Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Remembering You

The following came about as a spin-off of my Susan Fiction, The Lost Seed. We know what Aslan said to Lucy and Edmund at the end of their last trip to Narnia - described in one of the most beautiful sections of the Chronicles. We are not, however, privy to the similar conversation which he had with Peter and Susan at the end of their last trip. We'll never know what transpired. But this is my imaginative attempt at describing how the conversation might have gone. The Chronicles of Narnia, land of Narnia and characters are not my own but the inventions of CS Lewis. As is the setting for this piece. BookVerse Only.

It was a beautiful morning. The early sun poured into the clearing as though all were newly made and fresh. The feast last night seemed far away, like some distant but pleasant memory. Peter and Susan sat together, deep in conversation. They discussed all that had happened, considered the merits of Narnia’s new young King, and wondered over what it was that Aslan planned to do with the prisoners and Telmarines who had been summoned to appear before him that day.

“All will be revealed in due course,” said a deep but beautiful voice, interrupting their discussion. “But that is for later. For now, will you walk with me son of Adam and daughter of Eve? There are some more pressing matters we must speak of first.” The two elder Pevensie children got up quickly and followed the Lion without a question. 

For a while the three walked in silence, one child on either side of the Lion. Aslan told them then that he would soon send them back to their own world. They were not surprised at this, as they knew that they had accomplished what they came to do. Unlike last time, Narnia had a capable ruler, and their time in Narnia would be brief. Aslan ordered Susan to bring the children’s school clothes to the gathering later that day so they could change before he sent them back. They walked on a bit longer in silence, before Aslan stopped and spoke again.

“And now, son of Adam, Ddaughter of Eve, it is time we said our proper good-byes, before rejoining the others.”

The children turned to face him, taken aback by this. Why couldn’t he wait until they all bade their farewells together, with Caspian and the Narnians present, and Edmund and Lucy? Why this private parting? Susan felt the hairs on her neck stand up with a sense of foreboding.

“But we shall see you again soon, shan’t we?” asked Susan, voicing their surprise. As she looked into his beautiful deep eyes, so full of both the joy and pains that the weight of this world brought him, she thought she could see something almost akin to sorrow.  Though this seemed like far less painful a sorrow than before, it reminded Susan of another day, so very long ago, when she and Lucy had walked with him by night.
“Oh Aslan, what’s wrong?” she asked.

Aslan seemed then to smile, a kind of wistful smile. “Nothing at all is wrong, dear,” he replied “All is just as it should be. But this will be the last time you and your brother come to Narnia and the last time you see me like this. You are growing up, my children. Again. And this time it must be in your world.”
“Oh Aslan,” said Susan, burying her arms in his soft hair. Peter too, hugged his mane, but with less obvious emotion. It seemed almost as though he had expected that this day would come.

The Lion continued then, explaining why it must be so. “You children have been called to Narnia, twice now, for two reasons: for the sake of Narnia and for your own sakes. For the Narnians, that you might bring them hope and freedom. And for yourselves, that you might learn to have faith.”

After a short silence, Peter spoke up. “Faith in what, Aslan?”

Aslan looked into his eyes, as though baring into his very soul. “Not in what, son of Adam, faith in whom? You have both served me well in this world. But now you must learn to serve me in yours.”
Peter and Susan looked at one another. They knew what he meant. They had often spoken before with each other about the unusual characteristics of Aslan, and they knew the similarities were not accidental. But Susan felt she had to ask the question.

“Aslan, does that mean…”

“I Am. You know, Susan, that I Am. You have always known this. And this is why I need both of you there now more than here. Your world is going through dark days. Some of the worst are yet to come, though a period of relief is not far off. I need men and women, boys and girls, who can stand for me in the days ahead. Narnia has been restored again, and the truth will be made known throughout the land. But in your world there is dire need of people to stand for what is right, just and true. I need you there.”

The children were silent again for a while. Peter spoke up first. “We will serve you with our utmost, as we have here. I will dedicate my life to studying your truth. And when I am a grown man, I will use the talents you have given me to make your truth known to our world as it is here.”

Aslan looked on him with pride mixed with something deeper, almost pity. “You speak well, son of Adam, and your motives are noble as they have always been. But be not too eager to grow up, and plan not too far ahead. Do what you can to serve me each day as it comes into your power.”

There again, was a hint of sorrow in Aslan’s voice, as if there were something he knew but could not speak of.

Suddenly, their conversation was interrupted by a different voice calling out.

“Peter, there you are! Caspian is looking for you!” It was Edmund. Peter turned to Aslan questioning what he should do, and the Lion nodded.

“Go, son of Adam. Use these few remaining hours to share your wisdom with the new King of Narnia. And remember your resolution to serve me. Your sister will keep me company a little longer.”

As the two brothers walked off, Aslan turned back to Susan.

“I know I’m not as good as Peter, but I will try my best when I get back to our world,” the girl ventured, not sure exactly what to say.

“Susan,” he spoke gravely, “I do not doubt that you will try your best. But know that it’s not goodness I want from you, but faithfulness. And the power to stay firm will come from me, not your own resolve. Don’t forget that, Susan. Don’t forget me.”

“How could I ever forget you?” she asked, indignant.

“You will not see me in your world as you do here. I operate differently there, and the days of men seeing me in person came to an end at the fulfilled time. You know this, but you don’t realise how it can make the temptation to forget easier. Remember in the woods when Lucy could see me but the rest of you could not? Remember how easy you found it to dismiss her words as those of a child with a wild imagination?”

Susan nodded, tears beginning to well up. She felt rebuke and shame although she knew she’d been forgiven.

“Take that experience as a warning, Susan. For that is how it will be in your world.” Susan buried her head again in the Lion’s mane and he let her stay there for some time.

“Come, daughter of Eve,” said at last. “Let me breathe on you one last time and fill you again with courage. Your spirit is willing, but your will weak.”

As he breathed on her, his sweet breath, she felt his strength enter her mind one last time. But would it be enough?  


Jeffrey/Roonwit said...

Awesome. As a Susan Fic writer myself, I truly love this!

Anonymous said...

Tenny: I love you writing style, Aj'. Very nicely done! I'd never really thought of what Aslan might have said, but I think you've captured the moment very very well.