Orion for the first time in years.
Kids and I were trapped in a magisterium of sorts -- a giant terrarium. Green trees, hollow, green grass, surrounded by white walls. The handsome young caretaker, Danny, would bring us food. It was an Experiment.
I started to feel suspicious. The other kids thought it was a Paradise, but I knew better. So when Danny told us that the food was going to run out and we would all starve, one by one, while he watched behind translucent white walls, I was not surprised.
I was the only one left, in the end. Danny and I would have long, philosophical conversations when he came inside the prison to better observe us. I was the only one he'd talk to. I figured, the longer I kept him talking, the more I could get him to like me, and maybe some of us didn't have to die.
There was a boy that Danny hated. He was the leader of the children. Peter Pan's successor, except older and not as heartless. We dreamed of Escape and planned and planned. He was the one who encouraged me to become friends with Danny.
One day, within the hollow tree, he kissed me on the lips, and he was taken the next day by Danny. I never saw him again.
In the end, I managed to Escape. Danny became careless and trusted me too much. He showed me the secret door and while his back was turned I climbed right through, like Alice in Wonderland. I found myself in a control room with gadgets and electrical wires popping out of the wall.
Danny appeared beside me, looking stricken. "You're free," he said. "But I'm not."
I face him, all too aware that Escape is so close.
"I love you more than life itself." I kiss him softly, and the world changes. The curse is broken. Danny is free.
Later I wander through Beast's castle, trying to find Danny. He told me I really shouldn't go looking for him. It's dangerous. Despite the curse being broken, he's still in contract with the Others. But I knew he couldn't resist me.
If I believe hard enough and summon the vibrations, and stand in a particular parlor in the left wing of the castle, I can find him. He feels my presence and allows me through the thin veil between my dream-world and Orion. His kisses are sweet yet hopeless. I feel his energy draining away beneath my fingers. Soon, he tells me, it'll be too late for us. I won't be able to come here at all.
He's right. Later, no matter how much I believe, I cannot pull myself through to him. The veil has thickened. The Others are keeping him away, if they have not destroyed him altogether. I am forced to awaken with teardrops on my lashes.