Thursday, October 24, 2013

C.S. Lewis meets Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
Jack, for it has been said that C.S. Lewis was called Jack, one day found himself working on his latest manuscript when he heard a strange banging sound. Not quite a single bang, but as if three things had hit a wooden wall in near unison.
When the noise did not immediately return he looked back to his manuscript.
Then it happened again. And again. It repeated and Jack became sure it was from within the same room as himself. Then a cracking of wood. More wood giving way. A drawer fell from the dresser set neatly against one of the room's walls.
Jack stood and approached to investigate. More drawers fell from it. More wood cracked.
Jack stooped to the ground to see what had pushed the drawers out and saw an impossibly deep hole in the back of the dresser. Through it he saw what looked like a ship's interior and the legs of children. Three of the legs lifted and kicked what remained of the back of the dresser. The wood had finally given out entirely and Jack was forced to jump back as the remaining drawers were pushed out of the dresser when its back was pushed out of the children's way.
One of the children (it was Edmund dear reader because I wish to lead you by the hand and trust you not to be able to infer such things by the fact that context will soon make it obvious) quipped, "The Dragon, the Serpent and the Dresser."
Another --a young girl-- offered Jack a book and said, "We have a rewrite for you."
All Jack could manage in his shock was, "What?" in a truly perplexed voice.
"We've been through two of these damn books already and the third isn't any better so we rewrote the fucking thing for you," the girl explained in a voice that seemed to walk the tightrope between calm and outrage.
"Two!?" the third child asked. "I knew you'd been there before but I always assumed just once."
Both of the other children said, "Two."
"What... what are you talking about?" Jack asked.
"Look here," the first boy to speak said, "in the chapter Two Narrow Escapes and a Kickass Free Boat--"
"Ok, maybe I should revise the title," Jack admitted.
"In that chapter I say, 'Looks as if this might be all that’s left of one of our seven lords,' referring to a naked body face down in a magic pool near coins of a culture with which he was engaged in a war of extermination. What the fuck? And who is this 'our Kemosabe?"
"Edmund?" Jack asked.
"You are slow, aren't you?" Edmund said. "I'm not Narnian and I'm sure as hell not Telmarine -- I'm English! I'm English with an interest in America. No part of this implies that I'd consider lord Midas the golden skinny-dipper one of my own."
"Did you not hear me say that I'd rather be in America with Susan? We could be watching the Lone Ranger together or something. If it's going to be tobacco-having racist fiction I'd rather be watching it than be in it."
"And what about this bit where I have some vanity spell thing going on?" the girl asked.
"Since when am I vain?" Lucy continued.
"And why did I have to be tortured?" the remaining child asked.
"Hang on there's no torture in-"
"You try having your flesh ripped off until you've gone from the mass of a dragon to the mass of a boy."
"Eustace," Jack said with contempt.
"And since when do I go to war with people over gold making pools?" Edmund asked.
Lucy added, "And do you think any of us are too stupid to realize that using such a pool would result in an oversupply of gold destabilizing the commodities market eventually devaluing not only the gold made from the pool but also the entire Narnian treasury?"
Edmund and Eustace looked at Lucy, jaws slightly agape.
"What?" Lucy asked. "I had to do something when I wasn't being of any use for all those chapters."
"So you read Economics?" Edmund asked.
"It was that or read about how totally awesome everything was when we were in charge according to the chroniclers. Did you know that there was never any conflict while we ruled?"
"That's not how I remember it."
"Ditto brother. Ditto."
Jack got angry. "I'm the author and you don't get to tell me how to run things!" he shouted.
Lucy offered him the book again, "We rewrote it so that it doesn't suck. This is your last chance to take the better version of the book."
"Get out!"
The three children walked out of the room through the hole in the back of the dresser and just before the portal between worlds crackled and shut Jack heard one, he wasn't sure which, say, "Did you know that Dionysus told me that once upon a time there was no such thing as copyright?"