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Captain

by starryknightt


I

I woke up on the shores of Skull Rock when I was only eleven years old. I can recall my first waking moments vividly, the memory overpowering everything else that came before it. I knew so little then. I knew nothing.

Of course, the whole reason I still dream about this moment is because it was the first time I saw him. I could close my eyes and the memory would feel like it was only yesterday.

It was six years ago. In some ways, nothing has changed.

He was a short, lithe little boy dressed in a green vest and earthy brown trousers. He had reminded me of the mischievous sprites my mother had used to read about in my favorite fairytale books, with his sparkling hazel eyes and crooked smile. Maybe it was the familiarity that made me warm up to him so quickly.

The sand had been cold under my back, shivers slinking across my shoulders like snakes. The air had been humid and briny, the cavern full of the echoing rush of the oncoming tide. The tide that I’d washed up on, supposedly. My nightgown was soaked and crusted with the rocky sand.

The boy stood over me, peering at me like I was some oddity he’d never seen before. Once he realized I was awake he gave me a tilted smile, a smile that still warms me to my core. He held out his hand and helped me to my feet, his grip firm and wiry.

I remember feeling bare, standing under his studying gaze in my thin gown and bare feet.

A salty breeze brushed my coal-black hair out of my face, tangled and damp from my mysterious swim.

“My name’s Peter,” the boy said, smiling warmly. I noticed a spindly circle of leaves crowning his head of wild red hair. He looked like the king of the forest.

“I’m Katherine.” I forced the words out of my throat.

“You’re new here. Let me show you around.” Peter grasped my hand and pulled me out of the cavern of Skull Rock, into the sparkling daylight beyond.

I blinked, adjusted my gaze against the brightness of the shining sun, the gleaming water, the glistening waterfalls.

“Welcome to Neverland, Katherine.”

***

Exactly six years later, I stood in my own room getting dressed for the celebration tonight.

A celebration for me. Six years from the night Peter had found me.

They called it my birthday.

I felt a little too ordinary to have a whole night dedicated to myself, but the pixies insisted otherwise.

Epiphany flitted around my head, twisting my long black strands into coils and plaiting them down my back. To the ungifted eye, she and her friends would look like nothing more than pinpricks of light in all different colors, swirling and dancing through the air. Not actual beings with wings. Most people saw them this way. Only Peter and I could make out the details of their gossamer wings buzzing, flowing velvety hair, and pastel floral dresses. They were the embodiment of nature itself, in all its power. Some might even argue that they were the most powerful beings in Neverland.

However, only I had permission to hear them speak.

“You look stunning, Kat,” Epiphany chirped in my ear, like the sound of birds whistling at dawn. Each pixie sounded distinctly different, like some dialect that labels each level of their social structure.

I smiled at my reflection in the mirror before me, framed with oak. I was dressed in a long white dress, with wild peonies pinning up different layers, creating folds and ripples in all the right places. My amber eyes gleamed, the sunset color of the flowers setting them aglow. A green pixie named Emerald tucked a pure white peony behind my ear, her wings softly brushing against my skin.

One by one, the pixies left, drifting lazily out my open window, admiring their handiwork. Only Epiphany was left, her shifting orange and yellow glow illuminating my room.

“Stunning, as I said,” she told me smugly.

“Yes.” I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I spun in the mirror. “Thank you,” I said.

She waved her hand, blowing a short lock of auburn hair out of her eyes. “It was nothing, Kat. You know that.” She hovered over my shoulder, landing and crossing her legs daintily at the ankles. “Besides…” she added with a devilish smirk. “Aren’t you looking to impress someone?”

I blushed. “Am I that obvious?”

“Only to someone who knows the signs,” Epiphany sang. She laughed, a sound like wind chimes on a summer breeze.

My face was on fire. “Uh, well-”

“Lucky for you, guys are normally quite clueless when it comes to these things.” She admired her nails against the evening light streaming from the window. “That’s where I come in. I help you look irresistible.”

Well, she was awfully confident in her work. Not sure how to steer the conversation to a less embarrassing topic, I scrambled for words. “Again, um, thank you.”

Epiphany clicked her tongue, rising from my shoulder and trailing lazily to my open window. She smirked at me and made her exit.

Well. One look out the window showed me the sun was setting, the cerulean sky tinged with blush, violet, and strands of gold. A light breeze caressed my cheeks, gently shifting my hair. The smell of the sea swirled into my room, full of tang and salt and the barest, freshest hint of magic.

I was walking on clouds and mists of magic, light and care-free, as I left my room. The door shut softly behind me, and I floated down the forest path leading to the beach.

I’d never seen the forest so empty before. Normally all of its enchanted inhabitants were chattering, buzzing, flickering through the trees. The quiet was almost… nice. Peaceful.

They must all be at the celebration already.

The image of a crowd of animals, pixies, and all my friends waiting for me at the beach’s edge was enough to send me tumbling back to reality. I sped down the pathway, toward the ever lingering scent of the sea.

***

Peter’s hand was warm as he held mine in his firm grip. He smiled at me, his eyes sparkling with the roaring bonfire near us. Unable to help myself, I smiled right back, resisting the urge to run my hands through his auburn curls.

He lifted our intertwined fingers into the air, high above our heads. The answering roar from the crowd brought a grin to my face. I could see so many familiar faces. My rag-tag family (they called themselves the Lost Boys these days- I think they liked the mysterious ring to it), was closest to me. I saw Parker and Miles and Aiden and Chase and I could probably go on forever with their names. I still didn’t know them all as well as I’d have liked to. Even after six whole years, growing up among them. I could still see a few unfamiliar faces.

I supposed it was to be expected, though. The Lost Boys were always expanding, more and more troubled souls needing saving. Peter had a natural gift, it seemed, for helping the helpless. Out of all the souls on this enchanted island, I was probably the only one who Peter hadn’t saved.

Which explains why they all seemed to look up to me.

Peter lowered our hands. Behind us, the sun was dipping into the ocean. It scattered forlorn shadows across the beach as the sky alighted with vivid colors. Rich golds, pale blues, blushing pinks. As if I hadn’t already been doing enough blushing.

My heart thudded painfully loud as I took note that our fingers were still twined together.

“On this night, six years ago,” Peter began, his voice carrying over the beach, “Lady Katherine washed up on our shores.”

Cheers.

The crowd of hundreds might have been glued to me, but I was riveted to Peter. A small breeze rustled his hair, the strands flashing bronze in the light.

“Our Kat,” he proclaimed. Then, he turned to face me. “My Kat.” He was talking quietly now, private. I could feel his voice in my bones. “Kat with the softest ebony hair. With the most brilliant smile and laughter that could face storms.” He gently lifted my chin. “And in your eyes- I see a piece of the sky. A sky so beautiful and vast, I could fly in it forever.”

I can’t seem to catch my breath, looking into his warm brown eyes. He’s a breath away. My wildest dreams are a breath away.

Then he straightens.

I can’t help but be disappointed.

Peter stroked his thumb over my knuckles, keeping my hand in his grasp. In spite of myself, I feel soothed. Comfortable. “So what’s next?” I asked him softly.

His eyes gleamed. “I have something important to show you. Tonight, after the celebration.”

“Really?” My heart beat in a steady thrum of excitement. “What is it?”

He smiled. “It’s a surprise. Meet me where it all began, midnight.”

With that, he let go of my hand. My questions died on my tongue as I watched him dissolve into the now-mingling party guests. At the sudden weight on my shoulders, I realized that some small dreamy part of me had been hoping Peter would spend the party with me, at my side.

I silenced that part and shoved it to the farthest corner of my mind. I was being ridiculous. Besides, he had a lot on his plate, being ruler over Neverland. He must have urgent matters to attend to. Something I could never understand, never being a ruler in my entire life. I am obviously far from the most important thing on his mind. I didn’t mind. I didn’t.

After all, he wanted to meet me tonight. Where it all began. He must mean Skull Rock.

Straightening, I decided I could wait until after the party.

“That’s right, girl!” a chirpy voice sounded in my ear. “You’re a strong, independent woman who don’t need no silly man.”

I slowly turned my head, lifting an eyebrow at Epiphany hovering over my shoulder. She was a bright, ethereal yellow. “You read my mind,” I said with a smile.

“My supernatural senses tell me the meeting will be well worth the wait.”

I smirk. “I’m glad I can trust your supernatural instincts, Epiphany.”

She examined her nails. “Most reliable source of intellect in all the land, of course.”

I grin. “Well, what do you want to do first?”

She stands on my shoulder, hands on hips, examining the celebration around us. “Those snack tables sure look lovely… Oh! Those guys are handsome. You could demand they sing to you, you know. Serenade you for your birthday. Wouldn’t that be hot…” I don’t even have time to respond before she moves on. “Okay, let’s go with the card tables. You’re the best at those, and I really feel like I need to establish my territory as your magnificent wing-woman.”

I cough.

Epiphany chuckles to herself. “No pun intended.”


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Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:39 pm
Honora wrote a review...



Hey starryknight! My review is a bit late but better late than never! ;)
So, I will start my review by pointing out what I found that needs editing so that I can leave you on a positive note! Anyway, this could be just me but I found that a lot of your one liner paragraphs could easily be put into the last on. For example:
"I remember feeling bare, standing under his studying gaze in my thin gown and bare feet.
A salty breeze brushed my coal-black hair out of my face, tangled and damp from my mysterious swim." This could be put in one because you are talking about the same kind of thing. You are telling your reader about her memory of what she is feeling. This is the same again, at the beginning when she is talking about the celebration. Those first four lines could go together because they are all talking about the celebration and what she feels about it. There were a few grammar errors but other than that, I really didn't catch anything else.
Ok, now on to what actually matters. I really enjoyed it! Just so you know, I will be imagining Peter Pan from Once Upon a Time when you talk about him. Just so I get the full effect on how cute he is. ;) I really like your view on the pixies. They are very well portrayed. Even though they are a typical pixie, I really didn't get that feel from them. Good job! :D
Your friend,
Honora




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Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:46 pm
Liberty500 wrote a review...



Hi starryknightt!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight depending on what side of the word you're on. I'm here to give you a review!

You kinda made my job tough... I didn't notice any mistake, any grammar that needed to be checked, or any capitalization mistake. Good job! I am very impressed. But there was one thing that I saw that didn't seem quite right in a story like yours. But, I'll get to that soon, don't worry. Let me finish complimenting you.

I really like the Peter Pan movie, the animated one. And, I can tell you kinda based your story off of that. Kinda. Anyways, I love every single description you made. From the personality to the physical looks to the emotions to... I am seriously impressed. This is very good, star. Oh, by the way, if you don't mind, can you tell Epiphany that she has a fan? :D

Okay, so the mistake thingy that I found was this:

I could see so many familiar faces. My rag-tag family (they called themselves the Lost Boys these days- I think they liked the mysterious ring to it), was closest to me.


Do you notice it? Probably not. In this sentence, you put brackets. Brackets and stories do not fit together, but articles and brackets fit very well. Like, think of it this way: Brackets and stories are enemies. Brackets and articles are best friends. Got it? Hope so. Anyways, that's all I have to blab about right now, so... Toodles! :)

Keep on writing!

~Liberty500






Thank you so much for the review! Your compliments are so sweet. The brackets are kind of awkward, huh? I'll fix that in the next draft, for sure.



Liberty500 says...


Your welcome!



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Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:09 pm
TheMulticoloredCyr wrote a review...



Hello hello! I know it took a while for this to get posted, but I don't have wifi at my place and this isn't my school computer so there's usually pretty large gaps beteeen time in which I can connect to the internet. So, for that, I'm sorry.

With that out of the way, let's get to reviewing. I'm gonna have to get really nitpicky in order to give you anything that could possibly be of any use, so just know that, unless I specifically say otherwise, nothing I put here is of as much importance as how I might make it out to be.

"I woke up on the shores of Skull Rock when I was only eleven years old. I can recall my first waking moments vividly, the memory overpowering everything else that came before it. I knew so little then. I knew nothing."

Lovely hook, though I do believe it could be better. I can't remmeber who said it, or even the exact quote, but I once heard a piece of advice that went something like, "Always assume your reader is in an dreadful mood when they open your book. Hook them right away and distract them." that was pretty clearly not the exact quote, but that's the gist of it. This begining implies that Kat, whom I assume will not be playing the same role as Wendy, doesn't remember anything before she was eleven very well, if at all. You did a pretty good job of conveying that information while also holding the interest of the readers, fantastic.

"He was a short, lithe little boy dressed in a green vest and earthy brown trousers. He had reminded me of the mischievous sprites my mother had used to read about in my favorite fairytale books, with his sparkling hazel eyes and crooked smile. Maybe it was the familiarity that made me warm up to him so quickly."

You describe Peter rather vivdly here while also telling your readers that Kat does, indeed, remember something from her past. All of this, of course, begs the question of why does she not want to go back? My first assumption is that her parents are dead, because that's just how these stories go most of the time, but I could very well be wrong. Maybe this will factor in later, maybe it won't, I'll see I guess.

"The sand had been cold under my back, shivers slinking across my shoulders like snakes. The air had been humid and briny, the cavern full of the echoing rush of the oncoming tide. The tide that I’d washed up on, supposedly. My nightgown was soaked and crusted with the rocky sand."

So, the nightgown thing would make sense with this being Neverland and all that, if she had been taken here by the usual method. The typical story, if I remember correctly, is Peter takes the souls of boys without homes or hope and re-locates them to Neverland to join the Lost Boys. The thing with Wendy and her family was pretty abnormal, but it still involved him deliberately taking them to his home. So how did Kat get here? I'm not saying you should answer that question here, in fact, I encorage you not to, I'm simply stating that the fact the niether of the characters involved in this scene are questioning this turn of events is pretty weird.

"The boy stood over me, peering at me like I was some oddity he’d never seen before. Once he realized I was awake he gave me a tilted smile, a smile that still warms me to my core. He held out his hand and helped me to my feet, his grip firm and wiry."

The level of description you give for this scene is pleanty appropriate here, but I don't advise using it elsewhere. Here, it's a memory, Kat is savoring every detail, but elsewhere, say, in a more casual scene or a more fast-paced one, such detail would only serve to drag the pace and make everything move far slower than is ideal. I'm only saying this now because it may prove useful to you later on, you've done a rather good job with pacing so far, I think.

"“My name’s Peter,” the boy said, smiling warmly. I noticed a spindly circle of leaves crowning his head of wild red hair. He looked like the king of the forest."

Maybe it's just all of the stories I've read where Peter ended up being the villian, but this moment kinda made me distrust him? I don't know, like I said, it's probably my personal preferance for him being the bad guy born from the origonal text and the dozen or so books I've read/listened to from Hook's perspective. You may want to keep in mind that that bias might exist in many of your readers, though, so just keep it in the back of your mind that we may be suspicious of Pan already, which could work against you or be used in your favor. I don't know if you have an outline yet (which you should) so weather or not this is helpful depends mostly on that.

"Epiphany flitted around my head, twisting my long black strands into coils and plaiting them down my back. To the ungifted eye, she and her friends would look like nothing more than pinpricks of light in all different colors, swirling and dancing through the air. Not actual beings with wings. Most people saw them this way. Only Peter and I could make out the details of their gossamer wings buzzing, flowing velvety hair, and pastel floral dresses. They were the embodiment of nature itself, in all its power. Some might even argue that they were the most powerful beings in Neverland."

The idea of Peter and Kat being special for some currently-unspecified reason gives this whole deal a pretty "chosen one"-esk vibe and I can't decide how I feel about that. I'll get back you you when I see where you're going with this, because this could either be "Percy Jackson" or "Twilight" and I gotta say one of those sounds like a nightmare. So far, though, your writing has been too good to put you on the same level as the-book-series-that-shall-not-be-named.

"However, only I had permission to hear them speak."

Permission?

"“You look stunning, Kat,” Epiphany chirped in my ear, like the sound of birds whistling at dawn. Each pixie sounded distinctly different, like some dialect that labels each level of their social structure."

You adding in that bit about the levels of their social structure feels a bit awkward here, maybe you could descibe it differently? I would have drawn a direct comparision between the accents of the upper and lower classes of wherever Kat is from, unless the readers not knowing where she's from has some plot-related purpose, in which case, carry on (my wayward son).

"She waved her hand, blowing a short lock of auburn hair out of her eyes. “It was nothing, Kat. You know that.” She hovered over my shoulder, landing and crossing her legs daintily at the ankles. “Besides…” she added with a devilish smirk. “Aren’t you looking to impress someone?”"

So Kat and Peter are not yet officially together. Interesting.

"I supposed it was to be expected, though. The Lost Boys were always expanding, more and more troubled souls needing saving. Peter had a natural gift, it seemed, for helping the helpless. Out of all the souls on this enchanted island, I was probably the only one who Peter hadn’t saved."

Kat refers to the boys as "souls", which could mean one of two things. One, she uses the word "souls" to describe anyone who is alive on the island (which makes me wonder about the wereabouts of a certain merry band of pirates or a lovely group of natives), in which case, okie dokie, you do you Kat. But in option two, it implies that the boys are ONLY souls, as in, dead, which is actually one of my favorite Neverland plots simply because of how far someone can take it. I don't know, maybe I'm overthinking again, maybe I'm onto something, maybe I should move on.

"Which explains why they all seemed to look up to me."

I had better see some Lost Boys demonstrating how they look up to Kat later on.

"Peter lowered our hands. Behind us, the sun was dipping into the ocean. It scattered forlorn shadows across the beach as the sky alighted with vivid colors. Rich golds, pale blues, blushing pinks. As if I hadn’t already been doing enough blushing."

Not even a little important, but this would have been a good place to mention the mermaids. gotta love the mermaids.

"“Our Kat,” he proclaimed. Then, he turned to face me. “My Kat.” He was talking quietly now, private. I could feel his voice in my bones. “Kat with the softest ebony hair. With the most brilliant smile and laughter that could face storms.” He gently lifted my chin. “And in your eyes- I see a piece of the sky. A sky so beautiful and vast, I could fly in it forever.”"

I don't recall her having blue eyes, perhaps I missed something? The sky IS blue, right? Am I alive? Are YOU alive? I'll move on now.

"With that, he let go of my hand. My questions died on my tongue as I watched him dissolve into the now-mingling party guests. At the sudden weight on my shoulders, I realized that some small dreamy part of me had been hoping Peter would spend the party with me, at my side."

What I'm getting here is that Peter thinks he's too good for the party. I'm kidding, I mean, to some extent yeah, but I get that you're making him out to be this untouchable king with priorities and stuff. Also, is Peter Pan AGEING?! I am slightly alarmed at this twist, I mean, if you didn't it would feel really creepy, like, even if he had been older from the start it would have felt oh so very wrong. What I'm saying is, I get it, but ouch, there goes the cenrtal theme of the source.

"I silenced that part and shoved it to the farthest corner of my mind. I was being ridiculous. Besides, he had a lot on his plate, being ruler over Neverland. He must have urgent matters to attend to. Something I could never understand, never being a ruler in my entire life. I am obviously far from the most important thing on his mind. I didn’t mind. I didn’t."

Liar liar, Kat, liar-freaking-liar.

"After all, he wanted to meet me tonight. Where it all began. He must mean Skull Rock."

The readers already inferred that the meeting place was Skull Rock, saying so here feels like an insult to our intellegence. Tip that I am passing on from a successful human (Jenna Moreci, check out her YouTube channel if you don't know about her already, she gie great writing tips) always assume that your readers are smart. Always. If they're too dumb to keep up they're not your target demographic anyway.

Okay, my general thoughts are this, you do have us readers asking questions by the end, but I feel like you could have done more to foreshadow whatever the main conflict is going to be. I have to assume, by the title and the fact that this is clearly a Peter Pan adaptation, that it has something to do with fan-favortite Captain Hook (not to be mistaken by former-fan-favorite-but-now-we're-just-sick-of-him Jack Sparrow who might have been a captain at some point).

Anyway, so far so good, let's see if it holds up, shall we? I'll see you in chapter two, Starry.






Thank you so, so much for the review! You really are great at doing them. Everything you said is extremely helpful. Like, you answered questions I didn't even know I had. Anyway, I will be making note of everything you pointed out to me in a Google doc. By the way, I would NEVER write something so racist! The Indians just haven't come into the storyline yet. No worries.





Okay, thank you, I was worried for a minute there. I don't like to assume the worst but, well, as you saw, I usually do. I'm working on it.

I'll also caution you to not take every single one of my suggestions to heat. If you listen to every review you receive you will never get what you want out of your story. Someone's always going to dislike something about your story, so just do what feels right to you.



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Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:40 am
manilla wrote a review...



Hi! Manilla here for a review. Let's get right into it, shall we?

As a reader
The prose was so, so, so gorgeous. You write in detail like magic in the story.

Behind us, the sun was dipping into the ocean. It scattered forlorn shadows across the beach as the sky alighted with vivid colors.


Such beautiful word choice! It was really easy to follow the sequence of events, but I have questions on who Lady Katherine is. What happened before she washed up on Neverland? How has her relationship with Peter evolved over the years, because you've established them as very clear romantics?

I'm also curious on the setting - With your style of writing, you'd be able to implement it smoothly into the story.

As a writer
As I read this, the pacing was a little on the fast for me. There was a six-year cut from 11 to 17, but even when the events of the night unfold. But that doesn't stop you from telling a good story. The niches the characters fit in are also clear - By this, I mean that Epiphany is the best friend of the main character, and Peter is the main character's love interest. There's plenty room to work off this and expand your story.

Chapter one is a brilliant springboard for future ideas, taking the plot far beyond the original Peter Pan schemes, beyond a romance, into into something new. There's much to be discovered while writing!

That's all from me.
-Manilla out
(Feel free to disregard any comment you deem rude or unhelpful.)






Oh my goodness thank you!! This means so much to me. I really do hope you keep reading because things are about to get much more exciting!



manilla says...


You're welcome <3



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Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:09 am
Anma wrote a review...



Hello! Star
Is it okay if I call you that? Anyway

Amazing, absolutely amazing!

It is a very interesting story and, I loved how you used petter in the story. Its kind of like the actual story but its also different in many ways. I couldn't help but reading it twice, I really hope to read more about it.

I think if It becomes a full book ill read it all. I don't see any grammar errors or anything. The words and paragraphs are spaced out, its very professionally written. Also I loved how you used events that happened in the old days and mixed stuff up tat happen these days. Its a very lovely piece.

Keep up the good work!!

Your friend Anma






Yes, Star works fine :)
Thank you! I'll be publishing chapter two today and I really hope you'll stop by and read it! Your review means a lot. I can't thank you enough <3




Don't gobblefunk around with words.
— Roald Dahl