Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.
However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.
She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.
~ Xpresso BT
Although disappointed she would get nothing more out of him than fruit, Cynara was now willing to discuss the heavens with Peter. “The planets have been all unaligned for quite some time. There is disunity in the sky, and disharmony in the world. Pluto and Neptune will remain in the far corner of this wayward house for many years, but that is the way of this time. The war’s end is not in sight, and nothing you do now will end it.
“It is a turbulent moment, with Jupiter so far from its sister planets, and alone in its own distant house. Mercury is roaming quickly through the houses, but in little more than a week’s time, it will be alongside the other dark planets, just as Venus eclipses Mars.
“There is envy in the sky, Peter, and when the heavens are jealous, no good can come of it. The stars have stopped shooting. They are holding their breath and waiting to see what magic will govern them in the centuries to come. The sky will not help you, but it will not impede you. These bodies cannot assist in a matter such as your war, but they are firmly sided with you. When your stars and his align, you will have your chance to meet the minstrel. He still moves with the music of the spheres, for now. That music continues to play, but its sound is softening, Peter.
“You must understand that the magic is being drained from the mechanics of it. The constellations have left the stars and the man has left the moon. Your adversaries are emptying out the sky, Peter. They discover more and more every day, but they assign numbers and letters where once they gave names and legends. They are stripping the sky of its majesty. That is why the stars will not aid you in your battle—they are unable. They are too governed by physics and cannot bend to manifest their prophecies. They have whispered our destinies to us, but now it is in our hands to enact them.”
The mermaid bobbed in the water with playful mystery. Peter pensively considered her words. “Thank you, Cynara, this is… an interesting turn of events.”
“The one you seek is on his way,” she assured him. “His travels will be safe, and he will be invincible until he lifts his instrument again. The stars still love him, even if man has forgotten. If you want to find him, seek out the aviator, Peter. He is closer to the stars than you realize. The aviator has seen the whole world over from his place in the sky, and he will know how to find the piper.”
“Will it really be that easy, Cynara?”
“Oh, by no means. Even if you find that minstrel, you’ll still have to convince him to play his star-music once again… thank you for the papaya, Peter.”
Cynara swam off, slyly smiling. She stayed on her back, but sank into the waters, her fruit still in her hands.
Lasiandra retreated, but she kept her eyes peeking out of the water. She still watched Gwen, hardly glancing at Peter at all during this encounter. Gwen held Lasiandra’s eyes, but Peter seemed to have lost sight of her as she drifted back behind a low rock.
“Perhaps next time, you will come swim with us.” Eglantine giggled. “Then you can speak to the planets yourself.”
“Little boys cannot speak to stars; that’s for those whose dreams are born beneath the saltwater sky.”
“Silly, Peter,” Eglantine replied as she, too, swam off. “Anyone can speak to the sky.” She left the rind of her papaya floating, having already devoured all of its flesh. “The only hard part is getting it to talk back.”
About the Author & Links:
Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University’s online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot.