A TWIST OF FATE
The idea for a story like this would not stop nagging me, and so to ease my conscience, I got straight to work. This is where all our beloved Disney characters (or at least a good number of them; I doubt I'd be able to write about ALL of them) come together in one big adventure. You could say it's a little like Kingdom Hearts, with a Wizard of Oz twist. I expect this story to be pretty dang long, but this ought to be great fun! With that said, buckle down, sit back, relax, keep your arms and legs in at all times, and enjoy the ride!
Characters (with the exception of Terence) © Disney (and their original creators)
Tumnus and Narnia © C.S. Lewis and Disney/Walden Media
Terence and Story © unicorn-skydancer08
All rights reserved.
Chapter 1: In the Hole
"…And they lived happily ever after," Lucy concluded, and she closed her big storybook with a snap and announced proudly to her friends, "The end!"
"That was an excellent story, Lucy!" said Terence approvingly.
"It was all right," said Tumnus with a casual shrug, "for a fairy tale."
It was a warm and temperate summer afternoon within the land of Narnia, and young Lucy Pevensie—also known as Queen Lucy the Valiant—was out in one of the spacious outer courtyards of Castle Cair Paravel at that time. She was with her two closest friends, Tumnus the faun; and Terence, a handsome, white-haired youth who possessed the heart of a unicorn. All three of them were relaxing in the cool, deep shade of the trees, and Lucy had just done reading to the men a fable from her cherished collection of folk tales and classic stories; the legends within the volume contained many unusual titles and names that neither Terence nor Tumnus were familiar with, but got a pleasure out of listening to.
"And what is wrong with fairy tales, mate?" Terence inquired of the faun.
"Nothing, really," said Tumnus indifferently, as he spread himself flat on his back in the soft grass alongside Terence, and folded his hands behind his head. "Such stories are intriguing enough, and suitable for passing the time. But you do realize, Terence, that they are just stories. You know that Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and all those other entities are nothing more than mere legends. We are the ones who are real."
Terence gave his companion a knowing look. "Don't be so sure about that, my friend," the white-haired youth declared. "Things are not always as they seem, you know."
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we really could meet some of these characters, for real?" said Lucy, gazing down fondly at her book and running her palm lightly over the smooth leather. "Oh, what great adventures we would have!"
"Indeed, yes," Terence agreed vigorously with the girl. "We'd be in for the thrills of a lifetime!"
"As if you don't already get your fair share of thrills here, in Narnia," Tumnus said.
As though the faun had not spoken, Terence said, "I'd love to explore the wonders of the undersea world with the Little Mermaid, and to hunt for treasure with the Seven Dwarfs, and to journey to the heart of the earth with Aladdin in pursuit of the legendary Genie of the Lamp. It'd be splendid to visit the world of Wonderland with Alice, too."
"And to battle pirates with Peter Pan," said Lucy abstractedly, "and especially to fly through the air with Tinker Bell—and all it would take to do that would be faith, trust, and pixie dust."
"That would be amazing," Terence conceded, having always dreamed of flying—that he could soar across the heavens like a bird, wild and free, with nothing to hold him or tether him.
Tumnus just shook his head at this, and muttered scornfully to himself, "Stuff and nonsense."
Later that same day, after Lucy had gone back into the castle with her book, Terence and Tumnus continued to rest in the yard together, for yet a while longer.
Terence found he couldn't stop thinking about all the tales and myths Lucy had read to them, not just in that day alone, but also in the days and weeks past; and the youth couldn't stop fantasizing about the prospect of living such escapades, in real life. "Do you think it'd be possible, mate?" he commented to Tumnus at length, while they lay side by side on their backs and studied the drifting cloud formations overhead. "Could we actually journey to all those charming worlds, and meet all those charming characters? Could it truly be possible?"
"Of course, it couldn't be possible," said Tumnus unalterably, not bothering to meet his friend's eye while he said it. "How could it be? Like I told you before, Terence, they're just stories. The only world they truly exist in is the world of books. And, you know, there is more to life than literature of fairies and pirates and genies and sleeping princesses, and the like."
Tilting his head slightly in Tumnus's direction, Terence regarded the faun with a frown.
"You fauns have no imagination," was all the silver-haired youth said.
Tumnus just shrugged halfheartedly in reply, and closed his eyes, dozing in the soft coolness of the shade. Perhaps he didn't maintain the degree of ingenuity and idealism that Terence did, but the faun prided himself in his level of logic and common sense. At any rate, he was prudent enough to know and understand that life very seldom ran like a fairy tale.
Terence shook his head. He cared very much about Tumnus, really; but sometimes he wished the faun would learn to loosen up a bit.
For a time, the faun and the half-human remained there in ruminative silence.
How much time passed them by, exactly, neither of them knew nor cared much.
But then something very curious came about…something so curious, in fact, that had it not come about in the first place, fate would have taken quite a different turn, for Terence as well as Tumnus. When Terence idly turned his head to look the other direction, he was astonished to discover a white rabbit in the distance, not too dreadfully far from their resting spot. Not just any common white rabbit—but one that walked on its back legs, exactly like a human, and it wore a red waistcoat and gray trousers; and it had a pair of round spectacles perched on the end of its pudgy nose, and carried a pocket watch that was almost as big as its head.
Startled, Terence blinked, but the rabbit turned out to be quite real—as real as he was.
At that time, the White Rabbit was strolling along, whistling a tune to himself, clearly giving mind to none but his own business.
Terence immediately rose to an upright position. "What in the world—?"
"What is it, Terence?" said Tumnus leisurely, without moving from his spot.
Grabbing the faun by his bare shoulder, startling Tumnus into opening his eyes as he did so, Terence pointed out with his free finger and cried, "Look over there, mate!"
"What?" Tumnus queried as he sat up himself. Upon seeing the rabbit, he said nonchalantly, "Oh, Terence, it's only a rabbit." But then noticing the details of the little stranger, the faun's expression of dispassion instantly switched to one of surprise, incredulity, and total and utter bafflement. "With a…coat and a watch?!" he gasped, his eyes widening at the sight.
"Oh, my fur and whiskers!" the White Rabbit exclaimed just then, upon consultation of his watch. "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" And with that, he took off at full speed, like his tail was on fire.
"I don't believe it!" said Tumnus, nothing short of stunned.
Even Terence had to admit this was most odd. "What could a rabbit possibly be late for?" the young man wondered, to Tumnus as well as himself. Terence was tempted to run into the castle and fetch Lucy, and perhaps a couple of others as well. But he knew he would lose the White Rabbit in that very instant if he did so; and so he simply leaped to his feet and took off after the quirky little fellow himself, before the Rabbit had completely gone from his sight.
"Hey!" Tumnus protested, immediately springing to his own hooves as well and hurrying swiftly after Terence. "Hey, come back, Terence!"
Paying the faun no heed, Terence called after the White Rabbit, "Mister! Mister, wait!"
But the Rabbit only ran faster, waving his watch about frantically in the air, and Terence and Tumnus could hear him chanting distraughtly: "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! No time to say hello—goodbye! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"
For such a short, plump fellow, he was remarkably speedy.
"Wait!" Terence called after him again. "Wait, sir!"
At that same moment, Tumnus hollered to Terence, "Terence, come back! Terence!"
He pursued Terence and the Rabbit all the way across the strip of beach that adjoined the castle, clear down to the wooded area at the far west end, where lush green hills swelled up against the sky; and even then, the Rabbit refused to stop, or slacken his pace in any way. If anything, he simply moved along all the quicker, were such a thing possible.
"Hold on there, mate!" said Terence as he followed him into the dense cluster of trees, with Tumnus trailing in the youth's wake. "Not so fast!"
But the White Rabbit shook his head fretfully and wailed, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, I'm overdue! I'm really in a stew! No time to say goodbye—hello! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"
Whatever the little fellow was late for, Terence figured it had to be something extremely important. Otherwise, he wouldn't make such a fuss. Behind Terence, Tumnus continued to call for the young man; but like their company, Terence kept going.
Ultimately, the rabbit disappeared into a small cave, carved in the side of a small mound.
That was where Terence at long last stopped and stood still, and Tumnus only just barely managed to avoid slamming into him from the rear as he slid to a halt himself. Panting heavily from the exertion of the long run, the faun put a hand on the young man's shoulder and leaned on Terence to rest a minute. "Terence," he gasped, when he had recovered enough breath to speak, "what is the meaning of this? What do you think you're doing?"
"Imagine, Tumnus," Terence informed him, "a white rabbit with a pocket watch, showing up out of the clear blue—wouldn't you want to know where he's headed, what he's up to?"
"No, I wouldn't," said Tumnus, which was only partially true. "It's none of our concern, Terence. Furthermore, it's extremely ill manners to infringe on someone else's private affairs. You know that."
"All the same, mate," Terence countered, "you don't see rabbits wearing waistcoats around here every day. Perhaps this might be a sign."
Tumnus echoed incredulously, "A sign?"
"Yeah, an indication of some sort."
"An indication of what?"
Terence shrugged. "Only one way to really find out." And so saying, he broke away from Tumnus and ventured deep into the cave, the darkness swallowing him up in an instant.
Tumnus hesitated only a split second before bolting in after him. "Terence! Wait!"
Inside the cave, it was much too dark to see anything. Tumnus could not even make out his own hand when he held it in front of his face. "Terence!" the faun called as he moved himself along very cautiously, using his hands to feel around him, his voice echoing eerily all about him. "Terence, where are you? Where have you gone? Terence? Ter—oomph!" The name was abruptly cut short when Tumnus felt himself collide with something in the pitch blackness.
"Whoa, hey!" Terence's voice cried out. "Watch it!"
Tumnus groped for the man's shoulder, and once he found it, he gave Terence a none too gentle squeeze. "Terence—are you mad?!" he demanded. "We've got to get out of here!"
But, as it was immediately apparent, it was so dark where they were that there was no way of finding the way out, or even knowing which way was out. And there were no sounds to guide them: no trickle or drip of water, no whistle of air, nothing whatsoever.
They were trapped.
"Well, now you've gone and done it, Terence," Tumnus accused sharply, keeping a firm grip on the youth, refusing to let go for so much as a second. "We're stuck! And we're stuck here for Aslan knows how long!"
"Take it easy, Tumnus," said Terence, trying to calm him down. "Of course we'll get out of here. Just hold onto me, and I'll see whether I can feel for an exit."
"Oh, you'd better bet I'll hold onto you," said Tumnus, feeling his way down to Terence's hand and clutching it so fiercely that Terence gasped slightly. "From here on, I'm not letting you away from me for even a single moment!" Tumnus vowed.
Terence then reached out with his other hand and began to walk slowly and carefully, saying, "Since this is where our little friend had gone, there is bound to be an exit somewhere."
"Or," said Tumnus, as they struggled through the stark gloom, "maybe our minds played a trick on us, and he was just a—" Whatever the faun presumed the White Rabbit to be, exactly, he never got around to saying; for Terence had suddenly lost his footing and took an unexpected plunge downward, and Tumnus was brought straight down with him.
The next thing either of them knew, they were falling helplessly together into the depths of what they knew at once to be a deep, vast hole.