Prompt: Peter Pan makes certain his boys never grow up.
Pan beckoned Jared towards him and smiled when the boy came so willingly. You’d think after all this time his boys would start to wonder why no one returned from the “happy thirteenth birthday walk” he took each of them on.
“You have been enjoying your time here, haven’t you?” Pan guided the boy towards his favorite location, the cave at the top of a cliff.
“I love it here and this cave is awesome!” Jared cried when they stepped through the split in the rock wall. The inside was decorated far more lavishly than anywhere else on the island. “Why aren’t we allowed in here more often?”
Pan casually threw himself onto the couch he’d convinced Tink to transfer there years before but he didn’t offer Jared a place to sit. “Am I not allowed to have a refuge of my own?”
Jared looked horrified by the other boy’s reaction. “That’s not it at all! I just ˗”
“Don’t you wonder why no one returns from their birthday celebrations with me?” Peter Pan interrupted.
“I…you always say you give the birthday boy the chance to go home and they all take it.”
Pan studied his nails, purposefully not meeting Jared’s confused gaze. “So you believe James, David, Edward and all the others really did choose to go home?”
“I guess so.” Jared gulped when Pan finally looked up, a hungry gleam in his eyes.
“Not quite,” Pan stood up and moved to the cave entrance, staring out to the cliff beyond. “Did you enjoy flying here with Tink and I when you first came?”
Jared hesitated, not knowing what game Pan was playing (what did flying have to do with anything?) but knowing he had to answer all the same. “I suppose so. Yes.”
He watched as Pan pulled a bottle full of green glittering stuff out of his pocket. “Pixie dust. Would you like to fly again, as a birthday treat?”
Something tickled at the back of Jared’s mind, questioned he wanted answered. Why did boys never come back from their meeting with Pan if all they did was fly? Did they fly away?
“I asked you a question.” Pan’s voice was sharp. “Do you wish to fly again?”
“Yes,” Jared finally answered.
Then Pan sprinkled them both with the dust and ran off the cliff edge, turning in mid air to see if Jared would follow.
But the second Jared’s feet left the ground he knew something was wrong. He didn’t float or feel weightless, he felt heavy.
And then he fell.
Pan gently flew down to the rocks at the base of the cliff and started down at the broken body. “They always forget that I don’t need dust to fly.”
He watched as the shadowy form that was Jared’s spirit, his soul, slipped out of the boy’s body and headed for the stars. But Pan didn’t let it get far before he pounced.
It was a bit of a struggle but it didn’t take long for Pan to pull the spirit into his own chest. Then, like he had done many times before, he burned the body.
He had stopped feeling bad about the murders ages ago. Without the souls he consumed Peter Pan would age just like everyone else.
Why grow old if you could stay young forever?