I had given up, I didn't know who to trust
So I designed a shell, kept me from heaven and hell
And I had hit a low, was all I let myself know
Yeah I had locked my heart, I was imprisoned by dark
Sia- Dressed in Black
Wendy Darling tapped her fingers nervously at the bars of her cage. She did not know how long she had been on the island. Days had turned into weeks and weeks into months. Sometimes it felt like yesterday when she was in the nursery with her brothers in London and sometimes it felt like another lifetime. Everyday her heart filled with sorrow and sadness when she thought of her parents and her brothers. How she wished she could see them just once more. See them smile, see them laugh. Once in a while she would get angry too, furiously angry and shouted and screamed though she knew it was useless. She was held hostage and she still did not know why. It was frustrating because there was absolutely nothing she could do. Escaping was impossible because even if she could escape the cage, which she had tried, there was absolutely no way to leave Neverland. So all she could do was sit there day for day hoping for change. She sighed, looking at her dirty fingernails and tugged at her ragged-looking beige nightgown, which she changed for a blue one when she was allowed out of the cage.
Humans have the extraordinary ability to adapt to all circumstances but the worst thing for Wendy was the loneliness. With no one to share her thoughts with, she had lost her smile. Everyday three different lost boys brought her food. Porridge for breakfast, bread with cheese for lunch and dinner, occasionally a soup. Peter Pan forbade them to talk to her and no one wanted to break his rules so she rarely exchanged words with the lost boys. With absolutely no one to talk to, she became more depressed day by day. It was hard trying to imagine a better future when nothing new ever happened. Bored, she ripped off the horrid bottom of her nightgown so that it was cropped just over her knees. She felt more agile now, if only she could move freely. The cage barely left enough room for her to stand, yet she tried to get up and bumped her head a little but continued to admire her new nightgown. The ripped dress was proof that she could still make a change, no matter how small it was. A new spark of hope rose in her, powerful enough to make her believe that she could one day escape this prison. She decided she would give this escape mission her all, for there was nothing more to lose. Confident, she watched a blue bird hopping from one branch to the next, further up a great tree until he flew above the trees away from the island. Wendy did not know when or how but she was certain that she would someday fly away from Neverland as a free bird.
Every few days Peter Pan came by the cage. It was hung up rather high in a tree and when he wanted to talk to Wendy he simply raised his hand and lowered the cage with his magical abilities. They fascinated Wendy. He never let her out of the cage when he talked to her, perhaps he wanted to maintain his status as the capturer. No one dared to come close to the cage when he was there, which meant they had complete privacy. At first she was reluctant to talk to him, after all, he had captured her and he was the reason she was away from her family for so long. The first few weeks on Neverland, she refused to talk to him until he would set her free. That did not happen and after weeks it was the lack of human interaction that almost made her go mad. She was in desperate need of talking to someone, anyone and when Peter appeared at her cage one day again asking rather joyfully: "How are you, Wendy bird?'' , she answered to his surprise: "Not very good, given the scum food you are serving me." He laughed dryly. ,,This is certainly no aristocratic house is London. You should get used to the food since you will stay here for a very long time.'' Wendy's lips quivered at the notion of her home. She was suddenly afraid she would never return to London. She lifted herself up and grasped the bars of the cage and loudly demanded: "How long do you intend to keep me here?" ,"As long as I desire.", he turned away and grinned devilishly. All that was left of Wendy's courage disappeared in a second and she sat down on the cold metal again. She had lost her hope. Her imprisonment had changed her. She was no longer the happy, caring sister. In her despair, she cried herself to sleep again, like every other night, when the images of her family kept flickering in front of her closed eyes.
A few days later, Peter Pan visited her again. Wendy was wide awake and somehow eager to talk to him. She remembered that she had once felt sympathy for this boy, even admired him. So had her brothers as they had all visited Neverland for the first time together. There wasn't a moment she had regretted that decision. Her only and biggest regret was just that she had come back again without her brothers and had never been able to leave the island since. She knew what had attracted her to Peter and the island. The scent of adventure, of freedom and fun. There was no way she could have known then, that everything was about to change. That Peter would lure her into a cage and show his true face. That Neverland would become a place of howling shadows at night. That freedom was in London, not here. She had to learn these things painfully. Nevertheless, today was a new day and she decided to ignore the past just for a few minutes as she smiled at Peter Pan happily and greeted him cheerfully: "How are things going in Neverland?" He was irritated and even frowned for a second but he regained his straight expression almost instantly. "Neverland is prospering as always. As I can see, you are getting accomodated with your cage now." "Well, it is not comfortable but I can manage." She decided, just for a day, to talk to him as if he was still the mysterious and fun boy, she had once admired. For a moment, it felt like they were just two normal teenagers talking with eachother. And she desperately needed to cling to any piece of normality, so she kept the conversation going. "How does Neverland really look? Is the mermaid lagoon still there? I can't remember, it's been so long." She thought this was quite the subtle hint to Peter. He seemed quite irritated by the seemingly normal conversation but tried to play along. "Yes, the lagoon is still there, of course. Everything is still the same. There is a quite lovely treehouse nearby, I usually sleep there, but I am thinking of making an exception. I will allow you to sleep there as a change to your cage. This is quite the treat, Wendy, I must admit. I hope you appreciate it." She was surprised and answered truthfully: "I do appreciate it Peter." "Very well.", he glanced at her curiously, then turned around and disappeared in the woods. Wendy was surprised at this turn of events. Within one conversation, Peter Pan had admitted her a night outside of the cage. Maybe wonders were still possible!