clare328: (Default)
clare328 ([personal profile] clare328) wrote2009-06-29 08:59 pm

Ficlet: Funeral (Susan, G)

Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia (Books, not the movie)

Title: Funeral

Author: Clare
Pairing: None.
Rating: PG. At the most.
Word Count: 700 about.
Spoilers: For all. Don't read this if you haven't read The Last Battle.
Disclaimer:Don't sue, please. I have no money.

Author's Notes: Wrote this ages ago, and struggled with it. Found it again tonight, edited it a little, and figured I may as well post it. It's better than I thought it was. I wrote this just after I'd read Neil Gaiman's The Problem Of Susan.

Summary: She can't find her way back.


The young woman sits ramrod straight, not a hair out of place, and so, so still. So still that the man next to her grabs at her hand to make sure that she is still warm, alive. She doesn’t feel warm; or alive for that matter. She feels only hollow, the feeling gouged out of her years ago, and what was left after that when she identified their bodies. But she tries not to think about that. She tries damn hard not to think at all.

Instead, she concentrates on the ornate designs of the stained glass window above her. It is a simple scene, of the Saviour giving the Sermon on the Mount, surrounded by the Saints, the Apostles, the Prophets. An appropriate scene, she thinks, to have at the front of a church. She examines the solemn faces of the saints, heads surrounded by an unnatural halo of light. She knows them by rote, James, John, Paul, Stephen, Matthew, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Andrew, Elijah, Moses, Judas… Peter.
Peter’s face is set into a grim line, and she can almost see the concern for how they are going to manage to feed 5ooo people echoed in his eyes. Typical Peter. But then she looks again and it seems to her that there is now a look of utter adoration on Peter’s face, a look of peacefulness and understanding that she could only ever wish for. Not that she wishes for anything anymore (except that she wishes for everything).
It hurts to look at Jesus’ face. The way the light is shining through at that moment seems to magnify the unconditional love she knows is there, and she can’t handle that right now, not when she is trying so desperately not to think of them, and so she turns her head away.

That small movement it seems has triggered the beginning of the service, although she had been unaware that it had not already begun. It doesn’t make a difference really. She doesn’t hear a word that is said about her family, about her mother and father, brothers and sister. The words and phrases rush over her and swirl incomprehensibly in her head until she feels as if she is suffocating in a sea of utterly meaningless words. How could they possibly know anything about them? How her big brother shone with goodness, with magnificence, and at the same time could be so unbearably stubborn.
How strong her younger brother was, how forgiving and merciful he was, even in his silence. She still remembers the look he gave her, that last day when she refused to come with them, called them silly for the last time. He had gazed at her with such disappointment, and yet so much love and understanding was there that the minute she had shut the door behind them she wanted to fling it back open and go with them again. On that one last adventure. Only her stupid pride had held her back.
How trusting and faithful her little sister was, her utter belief in a place she could no longer return to, would never see again. Despite every attempt on her part to force her to forget and live in this world for once, like she had (except she couldn’t really call this living now, could she? this empty shell of a life).

These people, they had never known this. Never known so much of what she knew of these her siblings, because she had known them, ruled with them, for twelve lost years. And with this thought that she has been pushing away for years now, it seems the flood gates have opened, and she cannot escape a single one of the memories and feelings that she had filed securely away in the deep recesses of her mind.
And her shoulders begin to shake with the pressure, so that the man beside her – she does not know, or care, who he is – thinks that she is crying at last and offers her his large, white handkerchief. This action sets her off further and now, she is lost, lost in her memories.

She doesn’t want to find her way back.
.

[identity profile] jesterlady.livejournal.com 2009-06-29 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Susan was such a tragic figure to me. A good illustration, but I always thought it so sad. I'm not sure I want to know what her life was like after the crash, but you did an amazing job of illustrating it!

[identity profile] clare328.livejournal.com 2009-06-30 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you!!

Susan was always my favourite character as a little girl, so when I was old enough to really understand what happened to her, I was devastated. Since then I've always been fascinated with what happened to her. C.S. Lewis said himself he hadn't finished her story, and he died before he could.

I like to think that she makes it back to narnia eventually.