Friday, April 11, 2014

Narnia, if the heroes did their jobs: Beginning to eat at Aslan's table

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

“Travelers who have come from far to Aslan’s table, welcome,” said the young woman. “My name is Sophie NicRéalta.  Why do you not eat and drink?”
“Madam,” said Caspian, “we feared the food because we thought it had cast our friends into an enchanted sleep.”
"It was not the food that did so," Sophie said.
"Then what was it?" Eustace asked.  "And how do we awaken them?"
[for some reason the business of waking the lords can only be done after the feast is eaten]
Throughout the explanation Edmund had grown more and more uncomfortable. The dagger itself reminded him of another time he had eaten enchanted food. The fact that when he looked upon her he trusted her for no apparent reason made him suspect magic, but more than for himself he feared for his friends and his family.
He had eaten the wrong food one time and the cost had been a life. A life that was returned soon after, but even if Aslan had only been dead for a day he still felt the guilt of causing that death. He didn't want anyone he cared about to get hurt, and he didn't want anyone he cared about to feel the pain of carrying that kind of guilt with him.
He tried to speak delicately, "I do not wish to be rude, but things are not always what they seem. Just because you seem trustworthy, and you do, doesn't mean that you are. How can we know that you are really a friend?"
“You can not know,” said the girl. “You can only believe—or not.”
"I've believed the wrong people in the past," Edmund said.
"What kind of an answer is that?" Lucy asked, consciously holding herself back from snapping at the young woman.
"The only kind I can give," Sophie said. "I have no proof to offer you.  I have only my word."
"If she speaks truly then the food must be eaten and the drink must be drunk," Reepicheep said, "We cannot abandon our comrades to endless slumber."
"That's true, but--" Edmund started.
"Majesty, apologies for interrupting, but I was not finished speaking."
"Sorry, Reep," Edmund said and gestured for the Mouse to continue.
"If she is not speaking truly, then the food is a trap, but there is no reason that we all must risk ourselves. I volunteer to test it."
"Reep!" Euctace said in shock.
Caspian, who had remained silent, looked at the young woman in hopes of some kind of reassurance.
"I am not offended if one of you eats first and the rest wait to see what happens," Sophie said. "Given that you are all armed, and I am not, perhaps that will set your minds at ease."
Reepicheep had already started eating food.


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