Hey guys! I finally found a beta reader. Many thanks to PinkTribeChick for fixing my mistakes. I owe her so much.
Eleven-year-old Lucy Pevensie sat on the staircase just outside the living room, huddled against her older sister Susan. Edmund was crouched at the base of the steps, his head to the ground, dark eyes focused on some abstract pattern in the wood. Peter, the eldest of the Pevensie children, paced steadily across the foyer, desperately trying to look brave and determined. The staccato of his footsteps echoed off the walls like the firing of a pistol, but they couldn't shut out the voices from inside the living room.
Lucy had peeked into the room briefly before Susan tugged her back. There was a portly, elderly gentleman with droopy eyes and a thick mustache. He was smoking her father's cigars. Browsing through her mother's knitting basket was a thin, angular woman with cruel eyes and a harsh mouth. These two individuals she did not know, but the person directing the meeting, she did. By the fire stood Roderick Baxter, bald and red-faced, in his usual splotchy state. Like always, he was constantly wiping the perspiration from his forehead, even though the room was not hot.
These were the people who were deciding the fate of Lucy and her siblings.
"They can't stay here," the woman said softly, meekly. Lucy didn't like meek women.
"Of course not!" Mr. Baxter's voice hit a high, screechy note, most unbecoming of a man. "The oldest is not yet eighteen."
"Then what do we do with them? There is no one who will take them, not even their own family. And their inheritance is not enough to sustain them." It was that meek woman again.
Lucy watched sadly as Susan covered her ears with her hands, trying to shut out the words being said with such casual brutality. But nothing could stop the relentless bickering of the adults her parents had once called friends.
"We could put them up for adoption. The younger two could find homes, and the older two would only have to spend a few years in the orphanage." Mr. Baxter's idea was met with a small sound of agreement from the woman, timid as she was.
"We will not put them up for adoption, and neither will we send them to an orphanage. They'll go away to school, the finest we can find. Their inheritance is more than enough to cover the rest of their education." As insignificant as he seemed, the elderly gentleman had a surprisingly forceful voice. "And since the two of you have not an ounce of compassion for the children, I will be the one handling their finances."
While this should have comforted the children, it only made their hearts ache. As the final details were discussed and argued over, Lucy looked at everything she could, committing every detail to memory. This was the place where she had lived her entire life. Everything seemed so ordinary, so mundane. It was as if nothing had happened. She fully expected her parents to come in through the front door, their cheeks rosy from the cold air. Her mother would be smiling brightly, beckoning her children for warm hugs. And her father would be there, bundled smartly in his leather gloves and black wool coat. He'd tap her chin with his finger and tell her she got it from him.
But they would never come home again, and it seemed neither would the Pevensie children.
"I cannot believe your insolence, boy! Do you seek to frustrate me with your every action?" Miraz glared at his nephew with all the fury of a powerful dictator, but it was wasted on the boy.
"Are you finished? I'm tired, and you've yet to get to your point," Caspian replied without any inflection, waving off his uncle's anger with a dismissive attitude and sarcastic wit.
"Foolish boy! Do you think you're brave, speaking as you do?" Though Miraz spoke with the aristocratic accent of royalty, the spittle flying from his mouth ruined any chance of appearing regal.
With a heavy sigh, Caspian arose from the chaise lounge he'd been sitting on during his uncle's tirade. "Uncle, I am going to bed. I give you full permission to berate me in the morning. Maybe you'll be less cranky after a nap."
While Miraz stood appalled and shocked speechless, Caspian made a hasty exit, pointedly slamming the doors on his way. Quick on his feet, he made his way to his suite with practiced ease, dismissing the servants who fluttered around him, ready to pander to his every need. The only thing he needed he needed was peace and quiet.
Once the young prince was satisfied that he was alone, he let his indifferent mask fall, revealing just how weary he truly was. The lines around his mouth made him seem much older than he really was, and there was a certain flatness to his once youthful eyes.
In his muddy boots and torn clothing, he was wildly out of place amongst the silk and velvet splendor of his own bedroom. But it was more than just his appearance that was ill-suited for castle life.
Without bothering to change, or even take off his shoes, he collapsed in his bed, absently drawing the drapes closed before burying himself underneath the numerous plush blankets and downy pillows.
Before sleep claimed him, Caspian couldn't help but wonder if the palace was his home, or simply a pretty cage.
Anyways, I hope you liked it!