April 18th, 1949
"Rubbish. I should be able to write a simple letter."
But his hand gripped the pen with such a banal finality that he felt as though it would burst in his hand. Across from him, Jill Pole and Lucy were engaged in a splendid chat about Narnia, and he couldn't help but hear the envious tone in which Lucy spoke, although Lucy herself would hate to admit to such petty feelings. Next to Jill, (when had he become so common so quickly? Alberta- no- Mum would be throwing a fit) sat the lovely Aunt Polly, her fingers flying over a copious amount of knitting she'd packed.
"Are you alright dearie?" Aunt Polly asked, her eyes twinkling above her glasses with a mysterious impishness. Eustace looked down at the near blank piece of paper in his lap and nodded, the pen going slack in his grip. Beside him, Professor Kirke gave a small snort, and continued on with his long awaited nap.
"I was trying to write my mum a letter. You know, explaining about, well, everything. She had a proper fit when I asked dad for the money for the trip. I didn't even know what to tell her, so I… I just left, and I feel jolly awful about it."
"Then start with that then, my dear boy. Say how much you love her, and you didn't mean to hurt her feelings, but this was something you had to do."
" She'll think I'm barking mad, Aunt Polly. Bleeding mad. I tried so many times to try and explain to them bout Aslan, and Narnia, and all the adventures I had… and when I found Aslan in our world, but… she'd just laugh at me."
"Eustace Scrubb! It is of vital importance that everyone should hear of Aslan's name!" Aunt Polly admonished, with the slightest raise of a brow that he'd even consider not to mention his name, or talk of his importance. The boy nodded, and remembered his talk with Edmund on the beach, after his undragoning.
"You were an ass. I was a traitor."
Eustace shivered. What if his mum and dad died without knowledge of Aslan? Of Narnia? This may be the most important letter he'd even written in his entire life. With renewed vigor, he set pen to paper and began to write, and write he did until he heard the conductor blow the whistle. He finally finished when they were about to pull into the station.
A bit too fast for my liking
He lovingly wrote at the bottom of the filled page, 'with love, your son, Eustace' when the cab of the train took a violent lurch. There was the horrible sound of metal screeching onto mental, a jarring thud and everything went black…
It had been approximately three months, nine days, forty-two hours, thirty seconds, and fifteen minutes since the train crash that took her only son, Eustace Clarence Scrubb, her nephews Peter and Edmund, and her youngest niece Lucy, and their parents, Diane and Mark. Alberta Scrubb even felt guilty for the tragic and untimely death of Jill Pole, whom she once deemed too 'ordinary' and 'common' for someone like her Eustace. The wreck was one of the worst in British history, and in one day, managed to take so many people away from her. It wasn't fair! Tragic things happened to common people! Everyday people! Not people like the Scrubb's, Pevensie's, and even the Pole's! Not of that mattered now, Alberta would think wretchedly, her son and most of her family was dead. She and Harold were now alone in the world.
After Eustace died, and the funeral was something she put long behind her, the local police had finally consented in the dispersal of the effects of the deceased. With over one hundred dead and many more injured, the process had taken months. Just last week, a somber young man with a lisp had delivered a package. She took it, paid him, and put the parcel on the table. Why go through it now? Ever? It wouldn't bring her boy back.
Yet, Alberta Scrubb felled compelled to open it- to see what things her son had carried, to be with him, if in the most miniscule of ways. Silently, she tore open the parcel, and dumped its contents onto a table. His wallet spilled out first, half burnt from one of the many fires that sprouted because of the crash. Next was an old pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather- a relic from the Great War. Third was a handful of bills, that he'd stuffed in a hurry into his pocket. Finally, a thin envelope, black with smoke toppled into her hand. Curious, she reached for the letter, opening it with trembling hands in the process.
Dear Mum, was how it began. Alberta had thought that very queer indeed. Her son never addressed her so. Though shaken, she continued on regardless;
I have so many things I want to tell you. First off, is that I love you. I love you, and I love Dad, and I want to call you that. I know you may think of all this as strange and common behavior, but I am a changed man- and for the better. You thought it odd of me that I had such a change in personality after I returned from Narnia with Edmund and Lucy- and yes I said Narnia! Its all true mum- all true! There is another world- I've seen it- I've been to the end of that world! Ed, Lucy, Peter, and Su have been there too- loads and loads longer than me. Ha! I've only got to go twice- but it is so glorious. I'll tell you more when I get back.
Anyways, I've been summoned to Narnia again, and with Aslan's will, I hope I can aid him again. Aslan mum…. Just saying his name makes me want to weep- such a deep, deep longing. He told me once I would know him better in our world- and I looked, and prayed and found him- he's Jesus Christ, mum! He's alive here as he is alive in Narnia! I tell you this, for this is the most important piece of information I have discovered! I love him! I love him in Narnia, and here on Earth! I write you these things so that you and Dad may come to know him here as well. Maybe someday, you'll find your own paths into Narnia.
Well, I'd love to continue this, but Lucy is reminding me that we'll be reaching the station soon, and I have a duty to fulfill. I love you mum, and please tell dad I love him too.
Eustace Clarence Scrubb
Alberta's tears splashed openly onto the letter. The last words of her son, so carefully planned on this sheet of paper, a urgent message of love on the last train ride he'd ever take. She could almost see his smiling face, as he buried deep into his studies, brow furrowed in concentration. Carefully, she folded the letter, tucking it beside her heart as she fell into a chair, near breathless with a mixture of emotion.
"Eustace, I love you, and thank you…"