Her eyes glittered darkly as she swam higher, towards the surface. The current was strange, faster, and with more potency than it had had in the last 1300 years. A change was coming; she could feel it. It was powerful enough to awaken her from her sleep, though it had not awakened her sisters or her father. With swift strokes, she began to reach the surface, and a bright ray of light shone through the water. Her eyes felt strange, looking up at the light after so long.
Her long dark hair floated like a cloud around her face, and her pale skin shone in the increasing light from outside. Some fish passed her, not cringing away from her as they would do with any other creature, human or animal. She barely looked at them. Her mind was a swirl of confusion.
Aslan? She thought. Perhaps it is he who has come. Her fingers cut through the water softly yet swiftly, while she looked around searchingly. She quickly spotted what she was looking for, lying under the large root of a tree that was protruding from the ground. As she began to emerge, her left hand took it and she climbed out.
She felt considerably heavier now, out of the water. Her hair fell onto her shoulders once more and grouped itself in waves and curls at the back of her head. Her dress that seemed made of dark seaweed was molded perfectly to fit her slim body; sleeveless, and reaching just below the knee. She was barefoot, and in her hand she now held a thin belt of dark green, from which hung a light yet sharp dagger. With one swift movement, she fastened the belt around her waist. On her forehead sat a string of dark green, from which hung three small pearls, falling onto her pale brow. Her eyes were dark and intelligent, yet a strange ancientness hung about her. Her feet left wet tracks behind them as she walked on the white sand, but her skin was dry, though her hair appeared to still be wet while it was not dripping.
It feels so strange, she thought as her toes touched the sand. She walked slowly, like a person asleep, for it was strange to be on hard ground once more. Around her, the trees were silent except for the whispers of the wind. Too silent. 1300 years ago, she would have heard the voices of the animals and at night perhaps even the sound of pipes far into the trees, evidence of the fauns and dryads that danced in the twilight.
She stopped dead in her tracks suddenly. The memories came rushing back to her. Not only of the fall of Cair Paravel, and of the terrible time after, when she and her sisters had had to retreat into the depths of the river and fall into deep sleep, but also of the wonderful times that the Narnians had called the "Golden Age of Narnia" when she had visited Cair Paravel quite often, and spent hours with the High King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund and Queen Lucy.
Her heart was filled with anguish at the thought of Peter. It had been centuries since she had last mourned over the fact that they were never coming back, and with time she had learned to hide her pain, but it had never truly left her. Now, with the new awakening, it awoke once more. She clenched her jaw firmly and continued walking.
Presently she realized where she was. In front of her was a great hill, upon which sat another perfectly round green hill with a stone doorway leading into it. She recognized it immediately; Aslan's How. Rather surprisingly, it was exactly in the same state as it had been before the attack of the Telmarines. Presumably they were too afraid of the woods to go close and mar it. She stood in front of it, admiring it, before she noticed something unusual.
Around it were many small figures strangely crowded close to the doorway, and once or twice she saw a figure come out of it. She was even more surprised to find that the figures were not human; in fact, many times they were anything but human.
Fauns, talking animals, dwarves, centaurs…maybe even a giant. Her heart leaped in a way it had not done for many years, and she began to walk towards them. What is it that has awakened them at last? What has brought them out from their hiding?
She quickly saw the answer to her question. Close to the foot of the hill upon which Aslan's How sat, and by the edge of the forest, was a great cluster of white tents, where she could see the figures of men walking in between. Obviously, it was the camp of an army. Her mind raced as she considered the possibilities of what had occurred. Probably a battle between the Telmarines and the Narnians, who were reclaiming the land as their own, assuming that they were still in power.
She made her mind up in a second. She would fight alongside them, if that was the case. Swiftly she began to walk towards Aslan's How.
Her thoughts were interrupted suddenly by the distinct sound of hoofs coming from in front of her. Her dark eyes looked up quickly and she saw what seemed to be a centaur running towards her, closely followed by two dwarves. The dwarves bore bows with arrows on the string and the centaur held a sword in his hand. She stopped immediately and merely watched them without any expression in her eyes, as they swiftly ran towards her.
The centaur stopped abruptly in front of her, his sword drawn, and gave her a hard stare. The dwarves, one a black dwarf and another one a red, gazed at her warily, their arrows pointed at her. She merely looked back.
"Who are you?" asked the centaur in his deep voice. His flanks were glossy chestnut and the beard that covered his broad chest was golden-red. His dark brown eyes narrowed suspiciously as they stared at her. She made no move to touch her dagger.
"Sairah, daughter of the River-God," she said. Her voice felt strange, unused.