Years passed, and on the night of my fifteenth birthday, I witnessed an event that would be forever called “The Thinning.”
It began when Pan called an assembly of the boys, and we crowded around a tree stump as he stood upon it and addressed us.
“Lost Boys! Tonight, we will have a grand party to celebrate the aging of Mark, Henry, Joe, and William! Now eighteen, they are too old to be Lost Boys and must move on to their next adventure, but not without a proper farewell! Do what you must, for the party begins at sundown!”
We cheered and scattered to prepare the things needed for the party. It took hours, but we managed to put together a bonfire, some roast pigs, and someone found a barrel of homemade ale that was promptly opened and sampled. It was time.
Pan returned as the sky darkened and congratulated us on a job well done. He then left us to party on our own, which we did with reckless abandon. Later that night, I saw him return to the party and single out the four older boys before leading them to the same stump he had used earlier. Pan then called for our attention.
“Lost Boys! Tonight, we celebrate and say goodbye to four of our most loyal brothers. Mark, Henry, Joe, and William have reached the ripe, old age of eighteen, and, since they are now adults, they are no longer considered a part of our family. Now, they move on to the next great adventure! So say your farewells, for they leave at dawn.”
There were some boos from the crowd at Pan’s parting words, but the boys eventually returned to the feast and said their goodbyes with mouthfuls of ale.
I wasn’t one of them. Something about Pan’s words bothered me, and I was determined to find out the truth about this “next great adventure.”
But Pan was crafty. He waited until the Lost Boys were too content to notice anything beyond their pillows before taking Mark, Henry, Joe, and William into the jungle.
I was the only one who followed him into the thick trees, and I was the only one who saw Peter Pan, defender of Lost Boys and protector of innocence, use his knife to slit each boy’s throat and drain the life from their bodies. He collected their blood in a jar before throwing their bodies into the crocodile pit, watching with glee as the beasts tore my brothers apart. He then began whistling as he picked up the jar and made his way back to camp, confident that his ritual remained unnoticed.
But I had seen it. My whole world came into focus then, and I finally understood what the small voice in my head had been whispering to me.
Peter Pan was nothing but a demon disguised as a child, and we were all in danger.
I didn’t dare tell the other boys for fear of starting a panic, but how could I proceed? Nowhere was safe from the eyes of Pan because he knew this island inside and out, so I decided to improvise. I had once found the hull of an old ship half-buried in the sand, and it had given me the best idea. I would use that hull to make a ship of my own.
It would be big enough to live on, but not so big that it would draw attention. I went to Grandmother Wolf and the other Natives, who showed me which trees to use for wood, and which sap to use for waterproofing, but it was slow going.
Pan had eyes everywhere, and I knew that he suspected something was up when I excused myself from our regular games. He played it off, but I could see the spark of distrust in his dark eyes. He would be watching me.
Somehow, I managed to complete my ship. It took three years to finish, but the result was so beautiful that I almost cried. But it wasn’t quite finished yet, so I went to the fairies for help. Grandmother had told me stories about the fairies and how to win their affections, so I snuck some cream from the breakfast table and took it to their section of the island.
Fairies are mysterious creatures, and they generally don’t like to be disturbed, so I set the bowl of cream in the middle of their village and voiced my request to the wind.
“Please, if you can help me, I need some pixie dust to get my ship to sail. I want to leave Neverland so I can learn how to defeat Pan. Please, if you can help me, I’ll be forever thankful.”
Bowing, I left the offering and my words to their consideration. I had no idea if they’d help me, but it was worth a shot. Confident in my decision, I went back home and began gathering my things in secret.
Soon enough, I’d leave Neverland behind me.
Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion! Part 3 will be out next Sunday!
Missed part 1? Check it out Here!