With Apologies to J.M. Barrie


With Apologies to J.M. Barrie


Daughter of Theon

If I should die before I wake…

I walked through the cold night air, a mere shadow slipping between the light of the streetlights, ignored by all who might have seen me. 

Did they see me? 

That’s the question that I’ve asked myself many times, for so long, and to be honest I have no answer. 

I’m not even sure that I’m here.

In a shop doorway I relaxed for a moment, watching the people pass by intent on their own business; their thoughts and desires only a partly open book to me.  A figure hesitated by the doorway a child, a girl, of no more than seven or eight years old.  Despite her youth her aura was strong and she was no newcomer to this world.  She hesitated, as she tasted my intentions, feeling my thoughts and desires as I bared myself for her scrutiny.  Satisfied she nodded to me and continued on her way, her bare feet causing only the slightest ripple as she walked across a puddle...though it may have just been the wind.  Tucked under her arm was her focus, her protector, a battered pink stuffed rabbit and though now old and tattered I could feel the power still in this talisman against the dark.  Her belief was still strong, not yet tainted by the cynicism only to be found with age...she would find her way home.

Girls are clever.

Most girls know that there are things in the world to be scared of and are not afraid of letting the world know they’re scared.  Most girls will believe things just that little bit longer than their far more rationally obsessed male counterparts. 

For a moment the world turned a little colder and darker, as if a shadow had passed across the long departed sun.  I came out of my refuge and looked down the road towards the child.  She still walked confidently, her pink pyjamas a blatant contradiction in the grey world of adults in which she walked.  Alongside her the rabbit now hopped, occasionally pausing to rise up on its rear legs to look around before, quickly and easily, catching up with the girl.  I considered following them, to make sure that they reached their destination unhindered and then, out the corner of my eye glimpsed the elusive light dancing through the raindrops as it followed her.

“I believe,” I whispered, perhaps causing the light to burn that little bit brighter, “I do, I do.”

I turned away allowing my feet to take me where they would.  I allowed my mind and my senses to explore the world around me.  Sensing the things that live in the dark places and daring them to challenge me, and challenge me they did.   Crawling out from under the beds, leaving their wardrobes emerging from cellars they came, somehow sensing me as I somehow sensed them.  I knew these though, these were the little terrors of the night and I had no real patience for them.

“Step on a crack...” I shouted back to them as I danced over the cracks in the pavement daring them to try and follow.  Of course they tried and of course they failed.  All such things being related, one fear giving birth to another, most soon fell through the clumsiness of their kin; before I bored of this distraction and left them far behind. 

I walked in places I’d walked a hundred times before.  I used streets and alleyways where every paint-covered wall was but another signpost.  She was out here.  Whatever form she took she was still the same perverse creature that I’d faced so many times.  The rules changed, the places changed, the forms changed, but the essence was the same.

“Mary, where are you?” I shouted into the night, yet the only answer was a dog barking, far away.

“Mary,” a young voice said as he tugged urgently on my arm.  “Who’s Mary?”

“Bloody Mary,” a slightly older voice answered, from another boy emerging from a nearby alley.  Like his younger companion he was barefoot and wearing nightclothes and as unaffected by the cool night air as I.

“Is it true she’s got no eyes?” the younger boy asked.

“She’s got no eyes but that don’t mean she can’t see you,” I told him.  “When she sees you she’ll open her eyes and cry...only it’s not tears she cries, it’s pus...because that’s what’s inside her.  Do you know what to do if you see her?”

The little boy shook his head.

“You run and you shout, you shout as loud as you can and he’ll come to help you.  If Mary’s around then he is too,” the older boy said pointing towards me.  The young boy looked up at me his fear and confusion clearly showing on his face.

“Is this your first time?” I asked gently and he just nodded in response.

“I’ll watch him,” the older boy said holding out his hand for him.

“You’ll tell him everything?” I asked.

“Everything...” he said.

“Good.  You know your way home?” I asked and the boy nodded.  “And believe what he tells you, as if your life depended on it.”

“Sticks and stones,” the older boy said.

“Sticks and stones,” I agreed.

I walked through the city, following the crowds of children looking for a place.  In the bright moonlit park they finally gathered and laughed and played.  They paid no attention to the adult figures distracted by whatever business must be conducted in the shadows and the adults paid no attention to them.  The children played and in the midst of these happy wanderers I walked and smiled and laughed.  A teddy bear stood tall watched protectively over a group of girls doing whatever it is that small girls do in groups.  As I approached he placed himself between the girls and me, his expression making it clear that whatever it was that the girls were doing I was not going to find out this day.  I skirted around him, keeping out of reach of his massive paws.

He growled and for a moment I thought it was me he dared challenge, but the feel of the park had changed.  There should have been others here watching them, but the bright ones left long ago, just leaving fragments of what they once were.  The bright moonlight was no longer comforting and even the adults seemed to have decided that the park was no longer a place to be.

“I believe,” whispered across the park from a thousand lips and for a second or two the park was what it once was, a place for children.  Then the malevolent presence more firmly established itself and a cloud passed across the moon.  All was not dark though, the distant streetlights offered some illumination, but in the trees and watching over individuals were the little ones.

I joined in the chant, “I believe, I do, I do,” and the little ones light seemed to pulse with the words.

“I’m here,” I shouted to the darker places.  “I’m here and I’m waiting for you.”

My answer was a child’s scream that shattered the rhythm of the chant.   Children began running and I too ran, though towards the darkness of the tree line.  She was in there; I could feel her and the fear of her victim.  As always, lurking in the shadows, she had bided her time and waited until one had come to her, unsuspecting, innocent and naive.  Never would she challenge me on my ground, it was always on hers.

“Mary I’m coming for you,” I shouted as I took the first steps into the darkness.

“I’m here.  I’m always here, waiting,” came her sweet almost melodic voice.  Her voice had a power and her whispers became truths in the heart of those who would listen.

“Waiting or hiding?” I shouted back as I walked forward.

“Why should I hide?” she asked in a far quieter voice.  “He’s gone you know.  One look at what he’d created disgusted him so much that he found something else to amuse himself with.  They’ve all gone now, him and all who served him.  Only those that were forgotten are left here now, those who weren’t worth remembering.  They’re like that though gods, fickle creatures who come and go at will...never there when they’re needed...much like you.”

“I need no one,” I said as I came into the clearing where she was hunched over the form of a child.  Her form was as yet an indistinct; a thing of the shadows.  One moment she was the beast with horns and a tail, then a rabid wolf and then stood the tall man with a hook for a hand.  She turned her attention to me and took the form of this place and this time. 

“You were needed and what were you doing?  Playing with the children...” she said as she rose to face me.  “He’s mine.”

“Nothing’s yours Mary,” I said as I drew my blade and stepped forward ready to meet her.  “Nothing is ever yours, not while I’m here.”

“So be it,” she said and leapt at me showing far more agility than her form would indicate, knocking me over.  Her teeth found my hand and my sword was gone.  Fingernails raked my face as she knelt astride me seeking my eyes...trying to make me as blind as she appeared.  I lay there trying to protect my eyes, trying to fight back, but this was not the way it should be.  She was far stronger than I ever would have imagined her to be and while one hand dealt easily with both of mine her other hand clasped my throat, the nails just breaking the surface of the skin.

“There is no great adventure for you boy,” she said bending down so low over me so that her putrid eyeless sockets were all that I could see. “When your kind die there is nothing.”

“I believe,” I mouthed back at her though not a sound was able to pass my lips.

“Believe what you wish,” she said her nails digging further into my flesh in preparation for the final act.  “The truth is but a moment away.”

Something hit Mary hard in the head, causing her to grunt and lose her grip on my hands.  I pulled away, my own fingers finding her face and digging deep into what had seemed like cavernous holes of her eye sockets.  She screamed pulling away from me and something else hit her, a rock.

“Sticks and stones will break her bones and dreams will never hurt me,” a childish voice chanted.  Another rock caught Mary and while she was diverted I was able to reach across and once more take hold of my fallen blade. 

Mary was fast and smart, she sprang off me and was already running for the darker places in the woods before I had chance to swing at her and by the time I was stood up ready to face her she was gone, encouraged on her way by hundreds of rocks and branches thrown by the boys who now stood with me.  For a while they stood congratulating each other, telling each other how brave they’d been and then they drifted off. 

The sky was lighter now and soon they’d all be gone.

I knelt down by the figure of the boy on the floor, he was crying.

“I can’t feel how to get back,” he said his eyes full of tears.  “I don’t know my way home.”

“You can’t be here when the day comes,” I said gently offering him my hand.

“Does this mean I’ll never grow up?” he asked as he stood and gingerly took my hand.

“No, this means you’ll never grow old.”

“Where do I go now,” he asked.

“Second star on the right…”


The End


Myths and dreams

I found this well written and loved the mix of the myths of childhood both the old of J.M. and the newer of Bloody Mary. It took me almost to the end to realize they were but dreams or the walkers in them. Very powerful stuff that tore a tear or two from me.

Very Interesting Story

Here, you have created Peter Pan, What about Tinkerbell?
May Your Light Forever Shine

Tinkerbelle and Peter

Well there had been problems between Peter and Tinkerbelle going back years. Peter just would not take his responsibilities in life seriously (and 'just grow up' as Tinkerbelle demanded) and this did nothing for Tink’s volatile temper. The Wendy incident is just about the most public of Peter’s infidelities but there had been rumours about him and Tiger Lily going back years.

Infidelities aside, it was the creative differences that finally split the team, thanks in no small part to Cybil Shepherd’s representation of Maddie Hayes in Moonlighting emphasising the point that the female in a Male-Female double act didn’t just have to be a self propelled supply of fairy dust, she could be a real character.

So when the old team split, Peter took to the drink and Tink did some modelling work for Boris Vallejo


This of course ruined her image as a family friendly fairy and come the Stephen Spielberg film Hook her own drinking and drug use was well known and the studios wouldn’t touch her with a barge pole.

These were the dark days for the team. The paedophilia charges against Peter were eventually dropped when it was proved that Wendy wasn’t in fact a 12 year old girl, but was a 47 year old Liverpudlian docker who just happened to have a minor disagreement with a wizard. The inability of ‘Wendy’ (or Malcolm as Ms Darling now calls herself) to remember where the shop where the wizard traded was and the lack of any financial records for a company trading under the name ‘Spells-R-Us’ just added to the controversy of the not guilty verdict. Unproven rumours still persist of the jury all having large amounts of money deposited in Neverland bank accounts and the later deception charges (and allegations of theft of one pot of gold) brought against Peter by one Shamus Murphy, professional Leprechaun, were dropped when Mr Murphy’s immigration status was brought into question. Tinkerbelle at this time was a regular feature in and out of rehab but it wasn’t until her very public break up with Michael Jackson that she started to put her life back in order which she herself said, when interviewed about Brittany Spears recent problems, ‘recovery was hard and has taken a long time and that was without the media spotlight on me’.

So are the dark days are a thing of the past? Possibly...Peter is believed to be in negotiations with John Hughes over the possibility of Home Alone 4 while Tink has been cast as a Harpy in the upcoming third film in the Philip Pullman ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy ‘The Subtle Knife’.

Is a reunion on the cards for the Dynamic Duo though, that is the question that all the papers are asking but neither Peter nor Tinkerbelle are telling...but if The Spice Girls can do it who knows...

My God, Daughter of Theron, that was better than the story!

Don't get me wrong, the story was great; atmospheric and menacing and phantasmogorical, raising all kinds of tantilizing questions about the nature of reality, or at least of this here reality you created, and the inhabitants thereof. But your comment/capsule-biography would have made a HELL of a story too- combining so many mythologies---even tossing in SRU, which I have a real fondness for (when it's done right), and have dabbled in myself---as well as evoking bad t.v. entertainment news (which is neither) and tabloid whatnot in a farcical manner; silly like I likes 'em........ Funny, I did make the neverland/Neverland connection while reading WITH APOLOGIES and kept waiting for Michael Jackson (whose age dysphoria + its manifestations may actually be innocent of sexual motives, but he's not too bright about it in any case, & is fun to make fun of...) to show up as an even scarier nemesis than Bloody Mary, who I always thought was a tough old Polynesian yenta trying to hook American sailor boys up with island beauties, but what do I know?
~~~hugs, LAIKA

Bloody Mary

I claim no credit for the Bloody Mary mythology. I read this article online a few years back,


The feel of the story came from that article, from lack of sleep on my part and a major overdose of Ultravox's Vienna. As for the history of 'Peter and Tink' since they were last seen on the big screen that was just running with an idea for a few minutes...now if I ever get around to writing Winnie and Chris (What really happened at The House on Pooh Corner.) now that might be worth a read.

Glad you liked the story :)

Many Thanks,


Straight on Till Mourning


- Joyce

No apologies needed.

This was a skillfully written tale. It moved me and that is not the easiest thing to do. It took awhile dor me totry to identify the different characters as it has been many decades since any of them have been brought to mind.
I know I will enjoy other creations from you. Thanks for sharing.

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