DAR(L)ING

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
IT's 2057 and Peter Pan, the infamous leader of the Lost Boys gang, has been terrorizing London with his drug for years.

This is a play that I wrote, but I've been writing it as a story on the side to help myself.

Submitted: November 21, 2019

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Submitted: November 21, 2019

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“OI!”

Tires screeched and headlights flashed, temporarily blinding Wendy as she braced for impact. She felt someone grip her arm before she was yanked unceremoniously from her bike, feeling her tights rip as the pavement bit into her knees. 

“What the hell do you think you're doing?” a girl spat. She had long blonde hair with variously colored highlights and sat on a perfectly polished motorbike in the middle of the road, inches away from Wendy’s own bicycle and flanked by two other girls in matching leather jackets. 

“Well Venus, she’s obviously lost,” a sly voice spoke from somewhere very close to Wendy’s ear, prompting her to finally look at her rescuer. He was rather handsome, with shiny brown hair and pretty green eyes. Her heart skipped a beat. She knew who this was. “Are you all right?” he asked, helping her to her feet. 

“Thanks to you,” Wendy breathed, trying to be as casual as possible. This boy was dangerous. Why was he being so kind?

“What’s a pretty little bird like you doing in Mermaid territory?” the girl to Venus’s right asked. She had coily pink hair and dark skin with a tattoo of a seashell on her chest. The girl next to her was tiny with bright turquoise hair that had been pulled back into a high ponytail, and every few minutes she would blow a large bubble with her bubblegum that would pop loudly. 

“I-I got lost,” Wendy stammered. “I made a wrong turn, I guess. I’m very sorry.” 

“See, ladies? Lost. I’ll handle this. Besides, don't you have more important things to be doing than bullying other pretty girls?” the boy said, raising a knowing eyebrow at the stacks of boxes on the back of their bikes. 

Venus looked like she wanted to argue, but instead smiled painfully, “Right. Come on, girls.” The Mermaids revved their engines and raced off down the street, narrowly missing Wendy’s bicycle. 

“Sorry about them,” the boy said, taking his hand away from the small of Wendy’s back, a gesture that she hadn't noticed until it was gone. “Are you sure you’re all right, er-?” 

“Wendy,” she said, before giving him a weird look, “Am I bleeding? Am I bleeding on you?” 

“What? Oh.” He brushed a hand over a smear of blood on his cheek, wiping it away. “No, no. You're not the first person I’ve helped this morning.” 

“Oh,” Wendy said awkwardly, heart racing. She needed to leave. 

“I’m Peter,” he smiled. Wendy felt her heart skip another beat, but not in the same alarming way that it had before. Peter checked to make sure there was no other traffic before jumping into the street to save her bike. Wendy smiled shyly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear before checking the basket. 

Peter was making it awfully difficult to believe that he was one of the most dangerous criminals in the UK. 

“Is it okay? Your bike?” he asked. “I’m sorry, I could only save one of you, but I’m fairly certain that I chose the most valuable option.” 

Wendy blushed, “It looks all right.” 

“Well, Miss Wendy, you look like you have somewhere to be.” 

“Yes, actually, I was on my way to Scotland Yard-”

“Scotland Yard?” Peter froze for a moment, and though it was barely noticeable, Wendy struggled to hide a smirk. 

“Yes, my uncle is an officer. I was doing a job for him.” 

“I see. Well, if he’s an officer, it must be important. The main road is just through those buildings there, do you see the Star?” he pointed to the back of the old theater. 

“Oh! That's where I am. Thank you, Peter.” Wendy hopped on her bike, gave him one last smile, and rode off. Peter lingered for a moment, watching curiously as her blue coat disappeared around the corner. 

Wendy weaved her way through the busy streets, pulling her bike alongside her as she rushed to the nearest underground station. She didn't have time to ride her bike all the way to Westminster. 

After what felt like an eternity, the train finally arrived at her station and she raced to the police station, practically throwing her bike into the rack. 

In her rush up the steps, she accidentally ran into a woman holding two cups of coffee, spattering espresso all over the glass doors. 

“Oh my goodness, Izzy, are you all right?” Wendy asked. 

“I’m fine, love, I’m fine. Your uncle’s coffee isn't, though…” Isabella Smee was a plump woman with fluffy red curls and kind brown eyes. She was wearing a bright red circle skirt (she never wore pants) and her usual blue striped cardigan over a white shirt that was now speckled with drops of coffee that she was one-handedly blotting dry with a napkin. “I assume you're here to see him?” 

Wendy held up the shopping bag, “He’s nearly out of pushpins.”

“Oh, very important,” Smee said, nodding in thanks as Wendy held the door open for her. “Well, we can head that way together.” 

They made their way down the hall, followed by a chorus of hellos and joking comments like “Where’s my coffee?” directed at Ms. Smee from other officers in the lobby. 

“Knock knock!” Ms. Smee called, nudging the door open. 

“Yes, Ms. Smee?” 

“I have your niece and half of your coffee, Captain,” Ms. Smee said, her skirt swishing around her shins as she entered and passed the cup to the man sitting at the desk. He took it with his left hand, the metal one, and took off the lid to peer inside. He was rough looking, with disheveled dark hair that was greying in certain spots and a rugged five-o’clock-shadow. His left eyebrow had a scar running through it, and the eye itself was an unsettling milky white in contrast to the dark iris of the other. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up to his elbows, revealing where scar tissue met steel halfway up his left forearm. 

“Half?” Hooke said, leaning back in his chair and taking a sad sip. 

“I accidentally ran into Ms. Smee on my way in and may have spilled some of your coffee,” Wendy made her way into the small office, glancing at the board behind her uncle, “but that's not important.” 

“Not important? It’s coffee, Wendy,” he said jokingly, brightening as she set the shopping bag on his desk and gleefully looking through the contents. “Ah, perfect.” 

Wendy turned to examine the investigation board, which was a convoluted mess of pictures of the same boy, a missing poster, receipts and newspaper articles. 

“I met him today,” she said. 

“Excuse me?” Hooke looked up at her. 

“I met him today. Peter Pan.” 

The statement set in. “WHAT?” Hooke practically vaulted over his desk towards his niece, disturbing the containers of pencils and Jolly Roger, the goldfish that sat on the corner. “It’s nine in the morning Wendy! Did he hurt you? Touch you? Did he give you anything?” 

“I’m fine, Uncle James!” Wendy exclaimed, prying his hands off of her shoulders. “Actually, he saved my life.” 

“Saved you life?” Hooke let out a wry chuckle, staring daggers at the board across from his desk. 

“I made a wrong turn and nearly got run over by the Mermaids, you know, that biker gang? He pulled me out of the way just in time and…” 

“What?” Smee asked.

“And?” Hooke said impatiently. 

“Honestly, uncle, he had more manners than the Mermaids did,” Wendy said. 

“Oh, right, he’s just charming isn't he?” Hooke plopped back into his desk chair, arms crossed tightly over his chest. He looked like a pouting child. 

“I know he’s dangerous, uncle. He gave me directions back onto the main road and I was too scared to look back, so I got here as quickly as I could,” Wendy said defensively.

“The important thing is that you're safe,” Ms. Smee said, shooting an almost warning look at her boss. 

“Yes. He’s a monster, Wendy, and I don't want you anywhere near him, is that understood?” Hooke leaned over his desk, giving her the look of an accusing parent. 

“Yes, sir,” She said, ducking her head. She couldn't help  feeling as if she had disappointed him in some way. Her uncle was one of the few people in her life that she truly looked up to, as her overprotective stay-at-home mother would barely let her run to the corner store without supervision, and her father was always either at work or bringing his job and strict, proper beliefs home with him. Her uncle, on the other hand, knew that she was capable of taking care of herself, and though he respected his sister, tended to be much less restrictive. 

Freedom is extremely valuable to a sixteen-year-old. 

Especially to a sixteen-year-old aspiring detective.

There was an awkward silence where Hooke looked through the shopping bag again. 

“Wendy,” he began, “what’s this?” He held up a small slip of yellow paper, which Wendy took. 

“‘Second star to the right?’” she read aloud, “What does that mean?”

“I was going to ask you. It was attached to the tacks,” Hooke replied. Wendy passed it to Smee, who was peering over her shoulder. 

“Did someone slip it in your bag?” Smee suggested.

“The bag did fall out of my basket in the crash,” Wendy started, thinking hard, “And Peter was the one who put it back in my basket…” She shared a look with Hooke. 

“Let's stop getting fingerprints all over it, please!” Hooke said, snatching the paper back. “I’m willing to bet it was Peter who put it here. This could be a clue!” He wrestled open the box of thumbtacks, picking out a green one and sticking the tiny slip of paper to the board.

“Clue?” Smee echoed. 

Hooke whipped around, staring Wendy down. “Think. Stars. Second star. What was around your wrong turn, Wendy?” 

“Er… Well, I was in Kensington...Oh! The Star Theater!” 

“Of course! That's one star, but what's the second? There are stars in the sky, graffiti, homeless symbols...pentagrams—”

“Pentagrams?” Wendy and Smee said at the same time, giving him a weird look.

“Look,” he said, raising his hands defensively, “I have been on this case for ten years, and if there is anything that I have learned in that time, it is that anything is probable when Peter Pan is involved.” He continued to hold up his left hand to make a point. 

“Whatever you say, Hooke,” Smee sighed. “I’m assuming you’ll be want more pictures for the board?” 

“Yes, please,” Hooke replied, retreating back to his desk and muttering either to himself or to Jolly Roger, it was hard to tell. 

Wendy pondered over the board, glancing between the pictures and the note and trying to find connections. 

Stars. 

It was such a unique shape. Why stars? And why had Peter slipped it in her bag? Did he want to see her again? Or worse— did he know who she was? 

There was only one way to find out. 

“Uncle?” she asked, unable to hide the anticipation in her voice and breaking him out of a rather intense-looking staring contest with the goldfish. “I could...go and scout out the theater tomorrow? To see if I can find any other clues?” 

Hooke watched her for a moment, considering her proposal. Wendy’s heart was racing. Hooke sighed, blinked a few times and rubbed his temples. He seemed to share a knowing glance at Jolly Roger as if he expected the fish to be able to give him proper parenting advice before remembering that Roger was, in fact, a fish, and that Hooke technically wasn't even a parent. 

“Alright,” he said, and Wendy practically jumped in excitement. “But” —he held up a cautionary metal finger— “don't tell your mother that I’m letting you do this. She’d have my other hand if she knew.”

 


© Copyright 2020 Sadie K.. All rights reserved.

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