Prologue

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^Picture above is the younger version of Gwyndolyn 'Wyn' Barrie portrayed by Mia Hays.

"Grandma!" I squealed as I rushed the older dark haired woman.

Her brown hair fanned out around her when she turned to face me. A surprised gasp left her parted lips. "Gwyndolyn!"

I was scooped up into her warm arms in a gentle hug that lasted long enough for her to warm me up from the inside out.

She set me on my feet and ruffled my shortish pigtailed hair. I giggled and quickly smoothed down my rumpled locks.

Grandma glanced over my shoulder and quickly scanned the room behind me.

"Where's Daniel?" she asked with slight confusion.

I grimaced.

She hadn't seen us in weeks, and yet my older brother had refused to come.

My eleven-year-old brother didn't have time for such childish story time. He called anything magical impossible and anything abnormal insane. He avoided our grandmother like the plague because of her love for fairy tales.

"Oh," she said softly, "I see." Then she leaned down close to my ear, as if she were whispering an incredibly important secret, "Boys are such strange creatures. Especially our Danny." Then she leaned back and sent me a quick wink.

Then Grandma swung me up onto the counter beside her workstation. She bustled around the room, tidying up anything out of place within the immaculate room. Everything always had to be in order inside this little room.

I sat there, my legs swinging back and forth as I messed around with the small objects on her desk, the only things she didn't care if I messed up.

Grandma had said that they were called fairy trinkets and were gifts from some long lost friends from her childhood.

She rarely ever talked about that time of her life. She never deemed it as important as the fairy tales she loved to fill my head with. For some odd reason, tales of her past seemed to always fill her with a terrible sadness.

My small hands wandered past the oddly shaped knickknacks and moved onto the middle of the wooden table.

A lone journal was spread out over the desk, a single word standing out to my young mind. I shuffled through a few pages, seeking out that strange word.

Pan was listed multiple times throughout all of the small pages. Each time it was written in a seemingly loving hand which took great care in curving the letters.

"Gwyndolyn." The sound of Grandma's voice caused me to jump and break my intense scanning of the page, most of which I couldn't understand or even read, the curvy handwriting beyond my comprehension.

A secretive smile graced her withered face, pulling her lips up and out and causing her eyes to crinkle around the edges.

Grandma leaned against the counter next to me and took the worn green book into her hands, the pages I had been studying going with it.

A genuine smile lit up her face as her eyes scanned down the weathered words.

She turned to me, the happiness in her sight causing my own smile to show itself. Her smile was always so contagious.

"Would you like to hear a story?" she asked softly, her gaze flitting back to the book.

I nodded my head quickly, my enthusiasm spiking. Grandma's stories were always much more exciting and adventuresome than Mom's boring old tales of woe. They always managed to grasp my full attention, something Mom never understood.

"Come here, Wyn!" Grandma called, favoring my nickname over my long name as she took root in her favorite chair.

I rushed over to the lumpy brown thing and happily jumped into her lap with an excited squeal.

"Which story is this, Grandma?" I asked curiously as she opened the green book from the desk.

This book was different from all the others, however. It's faded green cover didn't sport a single title, while the glossy side didn't boast of its glorious author's name.

And the inside was even more unique. There were no gilded pictures to entrance me, just long drawn out words. Words that were all as equally handwritten as the rest.

There, inside the first page, I finally found the mysterious title and the elusive author's name.

"A New Generation of Pan by Gwen Averell." it read in proud handwritten lettering.

Another secretive smile was sent my way.

"This is the story of the boy who never grew up and the girl who refused to believe." she began rather grandly.

"Why didn't she believe?" I interrupted, impatient as always, my childish habits rushing ahead of me.

Grandma shushed me softly.

A sad look flitted onto her face then, a terrible yearning filling her usually warm brown eyes.

"Because she was foolish, my dear Wyn." Her words were a choir of melancholy tones singing of long forgotten ache.

***

My grandmother used to tell me many stories, the classic fairy tales that every child should know by heart.

But there was one in particular that always seemed to stick with me, even as the years passed me by.

It always dared to stray from its fantastical roots, and often, brought me great joy and imaginative memories.

Of course, it was all only a book. My imaginative childhood self could tell you that much.

But my grandmother used to bring it to life with such great emotions, that for that tiny moment, I could almost taste the Never sea and hear Pan's infamous bird whistle. I could feel Captain Hook's steel claw scraping down my back and hear the wonderful song of the Never mermaids.

But then it was all gone, sucked back into the lifeless pages of the journal, waiting for the next soul to wander upon it.

Growing up, I would often spend time scanning that mysterious author's name.

Gwen Averell. The very woman who read the tale to me with such great joy.

It was her story to tell, my grandmother's. And tell it well, she did.

Another book came to mind then, its silver embellished cover sporting the name David Averell.

The book contained short stories based around a small red-haired boy who supposedly haunted the streets of London with seven giggling phantoms at his side.

But that one didn't bring all of the joy and wonder that Gwen's book brought to mind. No, it just didn't have the right sense of magic to its dull words.

And magic was everything to a small child.

Within that fateful green book, all I had to do was believe. And I had, wholeheartedly, my six-year-old mind grasping onto anything that even remotely spelled out adventure.

But like all great dreamers, the time came for me to grow up and join my place in reality.

Even if it was only three years later.

Author's Note:

So there's the first chapter, guys!

Please let me know what you all thought!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! XD

Next update will be next week!

-Anna

A Found Girl (currently writing)Read this story for FREE!