When the sun was high above us, its harsh rays beating down on our backs, we emerged from the trees into a small village.
The buildings were small, shaky huts that appeared to be made from the skins of some unknown animals. They looked like they could be taken down in a moment and put back up within the next second.
There were people weaving between these structures. Busy parents rushed to and fro as their children chased each other gleefully in circles.
But they all stopped to stare as our captors lead Pan and I to a small clearing in the village center.
There, we were met by the foreboding figure of the village leader, the Chief.
He stood tall before us, not in an attempt to appear straight-laced but to frighten and intimidate us. His dark eyes darted between us and a figure that was quickly cutting their way through the crowds. He wrung his hands as he waited with impatience echoed in the rushed tapping of his foot.
The person finally emerged in front of us, their long dark hair flinging over their shoulder in a whipping braid.
It was a woman, and, after a brief examination of Pan and I, she turned a fiery gaze on the Chief. She marched towards the grand man and stared him dead in the eye. He was a head taller than her, but she refused to back down. Anger, bravery, and power radiated in waves from her frame.
The Chief's once proud countenance withered into a guilty and frightful stare.
After a few whispered words to the now submissive Chief, the woman turned to us.
Her dark eyes were soft as she took in my battered and blistered form, but they quickly hardened into a neutral state when they landed on Pan, whose usually wild hair was slicked back with grime from the forest.
She sashayed over to us, her dark braid flicking behind her like a snake's tail.
The people holding us still backed away as she came closer.
She stopped before us, her eyes inquisitive. The woman straightened herself and prepared to speak. Every single person within the crowd held their breath in anticipation.
With her so close, I could better study her features.
She was tall, about the same height as Pan. Her mien was soft and delicate, like that of a lightly drawn flower. Her dark eyes and hair framed her small face and drew out her tanned skin, giving her an almost innocent look, but her personality destroyed that affect in a bright burst of fiery self-assurance and passion.
"Peter," she said delicately, her voice the perfect poise of grace with a hint of wildness lying in wait. She leaned in close, making sure that only we could hear, and finished her thought, "What brings you here? You know how Kunal feels about you, especially around the children."
Pan nodded slowly, a barely noticeable hint to her that he was listening. He pitched his voice low to match her own as he answered. "I was trying to protect someone dear to me. I had no choice."
She tried to respond to him, but was interrupted by the boisterous clap of the Chief's voice. His low timber silenced her low sung words in an instant.
"Tiger Lily! Quit conversing with the enemy! You might as well be sharing a campfire with the bloody pirates!" The man said as he cut between us and the woman.
She glared right back at him as she attempted to speak her part and defend herself.
But the man would have none of it. He silenced her with another loud sentence. "They are to be punished."
My blood ran cold in my veins at his harsh words. Punished? For what?
Tiger Lily stood stock still, her face growing cherry red with anger.
But the man continued, completely ignoring the thundering woman at his side. "Take them to the rock, and tie them out for the fish to pick apart." Then he simply walked away without a single care in the world. It was like turning your back on a high-power explosive if you asked me.
The woman marched after him, pure, unrelenting fury flowing from her in hot waves.
The guards who had fallen back with Tiger Lily's approach sprung forward to capture our limbs once more.
The people, now completely disinterested in the strange foreigners, returned to their daily routines as Pan and I were drug none to gently from their village.
The only ones who seemed to care about our fate were Tiger Lily and a small group of children who slipped unnoticed fro under their parents' noses. They ranged in ages from knee high children barely able to toddle along to towering children around Pan's age.
There was a dark-haired girl around my age and height that seemed to be the unofficial leader of the bunch as she ordered the others around with an effortless air of authority and prestige.
The children followed us all the way to a small cove, their feet silent and their eyes wide with curiosity.
The only reason that I knew they were following was because of the few adults who were trailing just slightly behind kept telling the children to go on their merry way.
But my attention was ripped from the children rather abruptly.
Pan and I were thrown into a shallow boat where my poor battered hands and knees took another harsh beating.
Then it was shoved off into the cove, with our Indians captors onboard.
Welp, I've been cutting it really close lately. :D
Song: What a Catch, Donnie by Fall Out Boy
Hope you guys enjoyed! Have a good day/night!
Thanks for reading! :D
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A Found Girl (currently writing)Adventure
Book Two of Pan of Never Duology Forty years ago, young Gwen Averell was forced to venture into the world of Neverland along side her little sister, Wendi. They discovered untrustworthy pirates, violent fairy queens, and young ruffians who flew unde...