds, unable to think of what to do to counteract Nathan and the lies he might tell.
Tinkerbell, meanwhile, was determined to make up for her mistake. She found a piece of paper, which, though small to us, was so large to her that she could barely carry it. And throughout the night, she flew all over Neverland, mapping out the island and the pirate ship and making note of any and all pirates who could be found. Though the lines were very fine, they were clear, and by the morning, when the trial was ready to start, she had finished.
As the Lost Boys and Wendy and Nathan got ready for the second day of their trial, they all realized that Peter was nowhere to be found. So Wendy went out to look for him.
She found him asleep in a tree, where he’d evidently landed when he couldn’t stay awake flying any longer. “Peter!” She called.
“Yuh?” Peter muttered, still mostly asleep.
“Peter! The trial! You have to be at the trial!”
Upon hearing this, Peter stood up and raced off into the air, to the Lost Boys’ home and down into the makeshift courtroom. Wendy was a bit longer in getting back, and by the time she got there Tinkerbell had reached the entrance, carrying the map she’d made. It was so heavy to her that she could barely fly, but she refused to let Wendy take it. So Wendy climbed down into the Lost Boys’ home, and Tinkerbell flew in after, but the map weighed her down so much that she fell and landed on Wendy’s head. She was so tired at this point that she gave up on flying, and Wendy made the descent with Tinkerbell as a passenger, complaining in her musical-sounding voice that Wendy couldn’t understand the entire way.
When Wendy entered the room, Peter greeted her and Tinkerbell, and was reprimanded by John for breaking with court procedure. Tinkerbell flew the short distance to Peter, who held out his hand and caught her and the map she’d made.
Nathan was speaking. “The menace of the pirates has never been stronger. Why, just last night I discovered so many of them around the island that I couldn’t even begin to map them all. They--”
“That’s not true,” Peter interrupted.
“Oh, do you have some information you’d like to share with us, Peter?” Asked Nathan in a mocking tone.
“Yes, I do.” Peter held up Tinkerbell’s map. “Tink made this last night. She flew all over Neverland to find every single pirate, and there’s not one more than there ever has been.” He put the map up where everyone could see it. “Nathan has been lying to all of you. Have any pirates ever tried to get into our home? Have you ever seen them where you didn’t expect them? Have you ever encountered them and not had any fun?” He looked around the room. “Tell me, has any of you gone outside and seen for yourself whether there are as many pirates around her as Nathan claims?”
“They don’t need to see it for themselves!” Declared Nathan. “They trust me!”
“They used to trust me,” said Peter. “And maybe some of them still do. And I say there aren’t any pirates nearby, not any closer than the pirate ship where they always are.”
The boys all started muttering to one another, some merely for the sake of seeming like they were involved because things were just starting to get exciting.
“Besides, if you’re afraid of pirates,” Peter continued, “I say we go and fight some! Really show them what we’re made of, and they won’t bother us again anytime soon.”
Now the boys were getting all riled up, and John called out “Order in the court!” which made him sound very official, and he enjoyed it tremendously, especially when after he said it the boys all quieted down again. “I think,” John continued, “that we are ready for a vote.”
Nathan and Peter nodded. Peter saw the boys smiling at him, and knew how excited they would be to finally do something fun again. Nathan trusted that the promises he’d made to each of the boys would keep their votes on his side. John made everyone close their eyes and had everyone vote by raising their hands, first for Nathan, and then for Peter.
“Okay, open your eyes,” said John in his most official voice. “It is my pleasure to announce to you that Peter is going to be our leader from now until forever. Nathan, you can leave at any time.”
“What?” Cried Nathan. “You!” He pointed at Slightly, who was standing in a corner avoiding his gaze. “I told you that I’d let you be in charge of the guard rotation from now on! How could you vote for Peter instead of me?”
Slightly shrugged. “I think Peter’s better. I’ll be a better adventurer than anyone. I know more about fighting than the others. They’ll see.”
Before Nathan could start to address the other Lost Boys and see how they voted, they had all formed a circle around Peter and were cheering him with such volume that they couldn’t hope to hear anything from outside the circle. And then, though nobody had seemed to suggest it, they all rushed outside and began reopening the entrances that they’d blocked off. Nathan was swept up in the rush and found himself outside with the rest of them. He walked a little ways away and sat down, looking out at the ocean and wishing things had gone differently.
While Nathan was thinking despondent thoughts to himself, Peter approached, quietly, so that Nathan didn’t notice he was there until his shadow blocked the sunlight. “I’m sorry,” said Peter.
“I’ll believe that in a million years,” Nathan replied.
“No, not for winning.” Peter sat down next to Nathan. “I’m sorry that you’re too old for Neverland.”
“It happens to the best of us,” said Peter. “I mean, not to me, of course. But all the other boys... They grow up. You can’t be in Neverland when you grow up.” Peter looked at Nathan, his eyes full of compassion. “I can’t grow up, and it’s a good thing, because I don’t want to. But you... You’re one of the ones who has to. You’re full of grownup worries, and you can’t be that way in Neverland. It just doesn’t work.
“I guess there was just enough child left in you to get here in the first place, but once you got here you shouldn’t have been able to stay. Go home, Nathan.”
Nathan looked away. “I’m scared to.”
Peter just shrugged. “I think everyone is. But you can be brave. Don’t hide at home because there might be pirates. Just go out and face them. Half the time they won’t even be there.”
With that, Peter returned to the Lost Boys and led them on a merry chase around the island, that didn’t achieve anything but left everyone tired and happy.
Nathan never saw Peter again, but he never ever forgot him.
S_o_S wrote:Dil, Mr. A can't decide if he loves or hates you right now. Grabbin dem wall pieces and reficcing dem characters.
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