Author's Note: I don't like this one as much as the others... I don't know... I think it lacks a certain something. I like the one I wrote for Edmund better (of course I couldn't leave him out!). But enjoy anyway – i think it definitely has its moments – and let me know what you think.
Again, this is something I would definitely do if I went to Narnia.
Susan regarded the sturdy slippers with a critical eye. Then she suddenly flung them aside; if she was going to do this, she might as well not spoil it. She hovered on the side of her bed for an instant, then gave an impromptu bounce. Stifling a laugh, she sprang out of bed and ran out the door before she could change her mind.
It was early in the morning – not so late that the sun had risen, but not so early that her sharp-eared brothers would be suspicious. Safe in her knowledge, Susan raced down to the stables. Let them try to stop her! Secretly she wished that they'd try, but she knew the boys would probably rather be in bed at this hour.
When she reached the small building that housed carriages and tack – the horses themselves were left to roam free, and sheltered here only in bad weather – she let out a piercing whistle. If anyone heard her, she could always say that it had been Peter... because Queen Susan of Narnia would never do something so undignified, now, would she?
Pounding hooves told her that Sirla was fast approaching. In the dim pre-dawn light, Susan could barely make out the dappled grey coat. Dust swirled around the mighty horse as she slid to a stop in front of Susan. If she'd been wearing a fine gown, Susan may have backed away, but this was just a light housedress and she, for once, was beyond worrying about her appearance. Holding out the sweet candy in her hand, she fed it to Sirla. The mare was strong and fast, but she did not talk, which was fine with Susan. Especially today, when she needed some privacy.
Standing on a rock, Susan mounted the mare, then paused for a minute, eyes searching the grey sky. Then she leaned forward and nudged her heels into Sirla's sides. "Make haste, I do not wish to be late!"
Immediately the mare bolted into a flat-out run, and Susan clung to the long mane, almost wishing she had put on a saddle – and shoes – but too exhilarated to care. Horse's hooves pounded out a rhythm on the hard dirt, and Susan swayed in time to the mare's gait.
Down the slopes of the Cair they sped, down through the surrounding forest, until they met the Great River. Even then they did not stop, but pressed on to a goal unseen. Susan urged the mare faster, laughing as her long black hair tossed in the wind. "Hurry! Hurry!"
Sirla sped along the smooth riverbank in Susan's race against time.
"I can almost hear it now!" the queen said, straining her senses for the familiar signs.
It was hard to hear over the drummbeat of the gallop, but soon she could discern the crashing of the waves and the shrill cries of birds.
Then the Great River widened and lost itself in the wide expanse of the sea.
The sea! The sea! Susan drew in a deep breath of salt-tinged air, and let it out in a wild shout as Sirla ran on, up on the hard sand above the beach.
And then the sun rose above the waters.
The sky was clear except for the barest whispers of clouds, which hung like veils in front of the rising sun. Shafts of light turned them into curtains of pink and orange as the surrounding sky was flooded yellow. A single river of red ran across the surface of the sea, ending at the beach where rocks shattered the water into tiny rubies.
Sirla left hoofprints in golden sand, now made an even deeper shade by the rays of the sun. Susan slowed her mount just a little, holding one hand up to shield her eyes as she looked at the red star.
Even the magnificence of her surroundings could not compare to this single, life-giving orb. Small clouds flitted in front of it, borrowing its brilliance for a second but never able to keep it. The whole sea was tinged a reddish colour, tipped with pink foam.
The sea murmured and roared in pleasure as the gulls screeched approvingly. Sirla joined in the chorus with a neigh, and Susan had to laugh, mixing her musical voice with the sounds of glory.
Suddenly she guided Sirla to a halt, and turned towards the sea. Her eyes were closed, and she breathed deeply, drawing in the intoxicating scented air. It filled her with a wild sense of adventure – it always did, and always had, whether at sunrise or sunset. But it was only when she was alone that she could truly follow its frenzied call.
Here she did not have to be a queen or an older sister, the foremost Lady of the realm whom everyone looked to.
She was simply Susan Pevensie, formerly of London, now set free into a beautiful world.
And she could do ... anything.
Susan whooped in a decidedly unladylike manner and guided Sirla towards the rising sun. They entered the salt water and it splashed cool onto Susan's skin. When the water became too deep for her horse, she dismounted and swam. She had always been a strong swimmer; now she set her eyes on the sun and swam, her mind playing with the idea that she ought to catch it and hang it in her room.
Her fingers pulled through the coloured water, which was flowing like liquid gold around her. Susan took a breath and dove, opening her eyes to the vast underwater world. Fish swam past her in surprise, and she reached out, trying to touch them. Then she corkscrewed up to the surface, watching the light above her swirl in indescribable patterns until she broke through them to the surface, gasping.
A movement caught her eye, and she turned her head to see something leap smoothly out of the water. Susan panted breathlessly, trying to laugh but not succeeding, as two more mermaids leapt through the air. They were coming closer and soon she heard their watery voices: "Hail, your Majesty!"
"A good morning to you," Susan cried, seeing that she wasn't the only one reveling in this beautiful beginning to a day.
The mermaids circled around her, and Susan swam after them, knowing they were guiding her safely to shore. And as she swam, they played, jumping and leaping, swimming in intricate patterns for her enjoyment.
It was almost reluctantly that Susan set foot on dry sand and was greeted by a very wet Sirla. She playfully reached up and grabbed her horse's forlock, rubbing the mare behind the ears as she looked back towards the sea.
The first glorious rays of the sun had given way to the stronger light of full day, but the vibrant shades of colour had not yet faded. The mermaids still splashed merrily in the shallow waters, their scales flashing as they swam.
"Is it not wonderful, your Highness, this world the Emperor has given us?" they cried, each trying to outdo the other's stunts.
Susan watched them play as she felt her hair and skin drying in the warmth of the new-risen sun.
"Yes," she called back, as she stroked Silda's coat. "Yes, it is!"
It's been so long
Since I've seen the early morning sun
It's been so long
Since I've felt the air under my wings
Seen all of these things..