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Petra Pan


GENDERBENT FAIRYTALES COLLECTION


Book 2


By KuroKoneko Kamen





Copyright 2018 by KuroKoneko Kamen


Cover Design by Leah Keeler


Smashwords Edition, License notes


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or give away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This is a work of fiction. All characters are invented. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.





Chapter 1:


En garde…ready…fight!” the judge called out to the two fencers that were standing in the field of play in the middle of a large hall.

Eirwen Darling’s opponent - Thomas Paisley - moved forward and lunged his foil at Eirwen. Eirwen deftly parried the attack, and was about to riposte when loud, overzealous female cheering coming from the stands distracted him.

“Darling! Darling! Darling! My Darling! My darling!” the girls all chanted in lovesick voices.

The tips of Eirwen’s ears turned red out of embarrassment and he groaned. “Ugh. What do they think they’re doing? This isn’t a basketball game!”

His fan girls were there again. He glanced at them out of the corner of his eyes and immediately wished he hadn’t. His flush started to spread to his cheeks. The girls were holding up flashy, homemade banners and posters, which read embarrassing things like: ‘Do your best, my Darling!’ and ‘I (heart) Eirwen Darling’.

Eirwen hated that his last name was ‘Darling’. When the girls called out to him it sounded like they were using a silly pet name. And with the way they were looking at him lustily he had the feeling he was right on the money.

The reason that Eirwen Darling had fan girls in the first place was because his great grandfather Eirwen Darling was famous for being the inspiration behind the popular children’s book: Petra Pan.

Eirwen Darling also bore an uncanny resemblance to his great grandfather when he’d been Eirwen’s age. So when people pictured the boy who’d been spirited away to Neverland by Petra Pan for a series of grand adventures - they usually pictured the boy with Eirwen’s face. Eirwen’s great grandfather was dead now, but people never seemed to forget the connection.

Eirwen’s current opponent and close friend, Thomas, was a good sport, and waited patiently for the cheers to die down before he’d make his next move. “As always, you’re popular with the ladies, Eirwen. I’m jealous.” Like himself, Thomas was dressed in an all-white fencing uniform with a chest protector made of plastic and a lamé - a layer of electrically conductive material worn over the fencing jacket in foil that was used for detecting hits. A mesh metal mask was covering his face protectively, so Eirwen was unable to see what was undoubtedly Thomas’s amused expression.

“Do shut up,” Eirwen groused irritably, before lunging his foil forward.

Tom parried the blow and retaliated with an attack of his own. Eirwen gracefully parried. This was the London Open - a fencing competition for national and international fencers. Eirwen had made it to the final, and this last match would determine the gold medal winner and champion of the competition. He wanted to make the club he belonged to - the Academy Cadets Club - proud. The current score was 14 to 12. Eirwen just needed to win one more point and he’d have this victory in the bag.

Eirwen’s muscles were beginning to ache and a pounding headache was beginning to form behind his eyes. His vision was blurring slightly. He blinked rapidly to clear his vision and looked up towards the stands. What the…?

There perched at the very top of the stands was the oddest girl Eirwen had ever seen. Her wild, long, golden blonde hair with scattered braids was adorned with spring flowers and ivy vines. She was dressed in a green tube dress that was decorated with ivy, and a pair of green ankle boots made out of soft leather. Her grass-green eyes were sparkling mischievously and an impish smile quirked her pink, pouty lips.

She looked very ‘fairy-like’ or ‘pixie-like’, but she had no wings and was the size of a normal human girl around his age. (Eirwen had just turned eighteen).

Maybe it was just how the sunlight coming in from the windows framed her body with a golden aura that made her look so…otherworldly.

Fairy cosplay? Eirwen wondered in bemusement, arching an eyebrow at her. When he blinked again the girl just disappeared from his sight. What the?

Thanks to Eirwen’s well-honed battle reflexes he just barely managed to dodge a lunge from Tom - the fencing blade passing his face. Bloody hell.

Eirwen needed to concentrate on his match. He took a deep breath to steel his nerves, got into a stance, and charged forward. He managed to slip past Tom’s defenses and touched the tip of his fencing sword to Tom’s chest.

He’d just scored the winning point, making the final score - 15 to 12!

“Bout! Winner - Eirwen Darling!” the judge announced, waving his hand in Eirwen’s direction.

Deafening cheers rose up from the stands and Eirwen had to resist the urge to plug up his ears with his index fingers. “Darling! Darling! Darling!”

Eirwen removed his helmet while Tom did the same. There was a lopsided smirk on Eirwen’s face. He’d won the match. His final match.

Eirwen ran a hand back through his sweaty, short, dark brown hair to get a few troublesome strands out of his face that had been irritating him.

Tom was grinning at Eirwen cheerily even though he’d lost. “Brilliant match.” He stuck his hand out for Eirwen to take.

Eirwen took Tom’s hand and shook his firmly. “Hell yeah.”

Tom’s happy expression turned serious. “Are the rumors true? You’re quitting fencing?”

Eirwen shrugged carelessly. “I’m afraid so.”

Tom’s eyes narrowed. “Why?”

Another shrug. “Fencing…just doesn’t interest me anymore,” Eirwen lied.

“Bollocks!” Tom swore in a frustrated manner. “I know you’ll be back eventually, and when you return - I’ll be waiting for our next rematch. But next time it will be at the Olympics.”

“Sure,” Eirwen half-heartedly agreed before his attention was drawn to the stands where he spotted his two younger sisters - Joan and Michelle - waving and screaming his name. His smirk widened into a broad grin. His sisters were utterly adorable, and the apples of his eyes.

Joan was eight-years-old, and had the same boring dark brown hair he did. She’d pulled her hair back into a serious ponytail, and had a pair of thick-framed glasses on her face. Michelle, on the other hand, didn’t look related to them. She had blonde hair, which she wore in two pigtails, bright blue eyes, a round cherubic face, and a smattering of freckles along the bridge of her nose. Michelle was holding a stuffed pink unicorn.

Eirwen met their gazes and held up his sword in a triumphant pose. He then headed for the stands with purposeful steps, and watched as his sisters descended the stands. Once they’d reached the bottom of the stands Joan and Michelle started towards Eirwen.

Out of the corner of Eirwen’s eye, he noticed that a man in a hoodie was approaching his sisters. He didn’t really think anything of it until the man suddenly grabbed Michelle, who let out a surprised squeak.

The man kept one arm wrapped around Michelle’s waist while he turned to face Eirwen and used his right hand to lower his hood to reveal-

It was Jim Graveson - an ex-fencer. Eirwen had competed against him during past fencing competitions. Eirwen recalled that Jim used to be a part of his school’s fencing club, but he’d been expelled from his school for getting into fights outside of club activities, and had been forced to quit the fencing club too.

If he hadn’t been expelled, Jim would have participated in the London Open and probably would have ended up in the finals against Eirwen since he was a better fencer than Tom. It was no secret that Jim had liked to consider himself Eirwen’s rival.

Jim was tall and had a lanky physique. His skin was overly pale and he had short curly black hair. He was wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt, a pair of faded jeans and some muddy sneakers. Eirwen’s fan girls probably would have considered Jim to be attractive if it wasn’t for the glazed, slightly psychotic look in his eyes.

Eirwen gave the young man a confused look. “Jim.”

“Eirwen,” Jim drawled with a dark edge.

“Why are you doing this, Jim?” Eirwen demanded, trying to keep the panic out of his voice. “Let Michelle go.”

“Why don’t you make me, Champion,” Jim sneered, his lip curling in disdain.

“W-What?” Eirwen stammered in surprise.

“You heard me,” Jim drawled, a glint in his gray eyes. “Make me. Fight me with that sword you’re still holding in your hand. I should have been the one to fight you today - not Tom. I would have beaten you and become champion. I’m the real champion of this competition!”

Eirwen looked down at his fencing sword, and shook his head in a helpless fashion. “No way, mate.”

Jim reached behind him and pulled out a rapier - a real one with a long, thin, sharp steel blade. Jim put the edge of the blade against Michelle’s throat. “I said…fight me. Or else little Michelle gets it.”

Eirwen’s amber eyes flashed with anger, and he raised his sword threateningly even though he knew a foil couldn’t really do much damage. “Let her go, Jim.”

“That’s more like it!” Jim crowed happily.

When Eirwen saw a thin cut form on his sister’s neck he flew into action, lunging his sword forward. Jim moved his sword away from Michelle’s throat to parry the attack, and their blades clashed.

Michelle took that opportunity to bite Jim’s forearm as hard as she could. Jim cried out in pain. “Ah! Why, you insolent little brat!” He let go of Michelle, who fell to the floor on her backside with an ‘oomph!’.

Joan quickly scooped her younger sister up into her arms and ran for it.

“Get back here, you little brats! You’ll pay for that!” Jim turned and started off towards the fleeing girls.

But Eirwen smoothly stepped into his path, blocking his way, and with his fencing sword raised. “I thought you wanted to fight me, Jim.”

A twisted smile spread across Jim’s face. “Quite right.” The two young men both got into fencing stances, and sized each other up for a moment. “Let’s find out which one of us deserves the title of champion! Shall we?” Jim egged, before letting out a shout and attacking Eirwen.

Eirwen easily blocked the reckless attack with his fencing sword. Jim attacked swiftly again and again, but Eirwen continued to deftly block all of Jim’s attacks.

Jim was beginning to get pissed and frustrated. Letting out a roar, he swung his rapier in a fierce sideways slash. Eirwen raised his sword to block the attack. Their swords clashed and Jim’s rapier cut through Eirwen’s fencing sword.

Eirwen leapt backwards instinctively, narrowly avoiding the tip of Jim’s sword from grazing against his chest. No point had been earned yet though. But then Eirwen realized with a sinking feeling in his chest that he should have just let Jim’s sword graze him and lose this impromptu match. Bloody hell. Why am I even playing along with this lunatic? Who the hell cares who wins or loses at this point?

Now Eirwen only had the pathetic stump of a fencing sword left to defend himself with while Jim had a real sword that was deadly sharp and dangerous. There was this sinister leer on Jim’s face as he pointed the sword at Eirwen.

Eirwen didn’t fear death.

In fact, he would welcome it, but…

“Jim, stop this now. You’re already going to be in so much trouble for this.” Eirwen gave the young man a beseeching look. “Do you really want to throw your life away for this? For one silly match? It’s not worth it. I’m not worth it. As far as I’m concerned you’ve already won this match!”

No. I haven’t won the match yet,” Jim argued passionately. “Not until I make you bleed!”

Shit. Eirwen realized he had no choice but to fight Jim seriously. When Jim charged forward Eirwen rushed to meet him. Jim’s sword sliced into the side of Eirwen’s cheek.

Getting past Jim’s defenses, Eirwen used the stump of his sword to disarm Jim. Jim’s rapier went flying up into the air. Eirwen spun and caught the sword by the hilt, and pointed the tip of the rapier to Jim’s throat. “Yield, Jim.”

With a psychotic glint in his gray eyes, Jim chuckled darkly. “I think not.” Jim reached into his hoodie and pulled out a handgun. People immediately screamed at the sight of it and began to run for the exits in the hall.

Eirwen looked down at the gun and let out a heavy sigh. “You have got to be kidding me. Bad form, mate.”

“Eirwen!” his sisters cried out simultaneously in their worry.

Jim’s attention turned towards them and he pointed the gun at Eirwen’s sisters.

Eirwen’s eyes flared in alarm. No! Eirwen dove in front of Jim and reached out to grab the gun. A single shot rang out through the air. Eirwen looked down and noticed the bright red spot spreading on his shoulder, blooming like a red flower on his white fencing uniform. Heh, I’ve been shot.

Eiwen wondered dazedly why it didn’t hurt. He smiled lopsidedly as he began to lose consciousness. Hopefully this has killed me. That’d be great.

Out of the corner of his eye, Eirwen caught sight of a flash of gold and green.

A green mist enveloped the handgun and it was wrenched out of Jim’s hand and sent flying, skidding across the gymnasium floor.

Jim loosed a cry of alarm and he too went flying, but Eirwen hadn’t touched him. Huh…? What’s going on?

“Eirwen! Eirwen!” His sisters were shouting his name, but they sounded so far away. This was the last thing Eirwen remembered before he lost consciousness.

***

With a flick of her graceful fingers Petra Pan had sent the punk’s gun flying out of his hand and skidding across the hall floor. “What a coward, bringing a gun to a swordfight.” Petra stuck her tongue out at him in an immature fashion.

With another wave of her hand Jim was sent flying across the hall. The back of Jim’s head hit the wall hard and he was knocked unconscious.

Petra’s grass-green eyes focused on Eirwen Darling again. She watched as he fell unconscious and his little sisters ran to his side. She grinned widely.

Eirwen had selflessly risked his own life to save the lives of his sisters. He was a hero. A guardian. A true knight. “Eirwen Darling…he’s perfect. I have found my knight, Tink!”

Petra’s male fairy companion - Tinker - shot Petra a look of sheer disbelief. “Him? But he lost.”

“If Eirwen had been wielding a real sword he would have easily won,” Petra argued flippantly. “Neverland needs a knight to slay the evil creature that threatens its existence. And Eirwen is just like the dragon slayer, St. George - the perfect heroic knight.”

Tink smacked a hand to his forehead and groaned. He now regretted having read the tale of St. George and the Dragon to Petra. He’d been the one to put odd ideas into her head - this time.

There was a strange, hungry gleam in Petra’s eyes as she looked down at Eirwen’s unconscious form. She licked her lips unconsciously. “He’s also quite…handsome. Isn’t he, Tink?”

Tink gawked at Petra in horror. “What!”

“Oh, don’t be jealous, Tink. You’re handsome too,” Petra quickly assured, glancing at the fairy on her shoulder. And the tiny male fairy was handsome. Tink had short orange hair, and sparkling teal blue eyes. He was dressed in a tunic made of green skeleton leaves, brown leather pants, and green boots. A tiny sword the size of a needle was strapped to his side. All in all, he had a rather dashing appearance.

But…she’d never felt this way about Tinker. Petra couldn’t quite explain what she was feeling in that moment. She’d never felt like this before.

As Petra had watched Eirwen face off against Jim without his helmet, Petra’s heart had started to pound loudly inside of her chest as her gaze lingered on his handsome face. Butterflies had started to dance in her stomach, and tingles went up and down her arms. She was feeling strangely hot, restless and achy somehow.

She nibbled on her lower lip contemplatively and realized that she wanted to touch Eirwen. Get close to him. And then…do what? She didn’t know.

Oh, what is this strange, restless feeling welling up inside of me? Petra wondered dreamily. Was it an adult feeling? Petra’s eyes widened as she came to a sudden realization.

Love.

Could this be…love? That feeling that adults felt for each other in the romance books Petra had sneakily read in secret. If Tinker had known the kinds of books she’d been reading he would have given her that disapproving look of his. He could be so overprotective sometimes it drove Petra mad.

Of course, Petra had also read about a different kind of love in fairytales. True love. Those tales were about brave princes rescuing kind-hearted princesses in distress. The destined couple wouldn’t kiss until the very end of the story, and only after evil had been vanquished. Then the happy couple would live happily ever after. Also, according to those tales the power of true love’s kiss was an incredible force that could combat dark curses and the forces of evil.

True love.

Love at first sight.

“You know what, Tink? I think…I’ve fallen in love with him at first sight,” Petra announced before letting out a wistful sigh of longing. She had her chin propped on her hand and a dreamy expression on her face.

The blood drained out of Tinker’s face, and he fell off Petra’s shoulder out of shock. He quickly flapped his wings though, and flew back up to perch on Petra’s shoulder again. “Love!” he screamed into her ear. “You can’t be serious. You shouldn’t even be capable of such feelings. And besides, you don’t even know him.”

Petra’s brow furrowed and a tiny frown formed on her face. It was odd for her to frown. She’d never frowned before. “Um, that’s why it’s called ‘love at first sight’. Duh,” Petra explained knowledgeably.

“You don’t even know what love is,” Tinker scoffed, but his voice was tinged with doubt. “You’re nothing but a child!” He decided to remind her instead.

Petra snorted. “I was a child. But not anymore…not since the Neverland Clock was stolen and started ticking.” Petra’s voice was laced with regret. Ever since she’d started to grow up things seemed so much more complicated. She longed for the days when she’d always been happy and without a care in the world. Her days had been filled with silly games and exciting adventures that she’d shared with Tinker and her Lost Girls.

“Only on the outside,” Tinker said stubbornly. “You’re still a child on the inside.”

“A child that’s been a child for a few hundred years,” Petra reminded.

“You’ve never felt adult emotions before,” Tinker said while giving Petra a stern stare. “You don’t know them. It’s dangerous for you to think that what you feel for this mortal is love.”

Petra raised a questioning eyebrow at Tinker. “Why would it be dangerous?”

Tinker flushed as dirty thoughts filled his head. He really didn’t want to have to explain sex to Petra and its consequences. “J-Just stay away from him!”

Petra shook her head. “No can do. I want to get closer to him. He’s the one, Tink. The one we’ve been looking for. With his help…we’ll save Neverland. I’m taking him back with me. He’s mine.”

“You know the rules.” A grim scowl formed on Tinker’s face, and he folded his arms in front of his chest. “You can only bring those ‘out of time’ to Neverland.”

A somber cloud fell over Petra’s countenance. “Why do you think I chose to watch him in the first place, Tink? Eirwen Darling’s time…has run out.”

Tinker grew visibly startled, and looked back down at Eirwen, who was currently being put on a stretcher by an EMS team. That would explain the young man’s recklessness. “I still don’t like him,” the fairy huffed with obvious irritation.

“Well, I do. A lot!” Petra giggled mischievously, turned herself invisible with a waggle of her fingers, and flew after them. “Come on, Tink! We have to follow them! He’s mine!”

“Impetuous girl.” Tinker shook his head, turned himself invisible, and followed after Petra.

***

Eirwen Darling awoke five hours later with a pained groan slipping past his chapped lips. “Ugh.” He blinked his eyes open, stared up at an unfamiliar ceiling, and immediately frowned. Where the hell was he?

When he tried to sit up there was a sharp, stabbing pain in his left shoulder. “Ouch.” He glanced down at his torso and saw that it had been bandaged. Also, someone had apparently dressed him in his pajamas. Ah, that’s right, Jim had shot him. They must have already removed the bullet from his shoulder, or the bullet had passed right through the flesh of his shoulder.

Then Eirwen noticed his sisters - Joan and Michelle - in bed with him. Both girls were sound asleep, and snuggled up against his sides. His haggard expression softened at the sight of them. His lips dipped into a frown, however, as he thought about how they must have been worried about him. The last thing he wanted was to cause his sisters worry.

It’s a shame…I didn’t die. Shit. That would have been the perfect opportunity to die and get to die like a hero no less. He let out a disappointed sigh.

Eirwen Darling’s time had run out. He’d been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. At this point the brain cancer had spread and the cells kept multiplying. It was already too late for chemotherapy to make much of a difference and surgery wasn’t an option due to where the cancerous tumor inside of his brain was located. The last time he was at the hospital his doctor had told him he had a month left to live at the most.

Three years ago, Eirwen’s parents had died in a car crash, and he’d been raising his sisters ever since. They were living off of a combination of their parents’ savings and the money they got from their parents’ life insurance policy. Still, it wasn’t a lot of money and Eirwen decided he didn’t want to tap into the money that could be used for his sisters’ education by wasting it on chemotherapy that wouldn’t buy him that much more time anyways.

All Eirwen wanted was to enjoy his last month on Earth by spending time with his sisters as much as possible. And then maybe he’d come up with a creative way to kill himself so his sisters wouldn’t feel guilty that he hadn’t wanted to spend money on chemotherapy and break into their college fund.

Maybe he’d jump off a bridge. Or jump out in front of a truck.

He’d taken a bullet for them, but hadn’t died. What rotten luck.

Life wasn’t done buggering with him yet apparently.

As carefully as possible so that he wouldn’t disturb his sleeping sisters, Eirwen slipped out of the bed and made his way to the bathroom. After taking care of business, he washed his hands, and then splashed cold water on his face. His muscles ached. He felt exhausted and drained, and his head was pounding. He looked up at his haggard expression in the bathroom mirror.

Florescent lighting was never very flattering to begin with, but Eirwen had to admit to himself that he looked like shit. He had dark shadows beneath his tired brown eyes, his complexion had turned incredibly wan, and his cheeks looked hollow.

A drop of blood dripped down from his nose. Shit.

Eirwen grabbed a paper towel and held it up to his nose. He applied pressure to the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger to help staunch the blood flow. He couldn’t return to his sisters until his nose had stopped bleeding. He didn’t want to worry them.

Eirwen had accepted and come to terms with the fact that his time had run out.

Time was a bitch.

No one could escape Time. Except for maybe…Petra Pan.

A rueful smile tugged at his lips at the thought of the twelve-year-old girl who never grew up, and that lived in a magical place called Neverland where she battled her archenemy, Captain Jasmine Hook.

Eirwen’s great grandfather Eirwen Darling had still been alive when he’d been twelve and had told him stories about how he’d been taken to Neverland one night. He’d always had a twinkle in his eye as he’d recalled Petra Pan and her loyal male fairy companion Tinker, who was so obviously in love with his charge. Petra had invited Eirwen to be the ‘father’ of the Lost Girls who’d been in dire need of parental guidance. For a time, Eirwen had lived in Neverland, but he’d eventually missed his family and decided to return home to London, England.

If I could go to Neverland…I wonder if I wouldn’t die. Or maybe when I die I wonder if then I’ll get to go to Neverland. Eirwen ran a hand down his face as he sighed. I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this. I don’t believe in fairytales…or dreams or magic.

Abruptly, Eirwen recalled the vision he’d had of that strange girl - the one in fairy cosplay. She’d been pretty hot. Maybe if he wasn’t going to die in a month he could have invited her out for a coffee or ice cream or something. C’est la vie.

But even if he could go to Neverland, he’d never go without Joan and Michelle. He’d never abandon his precious sisters. Their protection was his responsibility and he would protect them until his last dying breath.

Finally, Eirwen’s nose stopped bleeding and he exited the bathroom. He returned to the bed with his sisters curled up against his sides. His eyelids felt heavy and drooped until he fell into a very deep sleep.

***

Eirwen was having a nice dream. He could feel a cool, sea breeze blowing against his face. It felt refreshing. He could smell the salt in the air and could hear the sound of seagulls squawking as they probably soared overhead and eyed the sea below for fish. He groaned and stretched his stiff arms over his head.

Eirwen was reluctant to open his eyes since he didn’t want this nice dream to end. Finally, he opened his eyes and looked up at…the sky? What the? Instead of a plain white ceiling with peeling paint and water stains a blue sky was overhead complete with fluffy, white clouds that were drifting lazily past.

Eirwen sat up quickly and groaned at the pain in his shoulder. He tried not to panic as his head spun. But, apparently his bed was flying! He looked down at Joan and Michelle who were both still fast sleep and let out a sigh of relief. He didn’t want to worry them just yet. After all, he was probably hallucinating or something.

“Wow,” Eirwen muttered darkly to himself, “just what kinds of pain meds did they put me on?”

Something caught Eirwen’s eye and he noticed that there was a rope tied to the footboard. Eirwen’s gaze traveled along the length of rope until he spotted-

What the fuck? He rubbed viciously at his eyes. Was that...a girl? And she was flying. Just like Petra Pan might have been. The girl appeared to be tugging the floating bed along with her as she flew off somewhere.

“Yep, I must be dreaming.” A laugh started to bubble up his throat. Eirwen saw something flying close to Petra and shielded his eyes with his hand against the blinding sun to see it more clearly. It…looked like a tiny fairy man. His wings reminded Eirwen of a dragonfly’s wings. They were opalescent, translucent, and glowed with a golden light. As the fairy flew forward he left a trail of glittering, gold dust behind him. Pixie dust?

The sound of Eirwen laughing slightly hysterically drew Petra’s attention and she glanced over her shoulder at him. Her green eyes widened, and a bright smile formed on her face. “Oh! You’re awake, Eirwen Darling.” Petra dropped the rope and flew over to hover directly in front of Eirwen. “How are you feeling?”

Eirwen offered her a crooked smile. “Hello, Miss Hallucination. I’m going crazy. But other than that…I’m great. Thanks for asking,” he replied dryly.

Petra tilted her head at Eirwen and her brow furrowed slightly in confusion. “Miss Hallucination? That’s not my name. My name is Petra. Petra Pan!”

Eirwen laughed despairingly. “Yeah, and I’m the Easter Bunny!”

A small frown formed on Petra’s face. “You don’t believe me?”

“Well, first of all, you’re just a figment of my overactive imagination. Secondly…” Eirwen glanced down at Petra’s ample cleavage. Petra had rather large, luscious breasts. “Petra Pan is supposed to be the girl who never grew up. She’s supposed to be twelve-years-old. And you…well, according to those breasts are at least as old as I am. Maybe older. You’re an adult.”

“My breasts?” Petra looked down at her chest quizzically. A thoughtful expression settled over her face as if she hadn’t even noticed her breasts until Eirwen had pointed them out to her. Petra cupped her breasts with her hands and squeezed them. “What’s wrong with my breasts?”

Eirwen flushed at her childish yet lewd actions. “N-Nothing is wrong with them. They’re just…you know, huge.”

“And that’s a bad thing?” Petra looked up to meet Eirwen’s gaze, her frown deepening.

“No - yes - I mean, it just means you’re an adult,” Eirwen coughed awkwardly into his hand. “Ahem. You know…?”

Petra blinked. “Having big breasts makes me an adult?”

“I’m starting to doubt that now actually.” Eirwen scratched his head. What the hell was up with this strange girl? This was a very odd, messed up dream.

Petra accidentally pinched one of her nipples and gasped. Startled at her body’s reaction to her own touch, her eyes widened. “What was that?” Her voice was tinged with awe.

Eirwen’s mouth gaped open as he stared at this innocent yet lewd girl. He was at a total loss on how he should actually respond to that question. “Uh…”

“Petra!” Tinker zoomed over to Petra and wagged his index finger at her in a chiding manner. “Stop that at once!” He flew over to Eirwen and glared into his face heatedly. “And you - stop putting strange perverted ideas into Petra’s impressionable head!” The fairy then bit Eirwen right on the tip of his nose.

“Ow! Hey!” Eirwen rubbed at his sore nose and shooed the fairy off with his hand. “Okay, now there’s a little fairy man talking to me and he sounds pissed. Maybe I should apologize or something. Even if this is just a dream there’s really no reason for me to be impolite. Uh, sorry, mate?”

Tinker let out an exasperated huff. “This is not a hallucination, you fool.” The fairy looked down his nose at Eirwen in a condescending manner. “And you’re not dreaming. This is real. She is really Petra Pan, and I am Tinker.”

Eirwen gave the fairy man a suspicious and doubtful look. “Uh, no, you’re in my dream. That’s why Petra has such huge-”

“Enough!” Tinker snapped, predicting where Eirwen was going with that thought, and bit Eirwen’s nose again for good measure.

“Ow! Quit it!” Eirwen waved the fairy away again. “Will you stop doing that?”

“I…grew up,” Petra began to explain, wanting to soothe Eirwen’s obvious unease. “The Neverland Clock was stolen, and it started to tick again.”

“Neverland Clock?” Eirwen could feel a headache coming on.

Petra nodded. “That’s why I’ve brought you here to Neverland, Eirwen Darling. Neverland needs your help. The help of a brave knight.”

“A knight?” Eirwen shook his head. “I’m no knight. I’m just-”

“There! Look! You see, it’s Neverland! We’ve arrived!” Petra waved a hand at the expanse before her.

Neverland? Eirwen followed her line of sight and then spotted-

“Bloody hell.”

An island had appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of the ocean. And it was beautiful. The green, verdant island was mountainous and there was a dormant volcano located at its very center. Eirwen recalled his great grandfather’s stories and thought he could recognize what must have been Merman Lagoon with its cascading waterfall, and the Indian encampment with its tall, carved animal totem poles, and conical-shaped teepees.

An unbidden smile had started to form on Eirwen’s face as he admired the island, but then he caught sight of something rather unsettling towards the far end of the island. His lips thinned into a stern line. If Eirwen didn’t know any better the far end of the island looked like it was…disintegrating.

At that moment, a gigantic forty-foot-long worm rose up from a hole before it crashed back down into the earth creating another hole. Dust was sent up into the air and it disappeared before it hit the clouds overhead. The worm wasn’t alone either; there were more of them. “What the hell are those things?” Eirwen shuddered and rubbed his arms.

“Time worms,” Petra explained bleakly. “Time is devouring Neverland.”

Eirwen looked away from the depressing sight, and that’s when his eyes landed on what appeared to be a pirate ship. “Wait, is that…? That’s can’t be Captain Jasmine Hook’s ship, the Jolly Roger? Can it?” A deafening boom filled the air as if in answer to Eirwen’s question. “Is that…a cannonball? Holy shit, it’s coming straight for us!”

Tinker bite Eirwen’s ear. “No swearing in front of Petra!”

“Ow!” Eirwen grabbed his bleeding ear and glared at the pesky fairy.

Petra zoomed around to the front of the bed, grabbed the rope, and quickly pulled the bed out of the way. And just in time. The cannonball went through a cloud instead - leaving a round hole behind.

“What the hell?” Eirwen demanded, his heart beating a mile a minute. “Is that Captain Hook down there? This dream keeps getting crazier and crazier! And why haven’t Joan and Michelle woken up from all that noise?” He glanced down at his sisters in concern.

“I put your sisters under a sleep spell,” Tinker informed Eirwen in a nonchalant tone. “They won’t wake up until I choose to wake them up.”

“Well, that’s…” Eirwen frowned at the fairy suspiciously. “Slightly creepy. But, thanks. I think.”

There was an excited gleam in Petra’s green eyes, and she whipped out a dagger with a wickedly sharp blade. “That’s Captain Hook’s ship alright! She’s spotted us! Tink, you take Eirwen and his sisters to the Lost Girls’ Forest. I’ll keep Hook busy!”

“Understood, Petra,” Tinker grumbled. He wasn’t too happy about being left to baby-sit Petra’s knight and his sisters.

Eirwen looked conflicted by this sudden turn of events. “You’ll…what?” He grew more alarmed when he saw the dagger in Petra’s hand. “You can’t just-” Eirwen was cut off when Petra flew over to hover directly in front of him and nuzzled her nose against his affectionately. Tinker turned red out of jealousy.

Petra smiled widely at Eirwen and winked. “Don’t you worry about me. I can handle that catfish!” Petra returned her attention to Tinker. “Keep my knight safe, Tink.”

“I will…not,” Tinker muttered the last word to himself darkly.

“Hey, wait a second-” Eirwen objected as Petra flew off, heading towards the pirate ship.

Tinker grabbed the rope that was tied to the footboard, and began to head in the direction of the Lost Girls’ Forest.

“Hey, wait, ahhh!” Eirwen was forced to hold onto the headboard for dear life as the bed shot off, flying towards the island. Towards Neverland.

***

“Hey, Hook, over here!” Petra egged as she slapped her behind with her hand. “Blast me if you can!”

Another cannonball was sent zooming Petra’s way from the cannon that was sitting on the main deck of Hook’s ship and currently being manned by Mrs. Bree.

Petra giggled madly as she easily dodged the attack and the cannonball went soaring through another fluffy white cloud harmlessly. She decided to get closer, and entertain Hook while Tinker took her knight to safety. Dodging cannonballs gracefully, Petra flew down and headed straight for Captain Jasmine Hook’s ship.

She noticed that Jasmine had given her ship another new paint job. This time the ship’s hull had been painted with red and pink stripes. The sails on the ship’s three impressive masts had been made out of a pink and red checkered material. The latticed windowpanes of the captain’s cabin that could be seen at the stern of the ship had been painted pink instead of their usual gold. The current flag that was flying was hot pink with the image of a white skull and crossbones on it. Petra squinted her eyes at the flag and thought she could see red lace decorating the flag’s edges. Mrs. Bree was probably responsible for that extra feminine touch.

Petra swooped down low and made a loop around the crow’s nest, taunting the tattooed pirate girl inside of it and that fired a pistol shot at her. Then she spotted Captain Hook just below her.

“Petra Pan!” Hook shouted up at Petra, waving her golden, jewel-encrusted hook angrily in Petra’s direction. “Get down from there so that I can gut you!”

Captain Jasmine Hook was beautiful despite her awful temperament. Her long, raven-black hair cascaded down around her shoulders in chaotic, glossy waves. She was wearing a dark green, gold, and black Victorian-style coat, tight black leather pants and boots with large cuffs. The green of her jacket brought out the dark green color of Hook’s eyes. Hook was tanner than Petra due to being out in the sun more often, and from giving orders while swaggering along the main deck. A cutlass was stuck into the gold sash belt that was tied around her waist.

“Hello, Jass,” Petra greeted casually, flying closer to Captain Hook. “Is that a new hat?” The hat sitting on Hook’s head was larger than the one Petra remembered, wide-brimmed, green, and with a giant black feather.

A muscle beneath Hook’s eye ticked in irritation. “Don’t call me that! You have no right to call me by my first name! I am known as Captain Hook now! And it’s all thanks to you!” she snarled and waved her hook at Petra threateningly.

Petra stared at Jasmine’s left hand, which was a sharp, deadly, solid-gold hook. A flash of guilt crossed her usually carefree expression. “I’m sorry. You know I never meant to-”

“Lies!” Hook cut Petra off as she unsheathed her cutlass and charged forward. She swung her cutlass through the air in a sideways slash as soon as she was in range of Petra.

Petra swiftly flew upwards so that the cutlass’s blade passed beneath her feet. A tiny frown formed on Petra’s face. Although, this was nothing new. It was always the same song and dance between her and Captain Jasmine Hook.

But for once Petra wished Jasmine would just…listen. Things could be different between them. They didn’t have to be enemies.

“I will have my revenge, Petra Pan! I will have your head on a golden platter, and then I will present it to him!” There was a manic gleam in Hook’s dark green eyes as she attacked Petra fervently.

Petra dodged the sword attacks easily. Captain Hook lunged her cutlass forward, aiming for Petra’s heart next. Petra used her dagger to block the attack and the steel blades clanged loudly as they clashed together.

Captain Hook was an excellent swordswoman. The best in all of Neverland. But anytime she encountered Petra Pan she became blinded by her hate, and her attacks became reckless and stupid. Hook let out a frustrated sound as Petra effortlessly blocked another attack that should have taken off her head.

As for Captain Hook’s loyal crew - Petra glanced around the deck and couldn’t stop the amused smile that curled her lips. The all-female pirate crew was also used to Petra and Hook trying to kill each other on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

Since Hook had already made it quite clear that Petra was her prey (the last pirate who’d tried to interfere had walked the plank) and that no one else was to interfere during their battles, they, well, didn’t.

But, Petra thought they all looked a little too relaxed and unconcerned with the infamous Petra Pan in their midst. While reclining on ornate lounge chairs covered with plush velvet cushions several female pirates were dressed in skimpy bikinis and sunbathing. The bikinis were black and white, red and pink, red and white, or pink and white striped.

The female pirates were filing their nails, enjoying colorful alcoholic drinks and fancy cocktails, and reading fashion magazines. Petra’s eyes narrowed when she recognized one of the titles as being Cosmopolitan. Hook must have taken a little trip to Earth to pick up those magazines for her crew, Petra realized uneasily. Hook’s ship, the Jolly Roger, could fly because of the pixie dust Hook had stolen from the Fairy Kingdom during one of her pillaging raids. Hook going to Earth was never a good thing, and Petra wondered how much damage she’d done this time.

That’s when she spotted a man. Petra blinked and did a double take. A man onboard the Jolly Roger was a very unusual sight indeed. Hook and her crew hated men. And with good reason. They’d all been slaves once upon a time.

It’d been Jasmine who’d led the revolution of the female slaves to rise up against their pirate captors, and had taken over Blackbeard’s ship. Jasmine had killed Captain Blackbeard herself and most of his crew all on her own apparently. Those that had been captured alive, Hook had mercilessly forced to walk the plank.

It was obvious that Hook hated men and had forbidden them from being on her ship. Which made it very odd that there was a man on Hook’s ship at the moment.

And not just any man. He was incredibly handsome. Petra raised an eyebrow. Was he some sort of pleasure slave for the pirates?

But when Petra caught sight of the man’s face she instantly recognized him and wondered why she hadn’t realized who he was sooner. It was Prince Tiger of the Piccaninny Tribe!

Tiger was currently shirtless, showing off his tanned, muscular chest. He was wearing a pair of brown leather pants and moccasins, and like most of the other Indians of his tribe he was wearing a feathered headband. Orange face paint was streaked across his cheeks. Tiger’s long black hair was thick, straight, had orange highlights, and scattered braids decorated with feathers and colorful beads.

Goodness, what is Prince Tiger doing here? Petra wondered.

Tiger was holding a golden serving tray covered in an assortment of colorful, fancy, sweet cocktails decorated with little paper umbrellas that had definitely come from Earth. As he moved there was this clinking sound that drew Petra’s attention to the thick manacles around his wrists that had a long chain between them.

Tiger approached the sunbathing female pirates and offered them drinks from the tray nonchalantly. The pirates tentatively took the drinks offered them, and smiled in thanks. They wore guilty expressions on their faces, however, and were shooting nervous looks in Hook’s direction as if they expected her to make them walk the plank for associating with a male without her permission.

Petra couldn’t help it - she burst out laughing like a hyena at the absurd sight of the brave, proud Prince Tiger serving these pirate wenches fancy cocktails! Petra quickly got her laugher under control though. She had to help Tiger. She flew up and cut a line on one of the sails so that it fell right on top of Hook.

Hook let out a cry as the heavy sail fell over her and pinned her to the deck.

Petra then flew over to Tiger and hovered directly in front of him. There was a mischievous glint in her green eyes. “Good day, Tiger, fancy meeting you here in a place like this.”

Tiger’s dark eyes widened as he looked Petra over. “Petra…Petra Pan?”

Petra nodded vigorously. Tiger was used to seeing her in her twelve-year-old form. Not this eighteen-year-old form. “Yes, it’s me. I grew up.”

“But how?” Tiger asked, a dark scowl forming on his face. One of the constants about Neverland was that Petra and her Lost Girls had remained young girls for hundreds of years. “Why?”

“It’s kind of a long story…but actually a pretty short one. Tezcatlipoca stole the Neverland Clock and broke the spell on it. The clock has started to move again and so I started to age. But, more importantly, what are you doing here? Are you on some kind of top-secret mission? Spying on Hook?”

Tiger held up his manacles. “What does it look like I’m doing here? I was defeated and captured by Captain Hook. She’s trying to get me to tell her the whereabouts of Excalibur.”

Excalibur - the legendary sword of Kings, and the only sword in existence that could slay a god like Tezcatlipoca.

A glint formed in Petra’s eyes at the mention of Excalibur. “Speaking of Excalibur, I found a worthy knight that may be able to pull the sword from the stone.”

Tiger’s brow furrowed. “You brought him here to Neverland?”

Petra nodded, and shot a glance Hook’s way. The pirate captain had almost managed to free herself from under the sail. “Uh oh. I’d better hurry up and rescue you!” Petra wiggled her fingers at Tiger’s manacles. They became enveloped in a green-tinged mist before unlocking and falling to the deck with a loud clatter.

Petra reached into her cleavage and pulled out a small brown leather pouch next. She turned it upside down over Tiger’s head and golden pixie dust sprinkled down over the Indian prince. Petra held her hand out to Tiger and grinned devilishly. “Think a happy thought!”

Tiger took Petra’s hand, smirked, and nodded.

Petra began to rise up off the deck - Tiger along with her. Then they were flying. “Come on, let’s go!” Petra declared as she flew off with Tiger. “So long, you catfish!” Petra called over her shoulder.

Hook removed the sail just in time to see Tiger and Petra flying away, and let out a shriek of outrage. “Argh! She stole my slave! Petraaaa! Get back here! I’ll kill you for this!” The pirate captain waved her hook at their retreating backs.

Petra giggled madly. “My, my!” Hook was always so angry. It couldn’t be good for her health. The duo flew towards the Indian encampment and landed at the outskirts of the village.

“I can’t stay,” Petra said as she began to rise up off the ground again. “I need to check on my knight.” Just as she started to fly away Tiger reached out and grabbed Petra’s wrist, stopping her. He pulled her down towards him and Petra had been caught off-guard so in a matter of seconds their faces were inches apart.

“Thank you for rescuing me from Captain’s Hook’s clutches, Petra Pan,” Tiger’s voice was low, husky. He leaned forward and Petra’s eyes widened when she thought that Tiger might try to kiss her. But then he seemed to think better of it and placed a kiss on the top of Petra’s hand instead.

Petra blushed at the unexpected gesture and her hand was tingling slightly. That was no thimble! Tiger had always treated her like a little sister…a pesky little sister. So that’d just been weird.

Petra forced a smile on her face though. She didn’t want to hurt Tiger’s feelings after all. And now she was learning a thing or two about feelings. Bothersome things to be sure. “Anytime! Bye!” Petra said brightly before pulling her hand out of Tiger’s grip and flying off, heading towards the Lost Girls’ Forest.

To be continued in…Chapter 2:





Chapter 2:


Continuing to pull the floating bed behind him, Tinker descended below the trees’ thick green canopies of leaves in the Lost Girls’ Forest. Eirwen glanced around his surroundings, and noted that the forest wasn’t all that unusual. Still, the birds were definitely unique looking with glittery, glowing feathers, and the squirrels that were running along the trees’ branches had purple and blue fur.

Tinker maneuvered the bed into the center of a large clearing. Eirwen looked up and blinked. This was the Lost Girls’ forest alright. High up in the surrounding trees were tree houses. Connecting the tree houses together were wooden suspension bridges. It reminded Eirwen of the Ewok Forest from Star Wars. Except, of course, there was that feminine touch that the Lost Girls had added to their dwellings. All of the tree houses had been decorated with pretty, colorful flowers and leafy vines.

The village looked deserted until several young women began to drop down from the trees on thick, leafy vines in an impressive fashion.

The Lost Girls…well, lost women, anyways. Eirwen thought to himself wryly, as his gaze drifted down from their faces to their ample breasts. No twelve-year-old girl had breasts that big.

Most of the Lost Girls were wearing skimpy bikini tops and mini skirts made out of green or brown leather and that were decorated with fresh flowers. The girls were also wearing armor - vambraces, greaves, and some were even wearing helmets. The armor surprised Eirwen and made him think of Amazon warriors and Valkyries.

As soon as the girls’ feet touched the ground they fluidly nocked arrows to their bows and aimed at him. Eirwen glanced over his shoulder in surprise, expecting to see a giant monster standing behind him or something, but nope. There was nothing there but more trees. Those Lost Girls who weren’t wielding bows had spears pointed his way threateningly. The tips of the spears appeared to have been fashioned out of stone.

Eirwen gulped nervously. The girls surrounding him were beautiful and equally intimidating. And although they were beautiful, Eirwen noticed the dark shadows beneath their eyes and their hollow cheeks.

The haunted looks on their faces were oddly familiar. Eirwen knew that look all too well. It was the face that stared back at him in the morning ever since he’d been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.

There were six girls that stood out from the others in particular due to their flashy and colorful hairstyles and outfits. One had blonde hair, and was wearing a headband with a pair of fox ears on the top of her head. She was wearing a red leather bikini top and matching mini skirt. The blonde’s outfit was decorated with red roses. Another girl had curly, purple locks and freckles. She was wearing a purple top and matching skirt.

Two of the girls looked exactly alike and Eirwen realized they must be twins. They both had rainbow colored hair and matching outfits. One adorable girl appeared to be younger than all the others, and had bubblegum pink hair. She was wearing a pink dress decorated with daisies.

The last girl that had caught Eirwen’s attention had a bob of sky-blue hair. She was wearing a blue and black leather corset and a black leather mini skirt. She was also wearing knee boots instead of greaves and sandals like the other girls. On her head sat an ostentatious, wide-brimmed blue hat decorated with blue flowers, and a curling, black plume. She strode forward and pointed her spear at Eirwen. “Who is he?”

She was obviously addressing Tinker, but Eirwen opened his mouth to respond anyways. Unfortunately, Tinker flew in front of him and beat him to it. “I would think that would have been dreadfully obvious, Nibby. He’s a slaver. He escaped Hook’s clutches. He was going to sacrifice those two little girls in that bed over there to Tezcatlipoca!”

Nibby gasped in horror and shot Eirwen a dirty look.

“I’m a what?” Eirwen glared at Tinker as his stomach began to twist itself into knots. He met Nibby’s recriminating stare. “That’s not true. He’s lying! Those girls over there are my sisters! I would never harm them!” He gave Nibby a beseeching look, willing her to understand that apparently the mischievous fairy had it out for him.

The small pink-haired girl gave Eirwen a searching look before hesitantly speaking up, “He doesn’t look like a slaver.” She made a show of exaggeratingly looking his current outfit over.

Eirwen had nearly forgotten that he was still dressed in pj’s - a white and blue striped button down shirt, and matching pants. He was definitely feeling underdressed in that moment. At least, they hadn’t stuck him in one of those awful hospital gowns though, so it could have been worth. His ass could have been hanging out for all the girls to see.

Nibby appeared uncertain for a moment until Tinker scoffed loudly. “He’s obviously lying. As you can see he’s not an Indian and since he’s a full-grown man…that means he can only be a slaver,” Tinker continued in his matter-of-fact tone.

The Lost Girls began to murmur their agreement to Tinker’s wise words. Besides, they trusted Tinker. He’d always been the Lost Girls’ ‘guardian’ and had acted as a sort of ‘father figure’ to the girls.

In a desperate, last ditch effort to save his skin, Eirwen tried to wake up Joan and Michelle. He shook their shoulders roughly but still they would not wake. Bloody hell. He was so buggered. Hadn’t Tinker said something about how until the fairy chose to wake up the girls that they would remain asleep? Shit, shit, shit.

A sudden thought came to Eirwen. “Wait, Petra said I’m a kn-”

“Gag him!” Tinker ordered with an imperious wave of his hand.

Nibby quickly did as ordered, stuffing a rag into Eirwen’s mouth as he struggled against her futilely. She was a lot stronger than she looked. “Mmph!”

“I think he was trying to say something,” the pink-haired girl said softly, but wasn’t heard by her companions.

“Twins, take the two girls somewhere safe so that they can rest,” Tinker directed next.

“Yes, Tink!” The Twins saluted Tinker before approaching the bed. Each picked up one of Eirwen’s sisters carefully and began to carry them away.

Eirwen’s eyes flared in alarm out of worry for his sisters. “Hey! Wait! Where are you taking them?” Eirwen tried to say with the gag still in his mouth, but all that came out of his mouth were unintelligible grunts. Realizing that no one could understand him, Eirwen leapt off the bed and ran towards the Twins.

“Stop him!” Tinker called out. “That bastard is still trying to capture those poor girls!”

Nibby swung her spear at Eirwen and hit the back of his neck with the butt-end of her spear. Eirwen’s eyes rolled into the back of his head as he fell unconscious.

When Eirwen regained consciousness twenty minutes later, he discovered that he’d been hogtied to a long wooden pole that he was hanging upside down from. Okay, so the Lost Girls had definitely seen Star Wars. He felt a lot like Han Solo right now being carried off by the Ewoks for a grand feast where he was to be the main course.

Two of the Lost Girls were carrying him along through the forest. One of the girls was Nibby and the other was the blonde wearing the fox ear headband.

“Mmph!” Eirwen objected through the gag in his mouth, eyes wide with panic and alarm. Where were they taking him?

As if Tinker had read Eirwen’s mind he flew over to Eirwen and whispered in his ear, “You are going to be tossed into Merman Lagoon. Whether you drown first…or the mermen decide to eat you, remains to be seen.” A dark chuckle slipped past Tinker’s lips.

Eirwen’s eyes widened like saucers. Merman Lagoon? He remembered his great grandfather telling him about the place. Merman Lagoon was supposedly a well-concealed rock pool of dark blue water. There was a waterfall where the mermen liked to bathe beneath it. And in the center of the pool was a large rock that the mermen liked to recline on while they sharpened their wicked tridents.

Any other time, Eirwen would have been excited to get to see real live mermen and perhaps even mermaids, but…it definitely would have been under different circumstances than his present ones.

“Mmph!” No, please, no. Eirwen thought desperately, giving Tinker a beseeching look. One that the fairy completely ignored. Bloody hell. Having your flesh ripped off your bones by sharp teeth probably isn’t going to be very fun.

Eirwen noted the cruel, triumphant expression on Tinker’s face and wondered why the fairy seemed to hate him so much. What did I ever do to him? Eirwen thought grumpily.

His great grandfather’s words suddenly came to mind:

Tink was so jealous when Petra brought me to Neverland to be the Lost Girls’ father. He probably would have killed me if given the chance. I’m quite sure he was in love with Petra Pan.

That’s it! Tinker was in love with Petra! That’s why he was trying to off Eirwen. Great, just great. Eirwen let out a helpless groan. He was dealing with a jealous and murderous fairy. Weren’t fairies supposed to be friendly albeit mischievous? So much for the accuracy of children’s stories.


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