Instead, my attention was taken over by a commotion at the front door, which to my amazement, was wide open.
It can’t be. She laid there unmoving, and neither my father nor anyone in the crowd made a move to help her. I stood in the doorway in my pyjamas, oblivious to my bare feet freezing in the cold.
Dust and pain. Mrs Darling’s words echoed in my head, followed by an image of those squinty, long-nosed trolls, so eager to claim more victims.
We had a small, quiet funeral for grandmother. It emerged that she had fallen over on our front lawn in the dead of the night, and no one had noticed. She laid there until morning, when a passer-by finally found her, but she was too far gone by then. Never had I imagined that my grandmother would be so frail, but she was old. And to grow old was to grow frail, slowly, until one day you woke up and realised you were nothing more than bone, dust and pain.
‘She didn’t fall’ they would whisper to each other, while making a point of looking at me. ‘She was old and miserable. She’d had enough of life, and so she—’
The Darling brothers would then come to my rescue, but I never thanked them for their efforts. I simply did not care. I have had enough – of the bullies, the Darlings, and that ‘boy in green’ who flew past my window each spring with the Darlings. I was done with mermaids, with pirates, with adventures, and most of all, with that pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. I have my test scores, my path in life, and I have no time for other things. Yes, I still saw them, but that was nonsense, and like the sensible Pickwick that I am, I will lay these things to rest.