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Neverland, Flash Fiction by Daylund Prior


When I was younger, much younger, I wanted to be a lost boy. I wanted to never grow up–be cloaked in kinship and shielded by ignorance. I wanted to fly close to the sun, until my hair singed and my shoulder blades burned, mocking the world beneath me. Nothing, not even my own pain, would make me descend. I would break my body over my will if that was my liking. I would live and die by my own constitution. I wanted the metallic taste of blood-red freedom in my mouth, pouring over my lips. I wanted everything.


But I am not a lost boy.

Lost girl. It doesn’t sound the same, the name doesn’t roll off the tongue. No, girls cannot be allowed in Neverland. Succumb to motherhood, but a girl should not be here. Lost girl evokes new fears; predator pirates and endangered damsels. Lost girls are the hopes of gallant heroes and other liberators. We do not have an adventure; we are the adventure. And that places us at the precipice of conquering.


I think about Tinkerbell.

I think of male hands drawing her with sensual lines and adorning her with tight clothing. I ponder the implications of her living and dying on the whims of others. I think of how Peter Pan had a drawstring bag brimming with her fairy dust, allowing him to fly. I think of the neighbor I loved like a grandfather, sexualizing this little cartoon creature. Behavior qualified as harmless isn’t ever. Every day, I grieve him.


But, like a shadow, my grief runs away often. I have yet to tie it down.

As an adult, I wonder if there is still a little girl buried alive, who dreams of power in the softness of her mother’s body and in holding the small hands of her sisters. Does she take pride in the space that her hips now fill and the striking of her heels? Is she the person who can love this body, skin marbled with pearls and eyes eclipsed by purple moons? What would she think of the man I now share my life with–who I would give anything to, even fairy dust? I wonder if she is the small flecks of hope in my eyes as I gaze out into the future.


And if I was a lost girl, I would never land. I would stand at the precipice, unconquerable, overlooking the ocean. The briny air would fill my lungs and the salt from the spray would crystallize over my lips. One step off the edge and into my own story, where the sun is soft and sea-kind. The promise of a gentle tomorrow would be worth the risk. Besides, it was never my nature to fall, not even to stay land tied. I will fly. I will. To the second star to the right and straight on until…




 

Daylund Prior lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is soon to be a graduate of Western Washington University, with a degree in Creative Writing. Her hobbies include watching BBC with her family, reading Jane Austen aloud to her partner, and taking her energetic dog for hikes. Through her work, she strives to provide people with hope for a gentler tomorrow and kinder travels.

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