Written after seeing The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -- so end of 2005, I think. I must've been in a bad mood. (SHOCKING!) Fails the drabble test for precise word count, but I'm not inclined to fix it at this point.
He remembers the rides and the jousts and the hunts, the thrill of simply *being* there.
He's tried to fill the empty spaces. He's jumped off of the highest cliffs and climbed the tallest mountains and explored the deepest caves. He's driven the fastest cars and skied the most challenging slopes. He's tried sex in all its permutations, gambled away money he never had, indulged in the cheap adrenaline of petty crime.
It's all shadows to the real thing, the real *life* he's lost. He remembers, when all he wants to do is forget.
As the needle slides into his arm, fleetingly, Peter is happy.
Susan remembers Narnia.
She remembers most of all being a Queen, honored and adored by men and creatures other-than-men. Their pure and unconditional love.
Men love her now, or say they do, and even when they don't she accepts their worship all the same. They cry her name as the crowds once did, and she gives them her blessing in return. Queen Susan the Gentle, they once called her; Susan the Generous, she still has that, and she bestows her favor to all supplicants at her door.
As she drifts through her apartment, waiting for her next john, Susan is happy.
Edmund remembers Narnia.
But he was the betrayer, the worm in the apple, and despite all of his siblings' and As-- *His* forgiveness, Edmund knows that his crime tainted the purity of the world that Lucy found beyond the wardrobe. Nothing he's done, can ever do, will balance out the sheer evil of his deeds. Even in this world his presence stains the air. Others pretend not to notice, but Edmund can see the minute flinch as he enters a room, their subconscious *knowledge* of his innate corruption.
He's always leaving worlds behind. It won't be soon enough to leave this one.
As the razor blade drags up his arm, drawing bright cleansing lifeblood, Edmund is happy.
Lucy remembers Narnia.
She remembers it all, and laughs. Giggles. Chortles. Howls with glee in the dark of the night, because it's all so *bright* and *wonderful* and she's *there.* No matter what they tell her, she knows. No matter what kind of drugs they give her, no matter how many well-meaning therapists or "shock treatments" or weeks in solitary, she knows. And she's never alone, not with her brothers and sister, feasting and laughing with all of their friends in the never-ending sunshine of Cair Pairvale.
As she laughs, hugging herself through the binding of the straightjacket, Lucy is oh so brilliantly, blindingly, eternally happy.