Monday, June 27, 2016

Narnia: Susan, Lucy, and the Wolf (LWW)

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[In canonical Narnia Aslan stopped everyone else from helping because Peter needed to "win his spurs" as Susan and Lucy proved incapable of defending themselves.  Susan and Lucy face death, but somehow it manages to all be a about Peter.]

Susan managed to nock an arrow, but was forced to dodge the Wolf before she could even point the bow. "He's too close!" Susan shouted with the force of a curse.

She hadn't expected anyone to respond, but Lucy did:

A flash by the side of the Wolf, the a howl of pain, "I'm a smaller target," Lucy said, beside Susan for a moment, then running off to the left, "let it follow me."

The Wolf surged forward again, it snapped her arrow with its claw, but she didn't have to dodge: it followed Lucy to the left. As it went Susan vaguely noted a wet feeling. She touched it with her fingers as she dropped the ruined arrow. When she looked down there was blood on her hand.

Lucy slipped through two trees too close together for the Wolf to follow, but the it didn't gain Lucy that much time. Most of the trees were too far apart for Lucy to make much use of her smaller size.

Susan would have told Lucy that if she'd had the chance, but now she needed to deal with what was in front of her. Her sister was in danger. She dropped the bow, pulled an arrow from her quiver with her right hand, and took the horn from her belt with her left. The bow had scarcely hit the ground when she started crouching down to pick back up while she blew the horn.

Lucy was circling back towards her, which should give her a good shot. Susan didn't even think as she dropped the horn and picked up the bow, she nocked the arrow with a strange focused calm that seemed utterly divorced from the danger Lucy was in. She drew the string back, her index finger brushed her lip. She looked down the arrow, saw Lucy and the Wolf, and adjusted her aim with ease.

Lucy stumbled.

The entire world came crashing in on Susan. The smells of the wood, the blood on her fingers, the sound of the Wolf, the way Lucy hit the ground, the way the Wolf seemed to have a look of triumph as it made one last bound toward Lucy.

Susan loosed the arrow even though she knew her aim was off. She just hoped it would be close enough.

Lucy rolled out of the way --just barely-- as the Wolf hit the ground. Maybe--

Deadly claws reached toward Lucy. For a fleeting moment Susan thought her sister was going to die. Then only Lucy's right arm was bloodied, she was already to her knees and prepared to strike back. The dagger might have missed the Wolf's heart, it was hard to tell, but it did its job.

* * *

The warriors stopped running ahead of him. Why did they stop? Were they too late?

When Peter caught up to the group they were standing in a sort of half circle. At it's center Lucy was having her arm bandaged, Susan was visibly shaken, and a large Wolf lay dead --a dagger and an arrow still in it.

Susan put her hand on Lucy's shoulder and said, "Maybe it wasn't--"

"It was like the Beavers." Lucy said, her eyes never leaving the Wolf.

"I never could lie to you," Susan said. She walked to the Wolf, placed her right foot upon it, and pulled out the dagger with her left hand. As she turned back to Lucy, she twisted the dagger in her hand so that the handle faced Lucy. "Battles are ugly things?" Susan said as she offered the dagger to to Lucy.

Lucy took the dagger, but said nothing.

"Battles are always ugly things," a Naiad said. Many nodded.

A centaur added, "Battles are ugly things, but Life is a beautiful thing. Focus not on what has been killed . . ."

"But on what has been saved," a Dryad finished. "You have saved each other. Whether that was worth killing for, only you can determine; but do not forget that there is more than one dead Wolf here. There are also two live humans."

Peter stepped out of the crowd, closer to his sisters. "Su, Lu, I . . ." Lucy hit him so hard he felt like the force of the hug might knock him over, Susan joined a moment later. "I"m sorry I wasn't . . . I should have been there to . . ."

"Later," Susan said, and Peter obeyed. They stood there, in a three way hug, in silence. For a time the world, and with it matters of life and death, fell away and they were simply three siblings who happened to be hugging each other.

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