It's a story about a man who has a childhood friend that doesn't age. The man visits his friend, and discovers that his friend's childhood has continued in a sort of alternate universe. His friend listens to new episodes of canceled radio programs from back in the 50's or so (or maybe television programs, I'm not sure). His friend's mother feels a great deal of anxiety about the situation. One day, the man takes his friend outside to see the world, but this causes his friend to suffer a severe headache (or something). Shortly after, his friend passes on.

The main themes are childhood, nostalgia, stuff like that. It's a bit of a riff off Peter Pan.

I believe I only read the summary of this story, and that it's a short story (but it could be something else, like from television). Maybe I read about it on Wikipedia but they removed the page.

  • I remember reading this (or a summary of this). I have no additional details to provide, but I can confirm that you didn't imagine the whole thing.
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 21:21
  • Remove peter-pan tag because it's not actually about Peter Pan?
    – user32390
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 2:40

2 Answers 2


Sounds like Jeffty Is Five by Harlan Ellison.

"Jeffty is Five" concerns a boy who never grows past the age of five — physically, mentally, or chronologically. The narrator, Jeffty's friend from the age of five well into adulthood, discovers that Jeffty's radio plays new episodes of long-canceled serial programs, broadcast on radio stations that no longer exist. He can buy all-new issues of long-discontinued comic books such as The Shadow and Doc Savage, and of long-discontinued pulp magazines with new stories by long-dead authors like Stanley G. Weinbaum, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Robert E. Howard. Jeffty can even watch films that are adaptations of old pulp fiction novels like Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man. The narrator is privy to this world because of Jeffty's trust, while the rest of the world (the world that grew as Jeffty did not) is not. When Jeffty's world and the "real" world intersect, Jeffty loses his grip on his own world, eventually meeting a tragic end.


"Jeffty is Five" is Harlan Ellison's story about the friendship between an adult man, Donald, and his childhood friend Jeffty, whom has been stuck in his own 1940s time-warp since he was five years old. Donald lives in but laments the then-present day 1970s when the story was written (ironically many are now nostalgic about the Seventies the same way Donald/Ellison was about the Forties). The story first appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction and was collected in Shatterday (1980).

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