A/N - Inspiration struck today in statistics class. It's probably a one-shot unless I get an overwhelming response to make it otherwise.
If I do expand it will be some time before the story gets completed, as Pan's character is just beginning to be developed on the show.
Enjoy, my fellow Oncers.
Disclaimer: The definition of irony comes from the movie, "Becoming Jane".
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
– John F. Kennedy
A pair of eyes - unseen and seeing all the same - fervently, helplessly, search out the window adjacent to the bed. Out, far out, into the moonless night.
Her right hand is hidden beneath a mess of chocolate waves. The other absently strokes the faded silver words on the spine of a weather-worn, sky-blue book, splayed across her chest.
If we could see the room clearly we would find it an organized mess.
There, in the far left corner, a pile papers rises up from the floor. The occasional glimpse of a title in bold red words is all that we could make of them.
A mound of clothes resides near the door. Wither they are clean or dirty, if they had been put there with the intention of being put aside or away, has been long forgotten.
A tin lunchbox sits, untouched, on the bureau. A faintly unpleasant spicy smell permeates the air. She'd forgotten to eat. Again.
She has been forgetting a lot here lately. Her preoccupations have slowly redirected all of her wandering thoughts to a solitary idea. An idea which was growing in significance with each tick of the clock.
Tomorrow was her eighteenth birthday. She was neither elated nor saddened. Tomorrow, her birthday, the date, the time, these were facts. One did not have to feel them. Cold, hard, irrefutable facts.
With age had come appreciation for the absolute, and disenchantment with the mysterious. She has, for some while, anticipated, almost as a goal, based on the progression of her maturity, that she would all but relinquish her childhood fantasies on her eighteenth birthday.
Which is tomorrow.
All day she's walked around in a daze. At school, she generated her work mindlessly. At home, she'd done the household chores mechanically. At night, she was left to herself.
Rather than face the troubles that persistently tugged on the hem of her consciousness, she escaped.
Under the bed, a plethora of books are hidden, a treasure trove, a guilty pleasure. Old books, smelling of memories; new books, smelling of the printing press and plastic. Hard books, paperbacks, classic literature, children's novels, fantasy, histories, poetry, biographies… they were all dusty gems, covered in cobwebs.
Head turned away, she had blindly groped for something. It wasn't until she laid down on her bed, that she saw the title.
Irony – The bringing together of two uncommon truths.
Truth one – She had been concerned, of late, with nothing but having to become a legal adult, with assuming the responsibility of a woman – in short, with growing up.
Truth two – The book she'd retrieved was Peter Pan.
In spite of this uncommon truth, she'd read the book – read into the night.
She'd lit a scented candle to read by the candlelight.
Reading by candlelight was ritual habit formed in innocence, designed to heighten the sense of adventure and romance accompanied with delving into the words, the stories, of another.
In her factual obsession stupor, she could not define the heaviness in the atmosphere. The dim yellow glow sagging downward, the deep, rhythmic intake of breath, the slippery hiss of page turning – nostalgia seeps in like a tasteless, odorless, fatalistic gas.
At present, the fire has dissipated, both physically and emotionally speaking.
Five minutes till midnight. Five measly minutes until she crosses the threshold of her childhood, into the vast unknown of adulthood.
And what does she do?
Outside, the clouds part to exposing an irregularly shaped patch of the heavens.
The stars are dreams, pure, fiery paragons, shining forth defiantly, clandestine and brilliant.
Tears pool in her eyes.
Her knuckles turn white from clenching her fists.
Silently she struggles to name the sudden devastating sense of loss that mushrooms within her.
The cry that pierced the night, during those small hours of cold perception, set alight the windows down the street. It aroused the sentients nearby with a keen intuition that, for a fleeting moment, something had burst, flaring into existence, into animation, into life.
They could not puzzle out what had woken both them and their espoused.
Their neighbors could not guess.
The early-risers, the women who strolled down the sidewalks were flabbergasted.
The men behind the fences scratched their heads.
But those nearest were not so dazzled. They had awoken too, but instead with a nauseating premonition. They had fumbled their way along the dark hallway. Hurriedly, they had stumbled into their daughter's room.
But it was too late.
The bed was empty. The window was open. The book lay open on the floor, the only sign of hurried exit.
They ran amuck, screaming out, crying out for their beloved in vain.
They did not notice the peculiarity of the clock on the wall of her room. It's hands had stopped, poised one minute before midnight.
They made the necessary calls. The mother curled up on the kitchen floor, her body trembling with sobs. The father, shaking, put the brim of a mug to his lips, but failed to drink.
A little head, bright-eyed and curious, poked out from behind the doorway, asking, cautiously, Mommy why are you crying?
The mother rushed over and gathered her son in her arms. Trying to calm herself, she explained that the sister had gone missing.
The mother held tight waiting for the reality to sink in.
Confusion replaced despair as the child sighed with relief.
I know, he told her. I heard.
The mother stiffened, and suppressed a whimper. The father froze.
What did you hear? she asked him, her voice hoarse and quiet.
I heard her say the words. The magic ones. He whispered back conspiratorially.
The mother could not think properly to respond.
What magic words? The father demanded, incredulous.
The boy smiled ruefully at them, with a strange look in his eyes that could only be described as knowing.
She said, he told them, that she believed.