I am the silent weighted footsteps that shape your destiny. I am the hands that shift the landscape of your world from past to present to possibility. I measure the moments that defy and define you. Moments where your true character rises to the surface, taking a breath, however brief, of your worth.
It is a rare soul whose tether to this world escapes my grasp. Rarer still, when they discover the key to their fate is fastened to the fingers of courage. Heroes are not born, they are created within a single moment that separates those who can save, from those who need saving.
The boy before me stands on the brink of breaking. He is to save himself, before he can save another.
This is his moment.
I watch the fiery soul with the flaming hair and feral eyes scan the horizon for signs of the ship. The slippery sea swallowed its sails beneath the stars, the waves wiping clean its path, leaving only loss and loneliness in its wake.
A heartbeat away from the bluff’s edge, his emotions roil like the restless tide against the shore, threatening to pull him under. His pulse dares to race after her.
Hold fast, child, I breathe into the wind, do not leap.
A shade creeps up the cliff face, gathering itself into its proper place beside the boy. It is no ordinary shadow, for it belongs to no ordinary boy.
He looks towards his inky twin, eyes hopeful, questioning.
The shadow shakes its head.
The girl is gone.
The sea has stolen her, its currents carrying her clear across the world to Neverland, where he cannot follow.
Look, child, I steer his eyes, see beyond the boundaries that bind you.
A crushing sense of defeat grips the boy. She was everything to him that mattered. The connection they shared was beyond anything he could have hoped for. He was nothing more than a creature created from deception and destruction, born of the hell fires that burned in the minds of madmen.
Despite his origins, she believed in him. In her eyes, he was ever so much more than a corporate pawn. She spoke to his soul, just to prove he had one. And now, standing in this sacred place where they so often met, he cannot fathom his soul’s survival without her…
His shadow, unable to console him, paces uneasily across the jagged rocks. The specter could travel anywhere it liked outside of the boy, for the laws once governing its limitations no longer applied. It was a miraculous bit of engineering, a spy that could separate from the body to slip through the seams of sanctuaries and secrets, alike. Try as they may, the shadow was never again duplicated, no matter the manipulation of nanites, nor nefarious trials conducted.
Yet, for all of its astonishing abilities, it could not feel the sand beneath its feet, nor taste the salt of the sea, nor grasp the hand of a girl before she was lost, forever. For you see, even extraordinary shadows have limitations.
The boy’s fists clench at his sides, a fierce determination fueling his desire to break free, to escape the bars of his island cage and steal back what is rightfully his.
Yes, child, I whisper in his ear, you are a glorious thief.
He is a weapon wrapped in the unsuspecting shell of an innocent, playing a dangerous game of pirates and plagues.
You are more than a puppet, I urge him. You’ve only to sever the strings.
Danger drove the girl from the island in the dead of night. He could feel the frantic echoes of her fear. What is she to them? What secrets flow through her blood that Hook should be so eager to spill it?
Ah, yes, Hook. Captain of industry and benevolent benefactor of LOST Technologies. In the eyes of mortals, he is a savior and a saint.
History is lined with the deaths of ignorant men.
Hook is nothing but a sinner and a savage whose thread I long to shear. His time will come. The cutting blade of corruption always turns on its wielder.
Dawn drips from the sky, slashes of red igniting the silver lettering that brands the boy’s skin as lost.
You are more than a number, I remind him, ever so much more.
His shadow, having seen something curious, pulls the boy’s attention from the rising surf. There, scrolled in swirling script in the sand near his feet, was a message.
This is not goodbye.
This is not leaving and forgetting.
This is me, waiting for you,
in the space between dreams
Purpose and passion are all the heart needs to soar.
Now, I call to him. Leap!
The boy writes his fate on the wind and does not fall.
Heroes are not born, they are created within a single moment that separates those who fall from those who fly.