Saturday, January 17, 2015

Serial Saturday: "The Telmar Trilogy, Vol. 1: The Legend of Telmar" Part 3



(Excerpt from Chapter 3)
Susan was waiting at the front window when the cab containing her younger brother and sister arrived. "Peter! They're here!" she cried, running out to meet them.

Lucy was first out of the cab. "Susan!" she cried, throwing her arms around her older sister, "How was America? What was it like? Oh! I have so much to tell you, and I can hardly wait to hear all your stories!"

Peter waited at the door as Edmund approached. As he watched his younger brother ascend the front steps, Peter sensed growth, a more mature carriage in his brother's step. Edmund looked up as he set down his and Lucy's suitcases.
"Welcome," Peter said, extending his hand. Edmund took it and shook it firmly, but hesitated without releasing Peter's hand. The two brothers met glances only briefly before pulling each other into a hug. "Good to see you, Ed," Peter said. He picked up Lucy's bag and took it upstairs as Edmund went into the sitting room.

He and Lucy had spent the summer holidays at their Aunt Alberta and Uncle Harold's house, where they'd gone to Narnia with their cousin Eustace. Edmund chuckled at the memory, when a movement in the corner startled him out of his musings. He looked over and saw a girl who looked no older than Lucy huddled into a small ball, knees tucked tight against her body. She curled toward—but not against—the corner as if intentionally refusing to look at him. Susan walked in with her arm around Lucy's shoulder.

"Who's that?" Edmund asked.

Susan immediately grew somber. "I found her tied to a raft, soaking wet and unconscious, while boating in America. She doesn't seem to understand when I talk to her, she won't let anyone touch her, and she won't move from that corner. She's been there two days now. I wanted to dress her in something dry, but my clothes are too big. She looks about your size, Lu, and I figured—if it's all right with you—she could borrow some of your things."

Lucy's compassionate heart was touched. "Of course she can," she cried, running to the girl, but Susan pulled her back.
"Stop! She behaves like a caged animal, and she might hurt you if you try to touch her. She has no idea we just want to help her."

Intrigued, Edmund drew closer to the girl, trying his best to be as non-threatening as possible. The girl finally looked up, but only as far as his hands, not his face. The closer Edmund got, the more terrified she became.

"I don't think it's help she needs; it's trust." He stopped a respectful distance from her and waited.

[...]

At length, Edmund handed her the paper. On it were the words how, why, and what, all crossed out, then, Where are you from? She looked for it on the globe, wanting to point it out to him just as he had, but she couldn't find it. She wrote the name of the island, and then asked, What is this called? She pointed to the ball.
Globe, Edmund wrote, and left the room quickly.

Susan, meanwhile, was not enjoying herself. Peter had insisted on asking Lucy about their stay with Uncle Harold and Aunt Alberta. Lucy then proceeded to account how she, Ed, and their bratty cousin Eustace had all gone to Narnia together. Now, it wasn't Narnia itself that made Susan uncomfortable—though maybe it did, a little bit. It was her siblings' unquestioning faith in their adventures. Lucy was such an imaginative child—after all, hadn't she been the first to "discover" Narnia?—she could have been fooling with Peter, yet here he was, taking it all in and believing her every word. Did they ever have any doubts at all? Lucy, of course, was still at the age when imaginations were still very real, but Peter—surely Peter was only being nice to Lucy. Surely he knew better than to explicitly believe something like Narnia . . . didn't he? Were they crazy for believing, or was she crazy for doubting?
Edmund came in at this point. "Ed!" Susan said, maybe a bit too loudly. "Did she show you where she came from?"
Edmund looked scared, like he'd just received the shock of his life. "She—she—" he tried, but nodded his head without speaking and showed them the paper. Underneath his question, the answer hit Susan's troubled heart like a slap in the face:

NEW TELMAR.

>>>>>>> (To continue reading Chapter 3, click >>HERE<< )

(Excerpt from Chapter 4)
It was supper by the time Susan arrived at the house after classes. Coming toward the front steps, she nearly tripped over a child digging in the gutter. It was Melanie, scraping away at the soft mud with her fingers. Susan rolled her eyes and turned to the door. Just as she laid her hand on the knob, a loud horn sounded. It was Benton in his father's automobile.

"Susan!" he called, "Will you go out with me?"

Unsure of what to do, Susan replied, "Five minutes," and went inside, shutting the door after her. She may have intended to wait there until Benton grew tired of waiting for her—except for the fact that her brothers and sister were discussing that everlasting Narnia again! She could hear Edmund's excited voice as he recounted how he, Lucy, and Reepicheep had been taken captive by slavers and sold in a marketplace.

"… and that would have been the end of us, except Caspian came in at the last minute with a whole army of sailors all decked out in armor and freed all the slaves sold that day and abolished the trade!"

That decided it. Susan changed her school-clothes for a nice dress and went outside. Benton was standing on the sidewalk trying to talk to Melanie. Of course she couldn't hear him. Susan put a hand on his shoulder and he turned. "Ready?" he asked, eying her dress with approval. She nodded. He turned back to Melanie one last time. "Good-bye!" he said loudly. Melanie never responded. He shrugged and helped Susan into the car before sliding in himself.

"Who is that, anyway?"

Susan waved her hand. "Oh, that's—" she stopped as "NEW TELMAR" flashed in her mind's eye. She looked down at her hands. "—Nobody; it's . . . no one."

Benton shrugged, "If you say so." He pulled away from the curb as Melanie kept digging.

Melanie had not been wholly unaware of the pair. She felt the brush of Susan's leg as she walked past, but currently, she was experiencing a more compelling stimulus. It called her to dig. It begged to be uncovered. She felt it while sitting on the sofa, and she had wandered all around the house first before finding herself outside, scraping away at the soft soil of the gutter in front of the house. There was something there. Melanie dug for a long time before uncovering something hard, rough, and knobby. She grabbed a specimen and pulled it up into the dying sunshine. It was a tree-root. It must have been cut down a long time previous to be buried so deep under the dirt. Something glinted in the small hole she'd just dug. She reached in with deft fingers and carefully extracted it. There in her muddy palm was a gold ring set with a pretty green stone! It seemed to glow with its own light. Another glint distracted her from the beauty of the first ring. She slipped the green ring into her pocket and reached for a second ring among the roots.
Instantly, she was falling underground, deeper and deeper... 

>>>>>>> (To continue reading Chapter 4, click >>HERE<<)