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Chapter One: The Mirror


On the last day of the year, the Pevensie family spent the evening sitting around their fireplace passing small gifts to one another, a tradition started by Mr Pevensie’s father years ago.

Peter had just opened his gift, a book called The Pilgrim’s Regress—a rather dull looking book, Susan thought, by Clives Staples Lewis. Lucy handed Susan a small brown parcel. Susan thanked her younger sister and tore the paper away. Part of her would rather be out with her American boyfriend on New Year’s Eve, but Susan couldn’t very well break family traditions without an exceptional excuse. And Mr and Mrs Pevensie hardly approved of Susan’s boyfriend as it was. Besides, Carl was spending the week visiting his family in America. He wouldn’t be home for two more days.

The paper fell to the floor amidst previous discarded wrappings and Susan held a rectangular metal object. Small fiery-pink blossoms were painted on the silver encasing. Susan knew at once that it was a compact mirror.

Lucy checked to make sure their parents were looking away—they were, both of them focused on something Edmund was saying—and Lucy whispered to Susan, “It reminds me of the fire-flowers from Narnia.”

Susan tried to hide her scowl, but it was hard. Lucy knew that Susan no longer liked to talk about Narnia. But Lucy liked to act as if the place were very much real even though Lucy was past sixteen now and too old for childish games.

Susan opened the mirror and smiled at her reflection. Seeing her grown-up face made her smile. She pursed her lips, painted red, and blinked her deep blue eyes to watch her long eyelashes for a moment. She twisted the mirror to admire how her coal black hair curled around her face in the latest cropped fashion.

“Thanks, Lu.” Susan decided to ignore Lucy’s comment about Narnia.

She was about to shut the mirror when something golden caught her eye. At first she thought the mirror reflected the fireplace in a strange way. But no … the mirror waved as if morphing.
Susan gasped as she saw Aslan.

She snapped the mirror shut, chiding herself at letting her imagination and Lucy’s words affect her so. It had been the fire.

Aslan was not real.

Lucy went to the floor, crawling on her knees, and picked up all the paper, not looking at Susan. Susan knew Lucy must be hurt. But knowing that just made Susan feel angrier. Her sister had no right to be hurt. Not over something like Narnia.

Unknowingly, Mrs Pevensie broke the silence, “Do any of you have goals for the new year?”
Edmund raised a hand and spoke at once, “I want to talk to Mr Albert about working at the train yard.”

Mr Pevensie nodded approvingly, and Mrs Pevensie smiled.

The others had things to say—Peter wanted to pass his exams and start looking for a job in journalism. Lucy wanted to be kinder. Everyone stared at Susan, expecting an answer from her.
How she hated this time of the year. She loved life as it was and wished it to be this way forever—spending time with Carl Bryant and old enough to have all the fun in the world, yet young enough to not have to worry about anything. She had no goals, only wishes. “I … I suppose I want to be better at reading?”

Edmund snorted.

Peter held up his book. “Want to start with this then?”

But Lucy didn’t tease. “Reading is an admirable goal.”

Susan didn’t feel grateful toward her younger sister, though.

Mr Pevensie spoke, “I think that Mum and I will go on our vacation early this year. Edmund found us cheap tickets to Edinburgh—we’ll spend a week there and then a weekend in Bristol to see Mum’s family.”

Peter nodded. “We were thinking of going to see Professor Kirke now that he and Aunt Polly are officially engaged. Should we wait until you and Mum return, Father?”

Mr Pevensie shook his head. “No, I’m sure Mrs Taylor won’t mind caring for the place.”

The siblings had already mentioned to Susan that they wanted to have a Narnia reunion and wanted her to be there. And she had already made it clear that she wouldn’t do any such thing. She said, “I’ll be here, too, Father. I don’t think I’m up to traveling right now.”

“More like you’d rather spend your time with a horrid American fellow than us,” Edmund muttered. “I don’t understand why you are still dating him. You dumped the others quick enough when we said something.”

The difference was she’d always liked Carl ever since her parents had taken her to America for her sixteenth birthday. Carl was charming, from his messy auburn curls to his loud American accent. Even her parents had liked him back then when they first met him. Now everyone simply hated him because she liked him.

“You’d like Carl if you gave him a chance,” Susan protested in a tone that said she wasn’t in the mood for arguing.

But both of her brothers harrumphed.

Mr Pevensie held up a hand to stop the conflict before it could intensify. “Let’s enjoy the last day of the year in peace, children.”

Though no one argued, Susan could tell all her siblings were greatly displeased with her. Especially Peter—he wasn’t so good at hiding his judgement. And once, the two of them had been so close. But once she was done pretending and ready to grow up and he wasn’t, they had grown distant and she realized she barely knew her elder brother anymore.

Even so, she partly missed the days of the war—not that she wanted the war back. Susan would never want that. But, though the family was often in the same room together, she hadn’t truly felt close to any of her family since the days of the war.

Susan clutched at the compact mirror. If this was the price for growing up, then so be it. She did not wish to be a child again, and she was not inclined to dwell on unpleasant thoughts. So she smiled them away and said, “Maybe when everyone is back we girls can go shopping? It’s been a while since we’ve had a fun day just for us. And it’s about time we update our wardrobes for the new year.”

Not that Susan’s was unfashionable. But the fashions did change ever so fast these days.

Mrs Pevensie nodded, seemingly pleased at the thought of spending a day with her two daughters. “I’d love that, dear.”

But Lucy childishly crossed her arms. “I don’t like shopping.”

Susan teased, “Well, then you should give me your clothing book. I adore shopping and my coupons are dreadfully depleted.”

Lucy neither laughed nor returned the banter.

Susan flushed with anger. “Now, Lu. There’s no need to be angry just because I won’t—” Susan looked at her parents who were looking at her, so she formed her words carefully to not include Narnia. “—frolic across the country to play games. It’s not fair to torture me like this. That goes for all of you and how you speak about Carl.”

A tear rolled over Lucy’s cheek before she hurriedly faced the wall, refusing to look at Susan.
Peter spoke, “Now, Susan. None of us mean to be cruel to you. We just wish you’d want to do things with us … like before … ” Peter’s words trailed off.

Though the other three liked to say they believed in a place called Narnia, and Susan liked to say she didn’t, there was a silent mutual agreement amidst all the siblings to never give away Narnia to their parents.

Even so, Susan wondered at her parents for not suspecting something deeper lying at the bottom of the siblings’ contention when they spoke so vaguely, such as times like now. Her parents weren’t dolts, but very respectable and intelligent.

“I did hope we could have a pleasant night,” Mrs Pevensie sighed.

“We’re sorry, Mum. We won’t fight anymore,” Peter promised.

“Yes,” Lucy said, her voice quavering though as she spoke.

Susan bit her lip and tasted her lipstick and stared at her flared skirt thinking of how she loved the way it smacked against her smoothed nylons as she walked to the music of her sharp heels. But right now the thought wasn’t comforting but detestable. She wished to run and wash off her makeup and crawl under her covers and cry herself to sleep.

This is what happened whenever she spent too much time with her siblings—she found she hated what she loved and hated herself for not being the child she used to be.

Is Susan too mean to her siblings? If you were the Pevensie parents, would you suspect something of Narnia by this time? How did you enjoy the first installment of Susan's story? There are eleven more, so make sure to come back the first Monday of every month! 

Links will be available when posts are published. 
A new installment will be posted the first Monday of every month: 
Prologue: Polly and Digory
Chapter Two: The Church
Chapter Three: The Friends
Chapter Four: The Party
Chapter Five: The Book
Chapter Six: The Hospital
Chapter Seven: The Kiss
Chapter Eight: The Dinner
Chapter Nine: The Rings
Chapter Ten: The Conversation
Chapter Eleven: The Cottage
Chapter Twelve: The Train
AFTERWARD: Why I Wrote Susan Of Narnia 

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness, you NAILED the characters, Keturah! I love this SO MUCH!! *begins waiting for the next installment*

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    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! I'm so glad you think so.

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  2. Oh I love it I love it I love it! Poor Susan...

    The mirror is SO COOL.

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    1. Thanks so much! The mirror is one of the first parts I saw to this story before it was written.

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  3. I LOVE THIS! Can't wait to read more!!

    Lia

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  4. Hehe, love the CS Lewis cameo...

    But this is gonna be GREAT!!! I can't wait to see how this continues!

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    1. I had so much fun writing in that little bit ;) Thanks! Excited to be sharing this with y'all.

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  5. I really enjoyed this! You've captured the characters' personalities so well! And I love Susan - she was always my favourite Narnia character :)
    Can't wait for the next instalment!

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    1. Ah, thanks! Susan has always been a favorite of mine, too ;D

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  6. Great story! Can't wait to find out what will happen next!

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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  7. I LOVED THIS! You did a great job with the characters and portraying their relationships!
    Can't wait for the next part. :D

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thanks so much! That makes me so happy that you think so. Here's to next month!

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  8. This is so good! It really feels like I'm reading the Narnia books. :D I'm normally not interested in fanfiction-type things, but I love your idea for this and the writing is just so spot-on. Can't wait for more!

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh I'm so glad it makes you feel that way. I normally hate fan-fiction, too, and I was really afraid to write on. But ... had to write this story, haha! Thanks!!!

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  9. This is really good. You captured their voices so perfectly!

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  10. Good job. Since you asked questions, the one thing I feel you might have a little off is Lucy. She was emotional in the books, but she was a lot younger then. I would assume that she may have gotten better at controlling emotions by now.
    Overall, I like it and will keep reading.

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    1. Oh, thanks! I guess I can see what you mean. Lucy would be more mature now in how she expressed herself now as a sixteen year old verses her way younger self of before ;D
      I'm so glad! Makes me super happy that you're reading this ;D And love your feedback, too ;D

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  11. WHAT. HOW DID I MISS THIS. I'm so delighted and excited to read all of this omw yay!!!

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    1. Ahh ... at least you didn't miss it forever ;) Thanks so much!!!!

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  12. You did a great job!! Susan was always my favorite character and it made me really sad that she rejected Narnia and Aslan in the last book. I'm so happy to see an alternative version! :)

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    1. My favorite character, too! So glad you like this first chapter :)

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  13. *gasp* Oh my word, I love this!! The Chronicles of Narnia is my favorite series, so this is so exciting!! I can't wait to see where it goes!

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    1. THANKS! One of my favorite series, too, a long with Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon ;D Excited to have you along for the ride ;D

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    2. Oh yes, I love the Anne of Green Gables series, and I'm currently reading Emily of New Moon!

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  14. Ohhhhh!!! I love how you've laid out the conflict between them in the first chapter! It does seem so like these characters, and I like how you've gone deeper into what a rift it would cause between the siblings for Susan to stop believing. I mean, after all the time they'd spent in Narnia, for her to up and decide it wasn't real... it would be really trying for everyone. Perhaps her most especially.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. I'm so glad they seem like the same old characters and that you like the conflict. Thanks for you lovely comment :)

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I've planted the flower; you get to water it, poke at it, enjoy its glorious blooms! I love your lovely comments!

If you have something to say, and don't want to post it publicly, feel free to email me: keturahskorner(@)gmail(dot)com

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