Betwixt and Between explores many aspects of loss. It looks at what it means to wholly and completely love someone by imagining the ultimate loss of them. This story explores what it means to long for childhood, our childhood, or the young childhood of growing children we know, while also understanding what it means to grow up, let go and move on.
Betwixt and Between
Betwixt and Between is told through three separate but intersecting stories that all deal with the death of a child in some way. There is the story of Claire, a modern mother living in the real world whose son, Preston, has just been killed. It follows her as she mourns and tries to remember him, as friends reach out to her and in her greif she ever starts speaking to another killer of children who is in jail. All the while Claire is surrounded by the events connected to her son’s murder investigation. There is Preston, Claire’s son, in Neverland, where he is also dealing with the fact that he’s dead. Preston meets an enigmatic and somewhat tragic Peter Pan, who befriends him, becoming closer to Preston than he is to most of the other Lost Boys, as he teaches Preston about the mysteries of Neverland. In Neverland there are fairies and mermaids, Indians and of course pirates. I wanted to use these familiar tropes from the story to explore what it means to lose a child and so all these figures are people who have died who are somehow connected to the loss of a child. The mermaids, for example, are mother’s who have died in childbirth, the pirates are child abusers and other bad guys, who are sectioned off away from the bulk of Neverland in a dark place that is a kind of punishment for them. Peter tells Preston never to go there, but of course he does, and things happen there as well. There is also the story of Mrs. Darling, living in Victorian London, where her neighbor is the author J.M. Barrie, as she waits for her daughter Winifred to wake up from a coma. While Mrs. Darling is waiting for her daughter to wake up, Winifred is in Neverland, just visiting. There, she meets Peter Pan, who changes her name to Wendy and falls in love with her. It is through his falling in love with Wendy and then losing her, that causes Peter to grow up, making him the sadder, more enigmatic figure Preston meets a century later.