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Finished reading “The Poet’s Dictionary” by William Packard. While it is called a dictionary and follows that form loosely, it is closer to an encyclopedic dictionary, though only closer.
This 200 (apx) page tome is packed with definitions and examples of various types of poetry as well as the mechanical bits and pieces of poetic form. This is a book worth looking into if you’re a writer of verse, song, prosody, or limerick. ;)
Hook slowly opened his eyes and squinted at the green and red blur a few inches from his face as his mind pieced together the last few days. Details always took a few minutes to pull themselves back together after waking up.
“What is that scent?” he thought to himself, “Something sweet.”
“No Peter,” a thin voice said, “She’s not a mother, she’s a tramp… Stupid Wendy…”
Hook smirked as the fairy on his pillow came into focus, “Talking in our sleep, are we?” he whispered.
Tinkerbell’s bright green eyes flew open and she flew into the air with a scream. Staring down at Hook she said, “What- What are you doing in my room?!”
Hook leaned back on his pillow with his head resting on his arms and replied, “You’re in my room.”
Tinkerbell blinked as her mind caught up with her body, “Oh. Why am I in your room?”
“You can’t handle your rum,” Hook replied with a smirk.
“You seemed pretty drunk too,” Tink said petulantly.
“Oh, ho. I can handle my rum,” Hook said as he got up and began looking for his left boot under the bed, “Be sure of that, Fairy.”
“That better be all you handled,” Tink said through tight lips.
Hook’s boisterous and deep bellow of a laugh spilled over the edge of the bed quickly followed by the rest of him as he sat back down on the and worked his boot back onto his foot.
“What’s so funny?” Tink asked.
“That you think I would so much as daydream of molesting your personage. You’re not even a twig, you’re… you’re a leaf. A tiny leaf blowing about my ship. There’s nothing to handle and there’d be even less than that if I did ‘handle’ you,” Hook said between chuckles.
“Well,” Tink huffed, “You wouldn’t have any fingers or any other digit left if you tried!”
Hook stood to his full height and looked deep into Tinkerbell’s bright green eyes with his cold steely grey-blue orbs, “Believe me, Miss Bell, I do not have, nor could I have, any interest in the body of a fairy.”
Tinkerbell opened and closed her mouth a few times as if she were searching for a new insult but no sound came out. She twirled away from Hook, from his unwavering glare, and in a flurry of sparkling fairy dust she flew through the open door, down the old hall, and up onto the upper deck.
“Blasted fool fairy,” Hook mumbled to himself, “There’s that smell again. So sweet and warm… where do I know it from?”
Hook spent the next half hour collecting his wig, hook, and other odds and ends. He preferred to go above decks only when he was sorted out, even though (as he admitted to himself) a fairy and Smee were hardly much of a crew to worry about keeping impressed and in line.
He strode onto the deck of the ship ad barked out, “Status, Mister Smee!”
“All’s as well as can be well, Cap’n,” Smee replied from his station.
“You had a rest somewhere in the last hours?” Hook called back to him.
“Aye, Cap’n,” Smee replied, “I’ve rigged a hammock here in this nest of gears.”
“Very good, Mister Smee,” Hook said with a smile as he moved up the steps to his station behind the ship’s wheel. He flung off the ropes that connected the wheel to Smee’s gears and took hold in his firm and calloused hands, “I’ll take the wheel for now.”
Hook loved the feel of the waves pushing through the ship, the water curling around the rudder, every shimmy and warp of plank flowed into his hands from the wheel of Jolly Roger, “Ah yes, that’s my girl, my love, I’ve missed you.”
“You talk to your ship?” Tinkerbell asked as she fluttered over from her perch and onto his shoulder.
“Aye, that I do,” Hook said through his smile, “but I wasn’t talking to the Jolly Roger just now.”
“Then… to who?” Tinkerbell asked.
“The sea,” Hook said, “I know her as well as any man knew a wife.”
“Oh,” Tink said in an attempt to seem like she understood, though her furrowed brow showed her confusion.
“Have you never loved something greater than yourself?” Hook asked.
Tink blushed and then answered quickly, “I love Peter Pan.”
Hook chuckled, “I suppose the boy is a bit of a force of nature after all.”
“You laugh at me a lot,” Tink said as she stood on his shoulder and tried to look into the corner of his eye.
“Do I?” Hook asked rhetorically, “I suppose I do.”
“I think I’ve had enough of it,” Tink said sharply.
“Ah,” Hook said thoughtfully, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Land ho!” Smee called out from the front of the ship, startling Hook and Tinkerbell out of their conversation and back to the world around them. Tink flew back to her perch on a railing behind the ship’s wheel and Hook pulled a roll of leather with two glass lenses from a tiny box nearby. He placed the lenses, one large and one small, into the ends of the leather tube and then squinted through it with one eye.
“Ah finally,” He muttered.
“Do you see Peter?” Tink asked hopefully.
“No, just the first place to look for him,” Hook said dryly, “Would you like to see?”
Hook held the telescope near his shoulder and pointed towards the tiny speck of land on the horizon as Tinkerbell fluttered back over and looked through with both eyes. For a moment she shifted from looking out of the telescope and then back in, amazed at the little piece of technology, “Oh! I see, the glass is specially curved. That’s how it does that!”
The island was mostly green, but had a large black stone jutting up in the middle and smoke lazily drifted out of the top of it in a thin but continuous stream.
“What is that place?” she asked.
“Gadapose,” Hook said.
“You think Peter might really be there?” Tink asked hopefully.
“If he’s not, there should at least be someone who spotted a flying boy. Unless he fell into the sea at some point between Neverland and there,” Hook replied.
“He made it,” Tinkerbell said firmly, “If Peter Pan were dead, there wouldn’t even been the little bit of Neverland there is left over.”
“We shall see,” Hook said, “though I do hope you’re right.”
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“You look green, Fairy,” Hook said as he looked at Tinkerbell who had taken to the habit of resting on his shoulder over the last couple of days at sea.
“I’m-” she started to say but then clutched her belly and put the other hand over her mouth as she stifled her body’s attempt to eject breakfast, “I’m just fine… but can’t you make this ship sail smoother?”
“Not even if I had a full crew,” Hook said, “and as it is, Smee is doing as fine a job as twenty men. Aren’t you, Smee?”
“Aye, Cap’n,” Smee called back from amid the gears, pulleys and rope, “Wind seems to have steadied, I think we can tie things off and let the Jolly Roger stay on course for a bit while I get some rest.”
“Very good, Mister Smee,” Hook called back and then turned his attention back to Tinkerbell, “Rum and pickle juice.”
“What?” Tink asked irritably.
“Rum and pickle juice,” Hook repeated himself, “It’ll steady your nerves and your stomach.”
“I… I don’t think…” Tink let out a loud belch and then held her hand over her mouth again before continuing, “I’ll try anything.”
Hook took them below decks and prepared a thimble of equal parts pickle juice and rum and took the rest of the bottle for himself. He then walked down to his quarters, set Tinkerbell on his table with the thimble and sat down in his overstuffed chair across the room.
“To ourselves,” Hook toasted.
“Since no one else is likely to concern themselves with us?” Tink asked wryly as she sniffed at the concoction of pickle juice and rum before lifting the thimble to her lips.
Hook raised a bushy eyebrow and mumbled in jest, “When were you a part of the Royal Navy?”
“What,” Tink asked
“Oh,” Hook said and took a long draft from the rum bottle, “Nothing. Nothing at all, Miss Bell.”
“This rum and pickle juice tastes awful,” Tink said and took another drink from the thimble, “but I do already feel a little less queasy.”
“Would I steer you wrong?” Hook asked with a wink.
“Of course you would,” Tink replied sharply, “in fact you’re probably just trying to gain my trust now so you can take advantage later.”
“I assure you,” Hook said between pulls on his bottle of rum, “It’s mechanically impossible for me to take advantage of you.”
“Huh?” Tink said as she placed her empty thimble on the table and wobbled to her feet, “What are you talking about?”
“Just a little joke,” Hook said.
“Oh? And is that a short joke?” Tink said while waving a tiny finger towards Hook, “I don’t take kindly to jokes about my stature!”
“Just a tiny jest, Miss Bell,” Hook chuckled.
“I’ll give you a tiny jest!” Tink shouted as she flew into the air and straight for Hook’s left eye.
Hook caught her by her wings and slowly set her back down on his shoulder, “There’s no reason to come to blows over it, Fairy. I only mean it in fun.”
“You just watch it, Codfish,” Tink slurred.
“Oh to be sure,” Hook said condescendingly, “I would not underestimate the fury of a fairy scorned.”
“You shouldn’t,” she said, “I have more than one surprise for those that do.”
“Sure, sure,” Hook mumbled as he started to doze off.
Tinkerbell yawned and leaned back into the soft dark hair of Hook’s wig, “You just… just keep that in mind. You…” and drifted off to sleep before she was even aware that the end of her sentence had wandered off.
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“It was right under that star,” Tink said to Captain Hook and Smee as she pointed at bright star twinkling the night sky.
“Are you sure?” Hook asked.
“I am,” Tink said, “I made sure to look for a star to follow in case I had to chase after him. I flew out there about a week ago, but there was no land. I had to turn around and come back to Neverland.
“How long did you fly out?” Hook asked.
“About half a day out,” Tink answered, “I had to rest on a piece of driftwood I was lucky enough to find before heading back.”
Hook rubbed his stubbled chin and thought before calling out to Smee, “How long before the ship is ready to sail, Mister Smee?”
“About and hour or so, Cap’n,” Smee called down from where he was rigging pulleys and tying rope to strategic places in order to prepare the Jolly Roger to be piloted by a crew of two men and a speck of a fairy.
“Very good,” Hook called back up to Smee and then turned back to Tinkerbell, “Miss Bell, if you’ll join me below decks in the library.”
“What for?” she asked.
Hook rolled his eyes, “Davey Jones save me from fools and their questions. Maps, Miss Bell, maps and star charts.”
“Oh,” Tinkerbell said blinking with sudden understanding, “Fairies don’t really use maps.”
“No, I suppose they wouldn’t, but pirates do,” Hook said as he went down the steps.
Tinkerbell followed after him, the belly of the ship smelled of fish, pickles, and Limburger cheese, but also had the calming scent of the beach. The boards creaked with Hook’s footsteps and the waves of the ocean. She became lost in her thoughts of the sounds of the ship and failed to notice when Hook came to a stop in front of a small wooden door.
“Blast fairy,” Hook said as she flew into the back of his head and landed on the collar of his jacket shaking her head, “Watch where you’re flying.”
“Sorry,” She said as she shook her head clear and climbed over to his left shoulder to sit.
Hook gave the tiny woman a sideways glance and could not help but notice her perfect, if intolerably tiny, proportions. He cleared his throat and looked away quickly, “I suppose that’s as good a place as any for you. At least you won’t fly into me from there.”
Tink crossed her arms and looked away, “It’s not like I want to, it’s just cramped in this hall. Barely room to stretch my wings.”
Hook chuckled at the thought of this tiny creature calling the hallway cramped as he opened the door. He lifted a lamp that was hanging outside with his hook and brought it in with them.
The walls of the library were lined with small cubby holes that contained scrolls of paper and a large map was spread out over a table in the middle of the room with the corners hanging off the edges. The room smelled of dust and disuse.
“You haven’t been in here in a while, have you?” Tinkerbell asked.
“I haven’t traveled away from the shore of Neverland in years,” Hook replied as he scanned the scrolls lifting tiny tags to read in muttered tones.
“Are you looking for a map?” Tink asked.
“No, that one on the table should do,” Hook replied, “It has all of the islands I’ve found near Neverland on it. What we need is my star chart so I can figure out where the boy may have been heading. Ah here it is!”
Hook squinted at the scroll he’d pulled from the shelves, used odd tools on the map while muttering and doing math on a slate chalk board for while before drawing a circle on the map and striking his hook down in the center.
“Here!” He shouted triumphantly, “Unless the boy just kept flying forever, or veered off at some point, he’d most likely to be on one of these five islands.”
Tink fluttered down to the map and walked around the edge of the circle that Captain Hook had drawn, “Are you sure?” she asked and raised an eyebrow.
“I know how to read a map,” Hook said, “Unlike some others in this room.”
TInkerbell glared up at Hook from the table, “Fine. Let’s get going then!”
Tinkerbell fluttered back up to Hook’s left shoulder and waited him to put out the lantern and head back up to the deck of the ship.
“Smee!” Hook shouted out as soon as his head cleared the top of the stairs, “Are we ready to set sail?”
“Aye, Cap’n” Smee called from the center of the deck where he was surrounded by pulleys, ropes, chains, levers, and other apparatus, “As ready as we can be.”
“It looks,” Hook searched for the right words, “Like… like a mess, but let’s set sail anyway! Mister Smee, anchors up and sails at full!”
“Aye Cap’n” Smee replied as he pulled a lever that sent sand bags falling towards the deck and lifted the anchors from the sea bed, then twirled several cranks that dropped the sails and pulled them taught, pulled a few ropes through pulley to line up the sails with the wind and secured everything as the Jolly Roger lurched forward.
“Leaving Pirate Cove,” Smee called out.
“Very well done, Smee,” Hook marveled at his last crewman’s ingenuity, “Good show.”
“Thank you, Cap’n” Smee called back, “You have a course in mind, sir?”
“Once we’re to open waters I’ll give you a more precise course, but for now… Follow that star, Mister Smee!” Hook called out while pointing to the bright star Tinkerbell had shown him earlier.
“Aye, Cap’n,” Smee replied and made the adjustments to the sails to keep them on course.
As they approached the crest of Mermaid cliff, Hook was reminded of the many days he had spent sitting atop the cliff and staring down at the sunbathing mermaids. They may have been fish from the waist down, but they were all woman from the belly up. Well, that’s what one would think from a distance, Hook had lost more than one crewman to the predations of the mermaids. They had a nasty tendency to drag a man below the waves and send the guts and blood back up to the surface.
Hook pushed through a thick patch of leaves and could see the edge of the cliff just a few feet ahead. He looked around, but saw no sign of the fairy, “Fairy! Miss Bell, are you here?”
Hook looked down at Mermaid cove and strained his eyes to pick out details from the thousand shades of grey below. As his eyes adjusted he could make out dozens of mermaids, grey, still as statues, and each with back bent low as if they had come to a complete stop in the middle of weeping.
“Everyone is like that,” Tinkerbell’s voice said close to Hook’s ear.
“Blast you fairy!” Hook shouted in surprise, “You’d best make a bit more noise before coming up behind me a second time. I nearly batted you aside like a gnat.
“Like you’d ever be able to lay a hand on me,” she said and followed with a dismissive snort.
“What do you mean that they are all like that?” Hook asked, “You mean statues?”
“I mean they all look like they’ve had their hearts broken,” She replied.
“I see,” Hook said and then turned away from the unmoving mermaids, “Well, I think it’s time we made our way to Pan’s residence. Don’t you?”
“Yeah,” Tinkerbell agreed, “No sense in wasting time. Follow me!” She said as she fluttered back down the path and into the argentine forest and flicked Smee’s bulbous nose as she flew by.
“Ack,” Smee called after her, “Watch where you stick your bloomin’ wings!”
“Come along, Smee,” Hook said as he chased after Tinkerbell, the glittering ball of light that zipped around tree limbs, through loops of vines, and rustled leaves as it passed.
“Eh, Wha?” Smee looked to the cliff and back to Hook’s quickly retreating back, “Aye, Cap’n!” he huffed turned to stumble after the fairy and his captain.
After roughly and hour of charging through the forest they arrived at a large clearing with a familiar tree. A huge and crooked oak that Hook had passed hundreds of times while chasing after Pan and his cohorts, “Where now, Fairy?”
“We’re here,” she said flatly.
“You expect me to believe that Pan, the lost boys, and you live in a tree?” he asked incredulously.
“Not in it,” she said as she landed on an odd and knobby branch, “Under it. Pull this branch.”
Hook approached the tree took the knobby branch in his right hand and give it a mighty pull downward. The next thing he was aware of was the distinct lack of ground beneath his feet, the rushing of air past his ears, and the solid sound of posterior hitting pine boards.
As the stars cleared from his eyes and the pain in his flank subsided he took note of Smee’s voice calling down, “Cap’n? Are you all right? Sir? Cap’n Hook? I swear if he’s hurt!”
“He’s fine,” Hook heard Tinkerbell assure Smee, “Come on.”
A moment later he saw the bright light the emanated from Tinkerbell floating in front of him and squinted through to see her smirking at him.
“You’d better move,” she said.
“What now?” He asked.
“Smee’s about to land on you,” she said and fluttered away to a far corner of the one room underground home.
“Look out below,” Smee called as he jumped into the pit.
“Bloody hell!” Hook scurried out of the way just as Smee hit the pine boards hard enough that a few of them sent splinters twirling through the air.
Hook looked down at the last of his crew sprawled out on the floor and nudged him with a booted foot, “Mister Smee, are you alive?”
“No Cap’n” Smee said as he shook his head and slowly opened his eyes, “Quite dead, Sir.”
“Very good,” Hook replied, “Give yourself a burial at sea later, but right now get up and get to work.”
“Yes sir,” Smee said and stood back up.
“Now,” Hook said as he began to look around the home of his enemy, “What did Pan take with him?”
“He took the crystal he found in the northern ice fields, his dagger, a book that Wendy used to read to him… I- I don’t think he took anything else,” Tink said as she watched Hook stalk about the room.
“Are there any other rooms?” Hook asked.
“No, why would there be more than one?” TInkerbell asked.
“I suppose there wouldn’t need to be,” Hook said, “What was here?” he asked while pointing at an odd circular spot free of dust on one of the shelves.
“The crystal?” Tink replied as if not really sure.
“No,” Hook said, “I believe that was this spot here,” he said indicating a more angular patch of dust free shelf, “This spot,” Hook said as he mused and looked around the room at all the trophies of adventure Peter Pan had collected, “It reminds me of something.”
“The clock sir,” Smee piped in, “It had about the same size and shape.”
“Of course!” Hook agreed, “After I killed that croc I kept the clock in my room until Pan stole it!”
“I guess that might have been there,” Tink said, “but how is knowing that Peter took a clock going to help us find him?”
“I don’t know yet,” Hook replied, “but it won’t help us to remaining ignorant of the facts.”
“How much longer are you going to poke around?” Tink asked irritably.
“I think we’re done here. Do you think you can remember which direction Pan flew off in? Where the sparkle was on the horizon?” Hook asked.
“Absolutely,” Tink replied.
“Very good,” Hook said as he stroked his chin, “Mister Smee, we’ll need to make ready to sail the Jolly Roger.”
“Aye sir,” Smee replied, “But first, how do we get out of this pit?”
“Stand right here,” Tinkerbell said while pointing down at a small red circle on the floor she was fluttering over.
“Here?” Hook asked as he and Smee stood in the circle, “Is it connected to some sort of pulley system under the floor?”
“Something like that,” TInkerbell said with a wicked smirk just before flying full speed into a large button the wall.
Hook and Smee let out wild yelps as a large spring flung them into the air and out of the tree house toppling through the air until they landed hard on the silvery forest floor in a mix of jangled bones and bruised egos.
“Fairy!” Hook called out once he had his wits about himself again, “Where are you? If you do anything like that again, I’ll feed you to the frogs! I’ll strap you to a candle and light the wick at both ends! I’ll-“
“You’ll what?” Tinkerbell asked as she fluttered just out of arm’s reach.
Hook squinted sharply at the impish figure, “Mark my words fairy. I’m keeping a tab of every abuse and I will repay each of them after this little adventure.”
“Oh,” Tink said sarcastically, “I’m sure you will.”
“Let’s get back to the ship,” Hook said as he started towards the shoreline and out of the depressingly colorless woods.
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“Feels like rowing through mud,” Smee said breathlessly as he worked the wooden plank he had fashioned into a make shift oar through the water at each side of the oblong wooden wash tub.
They moved slowly from the blue waters that surrounded the ship into the murkier grey waters closer to the shore of Neverland. Hook lowered the tip of the hook he used as a left hand into the colorless water and thought that even the ripples seemed to lack a certain fullness of motion.
“Aye, Smee,” Hook agreed, “there’s not much life left in this water.”
It took close to an hour to move the washtub close enough to shore for Smee step out and push the tub the rest of the way. Normally he would have welcomed the cool splash of the ocean after a long row to shore, but the stillness of the forest, the dullness of the sound of the waves, and the distinct impression that even the air he breathed was grey pushed any joy out of his heart.
When they were only a few feet out from the shore, Hook hopped out and splashed towards land, “Moor the boat, Mister Smee,” he called out behind him.
Smee hurriedly moored the boat to a large fallen tree and followed after his Captain towards Mermaid Cliff where Tinkerbell was waiting for them.
“Do you think the Fairy will really show us Pan’s home?” Smee asked Captain Hook.
“Aye, Smee, I don’t think there’s anything else she can do,” Hook assured him, “After all, do you think she would have come to us if there were anyone else left to help her?”
“I suppose not, Cap’n,” Smee agreed, “You don’t think this is some trap set by Pan?”
“No,” Hook said, “I do not believe that boy has the wit, power, or will to destroy Neverland just to get a shot at me.”
“I suppose he has taken plenty of shots without going so far before,” Smee agreed though he received a sharp glance from Hook that brought an apology swiftly afterwards.
They approached Mermaid Cliff from the east side, which allowed them to walk upwards along a path the lost boys had made through years of running, play, and adventures. The incline was not too steep, but Smee still huffed heavily behind the Captain as they climbed. Hook, on the other hand, felt invigorated by the mystery that lay before them. Each step was just another closer to the real beginning of their adventure.
“Do you feel it Smee?” Hook asked.
“Feel what sir?” Smee panted out.
“The fire in your blood. The sense of something new and powerful! We’re about to set out looking for something strong enough to keep Pan from Neverland and when we find it- When we find it, Smee! Battle! Battle with a worthy opponent! Centuries we’ve fought the same fights with Peter Pan and his Lost Boys, but now, now we have something new. Don’t you feel excited?”
“Aye, Cap’n” Smee agreed more out of habit than excitement, “Excit’n as you say Cap’n Hook.”
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