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Chapter Two: The Church


The best nights were the nights Susan slept through and never dreamed. Thankfully, the majority of her nights were such nights. But after the Pevensies broke their New Year’s Eve gathering and headed to bed, Susan’s eyes closed and she dreamed.

She dreamed of battles, of evil men wishing to marry her, of a white stag that would take away everything they’d fought for and deposit them back into another world as children …

Susan awoke on the morning of the first, shaking with unresolved emotions. She shouldn’t be sad. She reminded herself, “None of it was real. None of it.” Sunlight poured in from her frosted window and played on her coverlet.

She closed her eyes and remembered seeing Aslan’s face last night in the mirror Lucy had given her. Had Lucy been playing a trick on her? Susan knew it was no trick, but her imagination messing with her. She opened her eyes to forget how real Aslan had seemed, to see the real world.

Just as it had always been, it was harder to forget Aslan than it had been to forget Narnia. Because he had felt real—and so had her hurt when he’d told her she couldn’t come back again. So had her anger when she’d first said Narnia was all a game. It was Aslan’s fault. If he really wanted her to believe in the place, why would he have ever told her she was too old for Narnia?

Susan laughed at herself. “It’s silly to be angry at someone that you made up.”

It was easy to not believe in Narnia. No, it had been harder to believe in it, even when she was younger. For everything of Earth said that everything of Narnia must be pure fantasies. And believing in what wasn’t real made you odd. Susan never wanted to be odd, but well-liked.

A knock sounded on Susan’s bedroom door.

Susan sat up in her bed and said, “Yes?”

“We are about to go to leave for church—will you come with us?” Mrs Pevensie’s voice traveled through from outside.

Feeling suddenly exhausted from her dream filled night, Susan stifled a groan. Church had lost its allure to Susan long ago. “I don’t know, Mum … I didn’t sleep well last night.”

There was silence for a moment, then Mrs Pevensie asked, “May I come in?”

Susan smoothed her hair and straightened her bed covers. “I suppose … ”

The door clicked then opened and Mrs Pevensie walked in, dressed very nicely. Though Mrs Pevensie was older, she was still quite pretty. Susan was reminded of when she’d wanted to be just like her Mum. But those wishes were long ago—Susan was nothing like Mrs Pevensie.

Mrs Pevensie sat on the edge of Susan’s bed, blocking most of the sunlight. “What is happening to you, Susan?”

“Nothing—I don’t think I shall be sick. Just need more rest.”

“No. I mean you. You always have an excuse to not attend church or do things with your siblings. What has happened to our caring, gentle Susan who loved giving to others and singing loudly to God?”

Susan’s cheeks flushed. She picked at the hem of her blankets. “I still love you, Mum.”
“But God?” Mrs Pevensie persisted.

“Of course I do,” Susan stammered as she tried to look into her mother’s eyes and failed. “I’ve just … ”

“Grown up?” Mrs Pevensie finished for Susan.

Susan wanted to argue but found she had no words.

“Dear Susan, one is never too old for God. In fact, the older we grow, the more we need Him.”

“I understand,” Susan said, wishing her mother would be done speaking and leave already.

Thinking of God was like thinking of … Aslan. Once they’d been one and the same to Susan. She’d never meant to stop loving God. But for some reason, when she’d forgotten Narnia, God didn’t seem so real anymore.

And then she’d grown older; she’d become only more practical and progressive. Though she never liked reading when she could go to a party, she’d heard much of the authoritative books claiming the impossibility of God’s existence. How could she believe?

Church was good for socializing. And Susan would go enough so that she was never looked down upon. But she’d decided long ago that God was myth just as Narnia was, and so the sermons were now an unbearable bore.

“You won’t go?” Mrs Pevensie asked.

Susan shook her head. “I’ll go with you all when you’re back from vacation.”

Mrs Pevensie stood, pressing the wrinkles out of the skirt in her dress. “All right, Susan.” But Mrs Pevensie didn’t sound as if everything was all right.

🎕🎕🎕🎕🎕

Susan couldn’t get back to sleep no matter how hard she pressed her eyes shut. So once the house was empty of her family, she gave up and got out of bed. With nothing pressing to do, Susan ran a hot bath and took her time bathing and dressing.

Afterward, there was still much time before her family would be home from church, so she went to the parlor. It was quiet compared to the night before. She sat on the sofa and reached for a book lying on the lampstand. It was the book Peter had been gifted for New Year’s. Susan tried to read, but could not focus on the words and wondered how Peter could like something so dull as she returned it to the lampstand.

A long oval mirror hanging above the fireplace attracted Susan’s attention. At first she was hesitant to look inside as she remembered last night, but then she scolded herself. “Mirrors are not to be feared.”
She noticed her curls were awry so she stood and went to the mirror, rearranging her hair until they satisfied her. But once done, she couldn’t move. She couldn’t help but remember back to when she was a child and how they had pretended they had become kings and queens.

Queen Susan the Gentle.

Queen Susan of the Horn.

How childish. Yet almost romantic. What would Carl think if she told him? In their imaginations, Susan had grown tall and graceful. Her black hair had reached her feet—she nearly missed that, even though hair of that length was out of fashion now.

Everyone had loved her, especially all the men. Susan had loved that, just as she did now.

But Susan liked the men in the real world much better—none of her dates had been as distasteful in name or character as Prince Rabadash of Calormen.

One difference, though, was in her fantasies Susan hadn’t allowed the attentions of others to distract her from her studies or charity. She was both intelligent and kind as well as beautiful—but then a child is always better in their games than when they finally grow up.

Susan grimaced then laughed. “What imaginations we had. And, oh how I wish Carl were home today and not tomorrow. I am so bored without him.” Susan left the fireplace and curled up into a ball on the sofa, waiting for her family to arrive home.

🎕🎕🎕🎕🎕

The next morning, the house was turned upside down as Mr and Mrs Pevensie packed their suitcases for their honeymoon holiday. With their suitcases waiting at the door and Edmund waiting to take them to the station, Mrs Pevensie couldn’t bring herself to say goodbye to her children.

“Are you sure you will be all right alone?” Mrs Pevensie asked for the fifth time.

“Of course, Mum,” Lucy said. “You leave us every year—we always manage just fine.”

“Yes, but it’s different this year. You’ll be traveling too and Susan will be completely alone except for … the maid.”

Susan stiffened as she suspected that her mother was about to say Carl and thought better of it.

Really, they should trust her better. She was already twenty-one and hadn’t even let Carl kiss her. She wasn’t incompetent. But Susan smiled, stubbornly determined that her mother shouldn’t worry and thus change her mind, and said, “Mum, everything will be fine. This will be good practice for me for when I have my own home someday.”

“Yes, I suppose … ” Mrs Pevensie looked as if she wanted to say more.

But Edmund spoke, “We should probably leave before the train leaves you both behind.”
“Yes,” Mr Pevensie agreed, picking up his and Mrs Pevensie’s bags. “Let’s be going, dear. The children shall do just fine.”

Mrs Pevensie kissed Peter, Susan, and Lucy goodbye one last time. With relief, Susan waved goodbye to her parents.

As soon as the door closed, Lucy sighed. “I shall miss them.”

Susan laughed, “Really, Lu? You’ll have a blast with Jill, I’m sure.”

“Yes.” Lucy nodded, then her eyes lit up with hope. “But I’d have ever so much more fun if you were to come, too. How we’d love to have everyone together just once. All the friends of Narnia in one place.”

Susan pressed her lips together hard.

Peter said quietly, “Lucy, don’t pester Susan. There’s no hope.”

Susan’s mouth dropped open but before she could collect her wits and retort, Peter and Lucy were gone to their rooms to pack.

Finally, only one thought came to pacify Susan—tomorrow could not come soon enough, for she could not wait to be rid of her siblings and to have this house to herself.

Do you think it's a coincidence that Susan has both chosen to forget Aslan and no longer loves God? Is it wrong that Susan likes the attention of others? Are sad to see the Pevensie children leaving? Oh, and are you excited to be meeting Carl soon . . . 

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 One: The Mirror
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. ASDFGHJKL ANOTHER PART ANOTHER PART AAAAHHH

    *cough* sorry, don’t mind me.

    This was excellent! I loved how you tied in God - I never really thought of the Pevensies as religious before, but now I totally see it! And ooo, Carl . . . I hope he’s nice, for Susan’s sake.

    (Also I’m remembering the events of the Last Battle, and this scene/the next scene wouldn’t happen to tie into any *cough* train wreck scenes, would it? *is concerned*)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't mind you?? Oh, I love all your fangirling over my fanfiction ;D Makes me happy!

      And thanks so much!

      As CS Lewis wrote Narnia as an allegory, and Aslan told the Pevensie children he was known by many names, it felt natural to put God into Susan's story ;) Well, Carl is in the next chapter! So excited to introduce him.

      (and I know ... so sad ;/ )

      Delete
  2. AAHHH. This is so good!! I love how you have tied so many things in. Oh, I feel sad knowing what is to come from TCoN, but at the same time I really am interested in seeing what happens...
    You have written all of the characters so well, I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Trying my hardest ;D Believe it or not, what comes was sad to write ;/ I'm so glad the characters make you happy ;D

      Delete
  3. Is it bad that I want to smack Susan upside the head? xD But no, great chapter and I can't wait to see what happens next!

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally not bad! She's definitely acting like a fool ;) Thanks!

      Delete
  4. A Susan Pevensie story? I've always wished there was one of those (with a happier ending). So cool that you're writing one!
    Poor old Susan. And I'm only going to end up feeling more sorry for her, I suppose...
    I am definitely looking forward to meeting Carl. ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, me too! Though I can't promise a happier ending ... you'll just have to wait and see ;D

      Yes, this story shall make you feel more sorry for her ;D Carl comes next! Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  5. The story seems very much like Susan! Can't wait to see what Carle is like!!

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you think that, Rakayle! Susan was mostly easy to write, surprisingly enough.

      Delete

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I love discussions, but nothing mean — I post a lot of opinionated articles, and I'd love to know YOUR opinions, even if they oppose mine. But, please, no insulting. Be nice and let's get to know one another ~ Keturah

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